Here’s something from happier times, a decade ago:
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 To: National Spiritual Assembly From: Steve Marshall Subject: Review of living works of art
I’ve just read the item in New Zealand Baha’i News—”All Baha’i art works need approval from the national body”. I’ve been an artist and a Baha’i for many years but have only just realised that my art work needs to be reviewed.
I am living work of art, engaged in a continuous performance with an ever-changing audience. I do, at times, mention and depict the Baha’i Faith as an integral part of my creative output, and this is why I can now see that I do need to seek a letter of approval from you. The main difficulty I have is that my artistry is not adequately represented by a cassette recording, a photocopy or a manuscript. My artistic efforts are largely situational, and are very reliant on spontaneous interaction with people who can be drawn into being co-creators of artistic experiences.
I’m sure a solution can be negotiated and that it can be done in quite a creative way. I look forward to interacting with you over this conundrum.
ka kite ano,
There was a creative solution to the problem—the National Spiritual Assembly amended its ruling, and only mass-produced works of art had to be reviewed.