The Allied Straight Line
Digital Illustration print 35 x 50 cm, 2011.
It is said that when a rhinoceros heads toward a target, it proceeds in a straight line. I have for a while taken keen interest in so-called “totalitarianism of contemporary concepts” whether those are related to artistic or political practices. In both cases, contemporary concepts converge. There is something wrong with one-sided views and assumptions that exclude other possibilities, and with those who impose specific theories and codes on artistic practices. The same happens in contemporary politics, when people impose on form of political practice, which they consider as contemporary, without taking into account the “reactionary” intellectual heritage. This leads to a “collision course” in both cases, one that is born out of a tunnel vision – the more credible contemporary practice is the absurdist one, which do not follow specific codes or theories and which recognizes the fallibility of human intellectual practice and is inability to reach a pure and perfect form.
In the ninth theory of Badiou, I find myself partial to the argument that “contemporary art cannot be democratic”. In my art practices, I feel that awareness of contemporary codes and theories limits the scope of contemporary artistic product. This sometimes makes me feel that subscribing to a linear analytical course limits one to a specific point or goal. Some theoreticians may see this as the pinnacle of contemporary practice, but for the absurdists this only proves the totalitarian of contemporary thinking.
Commissioned for the book "Fifteen Ways to Leave Badiou” Curated by Bassam El baroni.