A CALL TO DISCUSS THE PROBLEM OF THE HEGEMONIC AND PRIVATIZED CULTURE MACHINE OF THIS COUNTRY AND OF THE WORLD
When a society is conditioned by inferiority, political action is both, an intellectual attitude and a way of overcoming inferiority.
Before a situation in which aesthetic quality is measured up by the amount of free trips that a cultural agent is offered per year; when cultural agents are given canonical status if they manage to strike deals with highly regarded institutions abroad like galleries, museums, stockbrokers, real estate agents or universities.
When the political task is reduced to parading artistic impunity and to displaying the vulgarity and decadence of the collectors-oligarchs who are willing to cultivate themselves fantasizing a dandyish lifestyle; who have also taken up the mission to sell national culture in sync with global cultural tendencies, as just another merchandise to export.
When the overwhelming surplus of courses, symposia, and degrees seeking to train practitioners of culture acquire the preventive function of asphyxiating aesthetico-political disquiet and of alienating independent young people’s initiatives. When the “sacred cows” do not cease to extract surplus value from their status as “sacred cows,” proselytizing by subtly recruiting young minds in order to put them at the service of their own egos. When the bureaucrats of the culture industry pass for experts and when experts become bureaucrats of the culture industry.
When creativity is understood as a matter of redistribution without framing it within the actual practice of access capitalism, which derives surplus value from the inclusion of some and the exclusion of many. When a discussion about redistribution as creation fails to address the violent and unstoppable privatization of the commons.
When urban intervention is taught as a vanguard aesthetic practice, sidestepping the fact that it has become a biopolitical instrument for gentrification, social cleansing and securitization. Urban intervention serves also the purpose of capturing processes, habits and forms of life in order to transform them into sources of value as subjects of “betterment” and “development.” Examples are: the transformation of downtown Mexico City into a “historic Center,” and the violent ongoing expropriations in Jerusalem and the West Bank, La Parota, Santa Úrsula, Chalacatepec, Comalcalco…
When fragmentation and recomposition are considered to be the only possible techniques of aesthetic expression; confusing matrix and Event, these techniques are perfectly in sync with the post-fordist logic of post-production (flexibility, fragmentation, outsourcing, precarity).
At a time in which the Artworld and academia tend to abate sensibilities, intensities and ideas as they capture them in a narcissistic bubble that is invulnerable and insensible to the exercises of sovereignty by the militarized State. Complicit with the privatization of the common
s, cultural producers exercise their right of freedom of speech as they are fed brioche by the State and by private patrons.
In protest against the uninterrupted succession of expensive, demagogue and superficial publications, exhibitions and art events that are aesthetically reactionary (as they are formulaic), unable to find frames or maps to address urgent geopolitical matters and celebrating our Buñuelesque nationalism.
We are not addressing young people interested in the arts who are well connected, well dressed, well educated and groomed. We are not speaking to those who will blindly serve as extras in yet another dreary mise en scène of contemporary art practice. We are addressing those who like us, seek to face, decipher and denounce the privatized hegemony of the culture-production machinery in Mexico, heir of the stratified power structures of public cultural institutions, with their subtle repression, devious censorship techniques and their blatant corruption.
The culture-production machinery is currently in the hands of corrupt, self-complacent and de-politicized artists, curators, gallerists, critics, cultural administrators and academics who work at the service of Neoliberalism, and who are devoted to the tasks of cultivating their own irrelevance and their network of transnational contacts.
In the face of the current liberal demagogy that celebrates “the lesser of evils” of democracy, the ubiquity of information and the promotion of the confusion between: theory and critical discourse, theory and practice, feminism and legislation, Histories of Cinema and iMovie videos. The liberal demagogy has proved to be unable to discern the difference between friends and contacts, allies or pimps and ass-lickers. And because of the distressing instrumentalization and ideological reduction of philosophy and theory in order to sustain de-politicized discourses about art:
The Jaltenco faction of the invisible committee calls FOR an urgent general assembly open to all Those concerned on February x at x:00 PM in an undetermined place*
The purpose of our assembly will be to think while in dialogue and to begin to speak from TAbula Rasa not about what is possible, but to inquire: What it is important to talk about today? What hinders us to do so these days? How do we to start to patch the abyss between aesthetics and politics? Where do we begin to articulate aesthetically and politically the current state of affairs in our Neoliberal, militarized, dispossessed, miserable and failed state, in perpetual crisis and systemically corrupt? To participate implies consensus and acceptance; we are calling for collective disorder and for individual disobedience. Passivity is the result of our bicentenary colonial castration.
Mexico City, February 4, 2010.
*For information regarding the date, time and place of the General Assembly we are accepting suggestions in this blog.