Barbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019
Barbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, Swinguerra, 2019

É artists are increasingly inclined to connect with their surroundings and, in some way, bring in their work a permanent reflection on the moment in which they live.

This is nothing new, so much so that, throughout history and at all times, reality pulled the ruptures and it was it that drove the construction of many artistic movements and iconic works in the history of art.

It is the case of "Guernica” by Picasso, who immortalized the bombing of the Spanish city, Portinari's paintings about immigrants or the images of appreciation for North American violence in Andy Warhol's paintings, to cite examples that are even distant in his conceptions.

But if this has always been so, what has changed?

Over time there have always been aesthetic and ethical choices, in the artist's intention and in the spectator's reception. When the philosopher and art critic Richard Wollheim, in his book Art and its Objects, discusses whether works of art would not be “anything other than physical objects” , he states that “the intention anticipates the vision of representation”.

What changes in each era, in my understanding, is how the artist tries to translate his inadequacy to his time. Artists tend to be explicit inadequates and “artistic representation” seems to have been, throughout human history, the best way to “be in the world” and “find a place of speech”. On the edge of the abyss, in delirium or denial, artists translate in one way or another something that tells us about them and about us.

However, this idea, which apparently would be more than internalized in the XNUMXst century – after the rupture of the first avant-gardes a hundred years ago – seems to be questioned today, not by academic criticism, but by the “neoliberal man”, who bets on “adequacy”, in a world “shaped exclusively for him”, in a world in condominiums, surrounded by guarantees and certainties. A man who neither sees nor suffers from the degradation of the planet, with the growing violence resulting from growing social inequality.  A man who neither sees nor cares about the other.

This man doesn't care about ART.  He only chooses mirrors. He only values ​​physical objects that, preferably, do not disturb him in any way and bring him peace of mind.

Here, we talk about ART.

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