Agnieszka Kulazińska, It is a fact that recycling of ideas is inevitable
The recycling of ideas is inevitable. It is a fact especially essential nowadays. However, the process was not the core of “The Dump-recycling of thoughts”. The project aimed to interrogate the features of contemporary artist rather than only to stimulate the recycling process. Question: what does it mean to be artist nowadays, is it more about being a producer of adequate forms or a creator of ideas was the goal of the project. The artists invited to take part in it were asked to find inspirations in a blog, not to follow prescriptions given there. The blog was only point of departure for their works.
To answer Olga Miłogradzka`s objections, (https://thedumprecyclingmysli.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/olga-milogrodzka-the-recycling-of-ideas-is-inevitable-anyway/) brief analyse of the conception behind Benayoun`s blog would be useful. The blog can be briefly described as a dump or repository of thoughts in which the artist puts into store his difficult projects, fuzzy concepts and fleeting visions, ideas which emerge every day. The Dump.net is a kind of thoughts recycling, it is not the end but the beginning of something which might be brought into existence or materialized. It evokes an interesting situation. In contemporary art it is the concept which is given most importance and on theDump.net the artist allows us to use his thoughts and gives us access to the flow of his creative imagination. Is there a need to produce new ideas if instead the existing one can be used? This question is inherent in Benayoun`s project. Thedump.net cannot be perceive only as the blog with artistic ideas but as a net-art project which can be ironically indicated to be an artist`s magnum opus. If art is assumed to be an act of communications in which artifact is an agent, Benayoun creating the blog drew a conclusion from the specific character of the Internet as a communication tool. Storing ideas in a drawer or keeping them in artist`s head is `art for art`, it obstructs the communication channels, putting them on the blog opens the possibilities for dialogue and interpretations.
Asking artists to accomplish the ideas from the blog raised different questions among them the most important one is the role of the artist. What kind of skills are essential for creating an artistic message? What has remained from the romantic conception of the artist? Has artists shifted into media celebrities, more famous than their art? Does contemporary art still required materialisation? How many works of art do we know without seeing them? That issues were the core questions of the project and the exhibition.
The invited artists were ask not to follow Benayoun`s prescriptions but his ideas were supposed to be an inspiration for them, starting point for artistic dialogue. So, asking about adequacy seems to be misunderstanding of the project idea. Anyway, how should the form be defined nowadays? Nicolas Bourriaud in the “Relational Aesthetics” notices that “the most common criticism to do with new artistic practices consists, moreover, in denying them any `formal effectiveness`, or in singling out their shortcomings in the `formal resolution`. Further, he adds standing for contemporary artists “In observing contemporary artistic practices, we ought to talk of `formation` rather than `forms`. (…) There are no forms in nature, in the wild state, as it is our gaze that creates these, by cutting them out in the depth of the visible. Forms are developed, one from another. What was yesterday regarded as formless or `informal` is no longer these things today. When the aesthetic discussion evolves, the status of form evolves along with it, and through it.” XX century art retired from creating objects to more open forms – gatherings, dialogues that results from dynamic relations between an artist and viewers or an artist and external world. Works presented during “The Dump-recycling of thoughts” analysed from this angle reveal their meanings as the relation was their starting point – firstly relation between idea in a form of concept and an idea in a form of an artifact, secondly relation between two different artists.
Dave Ball`s video did not interrogate the creation process but created an image of an individual alienated in an urban environment. His work proves that despite of using similar forms artists can analyse different issues. It remains case of works by Zbigniew Sejwa „Screenphotography” and Ivo Nikić “Desktops” which had almost the same visual form. Both artists used image of desktops. Analysing them question who was first stopped to be essential. Both artists used desktops drawing conclusions from the conception that desktops described the computer owners. Nikić printed the image of desktops on canvas, mounted them on stretcher bars and presented together with comments of the users (desktop owners). Sejwa`s project headed for more sociological investigation, the artist asked people to send him `print screen` of their desktops and presented them as the photographs. Nikić `s installation was about painting and the notion of `the expression of the creator`. Sejwa`s “Screenphotography” raised questions of the nature of the medium in the time of its democratising creating the sociological image of society at the same time.
Vesna Bukovec`s work was based on the www.pledgebank.com, which was described as “a site to help people get things done, especially things that require several people. We think that the world needs such a service: lots of good things don’t happen because there aren’t enough organized people to do them.” Each of the website users is allowed to leave a pledge together with a kind of bet: I will do it but only if some people will do the same. Benayoun`s post evoked a lack of belief in `hactivism`. Bukovec in contrary found the place in the Internet which helps people to make the world better. Can we call such an interpretation the inadequate form? Or shall we call it just the interpretation? The viewers have right to interpret. According to Umberto Eco`s theory “Nothing cheers up an author more than discovering the way of interpretation of his text offered by readers which the author has not even imagine” The successful pledges were show in the form of simple drawings – hand made and then scanned, enlarged and printed out as posters.
Post „Bibliography generator” mirrored a fact from Benayoun` biography, writing a PhD work. Metka Zupanič converted it to the fact connected with her life and a question that each young artists have to face with: how to shape an artistic carrier. Benayoun asked how to order the density of PhD bibliography, Zupanič how to find oneself in the tangle of galleries. Both of the artist gave adequate answers: former a computer programme, latter a labyrinth that helps to find the right way through contemporary art market.
Łukasza Ogórek`s installation revealing the nature of communication process seems to be an import ant comment to Olga Miłogrodzka`s review, the message creator and the receiver will communicate only if they mean well, have friendly attitude toward each other and make an effort to complete the communication act.