Manifesto Arte Utile 4

Year 1994
Text by Pino Poggi & Helmut Schneider

A new space for culture

We are artists. We live in a society, which exploits our peculiar talent for it’s own advantage. Society needs the artist’s dream as an antidote to the nightmares, which it creates day-to-day, and it distorts the artist’s blueprints, using them to camouflage the great enterprise of selfdestruction. The artist has to decide, whether he participates in this suicidal agenda or takes sides with those, who are determined to prevent that.

We are citizens, commited to the society in which we live. This is our political, social and cultural environment, here we act as citizens and artists, researching, describing, reflecting the network named reality, trying to find out how it works and how it gets imbalanced. That is our contribution to a closer understanding of the real world.

We are contemporaries, looking around with alert and inquiring glances. Neither starry-eyed idealists nor purveyors of global happiness, we nevertheless know that real live can be changed only, if it is interpreted as changeable. In this we behave like scientists, who themselves are also heavily indebted to the roamings of visual thinking.

We are not dreaming of Utopia, but we have the vision of a world, which still fosters future. For us culture is no front to hide the growing numbness of the public consciousness, we are not involved in the fabrication of illusions. We trust in the amalgam of reason and imagination. We refuse the heteronomy of art, the complicity in political aesthetics, we plead for the self-determination, for social aesthetics. Democracy is not a kind of government, but a social performance, in which art is embedded.

Stupidity is not only the absence of reason, but mainly the lack of imagination. This resource, deplorably in short supply, is something we have at our disposal. Let’s make use of it to create a new space for art and culture.

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