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▼ Report: Fascist USA & Abstraction After 9/11


If contemporary art reflected reality we would believe the last decade in the United States was a reality embedded with infinite jewels and parties all within a capitalist utopia so advanced and perfected that emotional, psychological and political ruptures have become a thing of the savage past.

Today is 09/11/10.

The event of 9/11 has become the perfect incubator of fascist tendencies, already built deep into the American psyche and now born as new oppression often exercised through either the invisible imprint of a corporate ethos or a nationalist chant.

Today, Saturday, it is impossible to do anything other than chant “Never forget” without betraying the corporate dream of America’s future: a homogenized, pro-free market, professional, “responsible” and numb future that obliterates ambiguity, poetry, radical thought and all opposed international cultures.

Today is the perfect day to reflect on the political reality now and then around the original event. Americans who hold up today as a day to remember, to mourn, are mourning the loss of our false image of safety.

There are larger catastrophes to mourn and many are direct symptoms of this construction of nationalism around the mass hallucination 9/11, our growing xenophobic fears in the U.S. often disguised as remembrance of 9/11, as well as the pointless wars in the middle east that have left an entire lake of blood are all grand existential nightmares .

The chant of 9/11 – an echo in both  society at large and as an extension within the art world –  “Never forget”,  implies the value of an American life is far higher than those slaughtered daily internationally, often by our military, our foreign policy and our secret network of intelligence agents. In the art world, abstract painting – the brother of Bank logos and hotel lobbies – is king again this year. This is fascist withdrawal. Abstraction itself is not the enemy, but its usefulness to mask reality is a warning sign.


Mourning 9/11 is a violence.

Mourning the event as if it is the only important catastrophe is a violence. People die everyday.

Your tax dollars killed thousands daily in the deserts of Iraq and you did not mourn.

To mourn 9/11 as if it is the original transgression against humanity is to believe the only reality is an American suburb and is to believe the reality of fake luxury, fake decadence, plastic wine glasses and fake genius hosted at most of New York’s contemporary art galleries and most major U.S. museums.

In New York post-minimalism is king, is the new prince crowned king, and its ascension is the thirst for an art completely devoid of human emotion; completely dedicated to self-reflexive statements on form about about form; completely and responsibly explained by a professional gallery statement. This taste for pure intelligence is a violence.

To cry for a few thousand Americans when our country slaughters hundreds daily is past absurd and is an arbitrary distinction in humanity between American and other; and their relative value; the profit difference between the value of one American or a household full of Muslim children. This taste for a pure world erased of all of our western concepts of evil is a violence. It is pre-emptive.

We created 9/11.

We created a world of hell – via economic and military oppression, which kept us “protected” from the impact of our colonial destructions. Our shock at 9/11 was our selfish desire to be protected from our colonial destructions. 9/11 happens daily in countries occupied by the Untied States but here, this single event has become the core of new American violence.

After the event, after the slow growth of nationalism and xenophobia and social complicity, our contemporary art has become complicit in it’s abstraction, complicit in its silence and complicit as a culture after adopting a corporate ethos and seeking its investment.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/12/2010 12:11 am

  2. 09/12/2010 12:44 am


  3. 09/16/2010 12:14 pm

    thanks for this apt connection. i struggle with the obsolescence of “art” and “world”, as escapism is my auto-response. viewing even a single clear strand of the macrocrosm’s knit in a tangible text is a reminder of why it’s so important to toe the line at all.

    [ The chant of 9/11 – an echo in both society at large and as an extension within the art world – ”Never forget”, implies the value of an American life is far higher than those slaughtered daily internationally, often by our military, our foreign policy and our secret network of intelligence agents. In the art world, abstract painting, post-minimalist painting – the brother of Bank logos and hotel lobbies – is king.]

    and then…

    “This taste for pure intelligence is a violence.”

    what a dervish illumination!

  4. 11/22/2010 9:38 am

    those thick and heavy borosilicate wine glasses are the best but they are very expensive ‘~` `,.

  5. 01/25/2011 7:22 am

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  6. 10/01/2011 8:40 pm

    I’m really concerned for our future, and its not due to islamic extremism.

    there seems to be a triad taking control of America
    1. the endless greed of overgrown corporate greed that sends good jobs overseas, destroys worker protection, while the rich get richer and the middle class far worse then decimated. Of which the koch brothers may be the connection to the other two parts

    2. the right wing xtians whose nightmare has come true – our first black president. As an Icelandic editorial said – he may have come too soon. these are the people of the same religious culture that gave us slavery, the KKK and segregation.

    And who now foam at the mouth of the idea of gays marrying or even being visible in society

    3. The catholic church – It too is horrified at the idea of gays marrying > IMHO this came at just the right time for them to use it as a weapon not just against gays, but to obvuscate the issue of the the endless hidden molestation of children all over the world.

    In summary we may well be headed toward a chritian version approching Saudi Arabia, but where no one will be safe,and religious wars between extremist xtians ang the catholic followers may well beocme the norm as they attempt to divide up the spoils.

    The bit lessons of my life have been that regardless of the brand name of the religion, the fundamentalist / control freaks are all the same. The vatican of absolute control, the evangelicals who are still fighting the civil war, and the corporate greeders with ties to these groups,, eg the Koch brothers, most likely catholics.

    Is it time to kiss America goodbye? The Jews of germany were respected, they were the professors , bankers, and doctors. But the hate of them by the catholi cchurch lived just below the surface. And hitler exploited that to gain power and the rest is horrible history.. Remember, hitler was not a dictator per se, he was basically elected.

    And the German people followed him willingly.

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  1. Δελτίο του Σαββάτου 18.9.2010 « Τεχνηέντως

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