TALKININKAI / CONTRIBUTORS
|1ST RESPOND TO CLASS|
|Written by Redas Diržys|
First I want to admit your sharp rhetoric towards an indeed reactionary structure as Kettles Yard and their ideological operators and also the conclusion that modernism influenced such regimes as Nazis, Bolsheviks and Fascists. But the whole treatment of specific problematic I find out somehow confusing and even erroneous.
First – about the terms: 4th dimensionality as an idea arouse from the non Euclidean mathematical investigations of 19th century starting from Rieman, Lobachevsky onwards. First it was developed in the pure mathematical way and obtained the formula of n+1 dimensionality what means nothing else but the way how much coordinates one needs to describe the dot in a space. So far I thoroughly went through your treatise “The End of the Age of Divinity” and I’m aware of your investigations in multidimensionality as the multilayered approach through the senses using dimensions of sight, sound, thought, touch and taste – I would treat it as total (or at least multidimensional) approach rather.
What is I found contradictory in the whole text is that there were exactly futurists to start that a multidimensional approach (instead of the specialized one) towards reality and what was very new…and that influenced many progressive movements upcoming – letterists and situationists among them as well. Also the idea of not separating the human activity into pure cultural or political was very essential to futurists as well as the implementation of Sorel’s syndicalism. The epithet “fascist” given to Boccioni is not a correct one – officially fascist party in Italy was established few years after his death…
But let’s come back to the 4th dimension. Another very dissonant element in the text is the very praise of Marcel Duchamp. Actually the artist was all his life total adherent of that very sophisticated theory. Starting with association with Paris cubists and mathematical ideas of solving the dilemma of 4th dimention, then slightly moving towards the emphasizing of intuition (particularly associated with the chess) and ending on glorifying of eroticism and sexuality what find its incarnation in his Large Glass also followed by descriptions “The Green Box”. Besides innovational approach towards the retinal image Duchamp’s “atchievements” leaded to even less dimensional thinking – conceptualism…. But it could be taken as good attempt to shock bourgeoisie, its artistic fetishism and also to detect sexuality as a deadly gun towards “intellectualism” and elitism (de Sade it did even in a much more open way a century before). Afterwards the line was well developed by Battaille and finally exploded by Stewart Home.
Another 4-dimensionalist – Alfred Jarry (a former mathematician) developed another one version of the problem – that of the absurd and black humor what lead to surrealist experiences and also towards the postwar activities by College for Pathaphysics, Asger Jorn, Imaginist Bauhaus etc.
And finally Russian branch of the 4th dimensional thinking established by Ouspensky and influenced by Gurdijieff. That one I would like to emphasize as the promoter of multidimensional perception of the world instead of the specialized one.
The Constructivism and Suprematism are very ambivalent artistic movements so far they splitt into contradictional followers: purist idealists who directly leaded towards totalitarian ideals (Bauhaus divergence into Le Corbusier’s, Speer’s, Soviet’s or corporate adept Mies van der Rohe constructions) on one hand and revolutionary constructivists of Vhutemas who rejected the elitist approach towards promotion of their own ego and worked collectively in a proletarian way, but unfortunately disbanded and repressed by Stalinists.
To come back to the roots of fascism I would like to draw on Jorn’s ideas of classification of European thinking. Fascism as he pointed out is the Roman way of thinking and the concept of union (fascio means a bundle). The theory Jorn developed in various his texts and particularly in “Mind and Sense” of 1964 ( http://www.infopool.org.uk/6403.html ). So that is always apparent in mostly of European collective formations (artists are not exceptions – letterists and situationists, but especially French faction has much about that). That could be an answer why so quickly proletarian units diverging into a fascist. But there is very important factor, that instead of thinking about the organization of masses we should proceed on mass organization and the art as specialized (or even worse – fetishised) element there has nothing to do – we should plenty switch on organized creativity forms in all it’s multidimensionality and simply to say – totality. From that prospective there is no difference what kind of combination of artifacts they are presenting in their kettles yards…we should boycott them in any way they do. And it is very important to use the weapons they are scared most of all – Nazi and fascists work well for it – it’s a real psychic warfare.
Let’s plug their capitalist canalizations what art intends to be and they will drown in their own shit!