▼ 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.