" (...) The discussion I held with the other invited curator, Javier Hontoria, and the artists mainly concerned the economic aspect of the work. Basically, we asked ourselves what a young artist primarily needs to work. I bet that is precisely the question that you [Havana Cultura] ask yourselves when conceiving a program to support the visual arts. Is it time, space, money, visibility, skills, knowledge, or contacts? I would say all of the latter without any predominance of one element. And I will add: the avoidance of conventions.
As I wrote in a text published in 2010*, the two factors that exemplify the concept of convention in analytical philosophy are language and money, two modes of arbitrary transactions that require a currency (words, money), which have no value other than its function of equivalency. Convention is always weak; it is the smallest common denominator of exchange and it is worth infinitely less than what it represents. Let us suppose that it is the same in art. What do I mean? That the danger is to make a type of art that is seemingly representative of an international artistic style just because one has the same means of production and the same kind of codified language as everywhere else. The danger is to invent some sort of “economy of the work” to address the means that one has.
That’s why in the discussion with the artists, we focused on what is not valuable and remains immaterial: energy, desire, curiosity, necessity. I often take the example of Jiri Kovanda, a Czech artist who in the end of the 1970's began to produce his own art with nothing, in the public spaces of Prague, without even the expectation of being shown. He worked with what was immediately there, and has continued to do the same until now, albeit with international recognition. He is, for me one, of the greatest artists alive, and did not change his economy of work because of new opportunities. He represents what I call the “nuclear force” of art: tiny frictions that create tremendous explosions of the senses and emotions. It is about the creation of energy out of nearly nothing whose effects are felt for a very long time. Every time I have doubt about the way to become involved in the support of young artists as a curator, a writer, and a professor, I think of him and of this sentence by Harald Szeeman on the subject of the artist Miroslav Tichy: "Intensity will always find its medium". It makes me serene and more confident."
Guillaume Désanges, October 2012.
* “Tractatus logico-artisticus”, in Before Everything (catalogue), CA2M (Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo), Madrid, 2010.
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