Send in the clones

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

Dear friends,

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.

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