2007/05/24

Sick art gives visual signs of a sick society




in The Guardian by Jess Smee

In his latest Berlin performance Christoph Schlingensief underlined his reputation as the enfant terrible of the German art world - and now the storm of controversy is about to hit London.

Images from the blood and vomit splattered stage production Kaprow City will form part of his new art installation. The piece, Last Hour, will be shown in a warehouse gallery in east London next Tuesday, he told the Guardian.

Described by its creator as a shrine, the installation features the twisted metalwork of a crashed car and three films, including footage of a long tunnel and paparazzi-style stills of "Diana" taken from the contentious Berlin show.

URL:bad boy of German art heads for London

How to say?
Late modern Western societies are utterly sick so I guess that it is only normal that some are giving out sick visual signs of this societal sickness...

I perfectly well know about the existence of our societal sicknesses but I believe that our present societal reality is only one particularly bad moment in a, all together, long chain of societal changes. So while seeing, daily, the effects of the cancer that is eating our societal constructs I remain nevertheless optimistic that the direction where societal change leads us will in the end appear to be immensely positive for Gaia our mother and for humanity.
For sure this road of societal change is long and... we are all impatient. Our own life encompasses only a small fraction of the timespan of the societal changes leading us from late modernity to post-modernity. Nevertheless there is no doubt that the possibilities that arise, from the interactions between science and technology + the spread of new worldviews as result of economic globalization, are worldchanging and, mustI say, in the better sense of the term... The conscience of those possibilities is what drives my optimism and I know about the risks of collapse along the road but, I have the weakness to think that, our lives are too short to spend in misery vomiting as a consequence of our ruminating about a catastrophe that eventually never will happen

So my own visual approach is to give visual signs of what I perceive are some future trends in our way of understanding reality. I believe, indeed, that our worldviews, in the footsteps of societal changes, are bound to undergo a paradigmic shift.
I prefer to spend my life thinking about those possibilities than to crawl daily in my vomit and this does in no way reduce my conscience of our present societal sicknesses and the real risk of societal collapse along the road.

I guess, in the end, it is a question of personal choice for the artist to determine his own vision of what is going on in the world around him. But there is one thing I'm sure about. Down the road future generations will have no patience for visual signs of present-day vomiting. In the same fashion as most humans today revere VanGogh or other modern works, future generations could eventually recognize themselves in those visual signs that succeeded to capture today the trends along which their own understanding of reality will operate.... Now the question remains that I have no way to ascertain that my own understanding of the presently forming trends about our future understanding of reality will prove to be valid in the future.

In the meantime vomit seems to pay immediately... Charles Saatchi, for one, is paying for it while the search for understanding the paradigmic shift in our understanding of reality that is in the making does not attract much of a following. And so one is given to ask oneself who is the smart one in the end. I don't have a good answer to that question. Money-wise vomitting seems more successfull immediately... but no thank you, this is not for me, I hate vomitting.

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