The Post-Cap Art Movement.
I owe my career to Arthur Bicknell, the most generous playwright of the 21st century.
-John W. Borek
The Post-Cap Manifesto.
A while ago, my newspaper horoscope read: “Your lack of resources makes you unstoppable.” This, I decided, was the perfect distillation of the Post-Capitalist Art Movement.
In the last few decades, the idea of the lone, creative soul has succumbed to a new Nineteenth Century Academy—only this Academy is called the Corporation. Art has become synonymous with money, technology and spectacle and is further and further removed from what advances art—ideas. As art production becomes more specialized, the ideas it rests upon are often determined by the marketplace, technocrats or special interests, rather than the artist.
The Post-Capitalist or “Post-Cap” Art movement’s motto is “Less Money, More Imagination.” It emphasizes the social and intellectual act of creation over commercial and technical considerations. The movement reasserts the importance of the individual artist. Post-Cap posits that when art becomes business, it is diminished; the artist’s creative act is subordinated to
When art becomes business, its value is only a matter of success or failure. The creative process exists to please a hierarchy of interests rather than to take on important and controversial matters directly. And, perhaps most importantly, the artist repeats past successes rather than exploring new ideas because the lure of commercial success is so strong.
I founded the Post-Cap Movement in October, 2008 with Post-Cap muse Karen Winer in the midst of presenting a revival of Arthur Bicknell’s play “Moose Murders.” The production revisited the worst-reviewed play in Broadway history, a play that effectively put Mr. Bicknell on hiatus as an artist for a quarter century. Two years prior to the Broadway production of “Moose Murders,” Mr. Bicknell had presented a play, “My Great Dead Sister,” that was regarded as one of the best off-Broadway plays of 1981. His abrupt fall from grace and descent into no-artist’s land because of one failed play inspired Post-Cap’s examination of failure in the arts. Karen and I concluded that the demands
of the marketplace and the expectations of returns on
investment in the art world create a bottleneck for
what is produced, and, consequently, what is
accepted by audiences and critics.