International Day without Art. 20th of January.

International Day without Art is approaching, again. Next 20th of January, during the whole day, all the art world which is worth to consider, will vanish. Some would say that has already vanished long ago. I do not think so. It might though disappear forever soon. That why this year motto is
I pause to record that I feel in extraordinary form. Delirium perhaps.
This is a quote of Samuel Beckett´s Malone Dies. As a matter of warning it could have been also as good this one from The Unnamable:
You think you are simply resting, the better to act when the time comes, or for no reason, and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again. No matter how it happened.
Please beware and join us in this (probably) temporary pause for reflection.

International Day without Art se acerca implacablemente. El próximo dia 20 de Enero, durante todo el día, el mundo del arte que merece ese nombre, se desvanecerá.
Habrá quien diga que ya se desvaneció hace mucho tiempo. Yo no lo creo. Sin embargo sí que puede que desaparezca para siempre pronto. Por eso el motto de este año es
Me interrumpo para señalar que me siento extraordinariamente bien. Quizá sea el delirio.
Se trata de una cita de Malone muere, de Samuel Beckett. Como advertencia hubiera sido también apropiada esta otra de El innombrable:
Crees que simplemente estás descansando, para actuar mejor cuando llegue el momento, o sin ningún motivo, y pronto te das cuenta de que estás imposibilitado para hacer nada nunca más.
Sin saber cómo sucedió.
Así que, sin bajar la guardia, celebremos juntos esta pausa, probablemente momentánea, para la reflexión.

Obsolescence and interchangeability of artworks

In a constantly updated media the artist is threaten relentlessly with obsolescence. Artworks have become exchangeable with other artworks that are immediately accessible, or with any other cultural product that has taken an artwork look. The artist, inasmuch he is so, must resist interchangeability, because that´s what makes him susceptible of being obsolete. The only way the artist (or anyone, for that matter) has to elude the possibility of becoming obsolete is to be obsolete from the very beginning. This is, to refuse engagement.

The most effective trap for luring artists into making interchangeable artworks is set by a systematic public campaign in which art is exhaustively praised for all qualities it could have, except that one which makes it specific.

The inescapable artist’s movement of encircling

The assembly of all the works an artist has made in his life is a representation of what he did not want to present. This is a mystical understanding of art and language, for which artworks, as precise language devices, are surrounding what it cannot be said. If he has been thorough with his task the works have been placed accurately, the limits well outlined, and the absence has become distinct. Among the many names of the Unnameable “nothingness” seems to be another good one to refer temporarily to that core.


What is nobler in the mind?

The debate between the committed artist, taking positions for social and political problems, and the artists who care more about the meaning of art, and therefore the meaning of life and death, is carried on lower levels of intensity than that of Hamlet within himself: what is nobler in the mind? To endure or to act? And still further: to die?
Ideally the artist should be open to all these possibilities, but the political militancy is exclusive. It needs certainties that one cannot afford when trying to understand what is essentially nobler.

Decision, production

One is only deciding when the decision leads towards one’s own destruction. The rest of the options are not such, but default settings. There are few decisions taken by several persons, because only in very particular occasions a group can decide jointly for paths that lead to their own destruction, as a group or as individuals. As soon as something is spoken is already somehow reasonable and bound to production, and its limits and intentions appear clearly marked. Why anybody might be interested in deciding, and so deciding his own destruction, is something that may be argued, but the discussion is most likely to say something about the nature of art.

Save the world

It is only natural that those who are truly committed to act right, to make good in the world, finish into a situation in which they believe there is no ethical reason to act in one way or another. For ethical positions are like scientific hypothesis: the validity of the right ones cannot be proved, but one can refute the false. In his pursuit, the ethical person debunks relentlessly all those right attitudes he is confronted to. People less identified with the ethical task are eventually contented with one set of rules they have found in the way they have not the energy, the talent or the carefulness to question enough. To believe that there is no reason to act in one way or another doesn’t lead to a reckless behaviour, because the impulse of being good is always the underlying theme. This seems to be the case of Wittgenstein, one may think after reading his Lecture on Ethics and some episodes of his life.

Work of art, commitment, Adorno.

In Commitment Adorno says that Sartre is in agreement with Kant when he says that “the work of art does not have an end”. The reason for that is that it is an end.
For me the work of art is a leftover. Adorno betrays the gracious elitism of which he is normally accused of when he attributes value to the work of art (instead to the art experience).

Towards micronisation

The use of the word “enemy” is dangerous, because immediately puts one into supporting binary oppositions in which some people are good and some people are bad. But if “enemy” is, as well, referred to the forces inside that push oneself into certain opposite direction to those one thinks should go, if the opposition is just of directions, then the word becomes open enough as to conjure this danger.