Giorgio Agamben: Violenza e speranza nell'ultimo spettacolo

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Quando nel novembre del 1967, Guy Debord pubblic La societ dello spettacolo, la trasformazione della politica e dell'intera vita sociale in una fantasmagoria spettacolare non aveva ancora raggiunto la figura estrema che ci oggi divenuta perfettamente familiare. Tanto pi notevole l'implacabile lucidit della sua diagnosi.
Il capitalismo nella sua forma ultima - cos egli argomenta, radicalizzando l'analisi marxiana del carattere di feticcio della merce, in quegli anni stoltamente disattesa - si presenta come una immensa accumulazione di spettacoli, in cui tutto ci che era direttamente vissuto si allontanato in una rappresentazione.
Lo spettacolo non coincide, per, semplicemente con la sfera delle immagini o con ci che chiamiamo oggi media: esso un rapporto sociale fra persone, mediato attraverso le immagini, l'espropriazione e l'alienazione della stessa socialit umana. Ovvero, con una formula lapidaria: lo spettacolo il capitale a un tal grado di accumulazione che diventa immagine.
Ma, per ci stesso, lo spettacolo non che la pura forma della separazione: dove il mondo reale si trasformato in una immagine e le immagini diventano reali, la potenza pratica dell'uomo si distacca da se stessa e si presenta come un mondo a s. nella figura di questo mondo separato e organizzato attraverso i media, in cui le forme dello Stato e dell'economia si compenetrano, che l'economia mercantile accede a uno statuto di sovranit assoluta e irresponsabile sulla vita sociale.
Dopo aver falsificato l'insieme della produzione, essa pu ora manipolare la percezione collettiva e impadronirsi della memoria e della comunicazione sociale, per trasformarle in un'unica merce spettacolare, in cui tutto pu esser messo in discussione, tranne lo spettacolo stesso, che in s, non dice altro che: ci che appare buono, e ci che buono appare.
Nel maggio 1988, Debord ha pubblicato un Commento alla societ dello spettacolo, che aggiunge alle sue analisi precedenti degli sviluppi importanti. Se allora egli aveva distinto due forme di societ spettacolare: quella concentrata, che aveva il suo modello nella Russia stalinista e nella Germania nazista; e quella diffusa, corrispondente agli Stati Uniti e alle democrazie occidentali; egli mostra che, nei venti anni successivi, si andato imponendo su scala planetaria un terzo modello, per il quale Italia e Francia hanno servito da laboratorio, e che egli definisce dello 'spettacolo integrato'.
Lo spettacolo integrato si manifesta nello stesso tempo allo stato concentrato e allo stato diffuso e, a partire da questa fruttuosa unificazione, riuscito a impiegare al massimo l'una e l'altra qualit. Ma il loro modo di applicazione si trasformato. Se si considera l'aspetto concentrato, il centro diretto ora divenuto occulto: non vi si situa pi n un capo riconosciuto, n una ideologia chiara. Se si considera l'aspetto diffuso, l'influsso dello spettacolo non aveva mai determinato a tal punto la quasi totalit dei comportamenti e degli oggetti della produzione sociale.
Il senso ultimo dello spettacolo integrato , infatti, che esso si integrato nella realt stessa a misura che se parlava: e che la ricostruisce cos come ne parla, in modo che essa non gli sta pi di fronte come qualcosa di estraneo. Quando lo spettacolare era concentrato, la maggior parte della societ periferica gli sfuggiva: quando era diffuso, gliene sfuggiva una piccola parte; oggi pi nulla. Lo spettacolo si mescolato a ogni realt, permeandola. Com'era prevedibile in teoria, l'esperienza pratica del compimento sfrenato della volont della ragione mercantile mostra, rapidamente e senza eccezioni, che il diventar-mondo della falsificazione era anche un diventar-falsificazione del mondo.
Se si eccettua un'eredit ancora consistente, ma destinata a ridursi sempre pi, di libri e edifici antichi che, del resto, sono sempre pi spesso selezionati e messi in prospettiva secondo la convenienza dello spettacolo, non esiste pi nulla, nella cultura e nel mondo, che non sia stato trasformato e inquinato secondo i mezzi e gli interessi dell'industria moderna.
difficile, per noi che abbiamo vissuto gli ultimi venti anni della storia italiana, non sottoscrivere queste analisi. Poich certo che, come sembra suggerire Debord, l'Italia stata il laboratorio in cui, mentre il terrorismo forniva lo spettacolo di copertura che monopolizzava ogni attenzione, si andato provando e attuando il trapasso delle democrazie occidentali verso l'ultima fase del loro sviluppo storico. Mai - nemmeno negli anni Cinquanta, quando gli stati europei, eliminati il fascismo e il nazismo, si diedero con zelo a proseguire l'opera in altra forma - una cos grande massa di falsificazione si concentrata in un tempo cos breve su ogni aspetto della vita sociale.
Nel giro di pochi anni, ideologie, confessioni religiose, sindacati, partiti politici, giornali, tra i quali esistevano differenze sensibili e che rappresentavano tradizioni opposte, si sono accordati, come seguendo le istruzioni di una velina invisibile, per ripetere con le stesse parole lo stesso discorso sui medesimi temi. E mai, in alcun regime totalitario, il discorso pubblico stato cos omogeneo e, per l'essenziale, consenziente come nell'Italia di questi ultimi anni, in cui si discorso di tutto a patto di non pensare nulla; e mai, sotto alcuna dittatura, gli intellettuali, ridotti di buon grado al rango spettacolare di esperti, sono stati pi solleciti nel loro compito di procacciare consenso e di rassicurare confondendo le idee. Poich, se lo stato spettacolare lo stadio estremo nell'evoluzione della forma-Stato, verso il quale, quasi sospinti da una forza fatale, sembrano muoversi oggi tutti gli stati del mondo, lo spettacolo, nel senso ristretto di circolazione mediatica dell'informazione, serve a rendere impossibile che i problemi decisivi siano posti in modo chiaro e che i cittadini dispongano degli elementi per formarsi un'opinione non contraddittoria su di essi.
In questo senso i libri di Debord costituiscono una delle poche descrizioni del nostro tempo all'altezza del problema: e, in tutt'altro registro, la sola analisi che possa esser paragonata, per rigore e novit, a quella che, esattamente quarant'anni prima, Heidegger aveva condotto nei paragrafi 25-38 di Essere e tempo. Solo che la dimensione che Heidegger chiamava impropriet, Uneigentlichkeit, non convive pi semplicemente con l'esser-proprio, Eigentlich, dell'uomo ma, resasi autonoma, si sostituita interamente ad esso, rendendolo impossibile.

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Cos lo spettacolo di Debord pu essere avvicinato senza troppe forzature a quella fase estrema dello sviluppo della tecnica che Heidegger chiama Gestell, e di cui dice che il pericolo pi grande e, insieme, il presentimento dell'appropriazione ultima dell'uomo.
Se questo vero, in che modo oggi il pensiero pu raccogliere l'eredit di Debord? Poich chiaro che lo spettacolo il linguaggio, la stessa comunicativit o l'essere linguistico dell'uomo. Ci significa che l'analisi marxiana va integrata nel senso che il capitalismo - o come altro si voglia chiamare il processo che domina oggi la storia mondiale - non era rivolto solo all'espropriazione dell'attivit produttiva, ma anche e sopratutto all'alienazione del linguaggio stesso, della stessa natura linguistica o comunicativa dell'uomo, di quel Logos in cui un frammento di Eraclito identifica il 'Comune'.
La forma estrema di questa espropriazione del Comune lo spettacolo, cio la politica che noi viviamo. Ci significa anche che, nello spettacolo, la nostra stessa natura linguistica che ci viene incontro rovesciata. Per questo - proprio perch ad essere espropriata la possibilit stessa di un bene comune - la violenza dello spettacolo cos devastante; ma, per la stessa ragione, lo spettacolo, nella cui forma l'umanit sembra andare incontro ciecamente alla propria distruzione, contiene anche una estrema possibilit positiva, che essa non deve a nessun costo lasciarsi sfuggire.
Lo stato spettacolare resta infatti, malgrado tutto, uno stato che, come ogni stato, si fonda, come ha mostrato Badiou, non sul legame sociale, di cui sarebbe l'espressione, ma sul suo scioglimento, che vieta. In ultima istanza, lo stato pu riconoscere qualsiasi rivendicazione di identit, perfino (e la storia dei rapporti tra stato e terrorismo nel nostro tempo ne l'eloquente conferma) quella di una identit statale al proprio interno. Ma che delle singolarit facciano comunit senza rivendicare un'identit, che degli uomini coappartengano senza una rappresentabile condizione di appartenenza - l'essere italiani, operai, cattolici, terroristi - ecco ci che lo stato non pu in alcun caso tollerare.
Eppure lo stesso stato spettacolare, in quanto nullifica e svuota di contenuto ogni identit reale, a produrre massicciamente dal suo seno delle singolarit che non sono pi caratterizzate da alcuna identit sociale n da alcuna reale condizione di appartenenza: delle singolarit veramente qualunque.
Poich certo che la societ in cui ci dato di vivere anche quella in cui tutte le identit sociali si sono dissolte, in cui tutto ci che per secoli ha costituito la verit e la menzogna delle generazioni che si sono succedute sulla terra ha ormai perduto ogni significato. Nella piccola borghesia planetaria, nella cui forma lo spettacolo ha realizzato parodisticamente il progetto marxiano di una societ senza classi, le diverse identit che hanno segnato la tragicommedia della storia universale stanno esposte e raccolte in una fantasmagorica vacuit. Per questo, se lecito avanzare una teoria sulla politica che viene, essa non sar pi lotta per la conquista o il controllo dello stato da parte di nuovi o vecchi soggetti sociali, ma la lotta fra lo stato e il non-stato (l'umanit), disgiunzione incolmabile delle singolarit qualunque e dell'organizzazione statale.
Ci non ha nulla a che fare con la semplice rivendicazione del sociale contro lo stato, che stata a lungo il motivo comune di movimenti di contestazione nel nostro tempo. Le singolarit qualunque in una societ spettacolare non possono formare una societas, perch non dispongono di alcuna identit da far valere, di alcun legame sociale da far riconoscere. Tanto pi implacabile il contrasto con uno stato che nullifica tutti i contenuti reali, ma per il quale un essere che fosse radicalmente privo di ogni identit rappresentabile sarebbe, malgrado tutte le vacue dichiarazioni sulla sacralit della vita e sui diritti dell'uomo, semplicemente inesistente.
Questa la lezione che uno sguardo meno disattento avrebbe potuto trarre dai fatti di Tian An Men. Ci che pi colpisce, infatti, nelle manifestazioni del maggio cinese la relativa assenza di contenuti determinati e di rivendicazioni. Democrazia e libert sono nozioni troppo generiche per costruire un oggetto reale di conflitto, e la sola richiesta concreta, la riabilitazione di Hu Yao Bang, stata prontamente accolta. Tanto pi inspiegabile appare la violenza della reazione statale.
probabile, tuttavia, che la sproporzione sia soltanto apparente e che i dirigenti cinesi abbiano agito, dal loro punto di vista, con perfetta lucidit. A Tian An Men, lo stato si trovato di fronte ci che non pu n vuole essere rappresentato e che, tuttavia, si presenta come una comunit e una vita comune. E questo indipendentemente dal fatto che coloro che si trovavano sulla piazza ne fossero effettivamente consapevoli. Che l'irrappresentabile esista e faccia comunit senza presupposti n condizioni di appartenenza (come una molteplicit inconsistente, nei termini di Cantor), questa precisamente la minaccia con cui lo stato non disposto a venire a patti.
La singolarit qualunque, che vuole appropriarsi dell'appartenenza stessa, del suo stesso essere nel linguaggio, e declina per questo ogni identit e ogni condizione di appartenenza, il nuovo protagonista, non soggettivo n socialmente consistente, della politica che viene. Dovunque queste singolarit manifesteranno pacificamente il loro essere comune, vi sar una Tian An Men e, prima o poi, compariranno i carri armati.
Quanto a noi, qualunque cosa accada, non possiamo che ripetere con Debord le parole di Marx a Ruge: Non si pu certo dire che io abbia troppo in stima l'epoca presente; ma se non dispero di essa, ci per la sua situazione disperata, che mi riempie di speranza.


Il presente articolo estratto da: Guy Debord, Edoardo Sanguinetti, I situazionisti e la loro storia, manifestolibri srl, Roma 1999 (Librairie Arthme Fayard 1998)agamben






Giorgio Agamben

Lokalisere kulturen: en erfaring (del 1)

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Linea (Ariadne), Kunst i natur, Vengedalen, Rauma, 2008


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1/5
Mellom her og hvor som helst

Things are experienced but not in such a way that they are composed into an experience. There is distraction and dispersion; what we observe and what we think, what we desire and what we get, are at odds with each other.
John Dewey, Art as Experience, 1934

Norge, et av de nordligste landene i Vest-Europa, og det ene av tre skandinaviske land. Norge er inngangsporten til de arktiske polomrdene, den nordvestlige delen av halvya som strekker seg over havet mot Storbritannia, Fryene, Island og Grnland og med Amerika i vest.
Mre og Romsdal er ett av Norges 19 fylker, og ligger nord p Vestlandet - p den opprevne kyststrekningen langs Atlanterhavet mellom Stavanger i sr og Kristiansund i nord. Nordmre er den nordligste delen av tre omrder adskilt fra hverandre med fjorder, fjellkjeder og skog. 15.105 km av ulendt terreng.
Reisende med fly fra Bergen til Kristiansund, vil du kunne beundre sndekte fjelltopper og blanke fjorder i en times tid.
Nordmre, som grenser til Trndelag i nord, er en enklave plassert mellom Trollheimen i st og oseanet i vest. Tingvoll-halvya er jordskorpen som ligger mellom to av Nordmres brede fjorder - en geografisk bru som forbinder den indre delen av regionen med den ytre. Riksvei 70 hakker, svinger, strammer og breier seg gjennom til sammen ti mil av nesten folketomt landskap.
Ett skilt. Deretter en samling av spredte bygninger dukker opp av skogen. Kystbyen Kristiansund ligger n omtrent fem mil unna mot nordvest. Industritettstedet Sunndalsra befinner seg enda like mange kilometer innover fjorden mot Dovrefjell. Bygda Tingvoll omgir en vg. Her i 2007 ble et nedlagt postkontor for noen mneder et sentrum for kulturelle oversettelser.

Ikke la deg lure av denne geografiske beskrivelsen: bygda er ikke et idyllisk sted for et nytt underholdningsprosjekt som vil friske opp en av de kommende kvelder foran skjermen for la deg drmme, for en time, om lokal romantikk og fantasifulle stunder fra en frindustriell Thule. I denne omgang er Tingvoll en liten bit av den skalte "global village", det ikke-stedet der vi begeistret virvler oss ut og inn av kjpesentre som besatte p tvers av kontinentene. Og dette er fortellingen om et kuratorisk prosjekt som har blitt til i en tid der masseinformasjonsteknologien, raske transportmidler og relativ infrastruktur har avskaffet forskjellen mellom det nrliggende og det fjerne, og forvirret den alminnelige fornemmelsen av rom til de grader at noen har god grunn til snakke om slutten for geografien . De fysiske hindringene og avstanden som fr var ansett for vre rsaken til kulturell differensiering mellom folkegrupper , hindrer ikke beboerne av denne bygda p Nordmre i vre mindre deltagende i, eller pvirket av, et fenomen som rrer alle. Og hva er avstanden om ikke et samfunnsprodukt som varierer i forhold til hastigheten og kostnadene vi kan tillate oss for legge den bak oss?
Med veien som deler bygda i to p langs, og som hele tida frer noen hvilelst til eller fra et sted, er Tingvoll, for meg som str stille p kanten og ser biltrafikken, selve prototypen p moderniteten. Denne veien som bde binder og skiller, er bildet p en offentlighet som alltid befinner seg et annet sted enn der jeg er . Fordi nr avstanden mellom her og hvor som helst ikke spiller noen rolle lenger, blir lokalitetene, som er skilt fra hverandre av avstander, fratatt sin mening og evne til tilskrive en identitet.

Geografien tok en betydelig plass i utviklingen av prosjektet Tingvoll kunsthall. Kunsthallen hadde sitt utspring i et srskilt geografisk milj, og den beveget seg innenfor et forholdsvis lite, lokalt samfunn. Som kuratorisk prosjekt var Tingvoll kunsthall produktet av en urgency, en ndvendighet for skape handlingsrom til en selvstendig produksjon av kultur i nromrdet, her hvor jeg bor.
Jeg kunne ikke forutsi utfallet av prosjektet. Med noen mneders avstand ser det hele ut til ha vrt et forsk p binde sammen noe, skjelne noe fra noe annet, diskutere noe som oppleves uten diskuteres. For meg selv var kunsthallen materialiseringen av en langsom prosess av gjenvinning og oversettelse, der mange fragmenter ble samlet inn og limt mysommelig sammen.
Kunsthallen hadde store ambisjoner. Fra mai til desember 2007 fikk de tomme vinduene til det gamle postkontoret nytt liv, og ble gjesterom for en type aktivistisk kuratorvirksomhet som grep inn i en sosial og kulturell kontekst.
Gjennom ni utstillinger innrammet av seminarer, samlet kunsthallen hovedsakelig publikum og kunstnere med tilholdssted i fylket rundt en diskusjon om globaliseringsprosessen. Ansvarsomrdet til visningsstedet var likevel Kunst: forplante et samtidskunstprosjekt i en spesifikk kontekst betydde frst og fremst tilskrive dette historiserte sprket en kommunikasjonsverdi og myndiggjre det som underskende middel. Kunsthallen pnet muligheten for eksperimentere tverrfaglig, og initierte dannelsen av en varig praksis forankret i det lokale. Den skapte sin egen autonomi, sin politiske rett og frihet til uttale seg fra innsiden av den globale spectacle. Den fanget en stor mengde lse trder i en prosess, og objektiverte dem i en erfaring.


2/5
Mellom fortid og ntid

This past, moreover, reaching all the way back into the origin, does not pull back but presses forward, and it is, contrary to what one would expect, the future which drives us back into the past. Seen from the viewpoint of man, who always lives in the interval between past and future, time is not a continuum, a flow of uninterrupted succession; it is broken in the middle, at the point where "he" stands; and "his" standpoint is not the present as we usually understand it but rather a gap in time which "his" constant fighting, "his" making a stand against past and future, keeps in existence.
Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future, 1961

Hvis hastigheten til kommunikasjonsmidlene har nullstilt avstanden mellom stedene og omveltet vr oppfattelse av tid og rom, har den etablert en global sentralisme som bde samler ved homogenisere og skiller ved polarisere. vre global betyr til syvende og sist ikke vre hindret i bevegelsene av en livssituasjon som er lokalisert, det vil si forankret, i hverdagen, til et bestemt sted. I et samfunn der flytte p seg er et imperativ, bevegelsesfriheten sitter hyest p rangstigen av verdiene. vre lokal viser deg bort til periferien av et sentrum hvor noen f setter reglene for et spill de fleste deltar i, eller blir utelukket fra. Mobiliteten blir en av faktorene som ligger til grunn for sosial lagdeling.

I utviklingen av rammene til mitt kuratoriske prosjekt, brukte jeg sentrum/periferi binomet som geometrisk konstruksjon for visualisere et forhold som i virkeligheten ikke lar seg s enkelt definere av samme geometriske klarhet. I sirkelen er sentrum tyngdepunktet med korteste avstand til alle punktene. Et sentrum definerer relasjonen med periferien, utkanten eller marginen, som i denne relasjonen blir underlegen.
Mens et sentrum er selvreferensielt (det erkjenner seg selv og sitt ststed uavhengig av det som ligger utenfor sin rekkevidde ), er periferien derimot en diffus mengde uten bestemt lokalisering utover den som er kjennetegnet av relasjonen til sin motpart. Sentrum/periferi, er med andre ord et hierarkisk forhold av gjensidig overhyhet og underordning.
Anvendt i geografien er denne dikotomien interessant som samfunnsmessig begrep fordi den geografiske oppdelingen ofte er sammenfallende med forskjeller i kulturformer, politisk herredmme og konomiske prosesser.

Begrepsparet sentrum/periferi er ikke fremmed for den postkoloniale litteraturen.
I forholdet mellom vinnere og tapere som flge av den imperialistiske koloniseringsprosessen, etableres det en kulturell overlegenhet av strukturer hvor bare den ene (vinnerens) er den fortellende stemme. Vi har dermed et hegemonisk, selvreferensielt sentrum lokalisert "hjemme" i Vesten, som i besittelse av en universell utviklingsnivstandard finner sin mening i reise hjemmefra for katalogisere, analysere, misjonere, og utfre antropologiske studier om erfaringene til en kultur som befinner seg "borte".
Denne gjenfortellingen setter i gang en forskyvning hos objektet for utforskningen - en prosess av hybridisering og identifisering med den hegemoniske kulturen, som splitter individet i en dobbel representasjon av seg selv. Assimilasjonen (the internalisation of the self-as-other sier Stuart Hall ) til et hegemonisk ?sentrum? som ikke anerkjenner periferiens evne til produsere selvstendig erkjennelse, blir ofte forklart som kulturell forvirring hvor ntiden, i forsket p tilpasse seg den herskende kultur, er en schizofren fornektelse av fortiden: selvet, sin egen kultur og rase. Lignende problematikker er fortsatt aktuelle og kan spores tilbake til dagens debatt om det "flerkulturelle", hvor mangfold er en fargerik hyllest til det andre slik vi selv liker forestille oss det, og hvor integrasjon i mange sammenhenger frst og fremst betyr ensartethet.
De postkoloniale intellektuelle skriver inn konsekvensene av det koloniale herredmmet i perspektivet av en subaltern fortelling skrevet nedenifra.
De etniske problematikkene fyes til andre marginale historier av sosial urettferdighet knyttet til kjnn, legning, klasse og kulturforskjeller. Om de hadde begrenset utforskningsfeltet til representasjonen av en binr maktmodell nedarvet fra kolonimakten, ville de ha kunnet argumentere til fordel for periferien. De ville samtidig fastlst diskursen i en kamp mellom vinnere og ofre og bekreftet en polarisering som bde er kulturell og geografisk betinget.
Istedenfor dekonstruerer de autoriteten til de linere verdihierarkiene i en tradisjon som utvikler seg i vertikal retning, ved arbeide fra innsiden og utsiden av begrep og erfaringer rotfestet i en normgivende universalisme, lokalisert i Vesten; for s lokalisere kulturen i det territoriet av sosiale forhold som er preget av ustabilitet, spenning og mangfold.
Dette perspektivet pner opp for en forstelse av identitet og kultur som artikulerer seg i horisontal retning, en flerdimensjonal strrelse karakterisert av utveksling og omdannelse.
Balanserende mellom fortid og ntid, er senteret noe du bringer med deg - og hvilket som helst sted kan bli verdens midtpunkt.

I et betydningsfullt essay skrevet i 1984 angende den amerikanske aktivistiske kunstscenen, tegner Lucy Lippard et bilde av den Bevgelsen for kulturelt demokrati [som] er en kritik af homogeniteten i den herskende kultur, som domineres af erhvervslivet og kun er til gavn for meget f af os, selvom den har stor indflydelse p os alle sammen. Vi er i dag vidner til, hvordan denne kultur (som i mikroblgeovn) sammensmelter de multietniske og multikulturelle forskelle, som ellers er dette lands strste ressource og eneste hb for en bedre forstelse og kommunikation med den resterende del af verden, som vi er p nippet til helt at delgge.
Hun sammenligner den aktivistiske kunsten med en trojansk hest som er p n gang baseret p subversion og p empowerment og kan derfor operere bde inden for og uden for den belejrede fstning, som kaldes finkultur eller "kunstens verden".
Aktivistisk kunst begrnser sig ikke til en bestemt stil og kan formentlig bedst beskrives ud fra sine funktioner, som ogs spnder vidt. Som oftest er den aktivistiske kunst heller ikke begrnset til det traditionelle kunstmedium: Den har som regel lagt lrred og piedestal bag sig. Det er en kunstform, der bde bner op og arbejder i dybden. I forskellige grad udspiller den sig bde inden for mainstream og uden for de accepterede kontekster. I praksis kan aktivistisk kunst dreje sig om undervisning, bogudgivelser, radioprogrammer, film og organisering - i eller uden for kunstverdenen. Ofte inddrager den en rkke forskellige medier i et enkelt, langvarig projekt. De fleste aktivistiske kunstnere forsger p n gang at vre syntetiserende og katalyserende - de prver at kombinere social handling, social teori og finkunstens tradition med hinanden i en nd af mangfoldighed og integrering frem for indsnvrende valg. Denne kunstformen finner ofte sin motivasjon i en dyb frustration over kunstens begrnsede funktioner og distributionskanaler i den vestlige verden og fornemmelse[n] af at vre afskret fra publikum, er grunden til, at vi er blevet aktivister.
De forskjellige praksisene som Nicolas Bourriaud samlet under den felles nevneren av Relasjonell estetikk, kan sammenlignes med de Lucy Lippard forteller om videre i sitt essay. Ved vre en plattform som legger til rette for oppbygningen av mellommenneskelige relasjoner, skulle kunsten skaffe et alternativt svar til en gradvis dehumanisert verden hvor enhver [er] innelukket i sin subjektivitet, som p isolat . Fra midten av 90tallet fikk denne retningen institusjonell aksept og samlet sympatisrer og motstandere til en livlig debatt. Gjenvunnet av kunstsystemet mister disse praksisene p en mte sitt livsgrunnlag. Det mellommenneskelige som musealt anliggende risikerer fort bli betraktet som et samleobjekt, og det gr tilbake fra vre forslag til sosial forandring til en intern lek for en lukket krets av adepter. Som del av undervisningsprogrammet p kunstakademiene har den Relasjonelle estetikken blitt for mange elever en oppskrift p lik linje med radering og akvarell.

Det mellommenneskelige og forstelsen av kunst som verdslig aktivitet (det vil si en aktivitet som er interessert i verden, ikke i uttrykket av selvet og heller ikke av tilfredsstille kravene til et marked ) var fortsatt til stede, som ndvendighet, i mitt kuratoriske prosjekt. Tingvoll kunsthall kunne bevege seg subversivt i horisontal retning fra en problemstilling til en annen, og g i dybden av problematikker som gjennomsyrer samfunnet, ved skape sitt eget frie handlingsrom utenfor de etablerte institusjonene. Prosjektet lokaliserte en avansert, "global" kunstpraksis, i en spesifikk lokal kontekst. Det lite spektakulre prosjektet fanget naturlig nok ikke medienes oppmerksomhet. Det finnes likevel millioner av prosjekter (ofte betydelige bde hva gjelder forstelsen av kunst og for den virkeligheten de opererer i) som ser dagens lys rundt omkring i verden, og som forblir mer eller mindre ukjente (og her er Documenta XII - og Documenta XI - rosverdig for det brede spekter av erfaringer de har vist fram ? for eksempel blant andre de argentinske aktivistene av Tucumn Arde).
Hvem bryr seg om det n: et lite visningssted med et obsknt drlig budsjett ble for noen mneder krysningspunktet av flere individual mythologies ; det samlet rundt seg et trofast og hengivent publikum; det plasserte en utestengt bygd i sentrum av en virkelighet av globale forbindelser og pvirkninger; den skaffet meg nye venner og la grunnlaget for utvikle nye, spennende "marginale" prosjekter.

Hvert andre r forklarer en vennlig og smilende munn med overdreven diksjon, p den andre siden av skranken, at jeg burde fornyet oppholdstillatelsen min for et par mneder siden. P arbeidskontoret eller p gata, i uttalelsene til en sprkbegavet politiker eller hver gang jeg mter en ny person i en ny sammenheng, gr det opp for meg at identitet, hjem og nasjonalitet er emner som teller. Og jeg m innrmme det, det er vanskelig skjule min "identitet". I perioder, ogs lange, har jeg valgt tie stille. Stillheten er avhengighetsfremkallende. I Homi K. Bhabhas The Location of Culture er andre ord tilbakevendende:

in-between, beyond, interruption, denial, unhomely, recognition, translation, difference, displacement, representation, repetition, signification, otherness, enunciation, identification, haunting, ambivalence, double, camouflage, boundary, survival...

og hybridism: the split screen of the self and its doubling, the hybrid. Jeg vil gjerne avslutte dette avsnittet med enda en setning fra samme bok:

No name is yours until you speak it; somebody returns your call and suddenly, the circuit of signs, gesture, gesticulations is established and you enter the territory of the right to narrate. You are part of a dialogue that may not, at first, be heard or heralded - you may be ignored - but your personhood cannot be denied. In another's country that is also your own, your person divides, and in following the forked path you encounter yourself in a double movement... once as stranger, then as friend .

Kan hende mitt kuratoriske prosjekt handlet frst og fremst om dette.

3/5
Handle individuelt, tenke kollektivt: Rescuezone

Det dreier seg ikke om fremstille forbilledlige verdener, men om skape forutsetninger for dem.
Nicolas Bourriaud, Relasjonell estetikk, 1998

Rescuezone var prosjektet som med et sprang av begeistring skulle redde verden fra undergangen. Det ble istedenfor utprvningen av en strategi som etter noen mneders mysommelig arbeid fikk en klar utforming i prosjektet Tingvoll kunsthall.
Noen av temaene som har blitt beskrevet hittil var allerede tilstede i dette utkastet: noen i fortrengt tilstand, andre som misforstelser; flere kom opp til overflaten underveis.
Den 23. november 2006 startet jeg bloggen Rescuezone ? Notater om samtidskunst og psykogeografier (http://rescuezone.weblogg.no) som har ledsaget hele prosjektet som arbeidsredskap og virtuell bro med omverdenen. Det frste innlegget ld slik: Store avstander forholde seg til kan bety mye ensomhet. Det betyr ofte falle utenfor den "kunstverden" som fr oppmerksomhet selv om vi av en eller annen grunn, er ndt til forholde oss til lignende problemstillinger som kunstnere i byene. Avstanden separerer fysisk noe "utenfor" (det globale) fra noe "innenfor" (det lokale forsttt som distriktet). En annerledes geografisk kulisse er bakgrunnen for samme levemte.
Hvordan forholder kunstnere seg til de lokale omgivelsene? Og til verden utenfor: det globale samfunnet? Hvilken interaksjon oppstr mellom det lokale og det globale?
Lsningen p disse sprsmlene ville ledet oss til en selvstendig produksjon av kultur lokalt.
Samtidskunstprosjektet Rescuezone skulle:
1_ pne et handlingsfelt for analysere et system som befester sitt hegemoni hovedsakelig gjennom bruken av et massivt, massemedialt apparat. betrakte den lokale konteksten som del av en strre, global sdan, ville ha satt i gang en prosess av erkjennelse;
2_ Etablere et nettverk av kunstnere lokalt, som arbeider i horisontal retning. Bare ved komme i dialog med verdenen, kunne vi ha fanget verdens interesse for det vi gjr;
3_ Skulpturlandskap i Nordland, Kunstneriske forstyrrelser og Skoghall i Sverige (pappkunsthallen som gikk opp i flammer), er eksempler p prosjekter hvor lokale miljer har blitt sted for kunst. Der ble internasjonale samtidskunstnere hentet inn for problematisere en lokal kontekst; i vrt tilfelle skulle vi ha benyttet oss av erfaringer og kompetanse som allerede finnes lokalt.

Logistikken til prosjektet skulle i praksis gjenspeilet territoriets virkelighet, og vre like desentralisert som bosetningen av kunstnerne i Mre og Romsdal. Dokumentasjonen av de individuelle prosjektene, samlet inn og systematisert i en dokumentarisk utstilling, og utstyrt med den ndvendige pedagogiske tilretteleggelse, skulle siden blitt til vandreutstilling i regi av Mre og Romsdal fylke og Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design. Min oppgave som kurator skulle vre koordinere arbeidet.
For sikre prosjektets gjennomfrbarhet, skulle det ha institusjonell aksept og forankring. Hsten 2006 tok jeg kontakt med alle kulturinstitusjonene i fylket: Kulturavdelingen ved Fylkeskommunen, Kunstnersenteret i Molde, kunstnerne, og datidens direktr p Kube og Jugendstilsenteret i lesund. I slutten av mars 2007, presenterte jeg mitt prosjekt p rsmtet for den lokale kunstnerorganisasjonen (BKMR) og det vekket entusiasme. Men det viste seg at ingen egentlig skjnte hva dette dreide seg om. Tiden gikk, og prosjektet slet med f en definisjon fordi Rescuezone var en sammensetning av motsetninger. Til tross for at det fantes interesse for et prosjekt med utgangspunkt i distriktet, var oppslutningen mager. Stillhet.
I en periode fordypet jeg meg i distriktspolitikk. Ulike begrep gikk inn i hverandre, uten finne ro og stabilitet: byen ble forvekslet med sentrum, sentrum med global, bygda med lokal og periferisk. Samtidig s jeg at "byen", i en globalisert kontekst er en lokalitet p lik linje med bygda. Jeg var likevel ikke alene med misforst: det finnes en hel litteratur hvor dikotomien sentrum/periferi forveksles med by/land, globalt/lokalt og omvendt. Noen har endog gjort denne misforstelsen til program. For noen er det "lokale" synonym med bakstreversk, mens for andre er det alternativet til det kaotiske, moderne. Innenfor miljbevegelsen og islamsk fundamentalisme finnes det ogs en begeistring for det lokale og rene, uforanderlige, det ikke besudlede.

I overgangen av februar/mars 2007, mens jeg samlet tekster vedrrende sprsmlet sentrum/periferi, kom jeg over en katalogtekst av Okwui Enwezor, skrevet som presentasjon av en utstilling med afrikanske kunstnere: Cross/ing: Time. Space. Movement (Contemporary Art Museum of the University of South Florida, Santa Monica 1997). Her beskrev han en verden i bevegelse hvor den globale identitet stadig omdefineres; en skiftevis transterritorialization og reterritorialization av geografien gjennom forflytning av individer som tar med seg sin fortid inn i en ny sosial og geografisk kontekst (lengsler, minner og erfaringer). Teksten rev meg ut av den norske distriktspolitikken og inn i en familir sfre. Min utlendighet var ikke lenger en systemfeil, men den plattformen som tillot meg samtidig vre p utsiden og innsiden av en situasjon: "hjemls" og "hjemme" i en enorm bevegelse av mennesker.
Kortene begynte falle p plass. Noen mneder senere, etter samtaler med min veileder Tone Olaf Nielsen, forlot jeg sentrum/periferis geometriske klarhet fullstendig.
Bloggen rescuezone.weblogg.no er fortsatt i bruk. Her finner du en antologi av tekster, dokumentasjonen av Tingvoll kunsthall, Arrivals/Departures og rubrikken Off Art, en ekstrem versjon av Art Brut eller r kunst: frivillig og ufrivillig, tilfeldig kreativitet? ikke-museal estetikk, som er avhengig av yet som ser for penbare seg ... overskuddet av kreativitet som folk slenger fra seg ... grobunnen til den estetiske praksis ... sporene av opplevelser man kan oppdage bare ved flanere omkring.

postkortmano copy

Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters

emigranti


Wer baute das siebentorige Theben
In den Bchern stehen die Namen von Knigen.
Haben die Knige die Felsbrocken herbeigeschleppt?
Und das mehrmals zerstrte Babylon,
Wer baute es so viele Male auf? In welchen Husern
Des goldstrahlenden Lima wohnten die Bauleute?
Wohin gingen an dem Abend, wo die chinesische Mauer fertig war,
Die Maurer? Das groe Rom
Ist voll von Triumphbgen. ber wen
Triumphierten die Csaren? Hatte das vielbesungene Byzanz
Nur Palste fr seine Bewohner? Selbst in dem sagenhaften Atlantis
Brllten doch in der Nacht, wo das Meer es verschlang,
Die Ersaufenden nach ihren Sklaven.

Der junge Alexander eroberte Indien.
Er allein?
Csar schlug die Gallier.
Hatte er nicht wenigstens einen Koch bei sich?
Philipp von Spanien weinte, als seine Flotte
Untergegangen war. Weinte sonst niemand?
Friedrich der Zweite siegte im Siebenjhrigen Krieg. Wer
Siegte auer ihm?

Jede Seite ein Sieg.
Wer kochte den Siegesschmaus?
Alle zehn Jahre ein groer Mann.
Wer bezahlte die Spesen?

So viele Berichte,
So viele Fragen.

Bertolt Brecht

Jean Dubuffet: L'Art Brut a prfr aux arts culturels

jean dubuffettondo





The Compagnie de l'Art Brut was formed in June 1948 initially to manage the collection of artefacts held at the Galerie Drouin, and in addition, to promote the exhibition of works embodying similar tendencies but produced by professionals artists. Founder members, as well as Dubuffet, included Andr Breton and Michel Tapi. 'L'Art Brut prfr aux arts culturels' was the title of the group's major exhibition held at the Galerie Drouin in October and November 1949. It included over 200 works by sixty-three artists. Dubuffet's essay constituted the Preface to the catalogue, and came to be regarded as the group's manifesto. Reprinted in Dubuffet (Prospectus et tous crits suivants, Paris 1967), from which the present translation is made. (Art in Theory, 2003)

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Anyone who undertakes, as we do, to look at the works of the Irregulars, will find his notion of the approved art of the museums, galleries and salons- let us call it cultural art- totally transformed. This type of approved art will not seem representative of art in general, rather merely the activity of a particular clique: a cohort of careerist intellectuals. What country lacks its small clique of cultural arts: its troop of careerist intellectuals? It is obligatory. From one capital to another, they ape each other marvellously; they practise an artificial, Esperanto art tirelessly copied everywhere. Is art the right word? Does it actually have anything to do with art?
It is fairly widely thought that in considering the artistic production of intellectuals one is at the same time grasping the flower of production in general, since intellectuals, being drawn from the common people, cannot lack any of their qualities, having rather those additional qualities acquired by wearing out their trousers on the schoolroom bench- without allowing for the fact that intellectuals think themselves by definition far more intelligent than ordinary people. But is this really so? One also meets plenty of people with far less favourable opinion of the intellectual type. The intellectual type seems to them directionless, impenetrable, lacking in vitamins, a swimmer in pap. Empty, without magnetism, without vision.
Perhaps the solid seat of the intellectual has been pulled out from under him. The intellectual's labours are always carried out while seated: at school, at conferences, at congresses. Often while dozing; sometimes while dead. Dead in one?s seat. For a long time, intelligence has been highly valued. When one says of someone that they are intelligent, has not said everything? Nowadays people are growing disillusioned with this; they are beginning to demand other things. Intellectual qualities are less prized. People now value health and vitality. One can see that what was called intelligence is nothing more than a modicum of knowledge in the manipulation of simple, false and pointless algebraic formulae, having nothing to do with genuine vision (but rather obscuring it).
One cannot deny that on the level of vision, the light of the intellectuals is far from bright. The imbecile (or those the intellectual calls imbeciles) shows greater aptitude. It might even be that this vision gets worn out by the school benches, along with the seat of the intellectual?s pants. Imbecile perhaps, but sparks fly from him, unlike Mr Grammar School, who doesn?t spark at all. Good for the imbecile! He is our man! [...]
There are still people, particularly the intellectuals, who do not clearly see that the intelligent are hopeless cases, and one needs to rely on the so-called imbeciles for moments of lucidity; indeed, they just laugh at the idea. They cannot take the idea seriously.
The intellectual is of course crazy about ideas; he loves to chew them over, and cannot imagine any type of chewing gum.
One can with justification call art a chewing gum totally devoid of such ideas. One can sometimes lose sight of this. Ideas, and the algebra of ideas, may be a level of knowledge, but art is another means of knowledge, whose levels are completely different: they are those of vision. Ideas are an inert gas. It is when vision in blinded that the intellectual pops his head up.
Art exists to be a way of operating that does not involve ideas. When it is mixed with ideas, art becomes oxidized and worthless. Let there be as few ideas as possible! Ideas do not nourish art!
There are people (the present writer for example) who go so far to maintain that the art of these intellectuals is false art, the counterfeit currency of art, which is intricately ornamented but unsound.
Certainly the ornament is of some slight interest, but whether it sounds true is more interesting. Many slight works, brief, almost lacking form ring very loudly indeed; and for that reason they are preferable to many monumental works by illustrious professionals. It is enough for certain people just to tell them that the creator of a work is a professional artist, so that the spell is immediately broken. Amongst artists, as amongst card-players or lovers, professionals are a little like crooks. [...]
True art is never where it is expected to be: in the place where no one considers it, nor names it. Art hates to be recognized and greeted by its name. it runs away immediately. Art is a person in love with anonymity. As soon as it?s unmasked, as soon as someone points the finger, it runs away. It leaves in its place a prize stooge wearing on its back a great placard marked ART, which everybody immediately showers with champagne, and which the lecturers lead from town to town with a ring through its nose. That is the false Art. That is the art that the public knows, the art of the prize and the placard. The real Mrs Art no one recognize. She walks everywhere, everyone has met her, jostled her at very junction, but no one thinks it could be her, Mrs Art herself, of whom so much has been said. She does not have the right air about her. You see, it is the false Mrs Art who has the air of being the true one; it is the real one who lacks this air. That means that one is deceived! So many people deceive themselves! It was in July 1945 that we undertook in both France and Switzerland, then in other countries, methodical research into the relevant ways of producing that which we now call Crude Art.
We understand by this works crated by those untouched by artistic culture; in which copying has little part, unlike the art of intellectuals. Similarly, the artists take everything (subjects, choice of materials, modes of transposition, rhythms, writing styles) from their own inner being, not from the canons of classical or fashionable art. We engage in an artistic enterprise that is completely pure, basic; totally guided in all its phases solely by the creator?s own impulses. It is therefore an art which only manifests invention, not the characteristics of cultural art which are those of the chameleon and the monkey.
Before concluding this essay we want to say a word about the mad. Madness gives man wings and helps his power of vision; many of the objects (almost half) that our exhibition contains are works by people in psychiatric hospitals. We see no reason to segregate them, unlike others. All the numerous dealings that we have had with our friends have convinced us that the mechanisms of artistic creation are the same in them as in so-called normal people. This distinction between normal and abnormal seems to us to be quite far-fetched: who is normal? Where is he, your normal man? Show him to us! The artistic act, with the extreme tension that it implies, the high fever that accompanies it, can it ever be considered normal?
Finally, mental 'illness' are extremely diverse- there are almost as many of them as there are sick people- and it seems quite arbitrary to label them all in the same way. Our point of view is that art is the same in all cases, and there is no more an art of the mad than there is an art of the dyspeptic, or an art for those with bad knees.

jeandubuffetmanoirdessor
Dubuffet at Louisiana, Humlebk, Denmark



Stuart Hall: The formation of a diasporic intellectual

stuart hallspeaking





Stuart Hall has been central to the formation and development of cultural studies as an international discipline. The book this text is extract from, Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (Routledge, NY 1996) provides a representative selection of Hall's enormously influential writings on cultural studies and its concerns: the relationship with marxism; postmodernism and 'New Times' in cultural and political thought; the development of cultural studies as an international and postcolonial phenomenon and Hall's engagement  with urgent and abiding questions of 'race', ethnicity and identity. 


When I was seventeen, my sister had a major nervous breakdown. She began a relationship with a young student doctor who had come to Jamaica from Barbados. He was middle-class, but black and my parents wouldn't allow it. There was a tremendous family row and she, in effect, retreated from the situation into a breakdown. I was suddenly aware of the contradiction of a colonial culture, of how one lives out the colour-class-colonial dependency experience and how it could destroy you, subjectively.
I'm telling this story because it was very important for my personal development. It broke down for ever, for me, the distinction between the public and the private self. I learned about culture, first, as something which is deeply subjective and personal, and at the same moment, as a structure you live. I could see that all these strange aspirations and identifications which my parents had projected onto us, their children, destroyed my sister. She was the victim, the bearer of the contradictory ambitions of my parents in this colonial situation. From then on, I could never understand why people thought these structural questions were not connected with the psychic -  with emotions and identifications and feelings because, for me, those structures are things you live. I don't just mean they are personal, they are, but they are also institutional, they have real structural properties, they break you, destroy you.
It was a very traumatic experience, because there was little or no psychiatric help available in Jamaica, at that time. My sister went through a series of ECT treatments given by a GP, from which she's never properly recovered. She never left home after that. She looked after my father until he died. Then she looked after my mother until she died. She took care of my brother who became blind, until he died. That's a complete tragedy, which I lived through with her, and I decided I couldn't take it: I couldn't help her, I couldn't reach her, although I understood what was wrong. I was seventeen, eighteen.
But it crystallized my feelings about the space I was called into by my family. I was not going to be destroyed by it. I had to get out. I felt that I must never put myself back into it, because I would be destroyed. When I look at the snapshots of myself in childhood and early adolescence, I see a picture of a depressed person. I don't know how to be somebody else. And I am depressed by that. All of that is the background to explain why I eventually migrated.

all men are intellectuals: about cultural hegemony and the organic intellectual

Excerpt from Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci image183

Are intellectuals an autonomous and independent social group, or does every social group have its own particular specialised category of intellectuals? The problem is a complex one, because of the variety of forms assumed to date by the real historical process of formation of the different categories of intellectuals.


The most important of these forms are two:


1. Every social group, coming into existence on the original terrain of an essential function in the world of economic production, creates together with itself, organically, one or more strata of intellectuals which give it homogeneity and an awareness of its own function not only in the economic but also in the social and political fields. The capitalist entrepreneur creates alongside himself the industrial technician, the specialist in political economy, the organisers of a new culture, of a new legal system, etc. It should be noted that the entrepreneur himself represents a higher level of social elaboration, already characterised by a certain directive [dirigente] and technical (i.e. intellectual) capacity: he must have a certain technical capacity, not only in the limited sphere of his activity and initiative but in other spheres as well, at least in those which are closest to economic production. He must be an organiser of masses of men; he must be an organiser of the "confidence" of investors in his business, of the customers for his product, etc. If not all entrepreneurs, at least an lite amongst them must have the capacity to be an organiser of society in general, including all its complex organism of services, right up to the state organism, because of the need to create the conditions most favourable to the expansion of their own class; or at the least they must possess the capacity to choose the deputies (specialised employees) to whom to entrust this activity of organising the general system of relationships external to the business itself. It can be observed that the "organic" intellectuals which every new class creates alongside itself and elaborates in the course of its development, are for the most part "specialisations" of partial aspects of the primitive activity of the new social type which the new class has brought into prominence.
...


2. However, every "essential" social group which emerges into history out of the preceding economic structure, and as an expression of a development of this structure, has found (at least in all of history up to the present) categories of intellectuals already in existence and which seemed indeed to represent an historical continuity uninterrupted even by the most complicated and radical changes in political and social forms.
...


Since these various categories of traditional intellectuals experience through an "esprit de corps" their uninterrupted historical continuity and their special qualification, they thus put themselves forward as autonomous and independent of the dominant social group. This self-assessment is not without consequences in the ideological and political field, consequences of wide-ranging import. The whole of idealist philosophy can easily be connected with this position assumed by the social complex of intellectuals and can be defined as the expression of that social utopia by which the intellectuals think of themselves as "independent", autonomous, endowed with a character of their own, etc.
...

image180

What are the "maximum" limits of acceptance of the term "intellectual"? Can one find a unitary criterion to characterise equally all the diverse and disparate activities of intellectuals and to distinguish these at the same time and in an essential way from the activities of other social groupings? The most widespread error of method seems to me that of having looked for this criterion of distinction in the intrinsic nature of intellectual activities, rather than in the ensemble of the system of relations in which these activities (and therefore the intellectual groups who personify them) have their place within the general complex of social relations. Indeed the worker or proletarian, for example, is not specifically characterised by his manual or instrumental work, but by performing this work in specific conditions and in specific social relations (apart from the consideration that purely physical labour does not exist and that even Taylor's phrase of "trained gorilla" is a metaphor to indicate a limit in a certain direction: in any physical work, even the most degraded and mechanical, there exists a minimum of technical qualification, that is, a minimum of creative intellectual activity.) And we have already observed that the entrepreneur, by virtue of his very function, must have to some degree a certain number of qualifications of an intellectual nature although his part in society is determined not by these, but by the general social relations which specifically characterise the position of the entrepreneur within industry.

All men are intellectuals, one could therefore say: but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals.

When one distinguishes between intellectuals and non-intellectuals, one is referring in reality only to the immediate social function of the professional category of the intellectuals, that is, one has in mind the direction in which their specific professional activity is weighted, whether towards intellectual elaboration or towards muscular-nervous effort. This means that, although one can speak of intellectuals, one cannot speak of non-intellectuals, because non-intellectuals do not exist. But even the relationship between efforts of intellectual-cerebral elaboration and muscular-nervous effort is not always the same, so that there are varying degrees of specific intellectual activity. There is no human activity from which every form of intellectual participation can be excluded: homo faber cannot be separated from homo sapiens. Each man, finally, outside his professional activity, carries on some form of intellectual activity, that is, he is a "philosopher", an artist, a man of taste, he participates in a particular conception of the world, has a conscious line of moral conduct, and therefore contributes to sustain a conception of the world or to modify it, that is, to bring into being new modes of thought.

The problem of creating a new stratum of intellectuals consists therefore in the critical elaboration of the intellectual activity that exists in everyone at a certain degree of development, modifying its relationship with the muscular-nervous effort towards a new equilibrium, and ensuring that the muscular-nervous effort itself; in so far as it is an element of a general practical activity, which is perpetually innovating the physical and social world, becomes the foundation of a new and integral conception of the world. The traditional and vulgarised type of the intellectual is given by the man of letters, the philosopher, the artist. Therefore journalists, who claim to be men of letters, philosophers, artists, also regard themselves as the "true" intellectuals. In the modern world, technical education, closely bound to industrial labour even at the most primitive and unqualified level, must form the basis of the new type of intellectual.
...

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Thus there are historically formed specialised categories for the exercise of the intellectual function. They are formed in connection with all social groups, but especially in connection with the more important, and they undergo more extensive and complex elaboration in connection with the dominant social group. One of the most important characteristics of any group that is developing towards dominance is its struggle to assimilate and to conquer "ideologically" the traditional intellectuals, but this assimilation and conquest is made quicker and more efficacious the more the group in question succeeds in simultaneously elaborating its own organic intellectuals. The enormous development of activity and organisation r education in the broad sense in the societies that emerged from the medieval world is an index of the importance assumed in the modern world by intellectual functions and categories. Parallel with the attempt to deepen and to broaden the "intellectuality" of each individual, there has also been an attempt to multiply and narrow the various specialisations. This can be seen from educational institutions at all levels, up to and including the organisms that exist to promote so-called "high culture" in all fields of science and technology.

...

The relationship between the intellectuals and the world of production is not as direct as it is with the fundamental social groups but is, in varying degrees, "mediated" by the whole fabric of society and by the complex of superstructures, of which the intellectuals are, precisely, the "functionaries". It should be possible both to measure the "organic quality" [organicit] of the various intellectual strata and their degree of connection with a fundamental social group, and to establish a gradation of their functions and of the superstructures from the bottom to the top (from the structural base upwards). What we can do, for the moment, is to fix two major superstructural "levels": the one that can be called "civil society", that is the ensemble of organisms commonly called "private", and that of "political society" or "the State". These two levels correspond on the one hand to the function of "hegemony" which the dominant group exercises throughout society and on the other hand to that of "direct domination" or command exercised through the State and "juridical" government. The functions in question are precisely organisational and connective. The intellectuals are the dominant group's "deputies" exercising the subaltern functions of social hegemony and political government. These comprise:


1. The "spontaneous" consent given by the great masses of the population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group; this consent is "historically" caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and function in the world of production.


2. The apparatus of state coercive power which "legally" enforces discipline on those groups who do not "consent" either actively or passively. This apparatus is, however, constituted for the whole of society in anticipation of moments of crisis of command and direction when spontaneous consent has failed.


This way of posing the problem has as a result a considerable extension of the concept of intellectual, but it is the only way which enables one to reach a concrete approximation of reality. It also lashes with preconceptions of caste. The function of organizing social hegemony and state domination certainly gives rise to a particular division of labour and therefore to a whole hierarchy of qualifications in some of which there is no apparent attribution of directive or organisational functions. For example, in the apparatus of social and state direction there exist a whole series of jobs of a manual and instrumental character (non-executive work, agents rather than officials or functionaries). It is obvious that such a distinction has to be made just as it is obvious that other distinctions have to be made as well. Indeed, intellectual activity must also be distinguished in terms of its intrinsic characteristics, according to levels which in moments of extreme opposition represent a real qualitative difference- at the highest level would be the creators of the various sciences, philosophy, art, etc., at the lowest the most humble "administrators" and divulgators of pre-existing, traditional, accumulated intellectual wealth.
...

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speaking in confidence: from plato's republic, book x

Written 360 B.C.E

Socrates - Glaucon

Of he many excellences which I perceive in the order of our State, there is none which upon reflection pleases me better than the rule about poetry.
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To what do you refer?

To the rejection of imitative poetry, which certainly ought not to be received; as I see far more clearly now that the parts of the soul have been distinguished.

What do you mean?

Speaking in confidence, for I should not like to have my words repeated to the tragedians and the rest of the imitative tribe- but I do not mind saying to you, that all poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and that the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them.

Explain the purport of your remark.

Well, I will tell you, although I have always from my earliest youth had an awe and love of Homer, which even now makes the words falter on my lips, for he is the great captain and teacher of the whole of that charming tragic company; but a man is not to be reverenced more than the truth, and therefore I will speak out.

Very good, he said.

Listen to me then, or rather, answer me.

Put your question.

Can you tell me what imitation is? for I really do not know. A likely thing, then, that I should know.

Why not? for the duller eye may often see a thing sooner than the keener.

Very true, he said; but in your presence, even if I had any faint notion, I could not muster courage to utter it. Will you enquire yourself?

Well then, shall we begin the enquiry in our usual manner: Whenever a number of individuals have a common name, we assume them to have also a corresponding idea or form. Do you understand me?

I do.

Let us take any common instance; there are beds and tables in the world- plenty of them, are there not?

Yes. image176

But there are only two ideas or forms of them ? one the idea of a bed, the other of a table.

True.

And the maker of either of them makes a bed or he makes a table for our use, in accordance with the idea- that is our way of speaking in this and similar instances- but no artificer makes the ideas themselves: how could he?

Impossible.

And there is another artist,- I should like to know what you would say of him.

Who is he?

One who is the maker of all the works of all other workmen.

What an extraordinary man!

Wait a little, and there will be more reason for your saying so. For this is he who is able to make not only vessels of every kind, but plants and animals, himself and all other things- the earth and heaven, and the things which are in heaven or under the earth; he makes the gods also.

He must be a wizard and no mistake.

Oh! you are incredulous, are you? Do you mean that there is no such maker or creator, or that in one sense there might be a maker of all these things but in another not? Do you see that there is a way in which you could make them all yourself?

What way?

An easy way enough; or rather, there are many ways in which the feat might be quickly and easily accomplished, none quicker than that of turning a mirror round and round- you would soon enough make the sun and the heavens, and the earth and yourself, and other animals and plants, and all the, other things of which we were just now speaking, in the mirror.

Yes, he said; but they would be appearances only.

Very good, I said, you are coming to the point now. And the painter too is, as I conceive, just such another ? a creator of appearances, is he not?

Of course.

But then I suppose you will say that what he creates is untrue. And yet there is a sense in which the painter also creates a bed?

Yes, he said, but not a real bed.

And what of the maker of the bed? Were you not saying that he too makes, not the idea which, according to our view, is the essence of the bed, but only a particular bed?

Yes, I did.

Then if he does not make that which exists he cannot make true existence, but only some semblance of existence; and if any one were to say that the work of the maker of the bed, or of any other workman, has real existence, he could hardly be supposed to be speaking the truth.

At any rate, he replied, philosophers would say that he was not speaking the truth.

No wonder, then, that his work too is an indistinct expression of truth.

No wonder.

Suppose now that by the light of the examples just offered we enquire who this imitator is?

If you please.
Well then, here are three beds: one existing in nature, which is made by God, as I think that we may say- for no one else can be the maker?

No.

There is another which is the work of the carpenter?

Yes.

And the work of the painter is a third?

Yes.

Beds, then, are of three kinds, and there are three artists who superintend them: God, the maker of the bed, and the painter?

Yes, there are three of them. image177

God, whether from choice or from necessity, made one bed in nature and one only; two or more such ideal beds neither ever have been nor ever will be made by God.

Why is that?

Because even if He had made but two, a third would still appear behind them which both of them would have for their idea, and that would be the ideal bed and the two others.

Very true, he said.

God knew this, and He desired to be the real maker of a real bed, not a particular maker of a particular bed, and therefore He created a bed which is essentially and by nature one only.

So we believe.

Shall we, then, speak of Him as the natural author or maker of the bed?Yes, he replied; inasmuch as by the natural process of creation He is the author of this and of all other things.And what shall we say of the carpenter- is not he also the maker of the bed?

Yes.

But would you call the painter a creator and maker?

Certainly not.

Yet if he is not the maker, what is he in relation to the bed?I think, he said, that we may fairly designate him as the imitator of that which the others make.Good, I said; then you call him who is third in the descent from nature an imitator?

Certainly, he said.

And the tragic poet is an imitator, and therefore, like all other imitators, he is thrice removed from the king and from the truth?

That appears to be so.

Then about the imitator we are agreed. And what about the painter?- I would like to know whether he may be thought to imitate that which originally exists in nature, or only the creations of artists?

The latter.

As they are or as they appear? You have still to determine this. What do you mean?

I mean, that you may look at a bed from different points of view, obliquely or directly or from any other point of view, and the bed will appear different, but there is no difference in reality. And the same of all things.

Yes, he said, the difference is only apparent.

Now let me ask you another question: Which is the art of painting designed to be ? an imitation of things as they are, or as they appear ? of appearance or of reality?

Of appearance.

Then the imitator, I said, is a long way off the truth, and can do all things because he lightly touches on a small part of them, and that part an image. For example: A painter will paint a cobbler, carpenter, or any other artist, though he knows nothing of their arts; and, if he is a good artist, he may deceive children or simple persons, when he shows them his picture of a carpenter from a distance, and they will fancy that they are looking at a real carpenter.

Certainly.

And whenever any one informs us that he has found a man knows all the arts, and all things else that anybody knows, and every single thing with a higher degree of accuracy than any other man- whoever tells us this, I think that we can only imagine to be a simple creature who is likely to have been deceived by some wizard or actor whom he met, and whom he thought all-knowing, because he himself was unable to analyse the nature of knowledge and ignorance and imitation.

Most true.


And so, when we hear persons saying that the tragedians, and Homer, who is at their head, know all the arts and all things human, virtue as well as vice, and divine things too, for that the good poet cannot compose well unless he knows his subject, and that he who has not this knowledge can never be a poet, we ought to consider whether here also there may not be a similar illusion. Perhaps they may have come across imitators and been deceived by them; they may not have remembered when they saw their works that these were but imitations thrice removed from the truth, and could easily be made without any knowledge of the truth, because they are appearances only and not realities? Or, after all, they may be in the right, and poets do really know the things about which they seem to the many to speak so well?

The question, he said, should by all means be considered.

...




pier paolo pasolini: sentrum og periferi i kapitalismens utvidede felt

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Ingen fascistisk sentralisme har klart det forbrukssivilisasjonens sentralisme har klart. Fascismen foreslo en modell som var reaksjonr og monumental, men som likevel ikke fikk gjennomslag. De forskjellige, sregne kulturene (bonde-, underproletar- arbeiderkulturene) kunne fortsette uforstyrret med uniformere seg med sine gamle forbilder: undertrykkelsen begrenset seg til oppn deres oppslutning med ord. I dag derimot, er oppslutningen til modellene ptvunget fra sentrum, totalt og uforbeholdent. De reelle kulturelle modellene er fornektet. Avsvergelsen er fullbyrdet. Man kan hevde at den hedonistiske ideologiens "toleranse" som er villet av den nye makten, er den verste undertrykkelsen i menneskets historie.

Hvordan har det vrt mulig utve en slik undertrykkelse. Gjennom to revolusjoner, innenfor organiseringen av borgerskapet: revolusjonen av infrastrukturene og revolusjonen av informasjonssystemet. Veinettet, motoriseringen osv. har p denne tiden knyttet periferi og Sentrum sammen. Men revolusjonen av informasjonssystemet har vrt enda mer radikal og avgjrende. Gjennom fjernsynet har Senteret underlagt seg hele landet, som fr var s historisk differensiert og rikt p sregne kulturer. Det har startet en tendens mot det ensartete som har delagt enhver autentisitet og konkretet. Fjernsynet har tvunget p folk sine egne forbilder, nsket av den nye industrialiseringen, som ikke lenger nyer seg med et "menneske som forbruker", men som krever at ingen andre ideologier enn konsumets er tenkelig. En ny verdslig hedonisme som ser fullstendig bort i fra hvilken som helst humanistisk verdi og som er helt fremmed for menneskelige vitenskaper.

Den forrige ideologien nsket og tvunget p av makten var, som vi vet, religionen: og katolisismen var faktisk det eneste kulturelle fenomenet som "ensrettet" italienerne. N har den blitt en konkurrent til det nye "ensrettende" kulturfenomenet som massehedonismen er: og som konkurrent, den nye makten har allerede i noen r begynt kvitte seg med sin forgjenger. Det finnes faktisk ikke noe religist i modellen av den Unge mann og av den Unge kvinnen foresltt og tvunget fram av fjernsynet. De er to Personer som verdsetter sitt liv kun gjennom dets forbruksgoder (og underforsttt, kommer de seg fortsatt til gudstjeneste p sndag, med bil). Italienerne har tatt imot med begeistring dette nye forbildet som fjernsynet tvinger p dem etter normene til den skapende produksjonen av velvre (rettere sagt, redningen ut av elendigheten). [...]

I tilpasse seg "fjernsynets" modell - som er vesentlig naturlig for dem siden det er skapt og villet av deres egen klasse- blir den smborgerlige ungdommen merkelig r og lykkelig. Om underproletarene er blitt smborgerlige, er de borgerlige blitt underproletarisert. Kulturen de produserer, som er av teknologisk og strengt pragmatisk karakter, hindrer utviklingen av det gamle "mennesket" som fremdeles er i dem. Dette avler en slags lammelse av intellektuelle og moralske evner. Fjernsynets ansvar i alt dette er enormt. Ikke som "teknisk middel", men som maktredskap og makt i seg selv. Det er ikke bare et sted for formidling av budskap, men ogs et senter som utarbeider budskap. Det er stedet som konkretiserer en mentalitet man hellers ikke hadde visst hva man skulle gjre av. Det er gjennom fjernsynets nd den nye makten penbarer seg.

Det er ingen tvil (det ser man av resultatene) om at fjernsynet er autoritrt og undertrykkende som aldri noe informasjonsmiddel fr i verden har vrt. Den fascistiske avisen og de mussolinianske setningene (slogans) skrevet p grdsveggene, er latterlige: slik (smertelig) plogen er i forhold til traktoren. Fascismen, gjentar jeg, har ikke vrt vesentlig i stand til risse i sjelen til det italienske folk: den nye fascismen, gjennom sine kommunikasjons- og informasjonsmidler (isr nettopp fjernsynet), har ikke bare risset i den, men revet den i stykker, voldtatt, skitnet den til for alltid...".

fra: P. P. Pasolini, Acculturazione e acculturazione, i: Scritti corsari, 1973

Oversettelse fra italiensk: P. & M.

Between localism and worldliness - Liminalities: Discussions on the Global and the Local

Art Journal, Winter, 1998 by Okwui Enwezor

Julie Dash's film Daughters of the Dust (1992) is based on the epic tale of dislocation, migration, and acts of cultural survival forged under the despotic and inscrutable memory of slavery. Told on the eve of the migration of the Peasant family from Ibo Landing, in the Sea Islands of Georgia, this migration exemplifies that form of scattering and separation that bears portentous similarity to the context of many contemporary African artists. The presence of these artists in many parts of the world captures in manifold ways the reality of arrivals and departures that every day is played out in airport terminals, train stations, docks, etc., throughout the world. How has the language of these artists changed since migration? How have their identity, sense of placelessness, or presence been altered by re/dislocation and how have they transformed the normative forms of expression in the sites they occupy? Does migration necessarily mean the leaving behind of one's own country, culture, and ethnic enclave, or does it involve other forms of traveling that mean more than the physical crossing of borders?This last question is important if we consider how much things have changed in the last half century. The movement of populations - from rural to urban, agrarian to industrialized, national to postnational and transnational provides keys to new articulations about the meanings of identity, identification, affiliation, allegiance. Introducing concepts of hybridity, ambivalence, and indeterminacy into the lingua franca of cultural and political discourse, these movements pry open routes into the values of ethnicity, origin, and authenticity. Such reroutings not only question but also unsettle allegiances and make clear sites of myriad political, cultural, social, and expressive thought, so that speaking of "black" Africa has become not only an inadequate point of classification and differentiation but anachronistic. In this regard, various discourses are beginning to recognize the validity of Maghrebian, Caucasian, and other histories as integral to the ways we define and expand the notion of who and what is African.

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Thus in speaking of Africa today we need to ask how the struggles of independence, the problems of the national sovereign state, the expanding definition of national culture, citizenship, and cosmopolitanism (which are partially linked to economic malaise, social obsolescence, and political destabilization) define subjectivity. What role does the notion of individual freedom and desire play in the construction of identity? How do such definitions provide affective processes of critical thinking, radical revision, translation, and postnationality? These questions are urgent, for we must be able to account for new diasporic formations that have become part of the postcolonial experience of African artists and intellectuals. We need to investigate the cultural and intellectual productions based on this experience of diaspora, to explore how the conditions of exile and expatriation provide new motifs and challenges to the discourse of Africa in the late twentieth century. This investigation should contend not only with exile and expatriation in relation to movement into the crowded metropolises of the Western hemisphere but also with the transnational movements occurring today in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg, Dakar, and Cairo.While movement and migration have been perpetual motifs of the twentieth century, and while many of us often fox on the problematics of dislocation and displacement, particularly those made through spatial distinctions between here and there, home and exile, we must not forget that vast numbers of migrations happen internally, within bounded national territories. Even when these movements happen internally, they are not always predicated on a shattered spatiality, in which particular kinds of migrants form clusters. These clusters, in addition to redefining the spatial character of the city, bring to those sites new cultural archetypes and languages that often compete with the rooted, settled communities.Though these convergences often serve as metaphors for conflict, the realization of a new temporality within the spatial problematics of the city makes the process compelling. Thus it is possible to live in one's own country, city, and culture and remain as distinctly alienated and distant from its social procedures as those who journey to the strange beyond of the global metropolis. This minimally recognized condition of migrancy, placelessness, exile, and displacement serves as a metaphor for what today's contemporary African artists embody.
They travel both at home and abroad, journey physically and psychically, migrate in between the pixelated and information-saturated sites of the cyberworld, and inhabit the complex matrices of popular culture that form part of the transterritorial dimension of the global network and exchange systems. They bring disparate attitudes and experiences to the zones where they trade (not only in symbolic exchanges), and they help to redefine and reshape the contours of contemporary cultural practice. These artists engage in critical conversation with the thorny issues of place, identity, and memory, which acquire new meaning insofar as they detotalize and deconstruct a performative African psychic space from a homogenized, political economy of race and authenticity to one of multiple identities.In evoking some of the problematic terms that have served as cannon fodder for African identity discourse, I have no interest in repeating those worn-out modes of postcolonial address that insistently and invidiously set up binary distinctions within the practices of those African artists who live on the continent and those who don't. Nor am I interested in the other distinctions that separate their practices into native/foreign-born, authentic/inauthentic; in such small spaces nationalism, ethnocentrism, and racism circulate their noxious fumes. Still, it would be fair to concede that, indeed, certain differences do layer some of the above distinctions. However, singling out differences is helpful insofar as we understand that we can only deploy them to establish paradigmatic attitudes that exist between disciplines, discourses, locations, and practices.

* * *

These and other contemporary African artists work within many critical, avant-garde procedures: video, film, installation, actions, performances, photography, and digital technology. Though they do not eschew traditional means of making art, they are deeply located within conceptual and postmodernist matrices. Often based on the critique of various hegemonic social, political, and cultural practices, their works aim to destabilize, challenge, and reinscribe the global terrain of culture as a complex territory in which they can stake a claim as much as can any contemporary practice coming out of Great Britain, the United States, France, or Germany. In so doing they invoke and highlight many transgressive and subversive movements and critical and radical articulations.Nonetheless, talking about these artists in this way does not give us a full picture of what it is to be an African artist in the age of globalization; all it says and repeats is what has always been known - that Africa is made up of multiple and disparate identities, cultures, territories. However, in following this most traditional of analytic routes, we are given a set of imperatives with which to examine what Homi Bhabha has termed "measure of dwelling," which speaks to how we define and determine belonging and place. What, in the late twentieth century, are the conditions of belonging and dwelling for Africans who live in places other than Africa?I have repeatedly raised these issues because very few of the discussions about belonging, identity, nationality, and exile have adequately explored that hinge where many Africans dwell, think, create, or, in some cases, while away their time dreaming paradoxically of home. And where exactly is home for these people? And where home has become unimaginable except in old, tattered black-and-white photographs, what set of imperatives within the nascent narratives of crossing, settling, dwelling, and transterritorialization do such immigrants conjure up to locate themselves in the new land and to stitch the unruly patterns of home? How do they accommodate the locations of departure and arrival?There are very few answers for such fraught questions, particularly when we focus on those expressive and social languages acquired in the temporal fissures of postcolonial migration. Making sense of the new temporalities and spatial configurations many Africans have entered into today - between what James Clifford calls localism and worldliness - cannot happen until we acquaint ourselves intimately with how African subjectivity has been defined within this reality. Moments of migration forged by contingent histories repeat through various signs, little bits and pieces or remembered conversations (articulations predicated on the falling away, the fragmentation of collective memory). Even while attempting to disguise those accidents of foreignness and hybridity - that exemplary piecing together, part myth and part experience - one easily slips between different forms of speech, from colloquial Igbo to clipped British stiff-upper-lip English; from classical Yoruba to Swahill to Arabic and Hindi. All these describe Africa, at home and abroad.In such a moment of contingent, indeterminate cultural histories, one must question why few discourses of contemporary Africa have taken notice of these patterns and textures of migration and movement. First, the degree to which the patterns of migration have been figured seems always to narrate that liminal space as only a temporary one; hence, the need to define and forge a broader affiliation of Africans in a foreign place was seen as unnecessary, for one always returns. Second, many African immigrants who left before or during the period of independence never imagined that various political and economic emergencies could so easily attenuate the desire to return. Moreover, many found secure situations for themselves in the places they had settled and so those places became legitimate homes away from home.If one pursues a more detailed picture of contemporary Africa in the late twentieth century, one finds that diaspora is not an equivocal term that excludes African artists. In its incremental and divergent formations, thinking about the links that diasporicity offers as tools to critically appraise the art of the continent does indeed give us access to the transcontinental and transnational regimes of the contemporary production of her artists. It short-circuits any essentialist reading of "African" as embedded in a timeless warp of precolonial African traditions. Clifford put it nicely when he wrote that diaspora could be "seen as potential subversions of nationality - ways of sustaining connections with more than one place while practicing nonabsolutist forms of citizenship." It seems to me that the terms under which we negotiate the sense of what is African in the late twentieth century are predicated on the values of this nonabsolutist, nonessential form of affiliation. The world of contemporary African artists is not circumscribed by any absolutist identity or territory. In this sense their work raises key questions not only for those who will have their views of what and who an African artist is, but equally for those critical Western establishments that will no doubt continue to attempt to sequester these artists into disqualified ethnic categories. But more important, these artists pose another, more salient and lasting, question. Like the Peasant family in Daughters of the Dust, as we cross and settle and resettle, how do the new accents we acquire during the course of migration or contact with other cultures change our positions of affiliation? How do we secure new communities, embody diverse identities, reterritorialize vestiges of the cultures of home, experiment with new ways of being and making, and create new economies of exchange and circulation for stories and symbolic and political values? Indeed, what are the ways one is and becomes African in the surging tumult and noise of the millennial clamor for a homogenized - and commodified - global identity?



superflex: super-biogas

superflex:

I dag etableres stadig vekk nye lokalmuseer, festivaler og arrangementer for samtidskunst, som skal trekke media og publikums oppmerksomhet ved importere internasjonal kunst i periferiene.
Det er visst et forsk p nyttigjre kunst til lokalpolitiske forml i hp om ke en selvanerkjennelse og et behov for synliggjre seg i verden. Noe som er legitimt. Jeg er likevel litt skeptisk: kanskje produktet som markedsfres (kunst) plutselig er ikke lenger s viktig som underholdnigen det er i stand til produsere.

I en slik kontekst tar superflex selv styringen ved etablere et nettverk av relasjoner utenfor kunstverdenen og p tvers av geografiske grenser. Dette gjr det mulig realisere prosjekter som virkelig er sosialt og miljmessig nyttige.
Da tenker jeg spesielt p supergas: Et brbart system til produksjon av biogas, utarbeidet i felleskap med danske og afrikanske ingenirer.

Folketallet i jordbruksomrdene rundt ekvator ker i takt med det progressive overforbruk av naturressurser. rkenlagte jordbruks- og skogsomrder er en konsekvens av denne utviklingen.
Uten la seg affisere av om det drive med slike prosjekter er kunst eller ikke (noe superflex selv lurer p), gr de p slutten av nittitallet i gang med foresl brekraftige lsninger for produksjon av alternativ energi.

Nr overproduksjonen av intetsigende gjenstander okkuperer en stadig strre del av det individuelle og kollektive rommet, er det forfriskende se motstykket i kunst som frigjr plass og etablerer menneskelige relasjoner.
Det er fint se hvordan noen beveger seg i verden.


Her er tre bilder av gassanlegget i Kambodsja og en grafisk illustrasjon av supergas-anlegg:







*klikk bildene for forstrre dem







h. d. thoreau: a different drummer

142256-93This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are comimage95monly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for--business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business. (Live without principles, 1863)


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). Hans liv og skrifter str fremdeles som et eksempel p dyp innsikt i et fenomen som har utviklet seg i den retningen som i nyere tid Guy Debord og mange andre har beskrevet .


Walden, Livet i skogene, n utgitt p nytt (ikke tilfeldigvis) av Pax forlag

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There is of course to every theory a tendency to run to an extreme, and to forget the limitations. In our free institutions, where every man is at liberty to choose his home and his trade, and all possible modes of working and gaining are open to him, fortunes are easily made by thousands, as in no other country. Then property proves too much for the man, and the men of science, art, intellect, are pretty sure to degenerate into selfish housekeepers, dependent on wine, coffee, furnace heat, gaslight and fine furniture. Then instantly things swing the other way, and we suddenly find that civilization crowed too soon; that what we bragged as triumphs were treacheries: that we have opened the wrong door and let the enemy into the castle; that civilization was a mistake; that nothing is so vulgar as a great warehouse of room full of furniture and trumpery; that, in the circumstances, the best wisdom were an auction or a fire. Since the foxes and the birds have the right of it, with a warm hole to keep out the weather, and no more-a penthouse to fend the sun and ram is the house which lays no tax on the owner's time and thoughts, and which he can leave, when the sun is warm, and defy the robber. This was Thoreau's doctrine, who said that the Fourierists had a sense of duty which led them to devote themselves to their secondbest. And Thoreau gave in flesh and blood and pertinacious Saxon belief the purest ethics. He was more real and practically believing in them than any of his company, and fortified you at all times with an affirmative experience which refused to be set aside. Thoreau was in his own person a practical answer, almost a refutation, to the theories of the socialists. He required no Phalanx, no Government, no society, almost no memory. He lived extempore from hour to hour, like the birds and the angels; brought every day a new proposition, as revolutionary as that of yesterday, but different: the only man of leisure in his town; and his independence made all others look like slaves. He was a good Abbot Samson, and carried a counsel in his breast. "Again and again I congratulate myself on my so called poverty, I could not overstate this advantage." "What you call bareness and poverty, is to me simplicity. God could not be unkind to me if he should try. I love best to have each thing in its season only, and enjoy doing without it at all other times. It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all. I have never got over my surprise that I should have been born into the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time too." There's an optimist far you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson



image96image96image96

baudrillard: 1929-2007

142256-62 Jean Baudrillard er borte.

Se il consumo sembra inarrestabile, la ragione che il consumo una prassi idealista totale che non ha pi nulla a che fare (al di l di un certo limite) con la soddisfazione dei bisogni n con il principio di realt. sospinto dal progetto sempre frustrato e sottinteso dell'oggetto.
...
Il consumo pu solo superare se stesso e reiterarsi per restare ci che : una ragione di vita. Il progetto di vivere, frantumato, deluso, significato rinasce e si annulla nell'oggetto successivo.
...
"Temperare" il consumo o stabilire un sistema di bisogni adatto a normalizzare il consumo stesso fa parte di un moralismo assurdo quanto ingenuo.
...
Gli oggetti/segni nella loro idealit si equivalgono e possono moltiplicarsi all'infinito: devono farlo per riempire ogni istante una realt assente. Il consumo irreprensibile perch si fonda su una mancanza.

 

Jean Baudrillard, Le systme des objets, Gallimard, Paris 1968




Pour une critique de l'conomie politique du signe, 2003
142256-61

Ser forbruket ut til vre ustanselig, ligger rsaken i at forbruket er en fullstendig idealistisk praksis som ikke lenger har noe gjre (utover en viss grense) verken med tilfredsstillelsen av behov eller med en realitets prinsipp. Det er drevet av prosjektet hele tiden frustrert og underforsttt, til objektet.

...

Forbruket kan bare overg og gjenta seg selv for forbli det det er: en grunn til leve. Knust, skuffet, tilkjennegitt gjenoppstr livsprosjektet og opplser seg selv i neste objekt.

...

"Mildne" forbruket eller etablere et system for behov som er i stand til normalisere forbruket selv, hrer til en bde absurd og naiv moralisme.

...

Tegn/objektene i sin idealitet er likeverdige og kan mangfoldiggjre seg selv til det uendelige: de er ndt gjre det for fylle stadig vekk igjen et fravr av virkelighet.

Forbruket er ulastelig fordi det bygger p en lengsel.

 

Jean Baudrillard, Le systme des objets, Gallimard, Paris 1968

(min oversettelse)

 


harald szeemann, terra incognita: on exhibitions as a means of expressions, extract from an interwiev with jerome sans

szeeman

     These days all cities are keen to have their own exhibitions, festivals, and little museums. There was much talk back in the 1960s about this decentralization thing - art and creativity everywhere and for everyone. But now there are so many museums, and exhibitions, and other major art events that there's a risk of not being able to see the wood for the trees. The most important factor for curators is choice, whether they are enjoying a permanent appointment in a museum, or whether they are freelance. Even if museum curators have the wherewithal to say more as a result of having exhibition programs, the choice factor is still crucial, whether it involves informative selection or selective information. I get the impression, what's more, that exhibitions have lost their sense of adventure.
       There are plenty of institutions still putting on show after show at some crazy rate. Or else they're plugging the gaps in their programs instead of biding their time and putting things into perspective, so that the next show will be a new venture and not just one more exhibition. I get the feeling very few exhibitions are labors of love. Everything has become just right and professional. But what's missing is the personal angle. There's no personal commitment or investment. There's more to an exhibition than just putting on a show. An exhibition is also about attending to works and artists alike. Hence my own motto: "From Vision to Nail", i.e., down to the tiniest detail, it's personal investment and commitment that count.
       Exhibitions have turned into an out-and-out industry. An industry that must deal with media fallout and as many visitors as possible. My philosophy involves putting on shows for the pleasure of it. I enjoy the luxury of never having had to put on a show that really "has to pay for itself". I've never been bothered by media fallout and as many visitors as possible. It's better to have just one really interested visitor than 20,000 who aren't, even if, as far as institutions are concerned, 20000 tickets might be just what's needed to cover costs and fulfill political expectations. For example, just 7000 people visited the When Attitudes become Forms show. In those days you had to come up with shoe string solutions to put on an exhibition, and you had to do everything yourself. I don't see any future in the present trend where one show is forever outbidding the next. I think we'll all have to operate more and more the way we did in the old days.
       Everything I do stems to some extent from that famous innermost need that Vassily Kandinsky referred to. In this respect, I feel more like a "poet in space". In the years to come, works exhibited will have to have more autonomy, and we'll have to put more trust in them. But you can't just split up a space into as many sections as there are invited artists. That system may have worked in the 1970s, but it's out of sync now. In fact, it's the biggest mistake and the most common one, and all the more so because it's not even democratic. Much more is needed these days. What exhibitions need, more than ever, is a main theme or a vision underpinning them.
Harald Szeemann
(Translation from french)
 

rimbaud: letter of the visionary (utdrag)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        
To Paul Demeny
                                        142256-45        
Charleville, May 15th, 1871. 

I've decided to give you an hour of new literature.


Neither joke, nor paradox. The reason inspires me more certitude on this subject than a Young-France would ever have had with rage. Besides, freedom to the new! To execrate their ancestors: we are at home, and we have time.


For I is someone else. If brass wakes up a bugle, it is not his fault. That is obvious to me: I witness the unfolding of my thought: I watch it, I listen to it: I make a stoke of the bow: the symphony makes movement into the depths, or comes in one leap upon the stage.
If the old fools had not found only the false significance of the Ego, we should not now be having to sweep away these millions of skeletons which, since an infinite time!, have been piling up the fruits of their one-eyed intellects, proclaiming themselves to be the authors!

In Greece, I said, verse and lyres give rhythm to the Action. After, music and rhymes are a game, a pastime. The study of this past charmed the curious: many of them delight in reviving these antiquities: - it is for them. Universal intelligence has always thrown out its ideas, naturally; men picked up part of these fruits of the mind: they acted according to, they wrote books about them: so was the way things went on, the man not working upon himself, not being yet awakened, or not in the fullness of the great dream. Civil servants, writers: author, creator, poet, this man has never existed!

The first study of a man who wants to be a poet is his self-knowledge, complete; he looks for his own soul, he inspects it, he tests it, learns it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it. That seems simple: in every mind a natural development takes place; so many egoists proclaim themselves authors; there are many others who attribute their intellectual progress to themselves! - But the soul has to be made monstrous: after the fashion of the comprachicos*, if you like! Imagine a man planting and cultivating warts on his face.

I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer.

The Poet makes himself a seer by a long, immense, and rational dissoluteness of all the senses.
All the forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, to only keep their quintessence. Inexpressible torture where he needs all the faith, all the superhuman strength, where be becomes, above all others, the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed, - and the supreme Savant! - For he arrives at the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone else! He reaches the unknown, and when, terrified, he ends up by losing the meaning of his visions, at least he has seen them! Let him die of his bound through the unheard-of and countless things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where the other has succumbed!


So the poet is truly the thief of fire.

He is responsible for humanity, even for the animals; he will have to make feel, touch, hear his inventions; if what he brings back from over there has a form, he gives form; if it is formless, he gives it formless. A language has to be found.


- Besides, every word being an idea, the time of a universal language will come. One has to be an Academician, - deader than a fossil -, to bring to perfection a dictionary of any language. Weak-minded people beginning to think about the first letter of the alphabet, would soon rush into madness!


This language will be from the soul for the soul, summing up everything, perfumes, sounds, colours, from the thought latching on to thought and pulling. The poet would define the quantity of unknown awakening in the universal soul in his own time; he would give more - than the formulation of his thought, than the notation of his walking toward Progress! Enormity becoming the norm, absorbed by everybody, he would really be a multiplier of progress!


This future will be materialist, as you see; - Always full of Number and Harmony, these poems will be made to stay. - In fact, it would be still Greek poetry, in a way.


Eternal art would have its function, since the poets are citizens.
Poetry will no longer take its rhythm from action; it will be ahead of it.

These poets will be! When the infinite servitude of woman is broken, when she lives for herself and by herself, the man, - hitherto abominable, - having given her her freedom, she too will be a poet! The woman will find some unknown! Will her worlds of ideas be different from ours? - She will find strange, unfathomable, repulsive, delicious things; we shall take them, we shall understand them.

Meanwhile, let us ask the poets for the new, - ideas and forms. All the clever ones would soon believe that they have satisfied this demand: - It is not so!




* comprachicos: word from "L'Homme qui rit" by Victor Hugo (1869). Children kidnappers who mutilated their victims to make monsters of them and win money with their exhibition.

  

ad reinhardt: monolog


142256-36


"I got out of Columbia and I got into the WPA project and then into the American Abstract Artist group, which had almost all the abstract artists in the country in it, about forty or fifty. There weren't many abstract artists not in it. I think Stuart Davis didn't belong because he still liked belonging to the social-protest groups.

I'm talking about 1935 and 1936. Intellectually and aesthetically the important thing was that there was absolutely no relation between the abstractionists and the surrealists. The main idea and the whole tradition of abstract art centered pretty much around art-as-art or that art either had involve with aesthetic essence or not. Whereas the surrealists were involved with everything else. I suppose even programmatically they were anti-art. They were involved in, I don't know, life or love or sex or I don't know what. They were living it up. I remember Mark Rothko [for Rothko go to National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.] saying he had liked the surrealists because they gave better parties than the abstract painters. Well, the abstract painters were always dull in that sense.

I finally made a program out of boredom. After all these years I think now that for a long time I've paraphrased Schopenhauer, saying, 'Interest is of no interest in art.' I've taken on all the bad terms of the thirties. Everything that the artist were called that was bad I've picked up and I've made them not bad words. Like meaningless, useless, imageless - those kinds of words. Words like inhuman, sterile, cold - they became cool. Everybody affected to be cold, inhuman sort of. And the others - academic, dogmatic, absolute - I picked them up and said, "Well, why not academic?"

I tried to oppose the academic to the market place. I think in the future I see mainly the university academy as the proper place for the artist because the market place is insane. But the way it has been up to now the university academies are absolutely deadly and the market place, the gallery groups, for the past ten or twenty years have been more lively here. Now almost every artist outside of New York is connected with some school or some museum school and even in New York the majority are. That's an interesting fact when you take the idea of making money, making a living selling paintings. Only a dozen or two painters do that. I've never been involved in that particularly. I've been teaching for almost twenty years. I've never been called a good teacher, incidentally. I'm proud of that. You know, there is nothing deadlier than to be called a good teacher like Hofmann or Albers. It's like making boredom a central fact about art. If somebody is interested, there is already something wrong. They are interested for the wrong reasons.

Anyway, in the late thirties I was a member of the American Abstract Artists and then in the early forties I ran the gamut of commercial and industrial jobs around New York World's Fair that Russel Wright, Norman Bel Geddes, and so forth were in on. I did that about as quickly as you could possibly do it. I guess I could do any commercial or industrial job and then I got on PM in forty-four.

Then I was drafted in forty-five and I was a sailor for a year. They didn't know what to do with me so they made a sort of photographer out of me. I was in Pensacola and San Diego. I was always thrown in with a bunch of kids. I was twenty-nine then. I was called Pop. I was the old man of every outfit. They tried to make an aerial photographer out of me. Aerial photography was outdated already because all the cameras were completely mechanical, but they had aerial photographers. So I went to Puget Sound and spent time. Then I finally got on a little carrier. I waited in Tacoma, Washington, and we saw the carrier built, and when it was ready, we sailed out and then they dropped the atom bomb. We were all ready for that invasion. That was a fluke. The dropping of the bomb prevented me from getting anywhere near anybody shooting at me.

After the war I had my teaching job at Brooklyn College. The job at Brooklyn is interesting because Brooklyn reflects what happened to university art departments everywhere. It might be the worst department now and yet at one point it was the best in the country. It was the best when the Bauhaus first got a little hot here. I was hired not only because I was a painter but because I had a reputation with PM and they thought working for a newspaper was the greatest thing that could happen to an artist. All those people were a little naive. They still had the idea that an artist has something to say so you give him the means and then since there are a lot of people who don't know, he'll tell them for you. Art as communication. So then what better place, if you think that way, than being on a newspaper? You can tell everybody everything.

The department at Brooklyn changed. It was called the Design Department and the old Art Department - nudes and still lifes and painting classes - was out. We didn't have painting classes. We had Introductory Color, Advanced Color, Descriptive Drawing, Free Hand Drawing. Then less than ten years after that, they changed the name back to Art again. At that time the word Design didn't sound so good and it became an art department again but with more emphasis on art history. I taught a lot of art history, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. But the painting classes came back. The nudes came back. Not so much the still lifes. So now our department is the worst department, partly because it has the worst facilities, I think. Otherwise art departments are exactly alike everywhere. I've been around everywhere. I went to Chicago two weeks ago. Minneapolis. Washington. I've watched this anyway for the last ten years.

They're all exactly alike, if some student came up and wanted to know where to study painting, you'd want to suggest some place but there's no place. I wouldn't know where to send a student to study. I think this is an interesting development because Brooklyn was the first one to be hit by this Bauhaus thing, and then it swept the country."

Ad Reinhardt, Art as Art, The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhard, edited by Barbara Rose, p. 23-29 

ad reinhardt (1913-1967) 142256-37

piero manzoni: for the discovery of a zone of images

142256-29merda d'artista, 1961

For the Discovery of a Zone of Images.
A common vice among artists – or rather bad artists – is certain kind of mental cowardice because of which they refuse to take any position whatsoever, invoking a mis-understood notion of the freedom of art, or other equally crass common- places.
142256-27socle du monde, 1961

Since they have an extremely vague idea of art the result is generally that they finish up by confusing art with vagueness itself.It’s therefore necessary to clarify as far as possible what we mean by art, so that we can find a guideline along which to work and make judgements.
The work of art has its origin in an unconscious impulse that springs from a collective  substrata of universal values common for all men, from which all men draw their gestures, and from which the artist derives the “archai” of organic existence. Every man of his own accord extracts the human element from this base, without realising it, and in an elementary and immediate way. Where the artists is concerned it is a question of conscious immersion in himself through which, once he has got beyond the individual and contingent level, he can probe deep down to reach the living germ of total humanity. Everything that is humanly communicable is derived from this, and it is through the discovery of the psychic substrata that all men have in common that the relationship of author-work-spectator is made possible. In this way the work of art has the totemic value of living myth, without symbolic or descriptive dispersion: it is a primary and direct expression.

142256-31line 12,40m, 1959

The foundation of the universal value of art are given to us now by psychology. This is the common base that enables art to sink its roots to the origins before man and to discover the primary myths of humanity.
The artist must confront these myths and reduce them, by means of amorphous and confused materials, to clear images.
Since these are atavistic forces that have their origins in the subconscious, the work of art takes on a magical significance.
On the other hand, art has always had a religious value, from the first artist-sorcerer to the pagan and Christian myth, etc.
The key point today is to establish the universal validity of individual mythology. The artistic moment is therefore that in which the discovery of preconscious   universal myths comes about, and in the reduction of these into the form of images.

142256-32piero manzoni, line, 1959

It is clear that if the artist is to be able to bring to light zones of myth that are authentic and virginal he must have both an extreme degree of self-awareness and gifts of iron precision and logic.
To arrive at such a discovery, fruit of a long and precious education, involves a whole field of precise technique. The artist must immerse himself in his own anxiety, dredging up everything that is alien, imposed or personal in the derogatory sense, in order to arrive at the authentic zone of values.
So its obvious that at first glance there would seem to be a paradox: the more we immerse ourselves in ourselves, the more open we become, since the closer we get to the germ of our totality the closer we are to the germ of totality of all men.We can therefore say that subjective invention is the only means of discovering objective reality, the only means that gives us the possibility of communication between men.

142256-33magic base, 1961

There comes a point where individual mythology and universal mythology are identical.
In this context it is clear that there can be no concern with symbolism and description, memories, misty impressions, of childhood, pictoricism, sentimentalism: all this must be absolutely excluded.

142256-34
the consumption of dynamic art, performance, 1960

So must every hedonistic repetition of arguments that have already been exhausted, since the man who continues to trifle with myths that have already been discovered is an aesthete, and worse.
Abstractions and references must be totally avoided. In our freedom of invention we must succeed in a constructing a world that can be measured only in its own terms.
We absolutely cannot consider the picture as a space on to which to project our mental scenography. It is the area of freedom in which we search for the discovery of our first images.
Images which are as absolute as possible, which cannot be valued for that which they record, explain and express, but only for that which they are: to be.   
1957
Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)  142256-30achrome, 1961-'62

bruno munari: hemmelighetsfull kunst

142256-25142256-24falkland, 1964
alfabetiere, 1998




      Barna kommer ut av skolen blide og glade, sakte eller løpende, de hilser høylytt på hverandre, skubber og gir hverandre hånden; de sykler eller blir kjørt hjem i en stor, mørk bil ført av en sjåfør med hvite hansker.    
Men imens, inn i deres hoder er det kommet et begrep som vanskelig vil bli forandret i deres liv: blant de tingene de har lært er at kunst åpenbærer seg i malerier, skulpturer, dikt, arkitektur… At maleri er det som er malt med oljefarger på lerret, at skulptur er av marmor eller bronse og i tre dimensjoner, at poesi er det med rim, at arkitektur… At den skjønneste kunst er den fra fortiden, at moderne kunst stanser ved impresjonismen, at den visuelle kunsten etterligner naturen, at det må finnes et innhold i malerier og skulpturer (en litterær fortelling) ellers er det ikke kunst.    
Det er faktisk tilstrekkelig å besøke et ordentlig museum for å bli klar over hva den visuelle kunsten er, på hvordan malerier og skulpturer skal utføres, med respekt selvfølgelig for ulike stiler og epoker (unntatt vår egen tidsepoke).    
Siden hender det at de samme barna går og ser en moderne kunstutstilling og plutselig står de foran en skulptur som er helt flat, så flat at sett fra siden forsvinner den; eller et maleri i relieff med store elementer limt på og malt, hvor tykkelsen har en bestemt kommunikasjonsverdi. Men det tykke bildet er rammet inn med glass og gullramme og den flate skulpturen står på pidestall. Hvordan betrakte disse tingene?    
Men dette er jo ingenting i forhold til det de kan komme til å møte senere: et kjempestort bilde på den sosiale protest som viser fattigslige landarbeidere sparket ihjel av kapitalistene (et veldig dyrt maleri, som bare kapitalister kan kjøpe til stua i villaen sin på landet) dog malt i impresjonistisk/kubistisk stil, voldsomme farger med en tegning som likevel er meget illustrerende, slik at alle kan forstå det, selv om det er et unikum. Eller en annen type protestbilde lagd av avfallsbiter, med filler og skrapjern (det finnes også skulpturer av denne typen) slengt ned med forakt, men samtidig med malerisk sans: et kunstverk (nok et unikt stykke) som passer perfekt, i kontrast, ved siden av vitrinskapet av krystall med sølvtøyet, i et godt borgelig hjem som skal bevise hvor snille eierne er mot slemme kunstnere.    
Hvorfor slipper vår epoke ut lignende kunstverk? Et bilde malt jevnt som en skapdør. En gjennomsiktig plasteske full av brukte gebiss. En svartrost i eske, signert av opphavsmannen, ti halvkilotunge esker. En mannekeng for butikkvinduer klint til med hvitt. En pakke lerret surret inn med hundretusener av ulike tau. En maskin som tegner kruseduller. Et bildet lagd ved å helle malingen tilfeldig ned. Et postkort med landskapet fra Inverigo, tre ganger to meter stort. En tannkremtube 12 meter lang. En detalj fra en forstørret tegneserie.      
Er kanskje dette tilfeldigvis speilet av vårt samfunn, hvor de inkompetente sitter bak spakene og styrer, hvor svindel er hverdagskost, hvor hykleri er forvekslet med respekt for andres meninger, hvor forholdene mennesker imellom er falske, hvor korrupsjon er regelen, hvor skandalene blir dysset ned, hvor man lager tusenvis av lover og ikke en eneste respekteres?    
Men hva sier kunstkritikerne som har plikt til å avklare disse problemene og gjøre de allmennt kjent? Jo, de sier at dette handler om den frontale visualitetens lyriske sang, som unngår den tredimensjonale språkføringen, for en gjenvinning av mennesket i den semantiske problemstillingen mot en ny dimensjon hinsides Kitsch i en objektivert, ludistisk og reversibel tid.     
Derfor går alle barna samlet i flokk og roper ut sin sympati for Beatles og bor i hus hvor gode gamle bilder fra 18hundretallet fremdeles henger på veggen, sånn som de har lært det på skolen.


fra: arte come mestiere (kunst som yrke), 1966

142256-23 bruno munari (1907-1998)

oversettelse fra italiensk: paolo