Where We Are All Going in the Same Direction
Text in the upcoming publication 3DIS/LOCATIONs, edited by DARE-DARE artist-run centre. The text examines current trends in cultural policy, their effects on the spectacularization of art, and its alignment with utilitarian intentions. From the moment it is fetishized, art must contribute to the common interest – that most consensual and essentially economic goal.
To be launched September 12, 2015.
So we have: a cultural plan that promotes the idea that all actors within society should mobilize for the common good (the economic good); a Quartier des spectacles that expects to thrive on representations of such a society; and a network of cultural policies that are identical rather than complementary. What we are witnessing is the rise of cultural fascism within the arts community. All of us, artists and non-artists alike, are being called upon to stage an act and pretend to a harmonious and perfectly ordered social life, mirrored through large-scale events with as much show as possible.
I use the term fascism loosely in a sense far removed from that usually ascribed to historically recognized totalitarian regimes. The term is to be understood as designating a set of processes capable of harnessing individual desires toward a single political purpose (Felix Guattari). As nation-states are losing their footing within the context of a global economy, this fascism is no longer attributable to an exacerbated sense of belonging based on identity, but rather on economics. All of us, including artists, are being called upon to contribute to economic activity. Those who refuse to do so are deemed useless, antisocial or even terrorists. Contrary to classical fascism, however, tyranny is no longer wielded by a single person. Instead we exalt diversity and equalization—not equality. And as though inspired by a Procrustean ideal, things that don’t fit in because they are too big or too small are either hacked down or inflated to the right size. This type of diversity is never confrontational or political.
Translated from French by Nils Lövgren.