Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mótmælislist 12 - Don’t buy in to capitalist ideas of freedom

Dagsins mótmælislist er eitt antikapitalistiskt innlegg frá listakvinnuni Silju Strøm, sum býr í Glasgow. Umframt listarliga arbeiðið er hon farin at skriva um list og samfelag.

Glasgow, September 2013
Dear Friends,

It is possible that there there have been harder, more painful times than these. Even so, harder times remain engrained in our collective memory as times of urgent discussion, crystal clear causes to fight or to fight for, distinct targets of dissent, strength in numbers and collective bravery.

The people came together and change in the right direction came about as a result. It feels like a long time since this has appeared like a realistic outcome of critical gatherings. And it might have happened when the public stopped forming collectively and became mass. The mass is governed while the collective collaborates and contributes. Both consist of individuals, subjects, but the collective voice, it appears, is more easily silenced now and the words to scream more difficult to find.

The mass is always governed, but the subjects of the mass refuse to identify as such unless they are, some how, lead to believe that we all are similar and yet also different. Every day we hear warnings that tell us of the dangers and of the importance to protect the individuals’s right over the mass, yet every day we passively, by not standing our ground, give away rights that would help our voices to be heard. Less and less significant the individual’s voice becomes, as the connective tissue that binds the collective together is slowly dissolved, ironically in dreams of liberty.

We are referred to by our singularity and we are governed by the fear of sharing each other’s misery. Loving one another has become difficult. How we relate to one another - what we have to share - decreases as our subjectiveness narrows and becomes more and more specific.

In pace with the imminent proliferation of globalisation, the physical and virtual space of visual representation is also growing, though decreasing in intensity and in urgency. Platforms for expression emerge and more is made visible, but despite all these opportunities available to us, less and less their significance sets out to derail the ominous propaganda of growth and profit.

We are flooded with images and fragments of derivative text that want to include us, and slowly a subtle change in ownership of our bodies is taking place. Not only are our bodies no longer ours, they don’t represent the values we once shared. ‘Public’ used to be spaces where our bodies were not subjugated to the control of others, but what is ‘public’ now other than a definition for order and a descriptive term for consumer strategies. 

Don’t buy in to capitalist ideas of freedom. Freedom can’t be bought.

I don’t want our emotional realm to become poor or dangerous. I am aware of the fact that an art practice might not change much as an isolated activity, but an art practice can transcribe struggles. And it can open up narratives that traditional outlets usually won’t. Artists create the forms of expression mass media later learns to exploits. Artists: Remembering everything, resisting through our memory, telling the stories that the domination silences, refusing to become victims of our own idea of security, this could be a beginning.

Silja Strøm