“What do you think an artist is? ..she/he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping themselves completely in their own image. Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war. Offensif and defensive against the enemy”.
- Pablo Picasso
The demand that “Auschwitz is not be repeated is the very first demand on education”, wrote Theodor Adorno in 1966 in his book 'Erziehung zur Mündigkeit’. But even after 1945, IT, the hell in which human cruelty presents itself in its undisguised form continues. The list of countries where ethnic cleansing, genocide, has taken place is long: India, Australia, Zanzibar, Nigeria, Biafra, Algeria, Argentina, Guatemala, Serbia and many others.
It seems that education cannot influence the destructive drive, because the latter is based on a delusion, a conviction that cannot be questioned, namely that the monstrous Other must be exterminated.
Here the content and the voice form a pair. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan categorises both as a partial drive, the couple of diabolical suggestion. One only has to watch Goebbels speech which he gave in 1943 in the Sportpalast in Berlin, (see Youtube). Putin's voice on the other hand, strikes not by its theatricality but its cold authority which makes the members of his own cabinet break out in a cold sweat.
How can art intervene? What can art do to absolutely and inevitably represent the thing that is blanked out in the collective conviction of madness, cannot be seen, but nevertheless works in its destructive form?
Martin Heidegger writes in his treatise on ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ : “Thus the essence of art would be this: the truth of beings setting itself to work.”. The example of van Gogh's Peasant Shoes shows what the stuff (thing) really is, the unconcealedness or disclosure of being, the Greeks call it ‘Aletheia’.
In the current exhibition entitled ‘Aufmarschiert!’, ‘En avant ...Marche !’, ‘Oopmarcheert!’, I have brought together works by two artists in which the boot, either with or without felt, appears as a leitmotif. What is illuminated here?
‘March on’; - a military order that does not tolerate any argument. The gallery shows images that could be associated with war. Here, structure and discipline are juxtaposed with chaos, aggression, violence, lies and delusion.
The sound pieces of the duo "Der Postmann und der Mann ohne Hund » are .
1. ‘Erziehung zur Mündigkeit’ ; Adorno, Theodor, Vorträge und Gespräche mit Hellmut Becker Suhrkamp, 1959 -1969
2. ‘Das Ich und das Es’, Metapsychologische Schriften, Freud, Sigmund, Fischer Verlag
3. ‘The Ego and the Id’, The ego and the id: (The standard edition of the complete psychological works Sigmund Freud)