ICRA review Giacomo & Bernd

A review of Giacomo Porfiri and Bernd Brincken about the International Club of Responsible Artists in Moscow on April 2, 2013

- Meeting in Berlin on April 25 -

Bernd:
Can you describe what my presentation was about?
Giacomo: I really appreciate from your examples, I remember particulary the project of building missiles [as a wooden sculpture during the 'Mars rocks' project 2004] in Berlin. You said, ok, we want to participate in the contest [the real Mars expedition], but then the big budget was not there, so ok let's do it together.
So what you mean with responsibily is probably collaboration. This aspect came out in many of your works, so there the project is important. You are not very emotional in art work, so you create a group, make some event, then you come out with an output, and a protocol like here. But the collaborative aspect was the most important, also your Libya project, in order to deliver the medicine to the people, we have to get the papers, organize etc.

So its all about to make a kind of impossible project, as if to proove that with a right collaboration a man can still do that. I think for you it's not important to bring a wooden missile of mars up or the medicine to Libya, but to work with a group of different talents to try to arrive to explain a phenomenon, or possible consideration.
Basically, only with the confrontation we can arrive to a truth, whatever at the end it means, with Pussy Riot or whatever. If we don't have the possibilities, we have to imagine, it's very philosophical.
To have a confrontation at every level helps you arrive at a level of truth. Otherwise we will not arrive at another step, we can not understand where there are holes in our theory for example.

I am sure that groups help you in this process. If you are alone you can get stuck. Sometimes also the group can get stuck, turn to the opposite of collaboration, a network, a lobby, so it leads to a closure of reality. At this moment you may go back to your individual position and open it up. So collaboration means not to work with people who have the same Point-of-view but also with people from another position, this means confrontation. That should be very christian or orthodox way of thinking, but they don't do it.

If you are an artist, you are putting a lot of meaning in a small object, like a sculpture, like the things we discuss, to which group you belong, against what you are fighting for etc.
We are obliged to speak about those topics in art. Otherwise we are stopping making sense, stopping making good art. Responsible art is not to make good art, or put morale things inside your art piece, but not to cut yourself out from any kind of position, consideration, confrontation. Give your point of view and listen to all other points of view, you dont have to have a predefined position. If you do it, you may become boring.
Like Duchamp, imagine to put a toilet upside down and call it art, it was a way to fight, very political, exactly what an artist should do, not to see the things in one way. To be open to every solution, every possible way of thinking. Not be scared and so on.

Bernd:
How do you consider the dramaturgic aspect of my presentation?

Giacomo: About the dramaturgic process, I like the part where you are showing examples, then it became more clear to me what you mean, instead of talking about it.
But it was maybe too long, maybe not easy to follow for the audience?
About the length, I dont care, as long as someone has something to say, he should do it.

Basically, I am superhappy that I was in Moscow, I am super respectful of Petrs position, and yours.
What I ask is what is this Club of Responsible Artists? Maybe we are not committed enough to found this club, and if we really need it. It could be an open platform where everyone is invited, and nobody should be allowed to leave the discussion without explaining. The next event will be in a Bania, sauna, a russian friend said it is the only place where there is real democracy.


Giacomo: What was your perception of my presentation?

Bernd: You made a multimedia presentation, quite dense, and abviously a piece of art in its own, not meant to be fully explained, or conceptually defined. I understood your message that you and the group you represent - alterazione video - are taking the position of irresponsible artists, as a first answer to the idea of a 'Club of responsible artists'.
But it was a kind of responding very well, at the same time. Just presenting a gesture of wildness, not to be predictable, and also not ordered. Then again the Zombie videoclip was technically and aestethically very refined.
So it could be perceived as a message: The responsibility of an artist is to touch the emotions of the audience, using his tools well, make his point clear emotionally.

Then we saw the picture presentation of abandoned buildings, which set a clear counterpoint to the wildness of the zombie clip. The political context may not have become clear to everyone, but aesthetically it worked very well together to illustrate the idea of confrontation.

How about the dramaturgic aspect?
My impression was that you see your presentation like a film, with a dense and defined timing, like you would cut a film, not just showing the material you took but desinging and editing a piece out of it.

Bernd: During your presentation I had the idea that there is a responsibility of an artist to entertain his audience?
Giacomo: Yes, for sure.

Looking back, I am a bit sad that out of this conference we did not get any connections. The mistake was to organize this in a space like a museum where you can not stay in touch with people.

Bernd: But it was a public place.
We should find places for dialog, like a bar, not a conference.

For a conference it is expected that only defined positions come together, this is not the case here.
Yes, one should invite people who have nothing to do with art.

Can we say something about the attitude, or consciousness of the audience. The kind of audience we expected?
Generic, not homogenious, some artists, younger and older, some people who may be interested in other kind of art.

Irina [organizer and moderator, of NCCA] was probably the smartest of the audience, she was maybe confused too, because we did not arrive at a point like in a normal conference, it was a bit schizophrenic in the end. We are not completely similar, we were not appearing coordinated, but it is a positive aspect.

What was Irinas achievement at this moment?
Giacomo: She explained the differences as a part of art, and asked to go on working. She compared the projects presented, and the performance of Anna, so we are speaking about a huge territory, we can not close it into a position. Maybe it was the aim to explore where the borders of art practice can go - and that this is the responsibility of an artists.
So I thought: Oh fine, she explained why I am here. There was an aspect of failure, but she explained why we had not failed.


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