Aco once text me about this guy's writing on I La Galigo which indeed shows a syndrome of inferiority complex. And today I read another writing on the art of painting and market force in Kompas daily.
On the ups- and-downs of current price of Indonesian painting works, he believes that Indonesian painters are victimized by market force. Some of his points are:
1. The big capitals owner --through capital network and image engineering-- can manipulate the consumer. And as Indonesian consumers are more stupid than their counterpart in the other side of the world due to it's paternalistic cultural setting, it allows the operation of that network.
2. In this setting, the victims are the painter. Why? They don't act like Bill Gates since they merely producer --not trader nor capital owner. And the benchmark (for pricing) is not based on artistic qualifications
3. To fight againts that victimization, set a cooperation between the painters and society to change the nation's mentality.
Frankly I am real puzzled by this article. My comments are:
1. Who does he mean the big capital owners and their network in this Indonesian art market? Surely most of any kind of market is characterized by the image engineering -or we may call that product differentiation. Yet, we can't say we are victimized by different type of tooth paste in the supermarket shelf, can we?
And surely the degrading remark on Indonesian customer demonstrates the syndrome that Aco has mentioned in his text earlier.
2. If painter is only producer, so what? It is called division of labor. And Bill Gates' affair shows a, competitive, market that does not work. It is called monopoly.
And what the hell is artistic qualification if Duchamp's urinal can also be considered an art? You can't measure the level of utility of a person seeing that artwork --as well as making interpersonal comparison out of that.
3. A cliche --therefore empty words-- flavored by some hints on misleading marxian revolution idea.
Mind you, it is actually OK to criticize market mechanism as the best instrument for resource alliocation. But please don't mix-up things in this funny way.