Remont Gallery, Warszawa, March 1977
THE CONSEQUENCES OF ART AS CONTEXTUAL ART
"ART AS CONTEXTUAL ART functions in the sphere of meanings which the civilization uses in its contact with reality"; it means it creates a set of notions and values as a certain ideology on the basis of which the society constructs its reality.
With the assumption of RATIONALITY there exist the logic of those notions because they include such expressions as: I acknowledge, I believe, I reject, I admit, their accordance is described by epistemic logic but not formal one as is usually used by science.
Ideological set of notions and values functions because of its effectiveness in relation to the basic practice. It satisfies the interests of a definite group, social class. Because of the existence of contradictory interests there results an ideological contradiction.
Artist's activity thus has social character.
Claiming the side of "pretended" reality which retains deactualized meaning and value in the interest of a group - it consolidates the set norms and notions which validates them.
Claiming the side of reality whose genuineness is confirmed by social practice it constructs a set of values appropriate to it.
From the assumption of a contextual character of art there result the statements:
(a) about the ANTI-INDIYIDUALISM OF ART - Art exists in the context of reality creating it and being created by it. Art cannot be "made up" as an object of disinterested observation, as a sphere of isolated artistic operations.
(b) about the HISTORICISM OF ART - eternal, unchangeable laws of art do not exist.
ARTIST AS AN CONTEXTUAL ARTIST in his artistic practice holds an active attitude in relation to a set of convictions represented by actual art, regarding the functions evaluating norms which culture creates through art; redesignes them in accordance with reality as the guiding values in constructing reality.
Does not describe the structure of reality but co-constructs it directly - thus being different in his activity from the activity of a scientist.
Does not create notions of reality for its further usage, but creates them realizing them - thus being different from a philosopher.
Does not propagate ready notions given to him; he co-creates them himself - thus being different from a propagandist.
ART AS CONTEXTUAL ART FOR AN ARTIST AS CONTEXTUAL ARTIST is of instrumental character. He uses occasionalistic morphology, redesignes the instrument used by him in relation to the effectiveness regarding the assumed aim. Art as an instrument cannot be the aim for itself.
Means rejection of the absolutism of art as well as the relativism. An artist being entangled in art as one of the elements of its context cannot ascertain objectively different points of view. Objectivity would demand coming out of the structure of which one is a parameter.
Means also the rejection of subjectivism because subjectivism means the rejection of relations created by the activity of the context.
Means accepting a thesis about the intersubjectivity of artistic activity because of the genesis (being conditioned by the existing system of notions) and the communicative result demanded.
Means using the expressions with assertion because an not only ascertains and relates truths but convinces as well.
4/3/1977 Jan Świdziński