„WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHO ARE WE? WHERE WE GO?“
„WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHO ARE WE? WHERE WE GO?“
BY VLAD MORARIU
I have recently returned to Jean Baudrillard* because of a research project that I have been involved with and organised, together with two curators and friends from the tranzit.org network: Judit Angel (tranzit.sk) and Raluca Voinea (tranzit.ro). The project is titled Collection Collective, and is precisely what it says it is: a contemporary art collection, collectively owned and managed by its members. It functions according to a very simple principle: each member of the collective offers work according to skills and expertise.
Though the project’s idea emerged many years ago, it was materialised only in 2017, during an exhibition, workshop and public seminar that took place in Bratislava, at tranzit.sk. There are several reasons why Collection Collective exists. To begin with, I would mention the participant members’ dissatisfaction with policies of cultural institutions (national or international), as well as with the current shape of the art market. For me, personally, this is also a project of institutional critique: Collection Collective proposes to cut through the economic and ideological dependency on institutional collecting policies and their politics of representation. For many of the members involved, it is also a response to the way in which art from certain parts of the globe – certainly Eastern and Central Europe, but even beyond – has entered into private or corporate collections in the West; and to how the power of these collections is reconfirmed by policies of public flagship institutions.
BY JUDIT ANGEL, VLAD MORARIU, RALUCA VOINEA
At the end of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, as collection studies legitimised themselves as an autonomous field of inquiry, several surveys estimated that in the Western world between a third and a half of the adult population would identify as collectors. This must be understood in the context of the post-war affluence of the West and a consumer society that has exponentially multiplied possibilities for spending, within which emerging economies (Russia, China, India and Brazil, among others) have been readily integrated. So much is collecting present in our everyday lives, that today Amazon and eBay entice us to spend our disposable incomes on collectibles. However, an unchallenged assumption runs across the field of cultural studies – the assumption that collecting is essentially individual and subjective. Certain tropes reinforce it: the collector’s drug-like addiction to new purchases, the aesthetics of compulsion and uncontrollable desire, the fashioning of self-expression, the manufacturing of a heightened self-esteem, the exquisiteness of authorship, the display of individual taste and cultural capital. Nevertheless there is no reason to consider the private subject as a necessary condition for the collecting experience: is there a possibility to invert this assumption and pose, at least as a working hypothesis, a different kind of subject: a collection collective subject? And how could this subject be imagined?
VON PAUL SOCHACKI & MARIA INÉS PLAZA LAZO
Angeregt durch die globale Verstädterung, die in Metropolen stetig regionale Ursprünge mit neuen Lebensbezügen speist und eine digitale Vernetzung, die trotz einer potenziell endlosen Verflechtung von Wissen und Information für alle den ökonomischen Weg des geringsten Wiederstandes geht und Komfortzonen der Ohnmacht bevorzugt, widmet sich die erste Ausgabe von ‚Arts of the Working Class’ dem öffentlichen Raum, den Straßen und Gärten der Stadt.
Hier, wo sich Blicke und nicht nur Vorurteile begegnen, bietet sich uns die Gelegenheit vom Leben für das Miteinanderleben zu lernen. Hier belehrt uns Realität mit Widersprüchen. So sind es auch zwei Widersprüche, die zum Namen dieser Straßenzeitung geführt haben. Der Begriff der Arbeiterklasse hat trotz und gerade wegen einer Expansion von neuen Beschäftigungs- und Arbeitsmodellen seine integrative Kraft verloren. Damit steht er zur Neudefinition bereit. Hinzu kommt die durch Großgalerien und Investmentmodelle aus der Finanzwelt beförderte Industrialisierung der Künste, die dazu geführt hat, dass, nachdem lange die Kunst selbst als Beispiel für neoliberale Optimierungen antizipiert wurde, nun in den verdichteten Kunstszenen einiger Städte wie Berlin nun eine solidarische Bewegung Rechte einfordert.
Die Mitglieder der Redaktion von ‚Arts of the Working Class’ arbeiten im Kunstbetrieb. Deshalb entgehen uns nicht die Klüfte und Risse, die sich auch dank der Rücksichtlosigkeit im Kunstmarkt vertiefen und die nur ein Symptom gesamtgesellschaftlicher Tendenzen sind. Manche Gräben und Distanzen sind zwar unüberwindbar, aber in ihrer Rhetorik und Perspektive verbesserungswürdig: Wir wollen dementsprechend den Fokus auf das sogenannte Prekariat, auf die freiwillige Leistung lenken, welche die nicht angestellten Kulturarbeiterinnen, Arbeiterinnengenossenschaften, gemeinnützige Organisationen für die Institutionen erledigen. Institutionen sind erforderlich für eine bessere Verteilung gesellschaftlicher Werte, und aus diesem Grund wünschen wir uns, dass diese alle, auch die unter dem durchschnittlichen Lebensstandard leben, erreichen. Mit unserer Anzeigenpolitik möchten wir diese soziale Barrierefreiheit fördern. Deshalb sind Anzeigen von Künstlern selbst gestaltet, und dort, wo freier Eintritt möglich ist, weisen wir offensiv darauf hin. Wir danken allen, die mit ihren Anzeigen die erste Ausgabe von Working Class ermöglicht haben.
Da in der Metropole unterschiedliche Wirklichkeiten auch in Form von Sprache in Erscheinung treten, many languages may appear beside each other within this street journal. Estamos rodeados de gente con diferentes o complejos bagajes culturales. Per democratizzare l’Arte e imprescindibile un esperimento transculturale, con la forza dei cittadini e delle autonomie locali e internazionali. We want to emphasize this form of exchange by publishing texts in the native language of its thoughts. Since some ideas are not possible to translate, their existence between us may find other ways to influence us. Bazı fikirlerin tercüme edilmesi mümkün olmadığından, aramızdaki varlıkları bizi etkilemek için başka yollar bulabilir.
Paul Sochacki & María Inés Plaza Lazlo, Gründer der Straßenzeitung
‚Arts of the Working Class’ kann man auch über Reflektor M kaufen
BY SŁAWOMIR MARZEC
The increasing today correlation of diverse discourses inevitably leads to their hierarchization in daily life. The more subtle and more complex discourses are written down (read: reduced) into the more straight and readable ones. In this way they become understandable and useful for average people. Thus, the effects are often lamentable – former subtleties challenging our thoughts, imagination and feelings often are reduced to the category of superfluous freaks, or outright anomaly. Art exemplifies it very clearly – now its „essence” is defined by marketing rules and „predominating social problems”; artists and their works became simply derivative from them. And everything happens in the context of such slogans like: „everything is a text” („… a discourse”), „the death of subject”, “the death of man” etc. It seems, that in the consequences, nowadays already the very treat of the problem of an artist as individual person, has subversivecharacter to the status quo. It makes however a chance, to regain the human dimension of art.
BY JINGYI WANG
Although Post Capitalistic Auction reflects more, I hope, than just a utopian dream, its conception can be traced back to the youthful utopian mind of my 18-year-old self, when I was a freshman at university. A casual conversation between my cousin and myself ended with me asking: “Why do artworks end up in the hands on the rich? Why isn’t it people who really understand art and artists who own their work? Why does money decide everything? ” My cousin’s silence and his indulgent smile gave me a clear answer: “Isn’t that how it should be? Doesn’t everyone agree on that?”
BY SARAH MEYOHAS
Over the next ten days, I will work. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange, placing orders with the purpose of visual change. Once I have moved a stock price, I will redraw it on canvas with oil stick.
A stock is a representation of the claim on a company’s assets and earnings. It is partitioned into shares that are considered personal property. A share always belongs to an owner, though it may outlive any of its owners. Belonging, like most other relations, is mediated by private property, the ground to our liberal concept of society, upon which the exchange locates the stock. Weiterlesen
VON JOHANNES NATHAN
Als es nach ersten Presseartikeln im Fall Gurlitt weithin an Experten mangelte, die die plötzlich drängenden Fragen zu beantworten vermochten, wurde rasch klar, dass die kunsthistorische Landkarte in diesen Bereichen – gemeint sind Provenienz- und Kunstmarktforschung – noch viele weiße Flecken aufweist. Zweifellos hätte die Veröffentlichung der Sammlung Gurlitt die Fachwelt weniger unerwartet und weniger heftig getroffen, wenn die Erforschung des Kunstmarktes und seiner Geschichte nicht über weite Strecken als nebensächlich eingestuft worden wäre – übrigens auch vom Autor dieser Zeilen, der seine erste Lehrtätigkeit ganz anderen Themen widmete und erst nach Übernahme der familiären Kunsthandlung die historische Dimension des Kunstmarkts zu ergründen begann. Weiterlesen
VON LECH SUWALA
Das Wort Kreativität hat seinen etymologischen Ursprung im lateinischen „creare“, was zeugen, gebären, schaffen, erschaffen bzw. ins Leben rufen heißt. Wird der Begriff „creativity“ ins Deutsche übertragen, gelangt man zu Formulierungen wie „schöpferische Fähigkeit“, „schöpferisches Denken“ oder „schöpfen“ (Stockhammer 1983). Diese Verankerung stammt ursprünglich aus der Theologie und bezeichnet den „Creator“ (Schöpfergott), welcher in der Lage ist, aus dem Nichts etwas Neues (creatio ex nihilo) zu erschaffen. Weiterlesen
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOAN WALTEMATH
BY CHRISTINE DE LIGNIÉRES
Christine de Lignières: Your work is visually related to a high-modernist formalism that includes Bauhaus, De Stijl, Mondrian … to aesthetic movements, at a certain period in history. Do you feel a kinship with those artists?
Joan Waltemath: I don’t really approach my work stylistically in relation to Modernism because the kind of geometry that I’m working with is so old, and I mean mostly it’s been used in architecture. If you look at plans from Gothic and Romanesque churches, from the pyramids, the Ziggurats — these geometric forms obey certain mathematical laws of nature. That’s the basis of the grid I work on using harmonic ratios. The lineage of modernism is something that I’m obviously in tune with, but my focal point is more on the timeless nature of the geometry itself and how it’s able to open certain doors of perception. Weiterlesen
VON PAULINA SEYFRIED
VON ELENA GAVRISCH
Ein ungezwungenes Gespräch mit einem ehemaligen Linksautonomen (Friedrich) im Schillerkiez Berlin-Neukölln über den Schimmelpilz und den Kapitalismus.
BY FRANS JACOBI
Welcome, please come inside. What we are going to do now is a kind of participatory performance. Oh, My God, you may think. Am I now to perform myself? What I want you to do, is to lie down on your back and close your eyes. All of you – in this space. This is actually the only act that you are going to do, it’s not more difficult than that. This is perfect. Thank you very much. Okay, then I need you to close your eyes. Welcome. Relax. Weiterlesen
BY WALDEMAR WOJCIECHOWSKI
The formulation I CAN SEE (WIDZĘ in Polish) has been written in Braille, photographed and printed. The absurdity of this treatment is a reflection of the notorious sense of the absurd, which I experience as the author of visual messages. My artistic experience shows in fact a serious lack of preparation vast majority of our society for the reception of contemporary art, and my teacher experience of the Art Academy deepens this conviction.
I CAN SEE – put it simply – means that the potential recipient, in order to understand the messages of contemporary art, should know its language.
Photographing Braille signs is absurd, like it would be a photocopy or other form of flat reproduction. Putting these photographs at the museum exhibition (prohibition of touching the exhibits!) further emphasizes that absurd.
BY MACIEJ TOPOROWICZ
In the early 1960s, having just come over from the GDR, I naturally declined to summon up any sympathy for the aims and methods of the Red Army Faction [RAF]. I was impressed by the terrorists‘ energy, their uncompromising determination and their absolute bravery; but I could not find it in my heart to condemn the State for its harsh response. That is what States are like; and I had known other, more ruthless ones. The deaths of the terrorists, and the related events both before and after, stand for a horror that distressed me and has haunted me as unfinished business ever since, despite all my efforts to suppress it.
BY SLADJAN NEDELJKOVIC
© Sladjan Nedeljkovic
BY BRANDON LaBELLE
“We are realizing more and more that a poetic emotion lies at the origin of revolutionary thought.” – Jean Genet, Letter to American Intellectuals
He looks to the right; and then to the left; he thinks he has to decide – which way to turn; like a pressure, upon him, he thinks: I must decide; and yet, there is that sudden creeping feeling, a type of epiphany that arrives slowly, unexpectedly: he realizes he has already decided. Weiterlesen
BY ANETTA MONA CHISA & LUCIA TKACOVA
It is surely a challenging discourse for everyone set to dedicate her/his life to working as artist today. We have a statement which we find suited to this topic, a sort of manifesto from 2011, about what an exhibition should be and shouldn’t be in our opinion. It was related to the Venice Biennale from the same year (Romanian pavilion) where we listed on its facade reasons to both be and not be part of such a famous (and at the same time infamous) art event.
BY WARREN NEIDICH
Rehearsing Futures Past, an oral blind folded performance, which takes place in front of my Duende Neon.
First Turning: I enter from the stage left and stand in front of my neon sculpture The Duende Diagram. My assistant moves to center stage, takes hold of my shoulders and turns me 360 degrees twice leaving me facing my neon sculpture. Blindfolded I project the red dot of my laser wand upon the words Taylorism and Hebbinism. She recites from the other neon-illuminated terms that surround these words pronouncing Cultural Capitalism and Cognitive Capitalism. Se turns me 180 degrees so that now I am facing the audience and my back is towards the neon I place the megaphone up to my mouth and begin to recite the contingent terms that create the diagram inside my skull.
BY DAN MIHALTIANU
„To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For the artist, however, the root is the artist himself“.
Kandy Marxhol: Critique of Philosophy of Art from A to B
Intelligentsia – Priviligentsia – Emergentsia
Even if, theoretically, they seem to represent diverging interest and functions, the Intelligentsia and the Priviligentsia are the two components of the cultural and political elite that continually flirt with each other in Socialist Society. The former plays the part of „social critic“, obviously within the very narrow limits, legal or illegal, imposed by the system, while the latter plays the part of the guardian, manager and beneficiary of the established régime. The Intelligentsia played a certain role in the implementation of Communism, however, after the consolidation of the regime it could only play the part of illustrator or analyst of socialist reality, which it did with a wide range of attitudes, from emulation to servility and even daring „constructive criticism“ or „cultural resistance“, dissidence being extremely rare and rather singular. Weiterlesen