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Manifeste 14 ist eine zunächst lose Ansammlung von Manifesten der Künstler Jos Diegel, Tarik Goetzke, Norman Hildebrandt, Gian Spina und Jonas Englert zur Relevanz von Kunst. Im nächsten Schritt soll eine Symbiose entstehen, die die Rechtfertigung beziehungsweise Infragestellung der Existenzberechtigung von Kunst zum Inhalt hat. Die Manifeste materialisieren sich in Text, bewegtem Bild und Ton.

Die Probleme, die die eine Generation erregen, erlöschen für die folgende Generation nicht, weil sie gelöst wären, sondern weil die allgemeine Gleichgültigkeit von ihnen absieht.

Cesare Pavese (1908-1950)

Manifeste 14 wurde von Jonas Englert initiiert.

manifeste 2014

The Return of The Poet

Gian Spina

For a considerable amount of time, studies have been carried out about the interpretation of works of art and how such activity functions in our daily lives. And since the beginning of such studies no precise answer has been given to the following questions:
What is art?
What is its influence in our lives?

The idea of this text is to discuss why we have not been able to answer such questions and have still managed to construct a coherent and precise institutionalized art world. Starting from a linguistic approach, words used as the material for describing such a world are far from being a practical material for such an epic task: connotative/denotative – abstractive/concrete concepts have been raised, re-raised and apparently (thanks to a generalized and stable pragmatism) erased for the moment. In a way, the suspension of such questions leads to domination by the “pragmatism/institutionalization” of subjectivity, something that had its strong beginnings during the XVII century with the creation of art schools that would later provide the “rules of the game.” Since we no longer question the phenomena of understanding, we learn very quickly how to live with the incomprehensible and take it for granted as a general modus operandis. In the contemporary art world, a “space” that has always been where radicalism is created, has become a boring, tensionless (in a pejorative way) environment, with nice galleries packed with rich young artists: a completely efficient, self-sufficient market of subjectivity. That market subsequently gave us some quite interesting schizophrenic methods for creating a great artist. Today we are able to trace the development of the life of a young artist with considerable precision and to follow the rise of radically in the art world.
A complete, well-constructed set of events that would legitimize a “new artist,” usually related to the amount of capital circulated by said artist, were established as rules. These devices work almost like a method, or manuals, that once followed, would give rise to great works of art.
This is a good point to talk about one of the core issues: the separation of poiesis—poetry—art, three things that in the past were just one and that ended up being separated through misinterpretation. Poiesis is understood as “bringing into being” 1 a phenomena which is not yet accomplished because it is still becoming, moving and unfinished. This “being” which is not objectifiable, carries within itself an ontological question and open-endedness; that is, an ending which lies within the spectator and which, for obvious reasons, cannot be defined and therefore cannot be capitalized. On the other hand, art has become an objectified happening with real numbers, techniques and legitimizing methods, and schools that would teach those methods, which have been created and spread around the globe.

Poetry has become marginalized, worthless. If poetry has a dollar value, it must be officially “bad poetry,” which means that a rich poet should not exist or if he does, he is often considered to be a “traitor.” Art today defines beauty: a pragmatic subjective beauty that one can put a price on, capitalizable poetry, this institutionalized symbolic capital through which savoir-faire becomes devoir-faire and wherein a good artist is only recognized as such once he is approved by the market and moves around the globe with lots of 0?s in his/her suitcase (in a way, the complete opposite of a poet). It is precisely through this process of selection that art loses its art-of-doing. It has lost its tension and has become just another job, just another speculative situation… just another sure investment.

The following is a more interesting approach: poetry as a way of behaving towards the creative process; poiesis as a configuration of praxis/theoretical thinking; and art as the unifying name of this juxtaposition of concepts/ideas and languages. (Marcel Broodthaers is an example from the 60's of how someone can use this situation to his advantage: A poet that became a rich artist, changing method and behavior according to the dictates of the art world). What is needed is not so much comprehension as the making of art, the search for the ineffable: radicalism. Radicalism as something apart from identity, and poetry is a way of acting within all of this: not a method but rather a flexible modus operandis, a way of doing which should not have anything to do with “must-do” (devoir-faire). The return to a “poetic method,” to a poet who produces work with the sole purpose of arousing beauty and transcendence in others. Poetry as a political act where one's surroundings are transformed through confrontation with beauty. A series of “aphasic moments” in which comprehension is transcended and the frontier between recognition and non-comprehension disappears. This is a less pragmatic approach to work, which avoids ideas such as “must” or phrases like “that works.” The return to such approaches towards the oeuvre would bring back a genuine understanding of an artist's intentions, and an appreciation of pieces that would stand on their own, transcending comprehension such as any human being does. A more honest approach towards production is once more necessary: an approach where the market would not pervert the work with its shining 0's and the artist would once again be called poet.

1 Giorgio Agamben – The Man Without Content was originally published in Italian in 1994 under the title L'uomo senza contenuto © 1994 by Quodlibet for the Italian edition.


Manifeste 14


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erstellt am 09.3.2014
aktualisiert am 08.5.2014

der autor
Gian Spina

Gian Spina

Gian Spina was born in São Paulo (Brazil) and lived, studied and worked besides others in San Diego (USA), Vancouver (Canada), Bordeaux (France), Berlin and Frankfurt (Germany). His work and research are an interdisciplinary combination of different artistic languages and theory with the aim of creating a poetic-existence. In 2002 he studied photography at the Senac Institut in São Paulo, afterwards film from 2003 to 2005 at the Vancouver Film School with Prof. Roy Hunter, from 2005 to 2006 filmtheory with Prof. Carlos Augusto Calil at the University of São Paulo and from 2007 to 2008 architecture at the Escola da Cidade. In 2010 he moved to Germany, where he studied with Prof. Sigfried Zielinski in the Vilem Flusser Archive at the Berlin University of the Arts and with Prof. Ulrike Gabriel and Prof. Juliane Rebentisch at the Academy of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main (Germany), where he received a scholarship from the Rotary-Club Offenbach am Main in 2011. Nowadays he is finishing his master in art while studying philosophy of language with Prof. Fabien Vallos at the École des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux.

Exhibitions (Selection): 2013: “Lux Ferre” (performance/video) Cine-lage Curator: Andre Parente, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; “Untitled (Reiteration of Erfahrraum 1)” (Installation) Cristal Palace – Place du Parlament, Bordeaux, France; 2012: “Untitled (Reiteration of Erfahrraum 1)” (Installation) Cristal Palace – Place du Parlament, Bordeaux, France; “Fragments of Helena”, EMAF, Osnabrück, Germany; “The third space” Cortex Gallery, Bordeaux, France.