PART 5 (FINAL)
We had “no hope for a future”, then “no hope” and now it’s disintegrating into a dark “no”, from nothingness we suppose. We tried, we failed and what hurts more than trying is believing and being disappointed and ashamed of your own belief. This is the final chapter of our experimentation with writing. As time passes, each second heavier with the hopes, the failures and the lies of the art world, we sink deeper and deeper into its abyss. Tied up to poverty and a precarious living we watch how art is still made by and for the rich, a playground for spoiled kids or the bohemian souls that can afford the poetry of financial insecurity while poking with a stick big and meaningless words.
If one is honest with themselves, and their intentions toward art and artistic practices of living and interacting with the world within an institutionalized framework, then if this character watched “My Dinner with Andre” (1981) the only thought that will come to mind after the almost two hours of screen time, will be that of detachment, giving up the pencil and brush and accepting the futility of art, how we idealize it. Or this is just how we remember feeling when we watched that film, a true roller-coaster of stories and questions, regardless of its American liberalism substrata which was hard to miss. We were depressed for a while after watching it but it also made us think about how its power can be instrumentalized as an artistic practice, exposing the audience to it as Alex, the main character of “Clockwork Orange” (1971) was re-educated through the fictional Ludovico technique. As Alex was striped by his radical barbarian behavior through a barbarian re-education process, we speculated that we could strip out the fictitious hope in art by exposing audiences, especially art producers to the above-mentioned cinematic work.
Nonetheless, even if it is corrupted, even if it’s just another place for financial speculation, even if it’s everything that we want and we know that we will never have, why is it so difficult to stop? Why it is so difficult to renounce its language, abandoning it forever to a past, walking away to the normal, precarious, stressing life in capitalo-whatever-we-live-today. Why continue bothering with hopes of emergence, critique, prestige, research, after-parties, production budgets, gossips and social relevant art?
Trapped by the cataclysm of the past sweat and hope in an artistic future, one cannot turn around and face the future. Something between the Walter Benjamin analysis of Paul Klees’s “Angelus Novus” and Bruno Latour’s “Compositionist Manifesto”, we’re walking backwards towards our future while looking at the reck that we leave behind…
From the point of acknowledging this situation one has to calculate how to, and if it is possible to escape the pressure that immobilized us in this position. In pension and retirement funds, we cannot dream, because all the clues indicate that soon no one (not us the many, the poor) will live without being forced to sell their time. But leaving behind this ballast of artistic hope and “giving a fuck” could help us enjoy life and ourselves more, continuing our existence in common (the only communism that we find possible at the moment).
11/07/21. Published 14/07/21.
SABA - Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu (b. 1991, Iași and Timișoara / Romania) is an artist couple working together since 2012. Their artistic practice could be positioned at the border between social studies and visual art, researching for methods and examples where art and artistic means can be instrumentalised in order to overexcite the ability to look beyond capitalism and create a (common) future. Among their recent solo shows are “s.a.b.a 1979-####” (2020, Ljubljana, SI), “It was always in plain sight” (2020, Bucharest, RO), “If Then What After” (2019, Baden, AT), “What Past? What Future?” (2017, Linz, AT), “Depression, Uncertainty and other symptoms of Mortality” (2016, Lodz, Poland), while their works have been present in many group exhibitions among which “Rewriting Our Imaginations” (2020, Basel, CH), “Go, Stop, Stay” (2019, Debrecen, HU), “STRIKE GENTLY AWAY ____” (2019, Salzburg, AT), “Displacement and Togetherness” (2019, Brussels, BE), “Capital’s Time Machine” (2018, Bucharest, RO), “Baywatch” (2018, Berlin, DE), “Alternative Facts” (2018, Stuttgart, DE), “Odessa Biennial” (2017, Odessa, Ukraine), to name just a few.