The Lost Writings of Jude O'Connor - Author's Note

The naivete of certain poets and philosophers in the past quarter-century has prompted me to address the relationship between art and society. 

By this writing, I do not wish to contest the value of sacred things, whatever their origin or tradition. Indeed, if there is any person who understands the importance of religious belief, it is this author. 

But while my comprehension of such belief is sincere, so to is my abstention in favour of the holy writ of art, which is far richer in meaning. That said, to suggest this work is somehow 'subversive' is erroneous, since it is a work of imaginative reasoning and speculation into the mystery of human faith. 

I have no political or social agenda. There have been many heretical tracts written with more earnest intent than the one that persuaded me to my work, and in which I set down these fleeting ponderances. But make no mistake - I write because I fear what will happen if I do not.

I have no time to argue with the rabble who use shock and provocation to feed their creative egos. In the end, the measure of the artist is not only in their works, but in their lives, how they interact with the culture that informed their efforts, the impression they leave on the people who experience their art, and the quiet inner peace every artist knows upon completion of a project.

It is a most noble thing to create, and to participate in such a grand universal process. I know many artists who are terrible wretches, pitiful to behold in their complacency concerning all things, save their art. They live tragic lives and befall terrible fates. I would not wish this upon anybody.

If the artist is to reclaim their rightful role in society, it is necessary that their works are not just a product of vanity, but an attempt to be understood by that society. All artists claim the right to comment on society and its systems, to promote change and growth. This is a holy charge in and of itself, and one demanding great strength and imagination.

The artist is a revolutionary. Within their creativity is the means to reshape and reorganized a splintered world perspective into imaginative unity, which has been the goal of artists since the beginning. If it is madness, then there is method in it.

Artists cannot sit docile on the sidelines any more, not at this point in human history. A more aggressive strategy is required. It is time for us to take up arms and enter the fray. We have the finest weapons at our disposal - words, music, sounds, colour, form, film. My agenda is creative, and yet this is not art:

It is a declaration of war.

- Jude O'Connor