Monday, March 24, 2014

modern art was cia weapon


independent | For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years. 

The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.

The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.

The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism. Fist tap Bro. Makheru.

22 comments:

woodensplinter said...

Please tell me you're not falling for the Lyndon R. Larouche Luciferian conspiracy theory http://www.terrorism-illuminati.com/blog/laurel-canyon-sex-drugs-and-aliens

woodensplinter said...

Is the New Age a CIA mind-control weapon too? http://concen.org/forum/thread-3938.html
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/1498038/posts

CNu said...

lol, lack of adult supervision up in this piece has certain individuals just wilding..., you know good and well that I take GREAT umbrage to any linkage with the Larouchian fustercluckery. That said, it is a bit depressing to see that that pointy head Livingstone may not be a complete and total quack and fraud after all.

I think the Luciferian Kabala stuff is a hot mess, but just looking at the popular cultural influences and the nexus for the same spun up out of the CIA, well, it's very interesting to say the least. My take, quick, fast, and in a hurry - popular culture and high-culture comprise fronts on which cultural communication and interchange are played out at all levels. Seldom is this intercourse played out in terms of weapons and war, rather, it's done along softer, gentler, but no less influential lines of shared interest and attraction.

007 has to have something to talk about at the casino or the soiree when he gets all dressed up and engages with the "enemy" on the front lines of the neverending struggle. Same also, even more so, for the non-military soldiers in the State Dept. who engage at a less glamorous but more pervasive level of interaction and involvement.

John Kurman said...

So, was Timothy Leary a CIA backed buffoon? Or just a regular buffoon?

CNu said...

Leary was a GIA-backed buffoon. http://ihaveamericasurrounded.blogspot.com/2006/09/timothy-leary-cia-agent.html - unsurprisingly - the alkahest got good to him - and he commenced to wilding with it. But really, if you're collaborating with, sponsored by, and living at the 64 room estate of Mr. Billy (Gulf Oil) does it even make sense to draw a distinction?

woodensplinter said...

The Larouchians beg to differ. http://www.whale.to/b/bowart8.html

CNu said...

John, which three-letter agency are you moonlighting for? http://johnkurman.blogspot.com/2014/03/2014-texas-national.html#comment-form

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother CNu:

Is the picture of Dizzy Gillespie ..................

1) The picture of a subordinate Black man on a motorcycle carting around a White man as a driver?

OR

2) The picture of a famous and talented Black man who, despite this fame was shown to be "Still A Ninja" and thus had to drive the White man?

Oh SORRY - I just watched Democracy Now.and their review of 'Dear White People'

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/24/dear_white_people_film_tackles_racial

CNu said...

smdh..., http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ride_bitch - but given that this was europe, these were artists, and not afflicted with the neverending original american mental illnesses, I'm pretty sure what we see in the picture doesn't involve race/gender/subordination pathology.

Ed Dunn said...

Co-sign with CNu - this picture is a brilliant move of Adam Clayton Powell...jazz and bebop was big worldwide and people like Dizzy were admired greatly and to have them go out in the world did more for us than it did for America. What First Lady do we know goes to China and get invited to play jump rope?

John Kurman said...

You didn't know? The FNA.

John Kurman said...

My take: the government funding improvisation... its hard to see it as a bad thing.

BigDonOne said...

BD lived thru this, it was not a problem. Actually, it was a eugenic thing, regardless of what venue. You had to be I-Q-Stupid enuff to try it the first time.....

CNu said...

With centuries of experience in the specific livestock management application and use of opiates, the application of heroin was rather much a slam dunk feat of sustainable social engineering, don't you think?

OTOH - with millenia of hiding and occulting the very existence and use of entheogens, SOMEBODY should have known better than to unleash a tidal wave of the most powerful psychoactive ever imagined on the masses. The deep and systematic occultation of entheogenesis made a mockery of ill-informed attempts to use for social control, something so carefully hidden for so long because it is fundamentally antithetical to social control systems.

CNu said...

Adam Clayton Powell's greatness as a catalyst and change agent at the very highest levels of elite thought, decision-making, and practice in the U.S. is egregiously neglected in mainstream accounts of living memory history. http://youtu.be/rUss0PNA8Qk

umbrarchist said...

That is so funny!

So what does that say about the global inability to solve the grade school physics problems of collapsing skyscrapers? Physicists can spend 12 years not discussing the center of mass of the tilted top portion of the south tower to not figure out why it did not fall down the side. ROFL

White people are so intelligent at thinking what they are told.

umbrarchist said...

Wait! Is this going to cause the prices of "art" works to fall. How many people will look stupid for spending a lot of money on the junk?

makheru bradley said...

Powell’s story is one of the power and pitfalls of personality-centered leadership and politics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XJAUVwm92Q

makheru bradley said...

Powell at Bandung:


[Powell even describes in his autobiography, not so modestly, how his work to counteract this tendency led to a unanimous decision made in a closed session to reject Chinese delegate Chou En Lai’s resolution to connect the colonialism of Africa with the situation of African Americans. Thus, although Indian Prime Minister Nehru remarked at Bandung on the tragedy of the Middle Passage and as he put it, the burden of the world to deal with its impact, the final communiqué of the Bandung Conference never mentions African Americans as a class but rather reads: “The Asian-African Conference deplored the policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination which form the basis of government and human relations in large regions of Africa and in other parts of the world.”

Perhaps the final communiqué would read differently, despite Powell’s efforts and of course, the decisions of those who unanimously voted against Chou En Lai’s resolution, if more African Americans had been able to attend. I will say with confidence that the situation of African Americans would have probably received more attention if Jones, Robeson, and Du Bois had been at Bandung. All three Black radicals were unable to attend Bandung because of exile or their passports had been revoked years earlier.]

http://bandung1955.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/58/

CNu said...

When you survey the landscape of power and influence at that time (let's just say from 1945-1957 for discussion's sake) it was a MUCH smaller demography. Breakthroughs being made during this era could not really have emanated from anywhere other than singular personalities and the politics which these exceptional individuals spawned through their individual relationships and contributions to the evolution of governance.



One of the things sorely missing from the sphere of elite American governance, is the power of individual personalities. in 1955, what was done to Putin and his patrons and cronies could still probably have been done to power elites in the U.S. By 1995, this would have been impossible because the identifiable cadres of power had morphed into vast, anonymous, corporatized proxying systems - one of whose primary purposes for existing - is to anonymize the formerly more accessible and identifiable power elites.

umbrarchist said...

That is a curious contrast with modern art. Lots of poor people could by records. How many could buy over priced paintings? How many Black painters were doing modern art in the 50s?

Constructive_Feedback said...

After first watching the streaming video of the A.C.P. Jr video and then purchasing the DVD for the purposes of clipping segments for use in my "Constructive Feedback University - Doctoral Course On Americanized Negro Manipulation Studies" I am forced to agree with MB on this one.

The very same Black people in the video who loved when ACPJr "TOLD WHITE FOLKS OFF" in the US Congress and looked past his corruption because they were living vicariously through him - when he went AWOL from the US House as he lived in Bimini - many of these same people were forlorn, saying "WE need a FIGHTER WHO ACTUALLY SHOWS UP FOR THE FIGHT" and thus we lost his support - bringing us Charlie Rangel

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