There is an old story of how the Cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then, thousands of people cam from all parts of the land. Like a giant procession of ant, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on the old site. They worked until the building was completed. All the master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But, they all remained anonymous. No plaques, statues or monuments. It was the era of the unknown artist.
They all remained anonymous and no one knows to this day who rebuilt the Cathedral of Chartres. The artist lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans. The concept of eternal values, immortality and masterpiece were not terms readily applicable. The ability to create was considered a gift. The byproduct of this world was a higher level of assurance and a natural humility whereas today, in the cult of celebrity, the individual,- individualism as exploited by corporatism as a value- is the highest form and greatest bane of artistic creation.
It would be a bitter pill to swallow, to go back to being an artist in the cathedral on the great plain. Entire industries and employment are concentrated on a new kind of worship that generates and degenerates itself, spitting out the Amy Winehouse’s and gathering new ones to the pen, where they can also bleat, stare in each others eyes and exasperate anxieties by blurring the distinction between true and false. The theory that we live strictly according to our needs is a bit disconcerting; the intellectual and intuitive get swept away to some back chamber in the tower of Babel.
But, on the other hand there is opportunity in our sausage machine world of the generic, since it does create a world in which to revolt against, perhaps even build something new like the anonymous builders of Chartres:
Guardian: Nevertheless, at the disparate Occupy sit-ins this year – in New York, Moscow, Rio, Rome and elsewhere – as well as the repeated anti-government actions in Athens and the gatherings outside G20 and G8 conferences in London and L’Aquila in 2009, the V for Vendetta mask has been a fixture. Julian Assange recently stepped out wearing one, and last week there was a sort of official embalmment of the mask as a symbol of popular feeling when Shepard Fairey altered his famous “Hope” image of Barack Obama to portray a protester wearing one….
…But with the mask’s growing popularity, Moore has come to see its appeal as about something more than identity-shielding. “It turns protests into performances. The mask is very operatic; it creates a sense of romance and drama. I mean, protesting, protest marches, they can be very demanding, very gruelling. They can be quite dismal. They’re things that have to be done, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re tremendously enjoyable – whereas actually, they should be.”…
…He sees parallels between the dystopia predicted in the story and the world today. The book foretold the prevalence of CCTV cameras on city streets, for instance; and Moore takes a particular satisfaction in a strand of the plot that seemed to anticipate the sort of internet-based dissent that has made groups such as Anonymous and Assange’s WikiLeaks such major agents of protest. “The reason V’s fictional crusade against the state is ultimately successful is that the state, in V for Vendetta, relies upon a c
alised computer network which he has been able to hack. Not an obvious idea in 1981, but it struck me as the sort of thing that might be down the line.” Moore is not computer-literate. “This was just something I made up because I thought it would make an interesting adventure story. Thirty years go by and you find yourself living it.”…
…if not “the 99%” then a great, unignorable bloc – have caused such a stir. “It would be probably be better if the authorities accepted this is a new situation, that this is history happening. History is a thing that happens in waves. Generally it is best to go with these waves, not try to make them turn back – the Canute option. I’m hoping that the world’s leaders will realise this.”
Back in the early 80s, approaching the end of Vendetta’s epic 38-part cycle, Moore was struggling to think of another “V” word with which to title a closing chapter. He’d already used Victims, Vaudeville and Vengeance; the Villain, the Voice, the Vanishing; even Vicissitude and Verwirrung (the German word for confusion). “I was getting pretty desperate,” he says.
He eventually settled on Vox populi. “Voice of the people. And I think that if the mask stands for anything, in the current context, that is what it stands for. This is the people. That mysterious entity that is evoked so often – this is the people.”… Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/27/alan-moore-v-vendetta-mask-protest?newsfeed=true