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A strong relationship between the arts and politics, particularly between various kinds of art and power, occurs across historical epochs and cultures. As they respond to existing at or occurring in the same period of time. events and politics, the arts take on political as well as social dimensions, becoming themselves a focus of controversy and even a force of political as well as social change.
Nabokov said that throughout 1800, the government by Russian Tsars Nicholas I and II, "remained aware that anything outstanding and original in the way of creative thought was a jarring note and a stride toward Revolution."
A widespread observation is that a great talent has a free spirit. For instance Pushkin, who some scholars regard as Russia's first great writer, attracted the mad irritation of the Russian officialdom and particularly of the Tsar, since he "instead of being a good servant of the state in the rank and file of the administration and extolling conventional virtues in his vocational writings (if write he must), composed extremely arrogant and extremely independent and extremely wicked verse in which a dangerous freedom of thought was evident in the novelty of his versification, in the audacity of his sensual fancy, and in his propensity for making fun of major and minor tyrants."
According to Groys, "Art has its own power in the world, and is as much a force in the power play of global politics today as it once was in the arena of cold war politics."
Pertaining to such politically-intractable phenomena as the Modern conflicts in the Middle East, however, some artists and social critics believe that "art is useless as a tool for political change." There are, nevertheless, examples where artists employ art in the service of political change.
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
The Italian poet Ungaretti, when interviewed on transgression by director Pasolini for the 1964 Love Meetings documentary, said that the foundation of poetry is to transgress all laws: "I am a poet and as such I begin transgressing all the laws by doing poetry".
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