Register Friday | December 14 | 2018
Don’t Expect a Revolution

Don’t Expect a Revolution

Why are obscure artists considered elitist when they’re not the ones with power?

Illustration by Ming Lin.

We were looking at birds the other day when my daughter asked me, “Why are you less excited to see a sparrow than a goldfinch?”

“Well, sparrows are fairly common—you see them every day in Montreal. Goldfinches are more rare.”

“But sparrows are pretty birds, too.”

“They are, I agree.”

“If sparrows were rare, you would find them more beautiful.”

“No doubt I would.”

“Sparrows are brownish, and goldfinches are yellowish…”

“Yes…”

“But there’s no reason yellow is a more interesting colour than brown.”

“For sure. Except I see brown birds all the time.”

“It’s like rarity creates a hierarchy? A scale of values?”

“Yeah, in a way.”

“That’s not fair.”

“You’re right. It’s not fair. And it’s not that a goldfinch is worth more than a sparrow. But it may interest me more.”

Art knows no justice. It ...

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