Keeping It Real Art Critics
Since 2016

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Karsten Bras (artist) wrote ''The Applause Machine, an inquiry into Trojan Horseness''.

Thesis for the degree of Master of Arts in Design under supervision of Catherine Somzé (2017) Dirty Art Department Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam.

Read the full PDF here.

This is what he writes about KIRAC:

''As Stefan Ruitenbeek explains in his web series KIRAC about the art subsidy debate, the artist finds himself in a headlock of right wing politicians and angry — mostly on-line — anti-art protesters (Keeping It Real Art Critics 00:03:32). When people, in this case artists, are constantly being told that they’re useless, their primal reaction is to prove the opposing party that they do have use. So the artist starts to involve himself with social projects in the neighborhood, doing public services and stand up for the rights of refugees, etc, etc. By doing so, the artist is doing good, giving back to society and proves himself (and indirectly the accusing party too) that he is a useful member of society.

The setback of this constant proving is that the artist gradually becomes obsessed with this dialectic. This creates a perverse entanglement (Ruitenbeek even calls it a Stockholm Syndrome) between the artist and the right wing block — the“basket of deplorables” and “their” politicians who constantly humiliate the artist and ensure them they are useless and they have to work for their money. In reaction, artists begin to adopt a “left” identity, by acting as a Gutmensch who are of good service and by doing the right thing. This is how artists politicize themselves more and more, embracing this identity and thereby attempting to capture the moral high ground.''