APOCALYPSE OF ART / 2011-2013

APOCALYPSE OF ART / 2011-2013

© Vitaliy & Elena Vasilieva

APOCALYPSE OF ART / 2011-2013



It is hard to escape the feeling that the "Apocalypse in Art" really shows the world teetered on the brink of death; barren, dilapidated, like a story of the picture splitting into incoherent fragments. People can not delay the collapse, because they are able, at best, to find and fixate - but not to create.
We are trying to find shelter from the impending chaos, hiding behind the rules of etiquette, explaining how to behave at funeral ceremonies, only emphasizing the feeling of fatality - like art, feelings degenerate into meaningless imitation.
In fact, today we are witnessing the disintegration of basic cultural patterns and mechanisms that determine a spiritual and material civilization appearance over the last century. Perhaps, despair and pessimism, covering many of our contemporaries.
Of course, I had many occasions to question - don't I give in pseudo-intellectual apocalypse hysteria by myself and isn't my skepticism about the future of contemporary art related to the transformation of art systems in which many people can not find their place.
And remaining an artist, even in those years when I almost gave up the production of art objects and gestures, I could not and can not stop thinking about the fate of art as an integral part of own destiny.
So how and in what form will be possible the existence of art in the coming era? After all objectivity requires to recognize that the decomposition of the old institutions and cultural patterns occurs against the background of strong growth of new, still not fully understood, but obviously other worlds.


The dynamics of the centrifugal movement in the public space clearly indicates the rapid disintegration of society, atomization of its members and the marginalization of social institutions. If this public crisis is projected on the sphere of culture we will see the same processes only with an even greater convexity. Turning to the periods of intermittent rises in the history of modern art, it is easy to discover that they were characterized by the energetic blurring of the boundaries between different cultural forms.
This happened in the 20s in Russia and Germany, in the 60s - in America and France, in the late '80s - in the Soviet empire, flying into the abyss. And on the contrary, the crisis of ideology of contemporary art, perhaps, doesn’t manifest itself so clearly in anything but a voluntary self-isolation of artists that have made quite pathetic attempts to delineate the boundaries of at least their own language. But here today, they are powerless. We have no right to talk about a homogeneous field of art, and only the art system itself continues to hardly keep the contemporary art from the final collapse into many small sects and "sections".


How possible is understanding, identifying the point in this great art-supermarket called the Museum of Modern Art? How to go beyond the field of total consumption, if the contemporary art itself has almost become its symbol? These questions have no answers. Or they have any?
Our epoch is paradoxical by the fact that two general versions of the future - a progressive and apocalyptic - suddenly merged and begin to duplicate each other: the supporters of the imminent doomsday do not deny the unprecedented technological progress, but it is there they see the cause of the coming Armageddon. Electronic documents, global "chipization" of the population, children-robots, electronic women who can not only groan, but to say phrases like "dear, have you already thrown the garbage?", rich with variety of gadgets - it's all part of our reality, though not defining.
Apocalyptic mood, which covered today's culture - a symptom, confirming the primary diagnosis. Here we return to the question of how it will affect the art and whether there will be any place for it. It seems that we are on the threshold of a time when the question of revision of the concept of "art" becomes relevant again. Note that, despite the fact that all the processes are extremely accelerated today, the transition from old to new cultural formation, properties and boundaries of which we are not familiar with yet, may be relatively long. This duration caused by the fact that people themselves, with a sense of catastrophe in connection with the death of many familiar cultural patterns and habitual relations, strongly inhibit the update process.
Under these conditions, art can acquire a completely new role, opposite to that which defined the art of the twentieth century and initially considered itself as the leading edge of progress, innovation, as a banner of a new era. In recent decades, art became noticeably lagging behind, but all its attempts to pretend a quasi-scientific activity inevitably ended in failure. However, the art like no other activity can serve as a progress "brake", and today it is necessary, apparently, more than ever. However, the question of the territory, where formation of such artistic practices must take place, arises. Official institutions, museums both market (galleries) and non-profit, don’t suite well for this purpose, as they are closely related to the dominant system, depend on it, and therefore must endlessly reproduce the myth of the unity of art and progress.
Every time a new social image implies new products, specialty stores, appropriate commercial centers, "free" radio stations, advertising networks ... "Thus, we can hardly claim that the emergence of new areas of creative life, regardless of whether they will be able to position themselves as a fact of an artistic reality or not, can radically affect the existing situation. As 2012 years ago,we are going to have to study a new universalism that can take us both beyond the personal little world and beyond capitalist totality.
And for that we ourselves need to become art, or better said - to turn into art our own existence.

 


 

 


 

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