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J(e m)’accuse - Rogelio López Cuenca

I accuse myself of knowingly being part of an ongoing dialogue with an enormous pre-existing cultural heritage; of believing that all current works of art derive from past ones and from a web consisting of these, woven together with works from the same period and also with those still to come.

 

I accuse myself of believing that the languages we inhabit, and that we are, make up a public heritage of images, words and all kinds of signs; and of believing that every “work” is the (provisional) fruit of a process that we have to recognise as collective, to the extent that it consists of readings, of different updates of a shared code.

 

I accuse myself of believing that the essence of what we call artistic creation is simply a deviation of the linguistic norm, and that everything from the oral tradition to the contamination of language with Latin or to Pound, to collage and montage, Pop Art and ready mades… parody, manipulation, quotes, recontextualisations, irony and intertexts are the tools on which that “creation” is based. And that this doesn’t only apply to the examples mentioned and to those who recognise themselves in this tradition, but to everybody, including those who defend the opposite fiction in order to preserve the status that the senate and the people (and the market!) confer on the figure of the individual genius and his work.

 

Picasso

Ciudad Picasso – Rogelio López Cuenca, 2011

 

I accuse myself of becoming indignant at propaganda campaigns that turn to the highly popular myth of the bohemian artist and his suffering as an alibi for restricting access to cultural productions at a time when technology allows them to circulate freely and be shared.

 

And I accuse myself of seeing this offensive as part of the general process of privatisations that the system of globalised capitalist exploitation demands: selling off all kinds of public assets and services, including (of course!) knowledge, reduced to merchandise, for the benefit of the owners and the middlemen, and at the expense of general impoverishment.

 

I accuse myself of believing that the big owners use kids as an alibi for maintaining their privileges; and that the great majority of artists gain no, or ridiculously little, profit from copyright and that what’s at stake here are the big profits generated by the leisure industry — commercial films and music: best sellers, hits, blockbusters… what they really refer to is the corporations’ control of the communications market. One more canvas showing the wall, the border, the fences, the barriers of laws that they put up all over the place to keep the rabble under control and separate the rich from the poor, the solvent from the undesirables, and expand the field of exclusion.

 

I accuse myself of seeing that behind the pressures exerted by intellectual property managers on public opinion and governments to strengthen their hold on culture “within today’s social and economic model”, there lies an implicit recognition of the everlasting nature of this model and order. And I also accuse myself of knowing the difference between a wi-fi network and going wireless: where others only see money-making machines, some of us see an opportunity for struggle and play, that is, for life.

 

I accuse myself of seeing the criminalisation and persecution of sharing and copies as symptoms of the fact that we are going through a period of transition from mass culture, in which it is posible to develop new forms of working with popular culture: collective, polyphonic, multifaceted, without hierarchies, reticular, ex-centric, horizontal, rhizomatic, process-based and in a constant state of re-writing, (self)questioning and transformation.

 

du_calme_1632010

Du calme – Rogelio López Cuenca, 1994

 

I admit I am interested in and in favour of the experimentation of a certain type of artistic practices that we could call communist, with apologies, or, if you prefer, communalist or communitarian, or social, or public, in the sense that they are defined by their will to, among other things, “make” society — that is, a space of discussion, of dialogue, dissent, and conflict too. Tasks that simply imply the rereading of visual and verbal quotes, taken from pre-existing texts that then go on to become part of larger narratives, that embrace them and go beyond them. And I accuse my self of seeing in this “going beyond” examples of other ways of doing, related to other ways of making polis, in the sense of developing a radical kind of democracy.

 

Finally, I accuse myself of dreaming, of imagining forms of resistance in the company of others; also of not being totally unaware of the fact that this sounds like wishful thinking, as if I were saying things that are have become worn out, repeating words soaked in the saliva of others, and of knowing that this desire is driven by desire itself, hardened by a thousand failures, disappointments, betrayals… I accuse myself of knowing that this love isn’t the first, but nevertheless and in spite of everything, loving it.

 

http://www.lopezcuenca.com

 

 

Parkour through of art today – APPROPRIATION

APPROPRIATION. Art and design, through the strategy of appropriation, extracts objects, images and texts from their cultural context and moves them to another with little modification. In this way they acquire a new meaning. Through repetition, copying or direct incorporation of an image, the author also questions the notions of originality and authenticity.

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