Monday, 1 November 2010

Thoughts from Antonin Artaud 1

I am sick of this mediocrity, this half hearted fumbling, this flirting with scandal all dressed up in decadence.
This dilly dallying, a ballet, dancing.
This is not seizing art, creating art.
They are holding art in white kid gloves, tickling it with cotton wool. We must mould it with our workman’s hands – it is ours to mould.
Why should we quietly disrupt others? We must split things apart, tear it asunder in order to recreate – render this bourgeois dancing obsolete.

Here, on this bus, imitating the cries of the public’s babies, we feel naughty.

An hour later I woke to find them whispering inks across paper, cooing as one colour mixes with another, dropping wax in to water and looking, starry eyed, at what came out.

I am not one for this art therapy.

I am not one for seeing magic in imitating the play of children.

The play of children is magical – but we are not children.

This, here in the living room, is our club. Here is where us few elite sit and create and discuss, casting arbitrary values and assumptions on works and ideas. We assume we know and that others don’t. This is our clique.

The clique is void. Null.

As a clique we cannot change a thing, we cannot render any alteration to any genuine bourgeoisie – like this, we can only perpetuate it. We must grasp art with both hands and fly it like the flags of the revolution.

If one only speaks of war, no war will ever come. If one merely plans for change, then no change shall ever come to effect. If we sit and quietly deride others, then art is as strong as a foam sword in the middle of a gun fight.

Art is live, it can only be realised in the visceral reaction through the eyes of the viewer. We can only measure the meaning of our art through the change in heartbeats, the rush of blood, the dilation of pupils or the pricking of tears. We can only work towards an end product. Sitting quietly in our armchairs and thinking, alone in our basements making – this is not art. The art exists with the viewer, not the maker.

We must make and we must show and it must be bold and real. What we make and show to people, this is our revolution. Our art must be the flags, the guns, the terrifying reality of change. We must pick up pace and gain a momentum.

There is no momentum in sitting cooing at hardening wax or whispering at inks dry.

This is only how we wait for the death of our fallow ideas.

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