Museum defends artist's call for drugs to fuel teens' creativity

May 20, 2015

An Australian museum has defended an artist who suggested that teenagers be given marijuana to unlock their potential, describing the proposal as "brave and creative".

Leon Ewing will raise the idea of "educational " at an event focusing on challenges faced by high schools in the southern state of Tasmania next month at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart.

"Basically what I'm proposing is the idea of using in education," Ewing told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday.

"We already prescribe amphetamine-like medication for focus and docility. What if we medicated for creativity?"

Ewing, a multimedia artist, said it was already known that many young people experimented with drugs and he suggested that illegal substances could "open the mind to greater creativity and lateral thought".

He said a first step would involve community consultation and debate and that any project would be commenced under a legal framework.

In a statement, Ewing earlier said that he envisaged screening for robust mental health and latent creativity before they could take the drug. The teenagers could work in residence at MONA in collaboration with leading contemporary artists, he said.

He said teenagers should take marijuana using customised vaporisers.

"What genius could be nurtured, if not unleashed in such circumstances? What a transformational experience!" he said.

The curator of the event at MONA's Dark Mofo festival, Leigh Carmichael, admitted the suggestion was potentially controversial.

"We don't necessarily agree with this idea, but we love that it's brave and creative, and in order for seismic change, we'll need to think big and be open to provocative ideas," he said.

But Ronnie Voigt, from the Drug Education Network in Tasmania said Ewing's ideas were unsettling.

"(It) doesn't sit well with anyone who understands child development and how develop, and their capacity to think and to explore and to create really good skills as they grow older," Voigt told the ABC.

MONA is a highly regarded but unorthodox museum which has shot to prominence by challenging visitors' senses along with the art establishment.

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Multivac jr_
not rated yet May 20, 2015
Psilocybin would be a better choice for promoting the stated goals.
ThomasQuinn
not rated yet May 21, 2015
Only in very small quantities. I can testify from personal experience that very low doses of marijuana can be performance enhancing. For instance, I find it easier to maintain steady rhythm in playing music after consumption of a really small amount of marijuana. But you don't need all that much before the effects become so strong that they start to hinder rather than aid performance.
antigoracle
not rated yet May 21, 2015
What they really need to do is end the drugs, pushed by pharmaceuticals, that suppress creativity.
KBK
1 / 5 (1) May 22, 2015
The end of I.G. Farben, in all of it's disguises, is what one speaks about, when the talks about the end of 'big pharma'.

Know your history, know what really lurks behind the facade all the given 'known to be an evil soulless sociopath entity' chemical monster companies.

I.G. Farben, was the Nazi fascist origin point for most of the Nazi empire's chemical inventions, and human experiments involving chemicals. It was disbanded by law, broken up into individual companies.

It was so big that it took from the year 1945 until past the year 2000, to get it broken up.

Now we just have diseased chemical creation nightmare machines (IG Farben children), all over the damn place.

All trying to cash in on the implementation of oligarchical oriented manipulation of the human body and psyche.

And that is how you ended up with something like a quarter of all US citizens being on some form of pharmaceutical concoction(s) that is messing them up and bending their awareness and will.

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