From: Shannon Stoney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 08/22/02-09:37:24 AM Z
Jonathan said something yesterday about how a lot of the art teachers who
are the most abusive and destructive are also the ones who do the least work
themselves. I think there is something to that. Julia Cameron goes into
that at some length in her book The ARtist's Way. This book is a bit New
Age-y, but it does have some important insights about why people attack art
so bitterly sometimes. It helps you to have a little compassion for them.
It helps you "feel their pain." For a few minutes anyway.
This syndrome is still puzzling, though. Why do people who have been abused
in art school themselves want to inflict the same sort of abuse on other
students? Why do they also believe in theories of art that don't make sense
logically or intuitively? There is only one possible explanation:
Stockholm Syndrome was named after an incident where some bank tellers in
Sweden were held hostage for six days by some armed gunmen. At the end of
the six days, they didn't want to be rescued! Two of them ended up marrying
their captors. Since then, the term "stockholm syndrome" has been used to
describe situations where victims of abuse and oppression come to identify
with their captors, admire them, and believe in their worldview. Patty
Hearst was another example of the syndrome. In case you are too young to
remember: Patty Hearst, an heiress, was kidnapped by a far left terrorist
gang, and she eventually joined the gang and helped them rob a bank.
How is this like art school, you ask? Well, according to one internet site
on Stockholm Syndrome, there are four characteristics of it:
--a perceived threat to survival and the belief that one's captor is willing
to act on that threat
--the captive's perception of small kindnesses from the captor within a
context of terror
--isolation from perspectives other than that of the captor
--perceived inability to escape
That sounds exactly like art school to me.
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