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Editorial

Umělec 2008/1

01.01.2008

Ivan Mečl | editorial | en cs de es

We work like old people, yet we behave like children more than ever before. We surround ourselves with mobile miracles, and therefore we have no idea what we are dealing with. We try to live in safety, and yet we do not know what it means to be safe. Many of us have lost time, but acquired “things.” We love “things” and their names sound nice to us. We love them, but they do not love us. We are impressed by their being charged, and unhappy by their loss. We are unhappy and with no time to spare from unrequited love, and always on the move.
So let’s forget about culture. We don’t know what it means. The word culture is at the end of its meaning-making history, because it has become a crutch for all that is frivolous. Why have a ministry for some abstract culture, we have beer culture, table culture, legal culture, legislative
culture, and all kinds of mold and yogurt cultures too. Culture without qualification is fraud.
Art is trying to become science. It deals with philosophy, sociology and psychology, and desires to be a pedagogical resource too. It wants to be political, yet maintain the charisma of the underground (that is, by being non-political). It wants to be a commodity. It makes fun of pop culture, a society that desires property, and it exhorts humility while at the same time consuming high-profile grants and taking over entire exhibit halls for its presentation. Contemporary art wants to be everything but still remain unique. Because art itself has little meaning—there is too much of it.
Contemporary artists are like Switzerland. They are like a country that wishes to remain neutral in the game, while siding with the winning team no matter who that is. Artists need not know a lot, yet they wish to comment on all contemporary phenomena. There is no area where contemporary artists do not stick their noses, but should they act in error, they simply claim artistic immunity. The only concept they are afraid of is art that wishes to fulfill and not make mistakes. A thought process without tangible results might as well be called laziness. Today, laziness is unforgivable. Activeness is the universal solution for contemporary society; it does not pay to stay in one place. True passivity requires courage.
A living man speaks. A clever man writes. A dead man is silent; a dead, lazy man.
Giving up the term culture offers hope of finding meaning.





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