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Eliot 1 and Karen Eliot 2,3,4 and 5 make up Baltimore's Art Strike Action Committee, along with about 20 other less directly involved local artists. The group was formed last year in support of an international 'Art Strike,' which is set to begin this January 1 and end of that same date in 1993. Although movements have popped up recently to fight cuts in National Endowment for the Arts grants and fight the censorship that goes with it (the Corcoran Gallery boycott there's also 'A Day Without Art,' a call for galleries to close or hold AIDS benefits on December 1) the wide-sweeping Art Strike that the Eliots demand has nothing to do with those issues. For that matter, it has nothing to do with pay, working conditions, or the other usual reasons for work action. (...)

'There have been 15 or 16 Art Strikes in the past,' Eliot 1 says, explaining the movement's history. 'Most of them have tended to frame their activities as being against specific regimes, or to make specific changes in the art world.' But he says the current strike is aimed at the art world's raison d'etre and not any one particular political ideology or artistic stance. 'This strike is more omnidirectional,' he says, 'It's intended to attack attitudes which claim to have universal significance.

In other words, much of the strike is aimed at the egos of the artists themselves, which like the gallery circuit, have elevated the artist to a superior status in the intellectual and creative hierarchies.

'It's interesting to note that the great majority of artists I've met in my life seem to be particularly nervous about what they're doing,' Eliot 1, the group's unofficial spokesman says, 'They have a great deal of anxiety about whether or not it has any value. Essentially, what we're doing is trying to make it clear to them that it doesn't have any value at all. In fact, (the art) is negative and completely murderous and destructive (because of its links to a murderous and dehumanising ruling class).' .

Michael Anft, Baltimore City Paper 12/10/89.

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