Op 7 februari 2011 vond er in de DeFKa Campis weer een Slow Art Talk plaats, de derde. Dit keer met docent kunsttheorie Margo Slomp, over engagement en autonomie, met als leidraad een artikel van Paul Chan: ‘What art is and where it belongs’ (E-flux journal #10, November 2009 ). Er waren zo’n twintig mensen aanwezig, waaronder een groot aantal studenten van het FMI.
Een korte impressie door Gert Wijlage:
About autonomy and engagement, about art that can be at best engaged when thoroughly embedded in its own discipline. Or, how you may develop a vision about autonomy and engagement by employing expertly your skills. While at the extreme end of the conversation you can only act as ‘engaged’ because of you knowing and using your art, your craft, your professional, inventive, talents. Such could be considered as a valid practice in the visual arts and architecture.
So, am I as a painter, who is involved in an old and slow medium, partly autonomous and partly engaged in a cultural clash?
Well, let’s see. Because of this intertwining and interdepency of autonomy and engagement, there is this question of being an artist and at the same time being a socio-political person, even if I do not care about any of this theorizing sozialisation. I am a member of a cultural globalized community as soon as I show my works of art (in public). That might frighten me because there is so many art, but it may inspire me too because I can collect easily a lot of interesting information. On top of that I can make my own decisions and choose any theme I like. That’s my Freedom, that’s my Autonomy and if you call me and my autonomous attitude therefore a fine example of capatalistic engaged production, have it your way!
But keep considering the fact that terms like ‘autonomy’ and ‘truth’ are always relative, relating to contextual circumstances, based on agreement between people rather than correspondence to a fundamental reality. Needless to say we need these terms to create, or to affirm as Badiou might say, a sensibel discourse. In order to come close to or keep to a critical distance all those idealististic, realististic or utopian thoughts.
Yes, yes, there is a turn to dematerialize art in reaction to the mechanisms of the artmarket. But there is also a turn to dive into Matter, into a retro-fordistic workers mentality.
Yes, we need your artcritic friends and philosopher lovers; but why don’t you explain yourself to the audience?
Yes, you may have to choose beween more or less ‘engagement’, because of people ask you about that explicitly. The fact that you operate within a society ‘in this world’, doesn’t tell me anything about the themes you concentrate on. Are you maybe trying to find other ways to spit your anger, your globalized criticism? Outside your profession?
Yes, we can deconstruct this dialectic to a selfcentered relationship. Now what? Does that look an independent rhizome to you? No, I see Paul Chan nowhere.