Manifesto

For a New Art, Language and Relationship

 

We are for an Art that is created and not produced, that is shared and not distributed, that is experienced and not consumed.

We want to eradicate the language of consumer capitalism in relation to art. We want its words to vanish from academic discourse, from professors’ lectures, from curatorial practice, from artist talks, and from daily conversations. The words we choose determine our intention; they rule our actions. The infestation of the consumerist, capitalist language in our life, the forever repeated mantra of production, distribution, and consumption, endangers free thinking and creativity, endangers the artists’ capability and threatens their sensibility in probing, resisting, questioning society. This language has one purpose: to reduce the artist to a mere fit-in dummy, a mindless sleepwalker stripped of their seismic sensibilities.

We are for an Art that is personal and political.

Conceptual Art is bloodless, breathless, gutless, heartless, mindless, visionless, motionless, everythingless. It is like a truncated body embalmed with the artist’s ego, wrapped around tightly with forced, contrived, artificial thoughts and placed in the sarcophagus called an art gallery. Only an art whose source is the personal experience of the artist can speak to us with sincerity and can move us at the deepest level.

True art appreciation is the meeting point of two equal experiences: the artist’s personal experience which inspired the work and the viewer’s personal experience entering into a dialogue with it. But personal experience also speaks of the collective, the universal, or the historical. It is always political.

We are for an Art that is created with integrity.

Art speaks to us if it is truthful, if it conveys the values of the artist in an uncompromising way, if it is created with authenticity and with commitment to one’s core values and principles. But it becomes false once the harmony between the values and their representation is broken.

All forms of art are valid if it is based on experience, if it is socially relevant and if it has something important to say. Creating work whose sole purpose is to serve the commodifying urge of culture-industry capital in the hope of a glamorous corporatized artist career is a cynical affirmation of the inner workings of the art market. Artists who succumb to this cynical affirmation instead of standing for critical opposition lose credibility; they are no more than wooden puppets whose strings are in the hand of culture-industry middlemen.

We are for an Art whose success is measured by qualitative experience and not by economic quantifiers.

Art is personal; it speaks to us directly, to our very humanity. We let our guard down when engaging with art; our response comes from the gut. We all have had our own personal, subjective experience with art, when we were moved, consoled, or healed through the experience. Art is with us in joy, grief and sorrow, in our displacement, in our search for our selves, in our attempt at making sense of the world. It is our companion for life. If an artwork moves or offers insight or a deeply personal experience to just one person, it was worth creating. Art makes a difference in people’s lives, one person at a time.  It is nonsense to measure the success of an artwork or artists in the number of visitors to their exhibition, the number of reviews they have received or the highest price the artwork commanded on the market. Its success depends only on its ability to create a deeply personal experience.

We are for an Art that is exchanged in transparent interactions and experienced through equal access.

We want the middleman out – the dealers, the career curators, the art consultants with their all consuming personal agendas. We want to deconstruct the supercurators’ power, reveal the dynamics of the mega shows and biennales and bring to light the underlying motives and interconnectedness of the capitalist and speculative art market and its faithful support from the never independent curators. We want to make everybody honest.

We want all public galleries and museums free to the public, for people to have equal access to art regardless of someone’s social status and financial abilities.

We are for an Art that is created with utmost integrity, shared equally and experienced with an open mind.

Vancouver, 2007