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IDEA 18

arhiva: Clement Greenberg 5 Lmurire


Despre modernism i avangard

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
On Modernism and Avant-garde

Al. Polgr, Adrian T. Srbu

7 Avangard i kitsch
AVANT-GARDE AND KITSCH
Clement Greenberg

15 Pictura modernist
MODERNIST PAINTING
Clement Greenberg

20 Atitudini avangardiste
AVANT-GARDE ATTITUDES
Clement Greenberg

26 Modern i postmodern
MODERN AND POSTMODERN
Clement Greenberg


galerie 32 Daniel Knorr: Agents
Attila Tordai-S.


scena 52 Attila Menesi & Christoph Rauch: detour 20032004
Flora Grnwald

55 Formate n micare. Zilele Vienei la Bucureti

MOVING FORMATS. VIENNA DAYS IN BUCHAREST
Cosmin Costina

61 <<green box>>
Judit Angel

67 Despre Ion Grigorescu la fel ca despre mine nsmi

ABOUT ION GRIGORESCU AS ABOUT MYSELF
Raluca Voinea

73 Euro-Bouillon
Alina erban

80 RadioArteJump!
Ioana Neme

85 Quicksand
Laurence Perrillat

90 Muzeul privat n serviciul public
Interviu cu Sabine Breitwieser

PRIVATE MUSEUM FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

INTERVIEW WITH SABINE BREITWIESER
Marius Babias

98 Cnd eti strin, eti obligatoriu n trecere...
n discuie cu Dirk Snauwaert

WHEN YOU ARE A STRANGER YOU ARE ALWAYS IN PASSING...

IN CONVERSATION WITH DIRK SNAUWAERT
Amiel Grumberg


insert 106 Nevin Aladag: trk. kurd. deutsch. 2003/2004

+ (timpul liber)
(leisure)
109 Argument
STATEMENT

110 Orele care rmn. Plasturi existeniali

THE REMAINING HOURS. EXISTENTIAL PATCHES
Emilian Cioc & Ciprian Mihali

116 Carnavalul despotic

THE DESPOTIC CARNIVAL
Vintil Mihilescu

121 Timp bogat, timp srac

RICH TIME, POOR TIME
Andor Horvth

124 Libertate i timp Eseu despre televiziune i timp liber n Romnia

FREEDOM AND TIME ESSAY ON TV AND LEISURE IN ROMANIA
Alec H. Blescu

129 Timpul liber ca rentabilizare a pulsiunilor subiective

FREE TIME AS A WAY TO MAKE PROFIT OF SUBJECTIVE DRIVES
Aurel Codoban

134 Timp liber, spaiu ocupat

FREE TIME, OCCUPIED SPACE
Dana Vais

141 Fericirea impus sau stilul brazilian al dominaiei

ENFORCED HAPPINESS; OR, DOMINATION BRAZILIAN STYLE
Fabio Akcelrud Duro

148 Despre rezistena fa de munc

ON RESISTANCE TO WORK
Gabriel Chindea

153 Labirint cu minotaur
O incursiune filosofic n istoria recent a timpului liber

LABYRINTH WITH MINOTAUR A PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNEY

IN THE RECENT HISTORY OF LEISURE TIME
Ovidiu ichindeleanu


verso 165 Problemele neoliberalismului
THE PROBLEMS OF NEOLIBERALISM

Edward Said

166 Esena neoliberalismului

THE ESSENCE OF NEOLIBERALISM
Pierre Bourdieu

169 Srcia global la sfritul secolului al XX-lea

GLOBAL POVERTY IN THE LATE 20TH CENTURY
Michel Chossudovsky

176 Sofismele neoliberalismului

SOPHISMS OF NEOLIBERALISM
Andr Tosel
IDEA art + societate / IDEA arts + society
Cluj, #17, 2003 / Cluj, Romania, issue #17, 2003

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AL. POLGR
ADRIAN T. SRBU
ATTILA TORDAI-S.

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arhiva: Clement Greenberg
5



Clement Greenberg
Despre modernism i avangard


Lmurire


Clement Greenberg (19091994) a fost poate cel mai proeminent critic de art american din secolul XX i, cu
siguran, o voce foarte important pe plan internaional n discuia despre arta modern i contemporan.
Urmrind evoluia artei n secolele al XIX-lea i al XX-lea, Greenberg i-a dezvoltat o privire teoretic asupra mo-
dernului conceput de el ca modernism , aceasta fiindu-i nu doar un veritabil post de observaie, situat real-
mente n linia-nti, asupra desfurrilor din arta american (i nu numai) de dup Cel de al Doilea Rzboi Mondial,
dar ajungnd i s devin o piatr de hotar (dup unii de temelie chiar) n cmpul teoriilor despre modernitatea artis-
tic i avangard.
Grupajul pe care-l nfim aici urmrete desigur, dup o linie punctat traseul parcurs de noiunea de moder-
nism n scrierile lui Greenberg, i nainte de toate chiar naterea ideii lui a modernismului (nu doar a aceluia artistic,
ci i a celui cultural-social n genere: ca fundal indispensabil pe care se detaeaz primul, abia aa putnd fi el sesizat i
definit cu toat acurateea cuvenit). Alegerea prim a textelor i genericul grupajului i aparin unuia dintre fidelii lui
Greenberg, pictorul i publicistul canadian Terry Fenton (legat de marele critic printr-o prietenie intelectual de trei
decenii), care, din unghiul de vedere al interesului lor tematic principal, le face scurte caracterizri i, de aseme- nea,
indic explicit unele pasarele ntre texte. Iat fiele lui Terry Fenton (pe care le transcriem cu minime adaptri):
Avangard i kitsch (1939). Este primul eseu de impact al lui Greenberg, scris n 1939 pentru Partisan Review, pe
cnd avea 29 de ani i ntr-o vreme cnd se interesa mai mult de literatur dect de pictur. Ulterior, el a ajuns s
resping o bun parte din ideile susinute n acesta mai ales definiia kitschului, pe care mai trziu a considerat-o
prost chibzuit (aa cum i e, ntr-adevr). Greenberg va identifica mai trziu ameninarea la adresa marii arte ca venind
dinspre gustul mediu [middlebrow taste], care oricum se asociaz mult mai ndeaproape cu cel academist dect a
fcut-o sau a putut-o face kitschul vreodat. Eseul respir un aer i o siguran de sine proprii marxismului anilor
30, cu presupoziii caracteristice, precum aceea c numai socialismul ar putea ridica gustul maselor. Dar din toate
aceste raiuni, el jaloneaz un teritoriu nou. Dei avangarda era un fapt acceptat n anii 30, Greenberg a fost cel
dinti care s-i determine contextul social i istoric i importana cultural. Eseul poart n sine, totodat, germenii
conceptului greenbergian al modernismului. n pofida greelilor i, pe alocuri, a prozei lui furtunoase, textul rmne
ca unul din cele mai importante documente teoretice ale culturii secolului al XX-lea.
Pictura modernist (1960). Primul eseu al lui Greenberg despre modernism, lmurind multe din ideile rmase implicite
n Avangard i kitsch, eseul su deschiztor de orizonturi scris cu dou decenii n urm. Dei, ulterior, el a ajuns
s-l resping [i pe acesta], cel de-al doilea alineat al textului oferea poate cea mai elegant definiie a modernismului
din cte exist: ... utilizarea metodelor caracteristice unei discipline pentru a critica disciplina nsi, nu spre a o ruina,
ci pentru ancorarea ei mai ferm n aria competenei sale.
Eseul acesta e remarcabil prin observaiile lui luminoase (i n bun msur rmase nedezvoltate) despre natura i isto-
ria imaginilor, pe lng c el ne restituie percepia matur a lui Greenberg n privina caracterului i importanei avan-
gardei. Dac teoria cuprins n el are o slbiciune, aceasta ar rezida n centralitatea acordat artei picturale, ce pare
a se potrivi ca o mnu modernismului. Este de discutat ct de mult e ea generalizabil la mijloacele de exprimare
ale celorlalte arte, spre a nu mai pomeni i alte discipline. Post-scriptumul lui Greenberg din 1978 rmne important.
Atitudini avangardiste (1968). Acest eseu face pandant cu aclamatul Avangard i kitsch din 1939, aducndu-i i
unele corecii. Greenberg expune aici ceea ce a ajuns s fie privit mai apoi ca o aprare sau o justificare a poziiei
sale supuse ntre timp atacurilor. De fapt, intuiia lui despre singularitatea naturii artei este departe de a fi una nou
ori [simplu] defensiv; ea provine nc din vremea anilor si de nceput (aa cum o atest i Harold Letters, de curnd
publicate [corespondena de tineree, editat de Janice Van Horne, n. red.]). Aa cum d de neles deja i titlul, pen-
tru Greenberg avangardismul este o atitudine, cu siguran nu un stil, i a fost important n msura n care acesta a
fost una din forele motrice din cadrul modernismului. Dar el are totodat i sentimentul disoluiei sale, cu toate implica-
iile acestui fapt pentru cultura nalt dac toat lumea se afl n fa [out front], atunci cine rmne s treneze n
urm? Dac nu exist nivelul preteniosului [high], este atunci totul la un nivel mediocru?
6


Cu toate c textul a fost pronunat ca o prelegere public la universitate, el face semn ctre separarea lui Greenberg
de lumea universitar, infestat deja dup anii 60 de atitudini avangardiste, aa cum, n fond, s-au petrecut lucrurile
i n cultura de mas. Rmne ntrebarea dei, fr ndoial, e una fr rost: s fie oare atitudinile savante i cele
larg mprtite [popular] din zilele noastre ntr-adevr avan- sau caracterul lor de linia-nti [avantness] e pur i
simplu poz?
Modern i postmodern (1979). Ultimul eseu al lui Greenberg despre modernism. Aici el i revoc definiia elegant
trasat n eseul din 1960 i adaug convingerea c modernismul constituie un fel de operaie de pstrare mpotri-
va nivelrii i a tendinelor spre relaxare ale gustului mediu. Prin asta el aduce aminte (dac memoria e bun la ceva)
de o remarc a lui Samuel Johnson conform creia rolul criticii este acela de a cuta s menin etaloanele de cali-
tate mpotriva tendinei lor necontenite de a se deteriora.

Faptul c, n intenia noastr de a publica pentru prima oar n romn, i ntr-o revist ca a noastr, cteva texte eseniale
pentru familiarizarea direct de la surs cu demersul critic i reflexiv al lui Greenberg, am optat, n cele din urm,
pentru reproducerea ca atare a grupajului alctuit de Terry Fenton, grupaj cuprinzndu-le tocmai pe-acestea patru,
nu e deloc ntmpltor i nici n-a fost rezultatul unei operaii de preluare pur mecanice. Dac s-ar putea zice c, n
ce-o privete strict, ca motivaie sau finaliti mrturisind, la limit, despre inteniile i interesele autorului ei, existen-
a prealabil n spaiul public a acestei selecii (eventuala ei necesitate luntric, reprezentativitatea ei pentru gndi-
rea lui Greenberg etc.) putea rmne o contingen, n schimb tocmai pentru o revist de art ca Idea chestiunea
reproducerii (de fapt, a nsei prezentrii), n coordonatele propriului ei spaiu de reprezentare (n toate sensurile,
inclusiv cel autoreflexiv), a ceea ce este ntr-adevr de vzut sau de artat, ostensiv i discursiv, n privina artei, nu
mai e deloc aa. Cu att mai mult atunci cnd, dup parcurgerea acestor texte, cititorul nsui se va putea convinge
i el n ce msur ele mpreun, toate patru, arat ntr-adevr lmuritor ceea ce a avut Greenberg de artat despre
art: despre art n genere i despre arta modernist n special. Despre aceasta din urm ca atare, n adevrul ori
e-videna ei intern, prin care ea, mai mult dect a fi un stil istoric, ajunge s expun condiia i exigena artei dintot-
deauna. i, totodat, s expun nu att inseria ei n social, ct, mai ales, prezena n ea a societii.

Nu n ultimul rnd, inem s mulumim aici doamnei Janice Van Horne, vduva lui Clement Greenberg, pentru ama-
bilitatea cu care ne-a acordat drepturile pentru traducerea n romn a textelor. i mulumim de asemenea lui Terry
Fenton pentru acceptul cordial de a prelua aceast selecie de texte greenbergiene i, implicit, de a-i utiliza conceptul
care le leag ntre ele.
Prezentm n ncheiere, pentru orientarea cititorului, i o list a volumelor adunnd textele semnate de Clement
Greenberg.

Al. Polgr
Adrian T. Srbu


Mr, New York, Quadrangle Press, 1948.
Hofmann, Paris, Georges Fall, 1961.
Henri Matisse (1869 ), New York, Abrams, Pocket Library of Great Art, 1953.
Art and culture: critical essays, Boston, Beacon Press, 1961.
The Collected Essays and Criticism, John OBrian (ed.), Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1986 i 1993.
Vol. 1, Perceptions and Judgements, 19391945
Vol. 2, Arrogant Purpose, 19451949
Vol. 3, Affirmations and Refusals, 19501956
Vol. 4, Modernism with a Vengeance, 19571969
The Harold Letters, 19281943. The Making of an American Intellectual, Janice Van Horne (ed.), Washington, D.C., Counterpoint, 2000.
Homemade Esthetics, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.
Clement Greenberg, Late Writings, Robert C. Morgan (ed.), Minneapolis, Minnesota University Press, 2003.
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
7




Avangard i kitsch
Clement Greenberg




I
Una i aceeai civilizaie d natere n acelai timp unor lucruri att de diferite precum un poem de T. S. Eliot ori cnte-
cele Tin Pan Alley
1
sau o pictur de Braque i o copert Saturday Evening Post. Toate patru se afl n ordinea cultu-
rii i, n aparen, toate patru fac parte din aceeai cultur i snt produse ale aceleiai societi. n acest punct ns
legtura dintre ele pare s nceteze. Un poem de Eliot i altul de Eddie Guest ce perspectiv asupra culturii ar fi
ndeajuns de ncptoare pentru a ne permite s le cuprindem ntr-un raport pentru ambele lmuritor? Faptul unei
asemenea dispariti n cadrul aceleiai tradiii culturale, un fapt care a trecut i trece drept ceva mpmntenit s
indice oare acest fapt c disparitatea n cauz ar ine de ordinea natural a lucrurilor? Sau s fie vorba de ceva n ntregime
nou i specific epocii noastre?
Rspunsul la aceste ntrebri presupune mai mult dect o investigaie n cmpul esteticii. Mi se pare necesar s exami-
nm mai ndeaproape, i ntr-un fel mai originar dect pn acuma, raportul dintre experiena estetic pe care o are
individul concret nu cel generalizat i contextele sociale i istorice n care aceast experien are loc. Ceea ce
va fi adus la lumin astfel va da un rspuns nu numai ntrebrii de mai sus, ci i altora, poate mai importante.
O societate, pe msur ce merge-nainte i devine tot mai puin n stare s justifice inevitabilitatea formelor ei parti-
culare, nltur [breaks up] ideile acceptate pe care artitii plastici i scriitorii trebuie s se bazeze mai totdeau-
na atunci cnd e s comunice cu publicul lor. ncepe s fie greu s te mai ncrezi n ceva. Toate certitudinile religiei,
autoritii, tradiiei, stilului cad prad ndoielii, iar scriitorul sau artistul plastic nu mai poate evalua reacia publicului
la simbolurile i ansamblurile de trimiteri [references] cu care lucreaz el. n trecut, o asemenea stare de lucruri sfrea
ndeobte ntr-un alexandrinism nepenit, un academism n care chestiunile cu adevrat importante rmneau neatinse
fiindc altminteri ar fi iscat controverse, gestul creator srcind la virtuozitatea n detalii mrunte ale formei, toate
chestiunile majore fiind deja decise prin exemplul normativ furnizat de maetrii din vechime. Variaiuni pe aceleai
teme snt produse mecanic n sute de lucrri diferite, i totui nimic nou nu se produce: Statius, versificaia manda-
rinilor, sculptura roman, pictura Beaux-Arts, arhitectura neorepublican.
n snul declinului societii noastre actuale, e un semn mbucurtor acela c nu am consimit unii dintre noi s
ne mpcm cu o asemenea ultim faz pentru cultura noastr. n ncercarea de a surmonta alexandrinismul, o parte
a societii burgheze occidentale a dat natere unui lucru nemaiauzit pn la noi: cultura de avangard. Acest lucru
a devenit posibil datorit unei contiine istorice superioare mai precis, datorit ivirii unui nou tip de critic a socie-
tii, o critic istoric. Aceast critic nu a pus societatea noastr actual n faa unor utopii atemporale, ci a analizat
cu luciditate n termenii istoriei i n cei de cauz i de efect antecedentele, justificrile i funciile formelor aflate n
miezul oricrei societi. n felul acesta, ordinea noastr social burghez din prezent s-a dovedit a nu fi o condiie
etern, natural, ci pur i simplu doar cel mai recent moment n succesiunea ordinilor sociale. Asemenea perspective
noi, ncepnd s caracterizeze contiina intelectual naintat din deceniile cinci i ase ale secolului al XIX-lea, fur
curnd nsuite de artitii plastici i de poei, chiar dac asta s-a ntmplat cel mai adesea incontient. Prin urmare, nu
e deloc ntmpltor c naterea avangardei a coincis cronologic i, de asemenea, geografic cu primele dezvoltri
temerare ale gndirii revoluionare tiinifice n Europa.
E drept c primii dintre cei ce-au inventat boema care pe-atunci era acelai lucru cu avangarda s-au artat curnd,
n cele din urm, dezinteresai la modul ostentativ de politic. Cu toate astea, fr circulaia ideilor revoluionare care
impregnau aerul epocii, acetia n-ar fi putut delimita conceptul a ce era burghez pentru a determina tocmai ceea
ce ei nu erau. La fel, ei n-ar fi avut curajul de a se pune cu aceeai agresivitate de-a curmeziul normelor dominante
ale societii, dac n-ar fi existat sprijinul moral al atitudinilor politice revoluionare. i fr ndoial c a trebuit ceva
curaj pentru asta, cci exodul avangardei din societatea burghez n boem nsemnase i replierea de pe pieele capi-
talismului, n care artitii plastici i scriitorii au fost aruncai o dat cu ncetarea patronajului aristocratic. (La prima vedere
cel puin, asta gestul lor a nsemnat: a muri de foame ntr-o mansard, dei, cum vom vedea mai ncolo, avangar-
da a rmas atelat la societatea burghez tocmai fiindc avea nevoie de banii ei.)
E adevrat totui c o dat ce avangarda a reuit n dezicerea ei de societate, ea a nceput s se rzgndeasc i s
resping att politica revoluionar, ct i pe cea burghez. Revoluia e lsat nuntrul societii, ea rmnnd s fac
parte din harababura luptei ideologice pe care arta plastic i poezia au gsit-o prea puin prielnic pentru ele, de


Partisan Review, 1939, nr. 6.
8


ndat ce revoluia ncepe s pun n joc acele convingeri axiomatice preioase pe care cultura trebuise s se spriji-
ne pn atunci. Prin urmare, a aprut ideea c adevrata i cea mai important funcie a avangardei era nu s experi-
menteze, ci s gseasc o cale prin care, n snul confuziei i violenei ideologice, cultura s poat fi dus mai departe.
Renunnd cu desvrire la judecata publicului, poetul sau artistul plastic de avangard cuta s menin nivelul nalt
al artei sale ngustnd-o i, totodat, ridicnd-o la expresia unui absolut n care toate relativismele i contradiciile
s-ar gsi fie rezolvate, fie scoase din discuie. Apar arta pentru art i poezia pur, iar tema sau coninutul devine
ceva de care trebuie s fugi ca de cium.
Abia n aceast cutare a absolutului a ajuns avangarda la arta abstract sau nonfigurativ i aa s-a ntmplat i
cu poezia. Poetul sau artistul plastic avangardist ncearc de fapt s-l imite pe Dumnezeu prin crearea a ceva valid
exclusiv n termenii si proprii, aa cum e valid natura, aa cum un peisaj nu imaginea sa zugrvit e valid din
punct de vedere estetic; ceva increat, dat, independent de semnificaii, cpii sau originale. Coninutul trebuie n-
tr-atta dizolvat n form nct opera de art, plastic sau literar, s nu poat fi redus, n ntregime sau n parte, la
nimic din ceea ce nu e ea nsi.
Absolutul ns e absolut, iar poetul sau artistul plastic, fiind ceea ce este, pune pre pe anumite valori relative mai
mult dect pe altele. Chiar valorile n numele crora el invoc absolutul snt valori relative valorile esteticii. Aa c,
n cele din urm, el se dovedete a imita, nu pe Dumnezeu i folosesc aici termenul a imita n sensul lui aristo-
telic , ci disciplina i procesele nsele [disciplines and processes] ale artei plastice i ale literaturii ca atare. Aa se nate
abstractul.
2
Concentrndu-i atenia pe altceva dect temele experienei comune, poetul sau artistul plastic i-o ndreap-
t spre mijloacele de exprimare ale meteugului su. Nonfigurativul sau abstractul, dac e s aib vreo validitate
estetic, nu poate fi arbitrar sau accidental, ci trebuie s provin din supunerea fa de o constrngere demn de
asta sau fa de un original. Aceast constrngere, de vreme ce s-a renunat la lumea comun, extravertit a expe-
rienei, poate fi gsit numai i numai n rigorile sau disciplina [the very processes or disciplines] prin care arta plastic i
literatura au imitat deja o asemenea constrngere. Aceste procese i aceast disciplin devin ele nsele tema artei
plastice i a literaturii. Dac, pentru a continua cu Aristotel, orice art plastic i literatur snt imitaie, atunci avem
de-a face aici cu o imitaie a imitrii. Pentru a-l cita pe Yeats:

Nici coli de canto, ci numai scrutarea
Monumentelor mreiei proprii.

[Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence.]

Picasso, Braque, Mondrian, Mir, Kandinsky, Brncui, i chiar Klee, Matisse i Czanne, i trag sursa inspiraiei lor din mijloacele
de exprimare cu care lucreaz.
3
Impresia puternic strnit de arta lor pare s rezide nainte de toate n preocuparea pur a
acesteia cu inventarea i aranjarea spaiilor, suprafeelor, contururilor, culorilor etc., cu excluderea a tot ce aceti factori nu
implic n mod necesar. Atenia unor poei precum Rimbaud, Mallarm, Valry, luard, Pound, Hart Crane, Stevens, sau
chiar Rilke i Yeats, e aintit mai degrab pe efortul de a face poezie i pe momentele nsele ale transformrii a ceva n
poezie, dect pe experiena care e de convertit n poezie. Desigur, asta nu exclude s existe i alte preocupri n munca lor,
cci poezia are de-a face cu cuvinte, iar ele trebuie s comunice. Anumii poei, ca Mallarm sau Valry
4
, snt mai radicali n
aceast privin dect alii fr a mai vorbi de poeii care au ncercat s compun poezie numai cu sunet pur. n tot cazul,
dac ne-ar fi mai la-ndemn s dm o definiie poeziei, cea modern ar fi mai pur i mai abstract. Ct privete cele-
lalte domenii ale literaturii: definiia esteticii avangardei propuse aici nu e un pat al lui Procust. Dar, pe lng c muli dintre
cei mai buni romancieri ai notri de azi au umblat la coala avangardei, nu e lipsit de nsemntate c, dintre crile lui Gide,
cea mai ambiioas e un roman despre scrierea unui roman, iar Ulise i Priveghiul lui Finnegan ale lui Joyce par a fi, nainte
de toate, aa cum o spune un critic francez, reducerea experienei la expresie de dragul expresiei, expresia fiind mai impor-
tant dect ceea ce se exprim.
C avangarda, n genere, e imitaia imitrii n sine, acest fapt nu cheam nici la acord, nici la dezaprobare. E drept
c aceast cultur a avangardei conine ceva din alexadrinismul pe care caut s-l depeasc. Rndurile citate din
Yeats se refer la Bizan, care e foarte aproape de Alexandria; i, ntr-un anume sens, aceast imitaie a imitrii e o
form superioar de alexandrinism. Exist ns o diferen mai important ntre cele dou: avangarda se mic, pe
cnd alexandrinismul st pe loc. Tocmai asta justific metodele avangardei i le face necesare. Necesitatea rezid
n faptul c, astzi, nu se mai poate crea art plastic i literatur de nalt nivel prin nici un alt mijloc. Polemica ndrepta-
t mpotriva acestei necesiti aruncnd una-dou cu cuvinte ca formalism, purism, turn de filde i altele aseme-
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
9




nea e fie boant, fie de rea-credin. i asta nu pentru a spune c avangarda ar fi ceea ce este datorit avansului ei
social. Dimpotriv.
Specializarea avangardei pe ea nsi, faptul c artitii ei plastici cei mai buni snt artiti ai artistului, c poeii ei cei mai
buni snt poei ai poetului, i-a ndeprtat pe muli dintre cei care, dei fuseser cndva capabili s guste i s apre-
cieze arta [plastic] i literatura ambiioas, astzi nu mai vor sau nu mai pot dobndi o iniiere n secretele meteugu-
lui acestora. Masele au rmas ntotdeauna mai mult sau mai puin indiferente la mersul nainte al culturii. Astzi ns
aceast cultur n micare e abandonat chiar de cei crora ea le aparine de fapt clasa noastr conductoare. Cci
acesteia din urm i aparine avangarda. Nici o cultur nu se poate dezvolta fr o baz social, fr o surs stabil
de venituri. Iar n cazul avangardei aceasta a fost asigurat de o elit n cadrul clasei conductoare a societii fa de
care avangarda s-a considerat n divor, dar de care ea a rmas ntotdeauna legat prin coordonul ombilical al gal-
benilor. Paradoxul e ct se poate de real. Iar astzi aceast elit se mpuineaz cu iueal. De vreme ce avangarda
nseamn singura cultur vie pe care-o avem, supravieuirea n genere a culturii n viitorul apropiat e deci ameninat.
Nu trebuie s ne amgim cu fenomene superficiale sau cu succese de moment. Expoziiile lui Picasso atrag nc mulimi
interminabile, T.S. Eliot e predat n universiti; negustorilor de art modern le merge nc bine, iar editurile mai
public uneori i poezie greu de urmrit. Dar avangarda nsi, simind deja pericolul, devine tot mai timid pe zi
ce trece. Academismul i comercialul apar n cele mai neateptate locuri. Asta poate nsemna numai un singur lucru:
c avangarda devine nesigur pe publicul de care ea depinde cei bogai i cultivai.
Oare natura culturii de avangard s fie rspunztoare, numai ea, de pericolul n care cultura aceasta se regsete
azi? Sau va fi fiind vorba numai de-o eventualitate primejdioas? S fie implicai i ali factori, poate mai importani?

II
Unde exist avangard, vom gsi de obicei i-o ariergard. E ct se poate de adevrat. O dat cu intrarea n scen a
avangardei, s-a ivit i un alt nou fenomen cultural n Occidentul industrializat: lucrul cruia germanii i-au dat minu-
natul nume de kitsch: art plastic i literatur de mas [popular], comerciale, cu cromolitografiile lor, cu copertele
de revist, ilustraiile, reclamele, ficiunea de senzaie i bulevardier, benzile desenate, muzica Tin Pan Alley, stepul,
filmele hollywoodiene etc., etc. Dintr-un motiv sau altul, acest potop a fost luat ntotdeauna ca atare. E timpul poate
s aruncm o privire asupra motivelor i pricinilor pentru care asta se ntmpl.
Kitschul e un produs al revoluiei industriale care a urbanizat masele Europei Occidentale i ale Americii, instaurnd
ceea ce se cheam alfabetizarea general.
nainte de asta, pentru cultura legitim(at) [formal culture], ca deosebit de cea popular [folk culture], exista o pia
numai printre cei care, pe lng c tiau s scrie i s citeasc, mai dispuneau i de timpul liber i confortul ce-au mers
ntotdeauna mn-n mn cu o oarecare cultivare. Aceasta din urm fusese inextricabil asociat pn atunci cu alfa-
betizarea. O dat ns cu introducerea alfabetizrii generale, capacitatea de a scrie i de a citi a devenit o ndemnare
la fel de minor ca ofatul; i, de cnd nu mai nsoete exclusiv gusturile rafinate, ea a ncetat s mai fie marca ncli-
naiilor spre cultur ale cuiva.
rnimea stabilit la ora ca proletariat i mic burghezie nv s scrie i s citeasc de dragul eficienei, dar ea
n-a reuit s cucereasc timpul liber i confortul necesare pentru a te bucura de cultura tradiional a oraului. Pierzn-
du-i totui gustul pentru cultura popular, al crei fundal fusese satul, i descoperindu-i, totodat, o nou aptitudine
pentru plictiseal, noile mase urbane au exercitat o presiune asupra societii pentru a li se asigura un tip de cultur
care s corespund consumului lor. Pentru a satisface cererea noii piee, s-a nscocit o nou marf: cultura ersatz,
kitsch, destinat acelora care, insensibili la valorile veritabilei culturi, snt nfometai totui de dis-tracia [diversion] pe
care numai cultura o poate asigura, de orice fel ar fi ea.
Kitschul, folosind ca materie prim simulacrele degradate i academizate ale culturii propriu-zise, binecuvnteaz i
cultiv aceast lips de sensibilitate. Tot ea este sursa profiturilor obinute din vnzarea de kitschuri. Kitschul e mecanic
i opereaz pe baz de reete. Kitschul e un surogat de experien i senzaii falsificate. Kitschul se schimb o dat
cu stilurile, dar rmne mereu acelai. Kitschul e chintesena a tot ce e calp [spurious] n viaa timpurilor noastre. Kitschul
pretinde c nu cere nimic, nici mcar timp, din partea clienilor si mai puin banii lor.
Precondiia kitschului, o condiie fr de care kitschul n-ar putea exista, e s se afle la ndemn o tradiie cultural
pe deplin maturizat, ale crei descoperiri, achiziii i contiin de sine complet kitschul s le poat folosi pentru
el nsui. Kitschul mprumut de la aceast tradiie procedee, trucuri, stratageme, reguli practice, teme, pe care le
convertete apoi ntr-un sistem i arunc restul. El suge sngele care i curge prin vine, ca s zicem aa, din acest rezer-
vor de experien acumulat. Asta e ceea ce se nelege de fapt atunci cnd se spune c arta [plastic] i literatura
popular de azi au fost cndva arta [plastic] i literatura temerar, ezoteric a zilei de ieri. Dar nici vorb de aa ceva.
10


Ceea ce trebuie neles e c, dup ceva timp, chiar noul e prdat pentru a-l stoarce de noi turnri, care snt ast-
fel debilitate i servite pe tav drept kitsch. Bineneles, orice kitsch e academic; i, reciproc, tot ce e academic e kitsch.
Cci ceea ce se numete propriu-zis academism nu mai are o existen independent, ci a devenit cioara vopsit
cu care se mpopooneaz kitschul [the stuffed-shirt front for kitsch]. Metodele industrializrii nlocuiesc meteugurile.
Fiindc poate fi fabricat pe band rulant, kitschul a devenit o parte constitutiv a sistemului nostru de producie n-
tr-un fel n care n-a putut-o niciodat face cultura adevrat, dect accidental poate. El a fost capitalizat la un nivel
nemaipomenit de investiie, care trebuia s ntoarc beneficii pe msur; el e silit s-i extind i, totodat, s-i pstreze
pieele. Cu toate c, n mod esenial, el se vinde singur, a fost creat pentru el un imens aparat de vnzri, care exercit
o presiune asupra fiecrui membru al societii. Capcane pndesc pn i n acele zone care, pentru a spune aa,
snt rezervaii ale culturii veritabile. ntr-o ar ca a noastr, nu e de-ajuns astzi s ai doar o nclinaie pentru cultura
autentic; trebuie s nutreti o adevrat pasiune pentru ea ca s poi rezista contrafacerilor ce ne nconjoar i ne
sufoc nc de la vrsta la care putem nelege caricaturile din ziare. Kitschul e amgitor. El joac pe diverse niveluri,
iar unele dintre acestea snt ndeajuns de nalte ca s fie periculoase pentru cuttorul naiv al luminii adevrate. O
revist ca New Yorker, care e kitsch de clas [high-class kitsch] pentru comerul de lux, convertete i dilueaz o grma-
d de material avangardist pentru scopurile sale. Nu tot ce e kitsch este lipsit de valoare. Din cnd n cnd el produ-
ce i lucruri valoroase, lucruri care au un autentic buchet popular [folk flavor]; aceste cazuri accidentale i izolate au
prostit destui dintre cei care te ateptai s fie mai avizai.
Profiturile enorme aduse de kitsch reprezint o surs de ispit pentru avangarda nsi, iar membrii ei n-au rezis-
tat de fiecare dat acestei tentaii. La presiunea kitschului, scriitori i artiti plastici ambiioi i vor modifica opera,
de nu-i cad prad cu totul. Aa apar acele cazuri-limit deconcertante, cum ar fi romancierul cu succes de mas
[popular] Simenon, n Frana, sau Steinbeck, la noi. Rezultatul de pe urm e ntotdeauna n detrimentul culturii ade-
vrate, asta-i cert.
Kitschul nu s-a mrginit numai la orae, care i-au fost leagnul iniial, ci s-a revrsat i asupra satelor, spulbernd cultu-
ra popular [folk]. El nu s-a mpiedicat nici de graniele culturale geografice sau naionale. Fiind un alt produs de mas
al industrializrii occidentale, kitschul a fcut triumftor turul lumii, dnd la o parte i desfigurnd culturile indigene n
toate rile colonizate, aa nct azi e pe cale s devin cultur universal, prima care s-a vzut vreodat. Astzi, chinezii,
la fel ca indienii din America de Sud, hinduii, la fel ca polinezienii, au ajuns s prefere produselor artei lor indigene
coperte de revist, rotogravuri din ziare i calendare cu fete. Cum poate fi explicat aceast virulen a kitschului,
atracia irezistibil pe care o provoac? n mod firesc, kitschul fcut la main se vinde mai bine dect obiectele indige-
ne fcute de mn, iar prestigiul Occidentului contribuie i el; dar de ce e kitschul un articol de export cu mult mai
profitabil dect Rembrandt? La urma urmei, ambele pot fi reproduse la fel de ieftin.
n ultimul su articol din Partisan Review, despre filmul sovietic, Dwight Macdonald arat c, n ultimii ani, kitschul a
devenit cultura dominant n Rusia sovietic. Pentru asta el nvinuiete regimul politic i nu numai pentru a fi fcut
din kitsch cultur oficial, ci i pentru c acesta e, n momentul de fa, cultura predominant, cea mai popular; i
citeaz urmtorul pasaj din cartea lui Kurt London The Seven Soviet Arts [Cele apte arte sovietice]: [] atitudinea
maselor fa de stilurile artistice vechi, ca i fa de cele noi, rmne probabil esenial legat de natura educaiei puse
la dispoziia maselor de statele n care triesc. i Macdonald continu: La urma urmei, de ce ar trebui ca ranii
ignorani s-l prefere pe Repin (un exponent de frunte al kitschului academic rusesc n pictur) lui Picasso, a crui
tehnic abstract e cel puin la fel de semnificativ din perspectiva artei populare primitive a ranilor ca stilul realist
al primului? Nu, dac masele se mbulzesc la Tretiakov (muzeul moscovit de art contemporan ruseasc: de kitsch),
e n mare msur fiindc ele au fost condiionate s se fereasc de formalism i s admire realismul socialist.
nti i-nti, nu e vorba de a alege ntre ce e pur i simplu nou i ce e pur i simplu vechi, cum pare s gndeasc London
e vorba de a alege ntre ceea ce e prost, ceea ce e astzi nvechit i ceea ce e cu adevrat nou. Lui Picasso i se
opune ca posibilitate nu Michelangelo, ci kitschul. Apoi, nici n napoiata Rusie, nici n dezvoltatul Occident masele
nu prefer kitschul numai fiindc guvernele lor le-ar condiiona n acest sens. Cnd sistemele educaionale ale statelor
i dau osteneala de a meniona arta, sntem ndrumai s-i respectm pe vechii maetri, i nu kitschul; i totui ne
apucm s ni-l agam pe perete pe Maxfield Parrish, sau echivalenii si, n loc de Rembrandt sau Michelangelo.
Mai mult, aa cum arat Macdonald nsui, cnd regimul sovietic ncuraja, prin 1925, filmul de avangard, masele ruseti
continuaser s prefere filmele hollywoodiene. Nu, condiionarea nu explic vigoarea kitschului.
Toate valorile snt valori umane, relative, n art i peste tot. Cu toate astea, de-a lungul timpului, pare s existe prin-
tre oamenii cultivai un oarecare acord de principiu asupra a ce e bun sau prost n art. Gustul oscileaz, dar numai
ntre anumite limite; cunosctorii de azi snt de acord cu japonezul din secolul al XVIII-lea c Hokusai a fost unul
dintre cei mai mari artiti ai vremii sale; sntem de acord chiar i cu vechii egipteni c arta celei de-a treia i a patra
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
11




dinastii merit mai mult dect altele s fie luat drept model de cei de dup ea. Putem ajunge s-l preferm pe Giotto
lui Rafael, dar totui nu negm c Rafael a fost unul dintre cei mai mari pictori ai timpului su. Existase deci un acord,
iar acesta se baza, cred, pe discriminarea just i constant ntre valorile din cmpul artei i cele din alt parte. Kitschul,
graie tehnicii raionalizate recurgnd la tiin i industrie, a ters aceast diferen n practic.
S examinm, de pild, ce s-ar ntmpla atunci cnd ranul rus ignorant avut n vedere de Macdonald s-ar afla n faa a
dou tablouri, unul de Picasso, cellalt de Repin, avnd, s zicem, o ipotetic libertate de a prefera. n primul el
vede, s presupunem, un joc de linii, culori i spaii ce reprezint o femeie. Tehnica abstract pentru a accepta
presupunerea lui Macdonald, de care tind s m ndoiesc totui i amintete cumva de icoanele pe care le-a lsat n
lumea satului i simte atracia familiarului. S presupunem chiar c, n mod confuz, va ghici pn i cteva dintre
valorile pe care le gsete omul cultivat la Picasso. Apoi se ntoarce ctre pictura lui Repin i vede o scen de lupt.
Tehnica nu mai este la fel de familiar ca tehnic. Dar asta l deranjeaz prea puin pe ranul nostru, cci, deoda-
t, el descoper n pictura lui Repin valori ce par a fi de departe superioare acelora pe care obinuise s le gseasc
n arta icoanei; nefamiliarul ca atare e una dintre sursele valorilor pe care le gsete n Repin: valorile a ceea ce e
cu trie recognoscibil, miraculosul i sugestivul. n tabloul lui Repin ranul recunoate i vede lucruri n felul n care
recunoate i vede lucrurile din afara imaginii nu exist discontinuitate ntre art i via, nu e nevoie s accepte o
convenie i s-i spun c icoana l reprezint pe Isus fiindc vrea s-l reprezinte pe Isus, chiar dac imaginea nu
seamn foarte tare cu aceea a unui om. C Repin tie s picteze att de realist nct identificrile snt de la sine limpezi,
numaidect i fr nici un efort din partea privitorului asta e miraculos. ranul e de asemenea mulumit de bogia
nelesurilor vdite pe care le gsete n imagine: ea spune o poveste. n schimb, Picasso i icoanele snt att de
austere i de aride. Mai mult nc, Repin nal realitatea i o face dramatic: apus de soare, obuze explodnd, oameni
gonind sau secerai n lupt. Nu mai conteaz nici Picasso, nici icoanele. Pe Repin l vrea ranul i numai pe Repin.
Din fericire pentru Repin, ranul e inut la adpost de produsele capitalismului american, cci altfel Repin n-ar avea
nici o ans n faa unei coperte Saturday Evening Post de Norman Rockwell.
n fine, s-ar putea spune c valorile distilate de privitorul cultivat din Picasso snt aceleai cu cele obinute de ran
din Repin, ntruct ceea ce i place acestuia din urm n Repin e oarecum tot art, orict de jos ar fi nivelul ei, iar el e
mboldit s priveasc imagini de aceleai instincte ca i privitorul cultivat. ns valorile ultime pe care le distileaz privi-
torul cultivat din Picasso snt valori de o extracie secund; ele rezult din reflecia asupra impresiei lsate de valorile
plastice. Abia n acest moment intr n scen recognoscibilul, miraculosul i sugestivul. Ele nu snt prezente n mod
nemijlocit sau extern n tabloul lui Picasso, ci trebuie proiectate n el de ctre spectatorul suficient de sensibil pentru
a reaciona ndeajuns la calitile plastice. Ele aparin efectului reflectat. La Repin, n schimb, efectul reflectat a fost
deja inclus n imagine, numai bun pentru desftarea nereflexiv a privitorului.
5
Unde Picasso picteaz cauza, Repin
picteaz efectul. Repin prediger arta pentru privitor i l cru de orice efort, el i asigur o scurttur ctre plcerea
artei, o scurttur ce ocolete tot ce e cu necesitate dificil n arta veritabil. Repin, sau kitschul, e art sintetic.
Acelai lucru e valabil i pentru literatura kitsch: ea asigur un surogat de experien pentru cei lipsii de sensibilitate;
i-o face cu o imediatee cu mult mai mare dect aceea la care pot spera ficiunile serioase. Eddie Guest i Indian
Love Lyrics [Stihuri indiene de dragoste] snt mai poetice dect T. S. Eliot sau Shakespeare.



Ilia Repin
Zaporojenii scriind o scrisoare sultanului Turciei, 18801891, Muzeul Rus, Leningrad
Pablo Picasso
Femeie innd un evantai (dup bal),
1908, Ermitaj, Leningrad
12


III
Dac avangarda imit procesele artei, kitschul, din cte vedem, imit efectele acesteia. Radicalitatea acestei antiteze
nu e deloc factice; ea corespunde, precizndu-l, enormului hiat ce desparte dou fenomene culturale concomitente:
avangarda i kitschul. Acest hiat, mult prea vast pentru a putea fi umplut de gradaiile infinite ale modernismului
popularizat i ale kitschului modernist, corespunde la rndul lui unei falii sociale, una care a existat dintotdeauna n
cadrul culturii recunoscute [formal], ca peste tot n societatea civilizat, i ale crei margini se apropie sau se deprteaz
unele de altele n funcie de creterea sau diminuarea stabilitii societii date. Dintotdeauna a existat, de o parte,
minoritatea celor puternici i, prin urmare, cultivai , de cealalt parte, imensa mas a exploatailor i sracilor
i, prin urmare, a ignoranilor. Cultura legitim a aparinut ntotdeauna primilor, n timp ce ultimii aveau a se mulumi
cu cultura lor popular [folk] sau rudimentar, sau cu kitschul.
ntr-o societate stabil, care funcioneaz ndeajuns de bine nct s pstreze fluide contradiciile dintre clasele ei, dihoto-
mia cultural se nceoeaz ntructva. Axiomele celor puini snt mprtite de cei muli; acetia din urm cred la
modul superstiios n ceea ce primii cred cu luciditate. i, n asemenea momente ale istoriei, masele pot resimi uimire
i admiraie, nu conteaz la ce nivel, pentru cultura stpnilor ei. Asta e valabil cel puin pentru cultura plastic, accesi-
bil tuturor.
n evul mediu, artistul plastic trebuia s se conformeze mcar de form celui mai mic numitor comun al experienei.
i, ntr-o anumit msur, aa au stat lucrurile pn n secolul al XVII-lea. Imitrii i sttea la dispoziie o realitate concep-
tual universal valabil, de la ordinea creia artistul nu putea devia. Temele artei erau prescrise de cei ce comandau
lucrri artistice, care nu se fceau, ca n societatea burghez, pe cile unei libere creaii [on speculation]. Tocmai determi-
narea dinainte a coninuturilor operei a ngduit artistului libertatea de a se concentra asupra mijloacelor sale de expre-
sie. El trebuia s fie nu un filosof sau un vizionar, ci un simplu artizan. Ct timp existase un acord general asupra a
ce merita cu eminen s fie tem artistic, artistul era scutit de nevoia de a fi original i inventiv n ce privete tema
i i putea dedica ntreaga energie chestiunilor legate de form. Pentru el, mijloacele de expresie deveneau n mod
intim, profesional, coninutul artei sale, tot aa cum mijloacele de expresie ale artistului snt astzi coninutul public
al artei pictorului abstract cu diferena totui c artistul medieval trebuia s-i reprime preocuprile sale profesionale
n public; adic, n opera de art finisat, oficial, acesta din urm trebuise ntotdeauna s tearg i s aeze pe o
poziie subordonat tot ce inea de sfera sa personal sau profesional. Dac, n calitate de membru obinuit al comuni-
tii cretine, el nutrea vreun sentiment propriu fa de tema sa, asta nu putea dect contribui la mbogirea semni-
ficaiilor publice ale operei. Abia o dat cu Renaterea modulaiile a ceea ce e personal au devenit legitime, rmnnd
s fie inute totui ntre limitele a ceea ce era recognoscibil n mod simplu i universal. i numai cu Rembrandt ncep
s apar artitii singuratici, solitari n arta lor.
Dar pn i-n perioada Renaterii, i atta timp ct arta occidental se strduise s-i perfecioneze tehnica, victoriile
n acest domeniu puteau fi marcate numai prin succesul n imitarea realist, de vreme ce nu exista nici un alt crite-
riu obiectiv la ndemn. Astfel, masele puteau nc gsi n arta stpnilor lor obiecte de admiraie i uimire. Pn i
pasrea repezindu-se s ciuguleasc din fructul pictat de Zeuxis putea aplauda.
E o platitudine c arta devine caviar pentru mulimi atunci cnd realitatea pe care o imit nu mai corespunde, nici
mcar n mare, realitii tiute de acestea. Chiar i n acest caz totui, resentimentul pe care l-ar putea simi omul
obinuit e redus la tcere de veneraia cutremurat [awe] care-l ncearc dinaintea comanditarilor acestei arte. Abia
cnd devine nemulumit de ordinea social administrat de acetia, ncepe el s le critice cultura. Abia atunci prinde
curaj plebeul s-i exprime deschis opiniile. Fiecare, de la consilierul municipal corupt la zugravul austriac, crede c e
ndreptit s aib o opinie. Cel mai adesea, acest resentiment fa de cultur e de gsit acolo unde nemulumirea
fa de societate e una reacionar i se exprim prin tot felul de restaurri sau redeteptri [revivalism] i puritanism,
iar mai recent prin fascism. Aici pistoalele i torele ncep s fie pomenite, dintr-o aceeai trstur de condei, n rnd
cu cultura. n numele sacralitii sau al sntii sngelui, n numele dezbrrii de mofturi [simple ways] i al virtuilor
solide, ncepe sfrmarea de statui.

IV
Rentorcndu-ne o clip la ranul nostru rus, s presupunem c dup ce l-a preferat pe Repin, i nu pe Picasso, siste-
mul educaional al statului vine i i spune c a greit, c trebuia s-l aleag pe Picasso i i arat de ce. Statului so-
vietic i-ar fi prea cu putin s fac asta. Dar fiindc lucrurile stau cum stau n Rusia i peste tot , ranul se vede
curnd nevoit s munceasc din greu, ct e ziua de lung, pentru a supravieui, iar condiiile dure, penibile n care
triete nu i asigur destul timp liber, energie i chef ca s se exerseze n gustul pentru Picasso. Acesta din urm are
nevoie, la urma urmei, de o cantitate considerabil de condiionare. Cultura superioar e una din cele mai artificiale
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
13




ntre toate creaiile omeneti, iar ranul nu va gsi n el nici un fel de imbold natural arztor care s-l conduc la
Picasso, n pofida tuturor dificultilor [n care se zbate].
6
n cele din urm, atunci cnd va simi nevoia de a privi ima-
gini, ranul se va ntoarce la kitsch, cci de acesta el se poate bucura fr cel mai mic efort. Statul nu poate face
nimic n aceast privin i asta va rmne aa atta timp ct problemele produciei nu vor fi fost rezolvate n sens socia-
list. Acelai lucru e valabil, desigur, i pentru rile capitaliste, fcnd din orice discuie despre arta pentru masele de
aici o pur demagogie.
7

Acolo unde astzi un regim politic instituie o politic cultural oficial, e doar de dragul demagogiei. Dac tendina
oficial a culturii n Germania, Italia i Rusia e kitschul, asta se ntmpl nu fiindc guvernele acestor ri ar fi controla-
te de filistini, ci fiindc n rile pomenite, la fel ca peste tot, kitschul e cultura maselor. ncurajarea kitschului e doar
nc una din modalitile puin costisitoare prin care regimurile totalitare caut s intre n graiile supuilor lor. De
vreme ce aceste regimuri chiar s vrea nu pot ridica nivelul cultural al maselor prin nimic care s nu fie de fapt
o predare n faa socialismului internaional, ele vor lingui masele prin coborrea a tot ce nseamn cultur la nivelul
acestora. Din acest motiv e proscris avangarda, i nu att fiindc o cultur superioar ar fi n mod inerent una mai
critic. (Dac avangarda ar putea sau nu s nfloreasc sub un regim totalitar nu ine, n acest punct, de chestiunea
noastr.) n fapt, principala problem cu arta plastic i cu literatura de avangard, din punctul de vedere al fascitilor i
al stalinitilor, nu e c ele snt prea critice, ci c ele snt prea inocente, cu alte cuvinte c e prea greu s injectezi
propagand eficient n ele, kitschul se preteaz mult mai bine acestui scop. Kitschul i asigur dictatorului un raport
mai intim cu sufletul poporului. n cazul n care cultura oficial ar fi una superioar nivelului general al maselor, ar
exista pericolul izolrii de acestea.
i totui, dac ar fi de conceput posibilitatea ca masele s cear art plastic i literatur de avangard, Hitler, Mussolini
i Stalin n-ar ezita prea mult s satisfac o asemenea cerere. Hitler e un duman mai nverunat al avangardei dect
alii, din raiuni att doctrinale, ct i personale, i totui asta nu l-a mpiedicat pe Goebbels n 19321933 s curte-
ze cu insisten artiti plastici i scriitori avangarditi. Cnd Gottfried Benn, un poet expresionist, li s-a alturat nazi-
tilor, el a fost ntmpinat cu surle i trmbie, chiar dac tocmai n acea vreme Hitler denunase expresionismul ca
specie de Kulturbolschewismus
8
. Asta se ntmpla n perioada n care nazitii simiser c prestigiul de care se bucu-
ra avangarda n rndurile publicului german cultivat le-ar putea fi de folos, iar raiunile practice de acest gen, nazitii
fiind politicieni abili, au fost ntotdeauna mai presus de nclinaiile personale ale lui Hitler. Mai trziu, nazitii i-au dat
seama c era mai practic s adere, n materie de cultur, la preferinele maselor, i nu la cele ale casierilor masei;
acetia din urm, cnd s-a pus problema s-i prezerve puterea, s-au artat a fi la fel de dispui s-i sacrifice cultu-
ra ca i principiile morale; n timp ce primii, de vreme ce puterea le era oricum refuzat, trebuiau s fie amgii prin
toate celelalte mijloace posibile. A fost necesar s se promoveze ntr-un stil mai grandios dect n democraii iluzia
c masele snt cele care conduc de fapt. Literatura i arta plastic pe care acestea le gustau i nelegeau au fost procla-
mate singurele adevrate, iar celelalte au fost reprimate. n aceste circumstane, oameni ca Gottfried Benn, orict
de nflcrat l-ar fi sprijinit pe Hitler, deveniser o piedic; i nu s-a mai auzit nimic de ei n Germania nazist. Putem
recunoate deci c dei, dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, filistinismul personal al lui Hitler i Stalin nu e acci- dental n
raport cu rolul pe care ei l joac, din alt punct de vedere, acest filistinism e un factor care contribuie doar
ntmpltor la determinarea politicilor culturale ale regimurilor instaurate de cei doi. Filistinismul lor nu face dect s
adauge brutalitate i s dubleze obscurantismul msurilor pe care ei ar trebui s le sprijine oricum datorit presiu-
nilor celorlalte strategii ale lor chiar dac, personal, ei ar gusta cultura avangardist. Ceea ce Stalin a fost obligat
s fac datorit asumrii de ctre el a izolrii Revoluiei Ruse, Hitler trebuia s fac datorit acceptrii de ctre el a
contradiciilor capitalismului i a efortului su de-a le nghea pentru a le pstra ca atare. n ce-l privete pe Mussolini
cazul su e un exemplu perfect de disponibilit
9
a unui realist n astfel de chestiuni. Ani de-a rndul el i-a privit cu
ochi buni pe futuriti i a construit gri i apartamente cu chirie la stat moderniste. Se pot vedea n suburbiile Romei
apartamente mai moderniste dect aproape oriunde altundeva n lume. Poate c fascismul voia s arate c e la zi
cu ce se ntmpl, s ascund c e o micare de regresiune; poate c voia s se conformeze gusturilor elitei bogate
pe care o servise. n orice caz, Mussolini pare s-i fi dat seama mai trziu c i-ar fi fost mai util s fie pe placul gustu-
rilor culturale ale maselor italiene dect pe-al acelora practicate de stpnii ei. Maselor trebuie s le furnizezi obiecte
de admiraie i uimire; ultimii se pot dispensa de acestea. Aa se face c l vedem pe Mussolini anunnd un nou
stil imperial. Marinetti, Chirico, et al. snt evacuai de pe scen i grile din Roma nu vor mai fi moderniste. C Mussolini
a ajuns destul de trziu la asta nu face dect s ilustreze nc o dat relativa ezitare a fascismului italian n a trage con-
cluziile necesare din rolul jucat de el.
Capitalismul n declin descoper c orice lucru de calitate pe care l-ar mai putea produce devine aproape invaria-
bil o ameninare la adresa existenei sale. Progresele n cultur, la fel ca progresele n tiin i industrie, corodeaz
14


nsi societatea sub egida creia ele au devenit posibile. n acest punct, la fel ca n toate chestiunile de azi, trebuie
citat Marx cuvnt cu cuvnt. Astzi nu mai privim nspre socialism pentru o cultur nou ea oricum va aprea, numai
s avem socialism. Azi, privim la socialism pentru pstrarea oricrei culturi vii pe care o avem n clipa de fa.

Traducere de Al. Polgr i Adrian T. Srbu

Note:

1. Gen de muzic popular american (urban) aprut la sfritul secolului al XIX-lea prin intermediul industriei editoriale de partituri concentrate la New
York; o muzic scris, din raiuni comerciale, de compozitorii de cntece, de muzic de dans i de vodeviluri. Numele genului vine de la porecla strzii
unde se concentrau birourile acestor edituri (n anii 2030 strada s-a tot schimbat), expresia tin pan referindu-se la zdrngneala pianelor pe care com-
pozitorii i prezentau editorilor piesele. Pe msur ce dezvoltarea filmului, a nregistrrilor audio, a radioului i a televiziunii a creat i a sporit cererea de
alte genuri de muzic, Tin Pan Alley a czut n desuetudine. (N. tr.)

2. Exemplul muzicii, care a fost mult vreme o art abstract i pe care poezia avangardist a ncercat ntr-att s-o emuleze, e interesant. Muzica, spune n
mod destul de curios Aristotel, e cea mai mimetic i cea mai vie dintre toate artele pentru c ea i imit originalul starea sufletului cu cea mai mare
nemijlocire. Astzi, asta ne frapeaz ca fiind tocmai opusul adevrului, cci nici o alt art nu ne pare a avea mai puin legtur cu ceva din afara sa dect
muzica. Oricum, pe lng faptul c, ntr-un anume sens, Aristotel s-ar putea s mai aib dreptate, trebuie artat c muzica greac antic se afla ntr-o strn-
s legtur cu poezia i depindea de caracterul acesteia ca auxiliar al versului pentru ca acesta s-i poat face mai clar nelesul imitativ. Platon, vorbind
despre muzic, spune: Cci atunci cnd nu exist cuvinte, e foarte greu s recunoti nelesul armoniei i al ritmului sau s vezi c ele imit vreun obiect
demn de asta. Din cte tim, orice muzic a avut iniial o asemenea funcie auxiliar. O dat ce totui aceast funcie a fost abandonat, muzica a fost obliga-
t s se retrag n sine i s gseasc acolo o constrngere sau un original. Asta se atest n feluritele modaliti ale compunerii i interpretrii ei.

3. Datorez aceast formulare unei remarci fcute de Hans Hofmann, profesorul de art, ntr-una din conferinele sale. Din acest punct de vedere,
suprarealismul n art e o tendin reacionar care ncearc s reabiliteze ideea unei teme exterioare. Principala preocupare a lui Dal e s nfieze
procesele i conceptele contiinei sale, i nu mecanismele mijloacelor sale de exprimare.

4. Vezi remarcile lui Valry despre poezia lui.

5. T. S. Eliot a spus ceva de acelai ordin n ncercarea sa de a da seama de cusururile poeziei romantice engleze. Fr ndoial, romanticii pot fi considerai
ca fiind cei care au comis pcatul originar, a cror vin kitschul o motenete. Ei au artat kitschului cum trebuie fcute lucrurile. Despre ce anume scrie
Keats cu precdere, dac nu despre efectul pe care l are poezia asupra lui nsui?

6. ... the peasant finds no natural urgency within himself that will drive him toward Picasso in spite of all difficulties. Exprimarea e ntr-adevr ambigu: dificul-
tile s fie cele ale accesului adecvat la Picasso (i n general la cultura nalt) ori nevoile vieii zilnice n care se zbate ranul (i toi aceia pe care el e pus
aici s-i reprezinte)? ntre cele dou ordini de dificulti s fie oare sugerat, fulgurant, o simetrie tacit? Finalul alineatului pare s ncurajeze lectura aces-
tei implicaii politice critic la adresa att a statului totalitar (stalinist sau fascist), ct i a sistemului politic liberal-democratic a raportului dintre contextul
social i arta de avangard. Pe de alt parte, cum se vede din alineatul imediat urmtor, refuzul de a pune una-dou semnul echivalenei ntre criticismul
estetic imanent, superior, al avangardei i o presupus funcie critic de ordin social-politic al aceleiai avangarde ridic obstacole n faa unei asemenea
lecturi simple. (N. tr.)

7. Se va obiecta c o art pentru mase cum e arta popular [folk art] s-a dezvoltat n condiii rudimentare ale produciei i c o bun parte a artei popu-
lare e de nivel nalt. Da, aa este dar arta popular nu e Atena i Atena e cea pe care o vrem: cultura cult [formal] cu infinitatea sa de aspecte, luxurian-
a ei, imensa ei putere de nelegere. De altfel, ni se spune c marea parte a lucrurilor pe care le considerm bune n cultura popular e supravieuirea
static a fostelor culturi legitimate, aristocratice [dead formal, aristocratic, cultures]. Baladele noastre englezeti, de pild, n-au fost create de popor, ci
de mica nobilime postfeudal de la ar, pentru a supravieui pe buzele poporului pn mult dup ce aceia care le-au compus au trecut la alte forme ale
literaturii. Din nefericire, nainte de epoca mainilor, cultura a fost privilegiul exclusiv al unui strat al societii ce tria din truda erbilor sau a sclavilor. Ei au
fost adevratele simboluri ale culturii. Pentru ca o persoan s poat cheltui timp i energie crend sau ascultnd poezie trebuia ca un alt om s produc
destul ct s supravieuiasc i s-i asigure primului bunstarea. Astzi, n Africa, vedem c triburile deintoare de sclavi au o cultur superioar celor care
nu au sclavi.

8. n german n text: bolevism cultural. (N. tr.)

9. n francez n text. (N. tr.)
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
15




Pictura modernist
Clement Greenberg




Modernismul cuprinde mai mult dect arta plastic i literatura. De-acum, el acoper aproape integral ansamblul a
ce e cu adevrat viu n cultura noastr. Se ntmpl totui ca el s fie o foarte mare noutate istoric. Civilizaia occi-
dental nu e prima care s se ntoarc asupra ei nsei i s-i chestioneze propriile fundamente, dar ea e cea care
a mers cel mai departe pe acest drum. neleg prin modernism intensificarea, exacerbarea aproape, a acestei tendine
auto-critice care a nceput cu filosoful Immanuel Kant. Deoarece el a fost cel dinti care s critice mijloacele nse-
le ale criticii, m gndesc la Kant ca la primul modernist adevrat.
Esena modernismului const, aa cum o vd, n utilizarea metodelor caracteristice unei discipline pentru a critica
disciplina nsi, nu spre a o ruina, ci pentru ancorarea ei mai ferm n aria competenei sale. Kant a folosit logica
pentru a stabili limitele logicii i, dei i-a sustras multe de sub vechea jurisdicie, logica a rmas fixat mai sigur n ceea
ce i-a fost lsat n grij.
Auto-critica modernismului crete din critica inventat de iluminism, fr a se confunda ns cu aceasta. Iluminismul
critica din exterior, aa cum o face critica n sensul ei curent; modernismul critic dinuntru, prin chiar procedeele
a ceea ce este criticat. Pare firesc c acest nou tip de critic trebuise s apar mai nti n cadrul filosofiei, care e cri-
tic prin definiie, dar la finele secolului al XVIII-lea ea a ptruns i n multe alte domenii. O justificare mai raional a
nceput s fie cerut fiecrei activiti sociale recunoscute ca legitim [formal social activity], iar auto-critica n sens
kantian, care apruse n filosofie ca un rspuns la prima ivire, mai nti aici, a acestei cerine, a fost chemat n cele
din urm s-i dea curs i s-o interpreteze n arii ndeprtate de filosofie.
tim ce s-a ntmplat cu o activitate precum religia, care n-a putut trage folos din critica imanent, kantian pentru
a se justifica pe sine. La prima vedere, artele ar fi putut prea a se afla ntr-o situaie similar cu a religiei. Toate sarcinile
pe care acestea le puteau asuma cu seriozitate fiindu-le tgduite de iluminism, ele se nfiau ca i cum ar fi fost
pe cale s fie asimilate divertismentului [entertainment] pur i simplu, iar divertismentul nsui se nfia ca i cum
ar fi urmat s fie asimilat, precum religia, unei forme de terapie. Artele se puteau salva de la aceast declasare numai
dac demonstrau c felul de experien pe care-l furnizeaz e valoros prin sine i nu e de obinut din nici un alt tip
de activitate.
A reieit c fiecare art trebuia s execute aceast demonstraie pe cont propriu. Ceea ce era de manifestat i ates-
tat [to be exhibited] nu era doar ce este unic i ireductibil n arta n general, ci i ce avea unic i ireductibil fiecare art
n parte, n particularitatea sa. Fiecare art trebuia s determine, prin propriile sale operaii i opere, efectele [the
effects] ce-i aparin n mod exclusiv.
1
Pe aceast cale, nendoios c aria sa de competen s-ar fi ngustat, ns pose-
sia acesteia ar fi devenit, totodat, cu att mai sigur.
A ieit curnd la lumin c aria de competen unic i proprie fiecrei arte coincidea cu tot ce era unic n natura
mijloacelor sale de expresie. Sarcina auto-criticii a devenit eliminarea din rndul eficienelor
2
caracteristice fiecrei
arte a tuturor acelora i a oricreia dintre ele despre care s-ar fi putut imagina a fi luate cu mprumut de la modali-
tatea de exprimare a vreunei alte arte. n felul acesta, fiecare art s-ar fi regsit pur i i-ar fi putut afla n propria
puritate garania exigenelor sale de calitate, precum i independena sa. Puritate nsemna autodefinire, iar iniiati-
va auto-criticii n art devenise una a autodefinirii radicale i cu arag.
Arta realist, naturalist i disimulase mijloacele de expresie, folosindu-se de art pentru a ascunde arta; modernis-
mul a folosit arta pentru a atrage atenia asupra artei. Limitaiile constitutive pentru modalitatea de exprimare a pic-
turii suprafaa plan, forma suportului, proprietile pigmentului au fost considerate de vechii maetri ca factori
negativi, de recunoscut numai implicit sau indirect. n modernism, aceleai limite au nceput s fie vzute ca factori
pozitivi i au fost recunoscute n mod deschis. Tablourile lui Manet au devenit primele picturi moderniste graie sin-
ceritii cu care declarau suprafaa plan pe care erau pictate. Impresionitii, n siajul lui Manet, au renegat grundul
i verniurile, pentru a nu lsa ochiului nici o ndoial asupra faptului c acele culori pe care le foloseau erau vopsea
scoas din tuburi sau ulcele. Czanne sacrificase verosimilitatea sau corectitudinea pentru a-i potrivi i mai explicit
desenul sau schia formei rectangulare a pnzei.
Insistena asupra planeitii inevitabile a suprafeei rmsese totui mai important dect orice altceva n procesele
prin care arta picturii s-a criticat i s-a definit pe sine n modernism. Cci numai planeitatea era unic i aparinnd
exclusiv artei picturale. Cadrul delimitnd imaginea [the enclosing shape of the picture] era o condiie-limit ori o norm
Forum lectures
(Washington D.C: Voice of America), 1960
Arts Yearbook 4, 1961
(versiune nemodificat)
Art and Literature, primvara 1965
(uor revizuit)
Richard Kostelanetz (coord.),
Esthetics Contemporary, 1978
Francis Frascina i Charles Harrison (coord.),
Modern Art and Modernism:
A Critical Anthology, 1982.
16


ce era mprtit i cu arta teatral; culoarea era o norm i un mijloc mprtit nu numai cu teatrul, dar i cu sculp-
tura. ntruct planeitatea era singura condiie pe care pictura n-o mprea cu nici o alt art, pictura modernist
s-a orientat nspre planeitate mai mult dect spre orice altceva.
Vechii maetri simiser c era necesar s fie pstrat ceea ce se cheam integritatea caracterului bidimensional al
imaginii: adic cerina ca prezena statornic a planeitii, ndrtul i n pofida celei mai vii iluzii a tridimensionalitii,
s rmn semnalizat. Aparenta contradicie implicat aici fusese esenial pentru reuita artei lor, la fel cum fr ndoial
c ea e esenial pentru reuita oricrei arte a picturii. Modernitii nici n-au evitat, nici n-au rezolvat aceast contra-
dicie; mai curnd, ei i-au inversat termenii. Ceea ce ei ne impun ateniei e planeitatea imaginilor lor, mai nainte de
a ne face ateni i nu dup aceea la ce anume conine planeitatea. n vreme ce la un maestru din vechime sn-
tem nclinai s vedem ce se afl n tablou mai nainte de a vedea tabloul, ceea ce ni se d de vzut la un tablou moder-
nist e nti i-nti tabloul nsui. Desigur c aceasta e cea mai bun modalitate de a privi orice tablou, vechi sau modernist,
ns modernismul o impune drept modalitatea unic i necesar, iar reuita modernismului n a face asta e o reuit a
criticii de sine [a picturii].
n principiu, pictura modernist n stadiul ei cel mai apropiat de noi n-a abandonat reprezentarea de obiecte recog-
noscibile. Ceea ce ea a abandonat din principiu e reprezentarea acelui fel de spaiu pe care obiectele recognosci-
bile l pot popula. Abstracia, ori nonfigurativul, nc n-a fcut proba c ar fi, ca atare, un moment cu desvrire necesar
n critica de sine a artei picturii, chiar dac artiti att de emineni precum Kandinsky i Mondrian crezuser acest lucru.
n ea nsi, reprezentarea sau nfiarea a ceva nu atinge ceea ce e unic n arta picturii; singularitatea picturii este
n schimb dat de nfiarea laolalt a lucrurilor reprezentate. Toate entitile recognoscibile (inclusiv tablourile) exist
ntr-un spaiu tridimensional i cea mai firav sugerare a unei entiti recognoscibile e de ajuns pentru a trezi aso-
ciaii ale acestui spaiu. Conturul fragmentar al chipului uman sau silueta unei ceti o va face, negreit, iar astfel va
nstrina spaiul pictural de bidimensionalitatea propriu-zis care e garania independenei picturii ca art. Cci, aa
cum ziceam deja, tridimensionalitatea e lotul sculpturii. Pentru a-i dobndi autonomia, pictura are, mai presus de
orice, a se despuia de tot ce ar putea mprti cu sculptura; graie tocmai acestui efort a devenit pictura abstract, i
nu atta o spun iari prin excluderea reprezentaionalului sau literarului.
n acelai timp ns, tocmai prin rezistena ei fa de sculptural, pictura modernist arat ct de ferm ancorat rmne
ea n tradiie dincolo de toate aparenele ce ne-ar lsa s credem contrariul i n pofida lor. Cci rezistena la sculp-
tural dateaz nc dinainte bine de naterea modernismului. Pictura occidental, n msura n care e naturalist, datorea-
z multe sculpturii, care la nceputuri o nvase cum s foloseasc umbrele i modeleul pentru a crea iluzia
reliefului, i chiar cum s dispun n plan aceast iluzie completnd-o pe aceea a unui spaiu avnd adncime. Cu toate
astea, unele din cele mai temerare isprvi ale picturii occidentale se datoreaz eforturilor ei, de-a lungul ultimelor
patru secole, de a se elibera de sculptural. ncepute la Veneia, n secolul al XVI-lea, i continund n Spania, Belgia i
Olanda secolului al XVII-lea, aceste strdanii s-au desfurat mai nti n numele culorii. Cnd David, n secolul al
XVIII-lea, a ncercat s renvie pictura sculptural, asta a fost, n parte, pentru a salva arta picturii de aplatizarea deco-
rativist ce prea a fi indus de punerea accentului pe culoare. i totui fora celor mai bune tablouri ale lui David,
care snt mai ales cele lipsite de solemnitate, rezid la fel de mult i n culoare. Iar Ingres, fidelul su elev, dei plasa
culoarea mai jos dect poziia pe care i-o acordase David, a realizat nite portrete care snt dintre cele mai plane,
mai puin sculpturale picturi executate n Occident de-un artist rafinat, din secolul al XIV-lea ncoace. Astfel, pe la
mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea, toate tendinele ambiioase n pictur convergeau, n pofida diferenelor dintre ele, n-
tr-o direcie antisculptural.
Modernismul, pe lng c pstreaz aceast direcie, a fcut-o s devin i mai contient de ea nsi. Cu Manet i
impresionitii chestiunea pictural ncetase s mai fie una a culorii mpotriva desenului, ea devenind una a experienei
optice pure mpotriva aceleia ajustate sau modificate prin asociaii tactile. n numele opticului pur i propriu-zis, i
nu n acela al culorii, s-au hotrt impresionitii s submineze la modul programatic folosirea umbrelor i a modeleului
n pictur, ca i a oricror altor procedee prnd s conoteze sculpturalul. i nc o dat n numele sculpturalului, cu
umbrele i modeleul su, au reacionat Czanne i, dup el, cubitii mpotriva impresionismului, la fel cum reacionase
David mpotriva lui Fragonard. Dar iari, la fel cum reacia lui David i a lui Ingres culminase, paradoxal, ntr-un tip
de pictur mai puin sculptural dect cea de dinaintea lor, contrarevoluia cubist a avut ca rezultat un tip de pictu-
r mai plan dect oricare n istoria artei occidentale de la Giotto i Cimabue ncoace att de plan de fapt nct cu
greu mai putea conine imagini recognoscibile.
ntre timp, o dat cu nvala modernismului, celelalte reguli cardinale ale picturii ncepuser s sufere i ele o
revizuire care, dei mai puin spectaculoas, a fost ns la fel de cuprinztoare. Mi-ar lua mai mult timp dect am la
dispoziie aici s art cum norma formei ce delimiteaz imaginea [ca imagine pictural], sau a cadrului ei [the norm
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
17




of the pictures enclosing shape, or frame], a fost slbit, apoi rentrit, nc o dat slbit i izolat, apoi ntrit iar
de generaiile succesive de pictori moderniti. Sau felul cum normele finisrii i ale texturii rezultate din aplicarea vopse-
lei, ca i acelea ale valorrii culorii i ale contrastului cromatic, au fost revizuite iar i iar. Au fost asumate riscuri noi
n privina tuturor acestor reguli nu numai n interesul expresiei, ci i pentru ca ele s fie i mai limpede manifestate
nemijlocit ca norme. Fiind astfel exhibate, li se pune la ncercare caracterul indispensabil. Aceast punere la ncerca-
re nu e nicidecum ncheiat, iar faptul c, pe msur ce se desfoar, ea merge tot mai adnc explic att simplifi-
crile radicale, pe de o parte, ct i, pe de alta, complicrile radicale ce pot fi vzute, deopotriv, n pictura abstract
cea mai recent.
Extrema la care se ajunge n acest proces nu e nici ea o chestiune de capriciu ori de arbitrar. Dimpotriv, cu ct devin
mai strns definite normele i regulile unei discipline, cu att mai puin libertate permit ele ntr-o direcie sau alta.
Regulile sau conveniile eseniale ale picturii snt n acelai timp condiiile-limit crora o imagine pictural trebuie s li
se supun pentru a fi perceput ca aa ceva. Modernismul a descoperit c aceste limite pot fi fcute s reculeze
nedefinit mai nainte ca o pictur s nceteze a mai fi pictur i s devin un obiect arbitrar; dar el a descoperit, de
asemenea, i c aceast regresie continu i recurent a limitelor antreneaz cu ea o necesitate sporit de a le respec-
ta explicit i de a le evidenia [n imaginea nsi]. ntretierea de linii negre i de dreptunghiuri colorate dintr-o pictu-
r de Mondrian abia dac pare suficient pentru a constitui o imagine, totui ele impun figura cadrrii acesteia [the
pictures framing shape] n calitate de norm regulatoare, i o fac cu o for i o organicitate [completeness] noi pe
calea figurrii ei att de transparente [by echoing that shape so closely]. Departe de a se expune pericolului arbitrarului,
arta lui Mondrian, cu trecerea timpului, se dovedete a fi aproape prea disciplinat, aproape prea legat, sub anumi-
te aspecte, de tradiie i de convenie; o dat ce ne-am obinuit cu caracterul total abstract al ei, ne dm seama c
aceast art e mai conservatoare chiar dect ultimele tablouri ale lui Monet, de pild n ce privete culoarea, dar i
prin subordonarea ei fa de ram [frame].
Se nelege, sper, c prezentnd o schem explicativ a principiilor de baz ale picturii moderniste a trebuit s simpli-
fic i s ngro anumite aspecte. Planeitatea spre care se ndreapt pictura modernist nu poate fi niciodat una abso-
lut. Se poate ca sentimentul intensificat al bidimensionalitii imaginii s nu mai ngduie iluzia sculptural i nici trompe
lil-ul, dar el permite iluzia optic i trebuie s-o permit. Cel dinti semn [mark] depus pe-o pnz distruge planeita-
tea sa literal i total, iar rezultatul semnelor trasate pe aceasta de un artist ca Mondrian rmne n continuare oare-
cum o iluzie ce sugereaz un fel de a treia dimensiune. Numai c acum ea este o a treia dimensiune strict pictural,
strict optic. Vechii maetri creaser iluzia spaiului nzestrat cu adncime, una n care ne-am fi putut nchipui ca pind;
n schimb, iluzia analoag creat de pictorul modernist nu poate fi dect privit; n ea se poate cltori, literalmente
sau figurat, numai cu ochiul.
Pictura abstract cea mai recent ncearc s mplineasc insistena impresionist asupra vzului ca unic sim pe care
l poate invoca o art pictural complet ct privete esenialul ei. Dndu-ne seama de acest lucru, ncepem s nelegem i
c impresionitii sau, cel puin, neoimpresionitii nu s-au nelat ntru totul atunci cnd cochetaser cu tiina. Auto-
critica n sens kantian, aa cum reiese acum, i-a gsit expresia suprem mai degrab n tiin dect n filosofie i,
atunci cnd a nceput s fie aplicat n art, aceasta din urm a fost adus, n spiritul ei, mai aproape ca nicicnd de
metoda tiinific mai aproape chiar dect fusese adus ea de Alberti, Uccello, Piero della Francesca sau Leonardo
n vremea Renaterii. C arta vizual ar trebui s se mrgineasc numai la ceea ce e dat n experiena vizual i s
nu fac referire la nimic din ce e dat n vreo alt ordine a experienei, aceast idee i gsete justificarea numai n
consecvena de tip tiinific.
Numai metodele tiinifice cer, sau ar putea cere, ca o situaie s fie rezolvat n chiar termenii n care ea este prezen-
tat. ns acest tip de consecven nu promite nimic n felul n care o face calitatea estetic, iar faptul c arta cea mai
bun a ultimilor aptezeci sau optzeci de ani se apropie din ce n ce mai tare de o asemenea consecven nu arat
contrariul. Din punctul de vedere al artei n sine, convergena ei cu tiina este pur accidental; nici arta, nici tiina
nu ofer una celeilalte sau nu i asigur reciproc nimic mai mult dect o fcuser fiecare altdat. Ceea ce conver-
gena lor arat totui este msura profund n care arta modernist aparine aceleiai tendine culturale determinate
creia i aparine i tiina modern, iar acest aspect, ca fapt istoric, e de importan decisiv.
Trebuie neles de asemenea c auto-critica din arta modernist nu s-a desfurat niciodat altfel dect ntr-o manier
spontan i n mare msur subliminal. Aa cum artasem deja, ea fusese cu desvrire o chestiune de practic,
imanent practicii, i niciodat o tem teoretic. n legtur cu arta modernist se vorbete mult despre programe,
n realitate exist mult mai puine aspecte programatice n pictura modernist dect n cea renascentist sau cea aca-
demic. Cu cteva excepii, cum ar fi Mondrian, maetrii modernismului nu au avut mai multe idei prestabilite despre
art dect avusese Corot. Anumite nclinaii, anumite afirmaii i accente, precum i anumite refuzuri i abineri par
18


s devin necesare numai fiindc drumul ctre o art mai puternic, mai expresiv trece prin ele. elurile imediate
ale modernitilor fuseser, i au rmas, nainte de toate personale, iar adevrul i reuita operelor lor rmn nainte
de toate unele personale. i a fost nevoie, de-a lungul deceniilor, de acumularea unei mari cantiti de pictur fcut
din raiuni personale pentru a se dezvlui tendina auto-critic a picturii moderniste. Nici un artist nu fusese, ori nu
este nc, pe deplin contient de asta; i nici un artist n-ar putea lucra vreodat liber avnd contiina acestui fapt. n
aceast msur i e una ct se poate de mare arta continu s se desfoare n modernism aproape la fel cum
a fcut-o nainte.
Nu pot insista ndeajuns asupra faptului c modernismul n-a nsemnat niciodat, i nici astzi nu nseamn, ceva de
felul unei rupturi cu trecutul. El poate nsemna o diminuare a rangului tradiiei, o departajare a firelor acesteia, dar
el nseamn de asemenea continuarea pe mai departe a evoluiei ei. Arta modernist continu trecutul fr hiat sau
bre i oriunde ar ajunge pn la urm, ea nu va nceta niciodat s fie inteligibil n termenii trecutului. Producerea
imaginii picturale a fost controlat, nc de cnd a aprut, de toate normele pe care le-am menionat mai sus. Pictorul
sau gravorul din paleolitic putea s nu in seama de norma cadrului i s trateze suprafaa ntr-o manier propriu-
zis sculptural numai pentru c el fcea mai curnd imagini dect tablouri i lucra pe un suport un perete de stnc,
un os, un corn sau o piatr ale crui suprafa i limite fuseser stabilite n mod arbitrar de natur. n schimb, a fa-
ce tablouri nseamn, printre altele, crearea sau alegerea deliberat a unei suprafee plane, precum i circumscrierea
i delimitarea deliberate ale ei. Acest caracter deliberat e tocmai acel ceva cu care pictura modernist i bate capul
fr odihn: adic faptul c acele condiii limitative ale artei snt condiii pe deplin instituite de om.
A vrea ns s repet c arta modernist nu ofer demonstraii teoretice. Mai degrab s-ar putea spune c i se ntm-
pl s transforme posibiliti teoretice n unele empirice; i c, fcnd asta, ea pune la ncercare multe teorii despre
art n ce privete pertinena lor pentru practica i experiena artei aa cum au loc ele efectiv. E singura privin n
care modernismul poate fi considerat subversiv. Anumii factori pe care i-am crezut eseniali n producerea i expe-
riena artei snt artai a nu fi chiar aa, prin faptul c pictura modernist a fost n stare s se lipseasc de ei i totui
s continue a oferi experiena complet, ct privete esenialul, a artei. Mai departe, faptul c aceast demonstraie a
lsat neatinse majoritatea vechilor noastre judeci de valoare nu face dect s-o dovedeasc i mai probant.
Modernismul se poate s fi avut ceva de-a face cu revigorarea reputaiilor lui Ucello, Piero della Francesca, El Greco,
Georges de la Tour i chiar Vermeer; i tot modernismul cu siguran c a confirmat renaterea reputaiei lui Giotto,
dac nu cumva i-a dat impulsul; ns prin asta el n-a cobort rangul unor Leonardo, Rafael, Tiian, Rubens, Rembrandt
ori Watteau. Ceea ce a artat modernismul este c, dei trecutul a avut dreptate s-i preuiasc pe aceti maetri,
raiunile oferite de el pentru asta snt adesea eronate sau nensemnate.
ntr-un fel sau altul, n ce ne privete, aceast situaie abia dac s-a schimbat. Critica de art i istoria artei se trie
n urma modernismului, aa cum s-au trit i-n urma artei premoderniste. Majoritatea lucrurilor scrise despre arta
modernist in nc de jurnalism, mai degrab dect de critica de art sau de istoria artei. E caracteristic jurnalismu-
lui i complexului milenarist de care sufer azi atia jurnaliti i intelectuali ce scriu n ziare ca fiecare faz nou a
artei moderniste s fie aclamat ca nceput al unei noi epoci artistice, una ce ar marca o ruptur decisiv cu toate
obinuinele i conveniile trecutului. De fiecare dat, se sper la un fel de art att de neasemenea cu toate cele
anterioare i att de liber fa de normele practicii sau fa de gust, nct oriicine, indiferent de ct de informat sau
de neinformat ar fi, s se poat pronuna. i de fiecare dat aceast speran se regsete dezminit, pe msur
ce etapa de art modernist n discuie i ocup n cele din urm locul n continuumul inteligibil al gustului i al tradiiei.
Nimic nu se afl mai departe de arta autentic a timpurilor noastre dect ideea unei ntreruperi a continuitii. Arta
este printre altele continuitate i e de negndit n afara acesteia. Fr raportul cu trecutul artei, fr nevoia i constrn-
gerea de a-i prezerva criteriile de excelen, artei moderniste i-ar lipsi att substana, ct i raiunea de a fi.

Post-scriptum (1978)
Textul de mai sus a aprut mai nti n 1960 ca fascicul ntr-o serie publicat de Vocea Americii. El a fost difuzat la
postul de radio al ageniei n primvara aceluiai an. Cu unele schimbri minore, el a fost retiprit n 1965, n numrul
de primvar al revistei pariziene Art and Literature, iar apoi n antologia The New Art (1966) alctuit de Gregory
Battcock. Doresc s m folosesc de aceast ocazie pentru a ndrepta o eroare, una de interpretare, i nu una factua-
l. Muli cititori, nicidecum toi, par s fi luat schia de aici a temeiurilor artei moderniste ca reprezentnd poziia
adoptat de autorul nsui, adic ei au neles c acesta ar i pleda pentru ceea ce descrie. De vin poate fi felul n
care a redactat textul sau retorica acestuia. Cu toate astea, o lectur atent a ceea ce el a scris nu va gsi absolut
nimic care s arate c ar subscrie la sau ar crede n lucrurile pe care le las s se ntrevad. (Ghilimelele ncadrnd
cuvintele pur i puritate ar trebui s fie de ajuns pentru a arta asta.) Autorul ncearc s dea seama, n parte, despre
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
19




felul cum s-a ajuns la ceea ce este cel mai bun n arta ultimilor o sut i ceva de ani, ns prin asta el nu vrea s dea
de neles c acesta e i felul cum trebuia s se ajung aici, i cu att mai puin c acesta va fi felul n care arta bun va
continua s apar. Arta pur fusese o iluzie util, dar asta n-o face cu nimic mai puin iluzorie. Iar asta nu se schim-
b nici cu posibilitatea ca ea s ne mai fie nc de folos.
Au mai existat i alte cteva interpretri la ce am scris, interpretri care frizeaz absurdul: c eu a privi planeitatea
i delimitarea ei nu doar ca pe condiiile-limit ale artei picturii, ci drept criterii ale calitii estetice ale acesteia; sau
c o oper ar fi cu att mai bun cu ct mai departe ar mpinge ea definirea de sine a unei arte. Filosoful sau istoricul
de art care m vede pe mine sau pe oricine altcineva ajungnd pe aceast cale la judeci estetice se citete
scandalos de mult pe sine, iar nu articolul meu.

Traducere de Al. Polgr i Adrian T. Srbu

Note:

1. n original: Each art had to determine, through its own operations and works, the effects exclusive to itself. Cuvntul englezesc effect (din lat. effectus, exe-
cutare, realizare, de la effectum, supin al lui efficere, provenit la rndul lui din ex- + facere) servete bine intenia lui Greenberg care pare a fi aici aceea
de a surprinde, denumind din mers i fr ocol, ceva precum o esen (real) a artei una imanent operaional i operativ, deci eficient , vzut
anume tocmai dinspre concretizrile sale fini(sa)te/executate, i.e. efectuate (numele lor deopotriv generic i tradiional este, n latin, opus-opera, echiva-
lentul grecescului ergon, care l-a dat n englez pe work; adic lucrarea: nu doar de art, ci a nsei artei, atestndu-i acesteia nemijlocit procesul [cum
spunea Greenberg deja n Avangard i kitsch] prin chiar operele ei). C acestea din urm, fiind sensibile, produc, sau chiar se pot reduce la efecte sensi-
bile (de ordinul impresiei, emoiei, afectelor etc.) n experiena (receptivitatea, capacitatea de a fi afectat) subiectiv pe care ele o procur, este ceva ce
trece de la sine n contextul refleciei estetice kantiene, de tip transcendental, de la care Greenberg se revendic explicit n acest text. Mai trebuie ns
precizat i c, dintre toate sensurile cu care semnificantul ideii de efect a fost preluat n limbile noastre moderne, cel de exclus categoric n aceast
ocuren este acela care-l asociaz (face pereche i sistem) cu ideea de cauz. (N. tr.)

2. Tot effects n text. Vezi n. 1. (N. tr.)
20


Atitudini avangardiste
Clement Greenberg




Conferin pronunat la Universitatea din
Sydney, Prelegerile de art contemporan John
Power, pe 17 mai 1968.
Text publicat pentru prima oar de Power
Institute of Fine Arts, University of Sydney.







Piet Mondrian
Compoziie cu galben i albastru, 1929,
Muzeul Boymans, Rotterdam
Ideea dominant e aceea c arta din ultima vreme se afl ntr-o stare de confuzie. Pictura i sculptura par s se
schimbe i s evolueze mai rapid ca niciodat. Inovaii se succed din ce n ce mai iute i, fiindc ele nu dispar la
fel de repede cum au aprut, se ngrmdesc, toate la un loc, ntr-o harababur de stiluri, direcii, tendine i coli
excentrice. Tot i toate conspir laolalt, s-ar prea, de partea confuziei. Feluritele modaliti ale expresiei artis-
tice explodeaz: pictura se preschimb n sculptur, sculptura n arhitectur, inginerie, teatru, ambient, partici-
pare. Se terg nu numai graniele dintre diversele arte, ci pn i graniele dintre art i tot ce nu-i art. n acelai
timp, tehnologia tiinific invadeaz artele vizuale i le transform n chiar micarea prin care se modific ele unele
pe altele. i, pentru a mai i spori confuzia, arta nalt se afl pe cale s devin art de mas i invers.
Aa s stea oare lucrurile? Dac e s judecm dup aparenele superficiale, s-ar putea ca ele s stea ntr-adevr
aa. Cineva care semneaz n Times Literary Supplement, ediia de pe 14 martie 1968, vorbete despre [] con-
fuzia total care triumf astzi n privina tuturor valorilor artistice. ns autorul acesta trdeaz, prin nsei vor-
bele sale, unde rezid adevrata surs a confuziei: n chiar mintea sa. Valoarea artistic e numai una ea n-are
plural. Singura valoare artistic pus vreodat n mod satisfctor n cuvinte e numai aceasta: ceea ce e cu adev-
rat bun n arta bun [the goodness of good art]. Exist, desigur, trepte pentru ceea ce e bun n art [artistic good-
ness], dar acestea nu snt valori sau tipuri de valori diferite. Aceast unic i aceeai valoare, cu diversele ei trepte,
e principiul prim i suprem al ordinii artistice. Prin aceeai circumstan, prima este i cel mai pertinent principiu
din cte am avea nevoie pentru a da seama de ultima. Ct privete ordinea stabilit pe temeiul lui, pe aceasta arta
o manifest astzi la fel de mult ca oricnd. Aparene de suprafa pot ntuneca ori pot ascunde acest fel de ordine,
care e una calitativ, dar nu o neag, n-o fac s fie mai puin prezent. Posednd priceperea de-a spune care e
diferena dintre bun i prost, sau ntre mai bun i mai prost, i poi gsi foarte bine o cale prin aparenta confuzie
a artei contemporane. Gustul, adic punerea la lucru a gustului, e ceea ce stabilete ordinea artistic azi ca i
ieri, azi ca-ntotdeauna.
Lucrurile care se vor art nu funcioneaz, nu exist ca art pn ce nu s-a fcut experiena lor prin gust. Pn acolo,
ele exist numai ca nite fenomene empirice, ca obiecte sau fapte arbitrare din punct de vedere estetic. Tocmai
asta este ceea ce o mare parte a artei contemporane accept ca atare i ceea ce muli artiti vor ca operele lor
s fie considerate n sperana, periodic rennoit de cnd Marcel Duchamp procedase pe baza ei acum cincizeci
i ceva de ani, c prin forarea ieirii n afara btii gustului, n timp ce se rmne totui n cadrul artei, anumite
inveniuni [contrivances] vor dobndi o existen i valoare unice. Aceast speran s-a dovedit deocamdat a fi
iluzorie. Deocamdat, tot ce intr n contextul artei e supus, inevitabil, jurisdiciei gustului i ierarhizrilor aces-
tuia. i tot deocamdat, aproape orice art cu pretenia de a fi non-art-n-contextul-artei mai curnd a scp-
tat, pur i simplu, la condiia de-a ocupa un loc n ordinea unei arte minorate. Aceasta e ordinea n care tinde
s-i gseasc locul grosul produciilor artistice, n 1968 la fel ca-n 1868 sau 1768. Arta de seam [superior art]
continu s fie ceva mai mult sau mai puin excepional. i asta, aceast proporie mai degrab stabil dintre ce
e superior i ce e inferior, ofer un soi de ierarhie artistic, atta de fundamental semnificativ pe ct am dori-o.
Dar chiar i aa, dac acesta ar fi singurul mod de a avea astzi o ordine n arta nou, tot ne-am afla, aa cum
spune opinia comun, ntr-o situaie nemaintlnit. Nemaintlnit, chiar dac nu confuz. Ce e bun i ce e slab
s-ar putea deci deosebi la fel de limpede ca-ntotdeauna, dar nc tot ar exista un gen nou de confuzie a stilurilor,
colilor, direciilor i tendinelor. Tot ar mai exista o dezordine, dac nu estetic, atunci una fenomenal. Ei bine,
chiar i aici experiena mi spune i nu am nimic altceva pe care s m bazez c situaia fenomenal a artei
n vremurile de fa nu e chiar att de nou sau de nemaintlnit. Experiena mi spune c arta contemporan,
fie i abordat n termeni pur descriptivi, semnific i se ordoneaz aproape n acelai fel cum o fcea arta n tre-
cut. Iari, e ceva ce ine de ptrunderea dincolo de aparenele superficiale.
A aborda arta n termeni fenomenali i descriptivi nseamn a ne apropia de ea, nainte de toate, ca stil i ca isto-
rie a stilului (nici una dintre aceste dou abordri nu are de-a face, luat n sine, cu calitatea). Abordat strict ca
o chestiune de stil, arta nou surprinde n 1960 dac o face nu prin diversitatea ei, ci prin unitatea i chiar
uniformitatea pe care le trdeaz dincolo de orice aparene. Exist Assemblage, Pop i Op; exist Hard Edge, Color
Field i Shaped Canvas; exist neofigurativ, Funky i Enviromental; exist minimal, cinetic i luminos; exist
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
21




Computer, Cybernetic, Systems, Participatory
1
i aa mai departe. (Unul dintre lucrurile cu adevrat noi n ce privete
arta din anii 60 e proliferarea aceasta a etichetelor, majoritatea dintre ele fiind nscocite de artitii nii ceea
ce este de asemenea nou; etichetarea artei fusese de regul treaba jurnalitilor.) Ei bine, dei exist aceste mani-
festri ct se poate de pestrie, totui, la o privire sigur i detaat asupra lor, se ivesc unele trsturi stilistice comune,
distinctive pentru ntregul lor spectru. Compoziia i planul snt aproape ntotdeauna clare i explicite, desenul e
precis i curat, figura sau suprafaa e simplificat geometric sau mcar fcut agreabil i echilibrat, culoarea com-
pact i luminoas sau, cel puin, nedifereniat ca valoare i textur n cadrul unei nuane. n forfota de nouti,
arta naintat a anilor 60 accept aproape n unanimitate aceste canoane de stil canoane pe care Wlfflin le-ar
fi numit liniare.
S comparm aceste canoane cu cele crora li se conforma arta avangardist n anii 50: compoziia i planul flui-
de, desenul vag [soft], figurile sau suprafeele neregulate i nedifereniate, texturile inegale, culoarea mloas.
Totul se petrece de parc arta avangardist din anii 60 s-ar determina pe sine, sub fiecare aspect al ei, prin opoziie
cu numitorii stilistici comuni ai expresionismului abstract, ai art informel, ai taismului. i la fel cum aceti numi-
tori comuni artau spre ceea ce era o aceeai perioad stilistic spre finele anilor 40 i n anii 50, numitorii comu-
ni ai artei noi din anii 60 indic o singur i atotcuprinztoare perioad stilistic. n ambele cazuri perioada stilistic
se reflect att n sculptur, ct i n pictur.
C spre finele anilor 40 i n anii 50 avangarda, n privina stilului, era una singur, i nu mai multe, e astzi ceva
destul de larg recunoscut. n absena unei perspective temporale, ni se pare mai greu s gsim o unitate stilisti-
c similar n arta deceniului de fa. Cu toate astea, lucrurile nu stau nici acum altfel. Tot ce-a fost senzaional i
toate experimentele variate i ingenioase ale ultimilor ani, de dimensiuni mai mari sau mai mici, importante sau
banale se adun n valul coninut ntre malurile unei perioade stilistice, una singur. Din ceea ce prea a fi un exces
de eterogenitate se ivete omogenitatea. O ordine fenomenal, descriptiv, istorico-artistic ea e totodat i
una calitativ survine acolo unde pentru privirea cu btaie scurt totul prea contrariul a aa ceva.
Dac asta ofer un rgaz, el trebuie folosit pentru a examina mai ndeaproape o alt idee rspndit despre arta
vremurilor de azi: i anume ideea c arta se mic mai iute ca nicicnd. Stilul istorico-artistic al perioadei descrise
att de sumar aici un stil care i-a meninut i i menine identitatea prin multitudinea de mode, maniere, frenezii,
capricii i manii ne nsoete deja de aproape un deceniu i pare s promit a continua s aib curs nc o vreme.
Ne arat oare asta c arta se mic i se schimb cu o vitez nemaintlnit? Ct au durat de regul stilurile istori-
co-artistice din trecut chiar i din acela mai recent?
n contexul de azi, a spune c durata unui stil istorico-artistic s-ar cere neleas ca lungime a perioadei n tim-
pul creia el este unul principal i dominant, perioada n care el e receptacolul celei mai mari pri a artei impor-
tante produse nuntrul unei modaliti anume de exprimare i ntr-un mediu cultural dat. Tot acesta e, de regul,
i intervalul de timp n care tinerii artiti cu ambiiile cele mai nalte i mai serioase snt atrai de stilul n cauz.
Lund ca msur aceast definiie, e cu putin s numrm nu mai puin de cinci, poate mai multe, stiluri sau micri
diferite succedndu-se n pictura francez a secolului al XIX-lea.
Mai nti a fost clasicismul lui David i al lui Ingres. Apoi, de pe la 1820 pn pe la mijlocul anilor 1830, roman-
tismul lui Delacroix. Dup aceea, naturalismul lui Corot; urmat de acela al lui Courbet. La nceputul anilor 1860,
drumul l-a deschis versiunea aplatizat i rapid de naturalism a lui Manet, pentru a fi urmat, n nici zece ani, de
impresionism. Impresionismul a inut capul de afi ca manier predominant pn la nceputul anilor 1880, cnd
neoimpresionismul lui Seurat, iar apoi postimpresionismul lui Czanne, Gauguin i Van Gogh devenir stilurile
cele mai avansate. Lucrurile s-au ncurcat niel n ultimii douzeci de ani ai secolului, dei poate c numai n aparen.
n tot cazul, Bonnard i Vuillard n faza lor timpurie, nabist, i fac apariia n timpul anilor 1890, iar fovismul intr
n aren nu mai trziu de 1903. Dup cum se vede, pictura s-a micat mai iute ntre mijlocul anilor 1880 i 1910,
s zicem, dect n oricare alt etap din cele de evocat n cadrul acestei fugitive treceri n revist. Cubismul a pre-
luat tafeta de la fovism n abia vreo ase ani de la apariia acestuia din urm. Numai dup aceea pictura i-a mai
domolit ritmul de evoluie pn la ceea ce fusese viteza normal a schimbrii stilurilor ntre 1800 i anii 1880. Cci
cubismul s-a meninut la vrf pn la mijlocul anilor 1920. Dup aceea a aprut suprarealismul (spun suprarea-
lism n lipsa altui termen mai bun: identitatea suprarealismului ca stil rmne nc una nedeterminat; de altfel, o
parte din pictura i sculptura de cea mai bun calitate de la finele anilor 1920 i din anii 1930 nu are nimic de-a
face cu el). Iar de pe la nceputul anilor 1940 au intrat n scen expresionismul abstract i stilurile nrudite: taism
i art informel.
S admitem, aceast niruire istoric [historical rundown] simplic peste msur. Arta nu procedeaz niciodat
att de simplu. i nici lista ca atare a momentelor nu e chiar precis, nici mcar ntre limitele pe care i le-a pro-











































Edouard Manet
Olympia, 1863, Muzeul Luvru, Paris
22


pus. (Ceea ce eu vd ca o schimbare stilistic accelerat ntre anii 1880 i 1910 se poate dovedi la o examinare
mai struitoare mai puin rapid dect pare. Pot aprea uniti stilistice mai largi i neateptate de fapt, ele au i
fost deja date la iveal, dar nu aici e locul s ne ocupm de ele, n pofida a tot ce ele ar putea aduce ca s-mi
ntreasc argumentul.) ns, cu tot cu amendrile justificate ale schemei mele cronologice cu implicaiile ei, cred
c exist suficiente probe certe care s-mi sprijine teza c stilurile istorico-artistice n pictur (dac nu i n sculptu-
r) au respectat, ncepnd cu secolul al XIX-lea (dac nu de mai devreme), tendina de a-i menine poziia domi-
nant n medie timp de zece, cincisprezece ani.
Cazul expresionismului abstract face mai mult dect doar s confirme aceast medie; el o depete i ne va arta
c, de fapt, arta a evoluat i s-a schimbat mai lent de-a lungul ultimilor treizeci de ani dect o fcuse n cei o sut
care au precedat. Expresionismul abstract la New York, dimpreun cu taismul i art informel la Paris, a aprut la
nceputul anilor 40 i spre nceputul anilor 50 ajunsese s domine pictura i sculptura avangardist ntr-o msur
chiar mai mare dect o fcuse cubismul n anii 20. (Nu erai n pas cu el n vremurile acelea dac nu-i clbuceai
vopseaua sau dac nu-i nspreai suprafeele; iar n anii 50 a fi n pas cu el ncepuse s conteze nc i mai mult.)
Ei bine, expresionismul abstract s-a dezintegrat subit n primvara lui 1962, la Paris ca i la New York. E drept c
ncepuse s-i piard vitalitatea cu mult nainte, dar, cu toate astea, el a continuat s domine scena avangardist
i, la vremea retragerii sale complete de pe acea scen, se mpliniser deja aproape douzeci de ani de cnd era
n frunte. Prbuirea expresionismului abstract a fost att de brusc fiindc acesta era de mult expirat, dar chiar
dac dezintegrarea sa s-ar fi petrecut cu cinci sau ase ani mai devreme (cnd ar fi trebuit s aib loc) intervalul
de timp n care expresionismul abstract i-a pstrat poziia dominant tot ar fi mai lung dect media caracteristic
pentru stilurile i micrile artistice din ultimul secol i jumtate.
ntr-un mod destul de ironic, moartea aparent subit a expresionismului abstract n 1962 e nc unul din lucrurile
care au contribuit la ideea c stilurile artistice se schimb mai iute i mai abrupt dect au fcut-o pn acum. Realitatea
e c agonia expresionismului abstract a fost una neobinuit de lung. i nici impunerea vizibil a stilului istorico-
artistic care a nlocuit expresionismul abstract n-a fost nici pe de parte att de brusc pe ct o fac s par eveni-
mentele din primvara lui 1962. Stilul net [hard
2
] al anilor 60 i fcuse deja apariia o dat cu prima expoziie
din 1955 de la New York a lui Ellsworth Kelly i cu revenirea artei abstracte geometrizante la Paris pe la mijlocul
anilor 50, aa cum o putem vedea la Vasarely. Existase deci o suprapunere n timp. Existase, de asemenea, o
suprapunere sau tranziie i n termeni de stil: trecerea de la pictural la linear poate fi regsit, de pild, n pictu-
ra lui Barnett Newman i n sculptura lui David Smith sau la un artist ca Rauschenberg (pentru a cita numai artiti
americani). C scena artei, dac o deosebim de firul evolutiv al artei, a cunoscut schimbri i rsturnri brute n
ultima perioad nu trebuie s ne induc n eroare n privina a ceea ce s-a ntmplat de fapt cu arta nsi. (E nc
o dat ironic c suprapunerea, c nsi gradualitatea cu care s-a petrecut recenta schimbare de stil a contribuit
la fel de mult ca alte elemente, cel puin la nceputul anilor 60, la impresia unei confuzii.)
Ceea ce m-a surprins la nceput n arta nou a anilor 60 a fost c omogenitatea de baz a stilului ce-o caracte-
riza putea subntinde o att de mare eterogenitate n ce privete calitatea; cu alte cuvinte, c o art att de proast
putea s mearg mn n mn cu o art att de bun. Mi-a luat ceva timp s-mi aduc aminte c fusesem deja sur-
prins de acelai lucru i n anii 50. Apoi l-am uitat, datorit dezintegrrii ce a urmat a artei expresioniste, care mi
se pruse c separ destul de corect ceea ce era bun n arta anilor 50 de ceea ce era prost. Cu att mai mult
atunci continu s persiste o parte din surprinderea mea cu privire la enorma instabilitate a calitii n arta nou
a anilor 60. Exist aici ceva nou, ceva ce nu existase n expresionismul abstract la momentul apariiei sale. Toate
stilurile artistice se deterioreaz i, prin asta, ele devin utilizabile pentru efecte gunoase i factice. ns nici un stil
din trecut nu pare s fi devenit utilizabil pentru asemenea efecte atta timp ct era nc n ascensiune. Cel puin
din cte mi amintesc. Nici cel mai lamentabil pasticheur sau panglicar [bandwagon-jumper] al impresionismu- lui,
fovismului sau cubismului, n primii ani ai dominaiei acestora, n-a czut mai prejos de un anumit nivel al probi- tii
artistice. Vigoarea i caracterul dificil ale stilului la momentul acela pur i simplu nu i-ar fi permis aa ceva. Poate c
nu tiu destule despre ce s-a ntmplat n vremurile acelea. A putea fi de acord cu asta i s-mi menin totui
poziia. Noul stil net al anilor 60 s-a instalat prin producerea unei arte originale i viguroase. Acesta e felul n
care se instituie ndeobte stilurile. Dar ceea ce era nou, ca tip de situaie [in scheme], n felul n care i-a fcut apariia
stilul anilor 60 a fost c el s-a instalat aducnd cu sine nu numai o art proaspt n mod veritabil, ci i art care
doar se pretindea a fi proaspt, i era chiar n stare s se pretind asta, aa cum n trecut numai un stil aflat n
declin ar fi ngduit-o. Expresionismul abstract s-a lansat cu bune i cu rele, dar momentul ncepnd cu care el s-a
pretat, ca stil, unei arte amgitoare [specious], de deosebit de una ratat [pur i simplu], n-a venit mai devreme
de nceputul anilor 50. Trstura inedit a stilului net al anilor 60 e c el a fcut asta nc de la bun nceput.
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
23




Faptul acesta nu nseamn nimic compromitor neaprat pentru arta de stil net de cea mai bun calitate.
Performanele cele mai bune ale acesteia snt echivalente cu ce este mai bun n expresionismul abstract. Dar fap-
tul n sine arat c, tipologic [in scheme], ceva cu adevrat nou a intervenit n arta nou a anilor 60.
Acest lucru nou ct privete tiparul lui [schematically new] e ceea ce explic, bnuiesc, nervozitatea mai mare ce
marcheaz n anii 60 discuiile din domeniul opiniei despre art. Se tie ce e la zi [in] la un moment dat, dar
nu se tie prea bine ce e expirat [out]. Nu aa se ntmpla n anii 50. Figurile proeminente ale picturii sau sculp-
turii n acea perioad ieeau n eviden destul de devreme pe fundalul unui cortegiu de adepi i, n mare parte,
rmneau i au rmas pn azi figuri proeminente. Pe atunci, era vorba mai puin dect astzi de concuren ntre
tendine i poziii n cadrul stilului comun. Exact cine sau ce va rmne din anii 60, care exact dintre substilurile aflate
n competiie se vor dovedi ca avnd o valoare durabil asta rmne cu mult mai incert. Sau e incert cel puin pen-
tru majoritatea criticilor, gestionarilor de muzee, colecionarilor, entuziatilor artei sau artitilor nii pentru cei
mai muli dintre ei, zic, chiar dac nu pentru toi. Aceast incertitudine poate ajuta la a explica de ce criticii au nceput
s acorde o atenie mai mare unii altora dect nainte i de ce le acord pn i artitii o atenie mai mare.
Alt cauz a noii incertitudini ar putea fi faptul c opinia avangardist i-a piedut o dat cu mijlocul anilor 50 unul
dintre reperele busolei pe care se putea bizui n trecut. Exista o dat o art academic, prin sine evident, arta
saloanelor i a Academiei Regale, mpotriva creia s iei poziie. Tot ce era ndreptat mpotriva sau o lua n afara
artei academice se afla pe direcia cea bun; aceasta fusese cndva una din certitudinile minimale. n Parisul anilor
20, i chiar al anilor 30 poate, academia exista nc ntr-o msur suficient pentru ca avangarda s-i aib asigu-
rat propria identitate (Andr Lhote nc mai ataca din cnd n cnd cte o expoziie la salon n anii aceia). ns dup
rzboi i, mai ales, o dat cu anii 50 arta mrturisit academic a intrat n umbr. Astzi, singura art propriu-zis,
de netgduit, e avangarda sau ceea ce arat ca ea ori se raporteaz la ea excepiile, orict de numeroase ar
fi, snt neimportante. Avangarda a rmas doar cu ea nsi i se afl n deplina stpnire a scenei.
Asta nu nseamn c tipul de impuls sau de ambiie care conducea cndva spre arta academic declarat a disp-
rut. Nici pe departe. Acest tip de impuls sau de ambiie i-a gsit azi locul n cadrul artei avangardiste, sau mai
curnd nominal avangardiste. Tot sloganismul i programismul [sloganizing and programming] artei avansate din
anii 60, i chiar proliferarea ei, snt elaborate ca pentru a ascunde asta. De fapt, rndurile avangardei snt infiltrate
de inamic, iar aceasta a nceput s se nege singur. Cnd totul e progresist [advanced], nimic nu e progresist; cnd
toi snt revoluionari, s-a terminat cu revoluia.
Nu c avangarda ar fi nsemnat vreodat ntr-adevr revoluie. Numai jurnalismul de art vrea ca avangarda s
nsemne aa ceva adic s nsemne o ruptur cu trecutul, un nou nceput i altele asemenea. Principala raiune
de a fi a avangardei e, dimpotriv, s menin continuitatea: continuitatea n pstrarea criteriilor de calitate etaloanele
i nivelul, dac vrei, ale vechilor maetri. Acestea nu pot fi pstrate dect printr-o inovaie continu, aceasta fiind
modalitatea prin care vechii maetri au ajuns la exigenele de la care pornea totul. Pn la mijlocul secolului tre-
cut, inovaia n arta occidental nu era nevoie s fie surprinztoare sau deranjant; de atunci, din motive prea com-
plexe pentru a le discuta aici, inovaia trebuie s fie astfel. Iar azi, n anii 60, parc toat lumea i-ar fi dat seama
n cele din urm n sfrit nu numai de necesitatea inovaiei, ci de asemenea i de necesitatea ori cel puin
de necesitatea aparent de a clama inovaia fcnd-o uimitoare i spectacular.
Astzi toat lumea inoveaz. Deliberat i metodic. Iar inovaiile snt, n mod deliberat i metodic, fcute s fie fra-
pante. Numai c acum se dovedete c nu e adevrat c orice art uimitoare e n mod necesar i una inova-
toare sau nou. Asta e ceea ce ne-au dezvluit n cele din urm anii 60 i aceast dezvluire ar putea fi n fond
lucrul cel mai nou cu privire la grosul a ceea ce trece drept art nou n anii 60. A devenit evident c arta poate
crea senzaie fr a fi sau a zice de fapt ceva uimitor sau nou. Chiar nsuirea de a fi frapant, spectaculos sau
deranjant a devenit ceva convenional, parte a bunului-gust sigur de sine. Un corolar la asta e contientizarea fap-
tului c aspectele datorit crora i-au obinut recunoaterea majoritatea inovaiilor artistice n ultimii peste o sut
de ani s-au modificat aproape radical. Ceea ce e n mod autentic i considerabil nou n arta anilor 60 i face apariia
pe nesimite, ca travestit parc, pe furi, sub nfiarea a ce este vechi, iar ochiul nu ndeajuns de fin e prins pe
picior greit, aa cum nu i se ntmpl cu arta care se nfieaz n hainele a ceea ce e de la sine neles ca nou.
Nici un foc de artificii artistic, nici o cutie virginal [blank-looking], nici o art care scobete, care mprtie lucruri
n dezordine, care opie sau care excreteaz n-a surprins de fapt, n aceti ultimi ani, gustul credul aa cum au
fcut-o unele lucrri despre care linitit se poate spune c snt pictur de evalet sau altele care se vor doar sculptu-
r i nimic altceva. Arta, n orice modalitate de expresie, rentoars la esenialul a ceea ce ea face n experiena
pe care o procur se creeaz pe sine incarnndu-se n relaii i proporii. Calitatea artei depinde, ca de nimic altce-
va, de relaii sau proporii inspirate, nimerite [felt].
24


Nu putem ocoli asta. O cutie simpl, nenfrumuseat poate izbuti ca art graie acestor lucruri; iar cnd ea eueaz
ca art, asta nu se ntmpl deoarece ar fi vorba pur i simplu de o biat cutie, ci fiindc proporiile sale, sau chiar
mrimea ei, snt neinspirate, prost gsite [unfelt]. Acelai lucru e valabil pentru lucrri ce se prezint sub orice
alt form a artei noutate [novelty art]: cinetic, atmosferic, uoar, ambiental, earth, funky etc., etc. Noutatea
fenomenal, cea care poate fi descris, nu e de nici un ajutor atunci cnd relaiile interne ale operei nu snt bine
gsite [felt], inspirate, dezvluite. Opera de art de bun calitate, fie c danseaz, radiaz, explodeaz, fie c abia
izbutete s fie vizibil (audibil sau descifrabil), manifest, cu alte cuvinte, o justee a formei.
n acest sens, arta rmne ceva de neschimbat. Calitatea ei va depinde ntotdeauna de inspiraie i arta nu va fi
n msur, niciodat, s se realizeze ca art [take effect as art] altfel dect prin calitatea ei. Ideea c problema cali-
tii ar putea fi ocolit e ceva ce nu i-ar fi dat niciodat prin cap vreunui artist academic sau oricui se ocupa cu
arta. I-a rmas deci avangardei cu priz la public [popular], cum o numesc eu, s fie prima care s-o conceap.
Soiul acesta de avangard ncepe cu Marcel Duchamp i cu dada. Dada a fost mai mult dect o expresie a unei
disperri, n vreme de rzboi, dinaintea artei i culturii tradiionale; micarea a ncercat totodat s repudieze deose-
birea dintre arta pretenioas [high] i ceea ce e mai puin dect art; i aici a fost mai puin vorba de-o dispera-
re de vreme de rzboi, ct de o repulsie fa de caracterul trudnic al artei pretenioase aa cum l accentuase avangarda
ezoteric [unpopular], cea iniial i autentica avangard. Dinainte chiar de 1914, Duchamp i ncepuse deja
contraatacul mpotriva a ce el numea art fizic i prin care nelegea ceea ce astzi este n mod vulgar etichetat
de art formalist.
Duchamp pare s fi contientizat c iniiativa sa ar putea arta ca o retragere din arta dificil spre cea facil,
iar intenia sa pare s fi fost anularea acestei diferene prin transcenderea aceleia dintre ce e bun i ce e prost
[n art,] n general. (Nu cred s-l suprainterpretez dac spun asta.) Majoritatea pictorilor suprarealiti s-au altu-
rat avangardei cu priz la public, fr a ncerca ns s-i ascund replierea din dificil n facil prin pretenia c ar
da curs acestei transcenderi; aparent, ei n-au simit nevoia de a fi avansai; credeau c felul lor de art e pur
i simplu mai bun dect cel dificil. Acelai lucru e valabil i pentru pictorii neoromantici din anii 30. i totui, visul
lui Duchamp de a trece dincolo de chestiunea calitii artistice a continuat s bntuie n minile jurnalitilor de
art, cel puin. Cnd i fcur apariia expresionismul abstract i art informel, ele au fost cel mai adesea vzute ca
fiind soiul acela de art care n sfrit izbutise s fac neimportante discriminrile de valoare. Iar asta a prut s fie
gestul ndrzne cel mai avansat, cel mai extraordinar, cel mai de avangard pe care arta fusese n stare a-l svri
vreodat.
Nu c s-ar fi recurs pe-atunci n mod deosebit la ideile lui Duchamp. i nici expresionismul abstract sau art informel
nu aparin propriu-zis avangardei prizate de public. i totui, n faza lor de declin ele au creat o situaie favora-
bil pentru ntoarcerea sau revirimentul acestui fel de avangardism. Ceea ce s-a i ntmplat la New York, n anii
50, mai ales cu Jasper Johns. Johns este sau mai curnd fusese un artist druit i original, ns cele mai bune
dintre tablourile i basoreliefurile sale rmn facile i cu siguran minore n raport cu cele mai bune opere ale
expresionismului abstract. Cu toate astea, n contextul vremii lor i n idee, ele par la fel de avansate ca aces-
tea din urm. i, la adpostul ideii lui Johns, pop art a putut s apar i s se prezinte ca i mai avansat, poate
fr s pretind totui a atinge acelai nivel de calitate ca operele cele mai bune ale expresionismului abstract.
Jurnalismul de art al anilor 60 a acceptat facilitatea artei pop n mod implicit, ca i cum asta nu mai conta i
de parc asemenea chestiuni deveniser desuete i vetuste. Totui, pn la urm arta pop n-a reuit strecurarea
pe lng comparaiile calitative i sufer din ce n ce mai mult de pe urma lor pe zi ce trece.
Vulnerabilitatea ei n faa comparaiilor calitative i nu facilitatea sau calitatea ei minor ca atare e ceea ce
muli artiti mai tineri vd ca fiind constitutiv adevratului eec al artei pop. Acest eec este ceea ce dorete s
remedieze, n fond, arta noutate [novelty art]. (i aceast dorin, mpreun cu alte lucruri, dezvluie n ce
msur decurge arta noutate din pop art n ce privete spiritul i perspectiva ei.) Replierea de la dificil n facil e
din ce n ce mai inteligent, mai agresiv i mai extravagant mascat sub aparenele dificilului. Ideea dificilului dar
numai simpla idee, nu i realitatea sau substana acestuia ncepe a fi folosit mpotriva ei nsei. Apelndu-se la
aceast idee, prin fora pe care ea o degaj, se poate obine aspectul a ceva avansat, depindu-se totodat i
deosebirea dintre ce e bun i ce e slab. Ideea dificilului e evocat de un ir de cutii, de un simplu baston, de un
morman de obiecte azvrlite pe un plan, de proiecte pentru o arhitectur peisajer ciclopic, de secionarea unui
munte, de fixarea unor relaii imaginare ntre diverse puncte reale din locuri reale, de un perete gol i aa mai
departe. Ca i cum dificultatea de a face n mod precis sensibil un lucru ca art sau de a obine accesul fizic pn
la el, ori dificultatea vizualizrii sale, ar fi aceeai cu dificultatea inerent experienei dinti a unei opere de art izbu-
tit noi i profund originale. i de parc dificultatea fenomenal sau conceptual, estetic extrinsec ar putea terge
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
25




deosebirea dintre arta bun i cea slab pn acolo nct s nu mai prezinte nici o importan. n aceste circum-
stane, i Calea Lactee ar putea fi propus ca oper de art.
Necazul ns cu Calea Lactee e acesta: ca art, e ceva banal. Privit strict ca art, sublimul de regul se rstoarn
i cade n banal. Secolul al XVIII-lea vzuse sublimul ca transcendere a diferenei dintre excelena i deficiena
estetic. Dar tocmai de aceea sublimul devine banal din punct de vedere estetic, artistic. i de aceea noile ver-
siuni de sublim propuse de arta noutii n ultima ei faz, n msura n care ele transcend evaluarea esteti-
c, rmn banale i triviale n loc s fie doar neizbutite sau minore. (n orice caz, efectele sublime n art sufer
de-o hib congenital: ele pot fi confecionate adic produse n lipsa inspiraiei.)
Aici, iari, diversitatea artei zise avansate a anilor 60 se arat a fi n mare parte superficial. Diversitatea nun-
trul limitelor artistic nesemnificativului, ale ceea ce e estetic banal i trivial, este ea nsi nesemnificativ din punct
de vedere artistic.

Traducere de Al. Polgr i Adrian T. Srbu

Note:

1. Desigur c o mare parte din aceste etichete desemnnd stiluri, substiluri sau curente artistice de dup Al Doilea Rzboi Mondial, mai ales n arta
plastic american (dar nu numai), i-ar putea gsi relativ uor un echivalent i n romn. Notorietatea lor internaional este ns deja bine stabilit
sub denumirea cu care ele s-au nscut n contextul lor de origine, ea furniznd i o marc mai sigur de recunoatere a lucrurilor despre care e vorba.
(N. tr.)

2. Abreviere colocvial pentru aa-numitul stil Hard-edge painting, cu contururi nete. (N. tr.)
26


Modern i postmodern
Clement Greenberg




Conferin William Dobell Memorial, Sydney,
Australia, 31 octombrie, 1979, Arts 54, nr. 6
(februarie 1980).
Termenul de postmodern este unul aprut nu demult. E dintre aceia seductori i i-a fcut apariia tot mai des
n discuiile i scrierile despre art, i nu doar despre art. Nu mi-e chiar limpede ce anume vizeaz el, mai puin
n cazul arhitecturii. Aici tim mai mult sau mai puin clar ce nseamn modern, aa c sntem mai n msur s
spunem ce nseamn acest post atunci cnd el vine s-l prefixeze pe modern. Arhitectura modern nseam-
n spus iute rigoarea funcional, geometric i evitarea principial a decoraiei sau ornamentului. Recent,
au fost ridicate sau proiectate cldiri a cror idee o rupe cu aceste canoane de stil i care, de aceea, au fost numite
postmoderne. Oricare dintre cei interesai tie despre ce e vorba, inclusiv arhitecii nii.
Oare poate fi postmodernul identificat ntr-o aceeai manier consensual n vreuna din celelalte arte? nc n-am
vzut i n-am auzit ca n literatura recent termenul s fi fost aplicat n mod serios la ceva. El intervine n legtur
cu muzica, dar n mod ntmpltor i fr s existe acord cu privire la ce nseamn el aici. i, din cte pot eu spune,
el abia dac intervine n discuia despre dans sau despre cinema. Dincolo de arhitectur, termenul de postmodern
l-am vzut sau am auzit a fi fost utilizat cel mai mult n zona picturii i a sculpturii dar numai de ctre critici i
jurnaliti, nu de artitii nii.
Iar asta din tot felul de raiuni. Una din raiunile cu putin ar fi revenirea n prim-plan a artei figurative sau reprezen-
taionale a imaginii. Dar exist numeroase precedente, ncepnd cu De Chirico i suprarealismul, ori cu neoro-
mantismul, pentru includerea artei figurative n cadrele modernului. Trebuie s existe alte raiuni, mai puin evidente
i n acelai timp mai generale, pentru trecerea pe care-o are postmodernul n discuiile despre pictura i sculp-
tura din ultima vreme. Cu att mai mult fiindc nici un critic ori jurnalist de care s tiu i care s se mpace bine
cu postmodernul nu face asta indicnd vreun ansamblu anume de lucrri pe care se simte cu adevrat ncrez-
tor s-l descrie prin acest termen.
Acuma, post din postmodern poate fi luat ntr-un sens temporal cronologic. Orice vine dup altceva este post
n raport cu acel altceva. Dar modul n care e folosit postmodernul nu-i chiar acesta. Mai degrab s-ar vrea ca
el s nsemne sau s sugereze o art care detroneaz [supersedes], nlocuiete i urmeaz modernului n termeni
de evoluie stilistic, n felul n care barocul a venit dup manierism, iar rococoul i-a urmat barocului. Cu coro-
larul c s-a isprvit cu modernul, exact aa cum s-a terminat cu manierismul atunci cnd el a fost detronat de baroc.
ns problema pentru cei care susin asta devine atunci aceea de a preciza ce au ei n vedere nu prin particula
post, ci prin modern. Orice poate fi numit, n vremea sa, modern. n orice caz, ceea ce nelegem n mod
obinuit prin modern e ceva considerat ca fiind la zi, cu un pas naintea vremurilor [abreast of times], i depind
trecutul ntr-un sens mai larg dect cel temporal sau cronologic propriu-zis.
Cum s decidem atunci ce anume este i ce nu este modern n arta de astzi, ntr-un sens care s mearg din-
colo de cel literal? Nu exist nici regul, nici principiu, nici metod. Se ajunge la o chestiune de gusturi sau, altfel
zis, la gselnie terminologice pentru a scpa din ncurctur [terminological quibble]. Au fost propuse diverse definiri
stilistice ale modernului, cu fiecare generaie care a aprut de cnd cuvntul a nceput s circule aplicndu-se la pic-
tur i sculptur ntr-un sens mai larg dect unul doar temporal, i nici una din ele n-a inut. Aa cum n-a inut nici
vreuna din cele oferite de propuntorii postmodernului, fie c erau formulate n termeni stilistici ori nu.
Vreau s risc i eu oferind propria mea definire a modernului, dar mai mult n felul unei explicaii i descrieri dect
al unei definiii. nti i-nti, a modifica termenul n chestiune, din modern n Modernist Modernist cu majuscu-
l i apoi s vorbim despre Modernism n loc de modern. Un termen ca Modernism are avantajul de-a fi unul
ce poate fi situat istoric mai precis, unul care desemneaz un fenomen determinabil istoric, i nu doar cronolo-
gic: ceva ce a nceput la un anumit moment i poate sau nu s mai fie nc prezent.
1

Ceea ce poate fi n mod sigur numit modernism s-a ivit la mijlocul secolului trecut. i mai curnd la un nivel local,
n Frana, cu Baudelaire n literatur i cu Manet n pictur, i poate i cu Flaubert, n proza de ficiune. (Ceva mai
trziu, i nu att de localizat, modernismul i-a fcut apariia n muzic i n arhitectur, dar tot n Frana a aprut
pentru ntia oar n sculptur. i mai trziu nc, n afara Franei, el a ptruns n domeniul dansului.) Numele moder-
nismului a fost la-nceput avangard, dar de-acum termenul acesta a ajuns n bun msur unul compromis, tot
att pe ct rmne el de neltor [misleading]. n ciuda noiunii sale ncetenite, modernismul, ori avangarda, nu
i-a fcut intrarea n scen prin ruptur cu trecutul. Departe de asta. Nu a fost legat de vreun program i nici n-a
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
27




avut vreodat cu adevrat aa ceva din nou, n pofida nelegerii curente. i nici n-a fost o chestiune de idei,
de teorii sau de ideologie. A fost, mai degrab, ceva de natura unei atitudini i a unei orientri: o atitudine i o
orientare ctre criterii i niveluri de exigen
2
: criterii i niveluri ale calitii estetice n primul ca i n ultimul
rnd. i de unde i-au scos modernitii criteriile exemplare i nivelurile de excelen? Din trecut, adic din ce avea
trecutul mai bun. ns nu att din modele particulare situate n trecut dei s-au raportat i la unele dintre aces-
tea , ct dintr-un sentiment i o nelegere generalizate, un fel de distilare i extragere a calitii estetice aa cum
e nfiat aceasta n ceea ce trecutul are mai bun. i nu a fost o chestiune de imitaie, ci una de emulaie exact
aa cum fusese pentru Renatere n raport cu antichitatea. E adevrat c Baudelaire i Manet au vorbit mult mai
mult despre imperativul de a fi modern, despre reflectarea vieii din epoca lor, dect de racordarea la ceea ce
trecutul are mai bun. Dar nevoia i ambiia de a face asta au transprut n ceea ce ei au fcut realmente i n destule
din spusele lor care s-au pstrat.
Dar oare artitii i scriitorii de dinaintea acestora doi n-au privit nspre trecut pentru a-i gsi etaloane de calitate?
Bineneles c da. ns fusese vorba despre cum s-au uitat i despre ct de presant era sentimentul urgenei pornind
de la care au fcut-o.
Modernismul a aprut ca rspuns la o criz. Aspectul de suprafa al acestei crize era o anume confuzie n privin-
a criteriilor, confuzie provocat de romantism. Romanticii au privit ntotdeauna napoi, nspre trecut, acela an-
terior secolului al XVIII-lea, dar pn la urm ei fcuser greeala de-a ncerca s-l reinstituie. Arhitectura a fost
locul n care aceast ncercare deveni cea mai bttoare la ochi, n forma redeteptrii stilistice [revivalism]. Arhitectura
romantic nu a fost toat atta de servil, nu a fost rebutul avortat care s-a presupus a fi, dar totui nu a fost de
ajuns [pentru a nu se manifesta criza]; ea poate c va fi pstrat o privire asupra trecutului, dar nu i asupra exigen-
elor acestuia. Aceast raportare nu era destul de revizuit n lumina experienei ulterioare, ori nu era revizuit
ntr-un fel just: cum ar fi spus Baudelaire sau Manet, ea nu era ndeajuns de modern. A rezultat n cele din urm
o academizare a artelor, mai peste tot, cu excepia muzicii i a prozei de ficiune. Academizarea nu e legat de
academii au existat academii cu mult naintea academizrii i anterior secolului al XIX-lea. Academismul con-
st n tendina de a lua ntr-o prea mare msur de-a gata mijloacele de expresie ale unei arte. Asta se traduce
printr-o mpclire: cuvintele devin imprecise, culorile stinse, sursele fizice ale sunetului prea disimulate. (Pianul,
care-i disimuleaz natura de instrument cu coarde, a fost instrumentul romantic prin excelen; dar e asta toc-
mai n msura n care s-a fcut instrumentul dorinei de a disimula c el scotea minunata muzic pe care o produ-
cea n epoca romantic, transformnd imprecizia ntr-un nou fel de precizie.)
Reacia modernismului mpotriva romantismului a constat n parte ntr-o nou investigare i chestionare a
mijloacelor de expresie n poezie i n pictur i ntr-o punere a accentului pe precizie, pe concret. Dar mai pre-
sus de orice, modernismul s-a afirmat pe sine prin insistena pe o rennoire a etaloanelor i a efectuat asta prin-
tr-o abordare mai critic i mai puin pioas a trecutului pentru a-l face semnificativ ntr-un fel mai autentic, mai
modern. El a reafirmat trecutul ntr-un mod nou i ntr-o varietate de feluri noi. i tot de aceast reafirmare a
inut faptul c echilibrul a nclinat ctre emulare i mpotriva imitaiei, ntr-o modalitate mai radical ca niciodat
dar numai dintr-o necesitate anume, aceea impus de criteriile renovate i reafirmate.
Inovarea, noutatea au ajuns s fie luate ca atare drept semnul de marc al modernismului, noutatea ca fiind ceva
dorit i cutat anume. i cu toate astea, toi marii creatori moderniti care au rezistat timpului au fost de fapt nite
inovatori reticeni, inovnd doar fiindc n-au avut ncotro de dragul calitii i de dragul, dac vrei, al exprimrii
de sine. Nu e doar aceea c un oarecare coeficient de inovaie a fost ntotdeauna esenial, peste un anumit nivel,
pentru calitatea estetic; mai e, de asemenea, i faptul c inovaia modernist a fost una constrns s fie, sau s
par, aa ceva, ntr-un fel mai radical i mai abrupt dect se obinuise pn la ei ca inovaia s fie ori s par: constrn-
s de nsi criza n desfurare ct privete criteriile. De ce a trebuit s se ntmple aa, e ceva despre care nu
pot da seama acuma; m-ar duce prea departe n raport cu cmpul discuiei i ar presupune prea mult specu-
laie. S ne mulumim pe moment cu observarea urmtorului lucru: n ce msur, dup o perioad relativ scurt,
inovaiile modernismului au nceput s apar ca tot mai puin radicale i, de asemenea, felul cum ele, aproape
toate, s-au mpmntenit n cele din urm ca parte a continuumului artei occidentale pretenioase [high], la un
loc cu versurile lui Shakespeare i cu gravurile lui Rembrandt.
C rzvrtirea i revolta, precum i inovaia radical, au fost asociate cu modernismul, e ceva ce i are raiunile
sale att bune, ct i proaste. Ultimele ns le copleesc ca numr pe primele. Dac rzvrtirea i revolta au inut
ntr-adevr de modernism, a fost numai cnd asta a fost resimit ca necesar n interesul valorii estetice, iar nu n
scopuri politice. Nu are nici o legtur aici faptul c unii dintre moderniti au fost neconvenionali n viaa lor.
(Modernismul sau avangarda nu e de identificat cu boema, care e existat de dinainte de modernism, de pild pe
28
























Jules Olitski
Volitions, 1983
Grub Street n Londra secolului al XVIII-lea
3
, sau n Parisul anilor 1830, de nu cumva dinainte. Unii moderniti au
fost mai mult sau mai puin boemi; nc i mai muli nu au fost deloc. S ne gndim la pictorii impresioniti, la Mallarm,
la Schnberg, la vieile amorite duse de un Matisse, de un T.S. Eliot. Nu c a acorda vreo valoare deosebit
unei viei amorite spre deosebire de una boem; asertez doar un fapt.)
Pe calea unei ilustrri, a vrea s intru un pic n detalii n privina felului cum a aprut modernismul n pictur. Aici
proto-modernitii au fost, dintre toi ceilali, prerafaeliii (i chiar mai nainte de ei, ca proto-proto-moderniti,
nazarinenii germani). Prerafaeliii l-au anunat de fapt pe Manet (cu care ncepe pictura modernist n modul cel
mai clar). Ei au acionat dintr-o insatisfacie fa de pictura practicat n vremea lor, considernd c realismul aces-
teia nu era ndeajuns de veridic. Prea s in de aceast dorin de adevr [sentimentul lor c] nu i se ngduia
culorii s se manifeste limpede i deschis, c ea era tot mai vtuit printr-o ntunecare indiferent i sub tonuri
brune. Ei n-au exprimat aceast din urm intuiie prin attea cuvinte, ci o spune nsi arta lor, cu culorile ei mai
strlucitoare, mai contrastante, care a delimitat pictura prerafaelit n epoca ei mai mult chiar dect realismul ei
de detaliu (cruia culoarea mai luminoas i era oricum necesar). i la ceea ce ei s-au raportat din trecut pen-
tru a se revendica de-acolo, lundu-i numele de prerafaelii, a fost tocmai culoarea sincer, aproape naiv, pre-
cum i realismul cvasiinocent al artei italiene din Quattrocento. Ei n-au fost deloc primii artiti care s se ntoarc
n timp spre un trecut mai ndeprtat dect acela recent n raport cu ei. La sfritul secolului al XVIII-lea, David,
n Frana, fcuse lucrul acesta atunci cnd a invocat antichitatea mpotriva rococoului predecesorilor si nemijlocii, i
o fcuse i Renaterea apelnd la antichitate mpotriva goticului. Dar nou a fost urgena cu care prerafaeliii au
invocat un trecut mai ndeprtat. Iar aceasta a fost de un tip care a continuat o dat cu modernismul propriu-zis
i a rmas asociat cu el.
N-a putea spune ct a cunoscut Manet din prerafaelism. Dar i el, vreo zece ani mai trziu, la nceputurile carie-
rei lui, devenise profund nemulumit de felul de pictur pe care o vedea fcndu-se n jurul lui. Era pe la sfritul
anilor 1850. Numai c el a pus degetul pe ceea ce-l nemulumea ntr-un mod mult mai material dect o fcuser
prerafaeliii i, de aceea, dup cum cred, cu efecte mai durabile. (ncepnd din secolul al XVII-lea, englezii antici-
paser la fel de mult, n cultur i n art, ca i n politic i n viaa social, dar de regul ei au lsat pe seama alto-
ra s continue pe calea deschis de ei.) Vznd un Velzquez la Luvru (o pnz care acum e considerat ca
aparinndu-i ginerelui lui Velzquez, Mazo), el i-a exprimat observaia despre ct de curat i era culoarea, n
comparaie cu fierturile nbuite i sosurile de carne
4
ale picturii contemporane. Care fierturi i sosuri se datorau
aceleiai umbriri i ntunecri brune i gri, nbuind culoarea, mpotriva creia reacionaser prerafaeliii. Manet,
n propria lui reacie, s-a ntors ctre un trecut mai apropiat dect cel la care recurseser ei pentru a-i cura
arta de demi-tentele responsabile pentru fierturi i sosuri. El s-a dus ndrt numai pn la Velzquez, la nceput,
iar dup aceea chiar i mai aproape, la un alt pictor spaniol, Goya.
Impresionitii, pe urmele lui Manet, au privit spre veneieni, atta ct au privit ei napoi, i la fel a fcut Czanne,
acest impresionist pe jumtate. Din nou, aceast privire ndrt avea de-a face cu culoarea, cu o culoare mai cald
i de asemenea mai direct [franker]. Precum prerafaeliii, precum atia alii n epoca lor, impresionitii au invo-
cat adevrul n privina naturii, iar natura n zilele nsorite era luminoas, cu culori calde. Dar dedesubtul a tot ce
au invocat ei, al explicaiilor i al raionalizrilor, exista simpla nzuin spre calitate, spre valoarea estetic i exce-
lena de dragul ei nsei, ca el n sine. Art de dragul artei. Modernismul s-a instalat n pictur o dat cu impre-
sionismul i, cu asta, i arta de dragul artei. De al crei drag, n acelai fel, succesorii impresionismului n ale
modernismului au fost nevoii s lase deoparte adevrul n privina naturii. Ei s-au vzut silii s se nfieze sub
un aspect nc mai scandalos de nou: Czanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh i toi pictorii moderniti de dup ei
de dragul valorii estetice, al calitii estetice, i nimic altceva.
nc n-am terminat cu expunerea i definirea mea a modernismului. Partea cu adevrat esenial vine, n sfrit,
acum. Modernismul e de neles ca o operaie de pstrare [a holding operation], o strduin continu de a menine
standardele estetice n faa ameninrilor i nu doar ca reacie la romantism. Ca reacie, n fond, la o stare de
urgen aflat n desfurare. Artitii din toate timpurile, n pofida unor aparene contrare, au cutat excelena artis-
tic. Ceea ce singularizeaz modernismul i, mai mult dect altceva, i confer locul i identitatea proprii e rspun-
sul adus de el la un sentiment intensificat al ameninrii la adresa valorii estetice: ameninri venite dinspre mediul
nconjurtor social i material, dinspre spiritul timpului, toate vehiculate prin cererile pentru o pia cultural nou i
deschis, cererile exprimnd exigenele unei culturi de mijloc [middlebrow demands]. Modernismul dateaz din
vremea n care, la mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea, acea pia nu doar c se stabilise ea exista deja de mult , dar
s-a i cimentat [entrenched] i a devenit dominant, fr a mai avea un concurent semnificativ.
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
29




Ajung astfel, n cele din urm, la ceea ce propun eu ca definiie cuprinztoare i trainic [embracing and perdurable] a
modernismului: i anume c el const n strdania continu de a stvili declinul standardelor estetice ameninate de
relativa democratizare a culturii n epoca industrializrii; c logica prevalent i cea mai luntric a modernismului
este aceea de menine etaloanele trecutului n faa unei opoziii care nu fusese prezent n trecut. Astfel, ntrea-
ga ntreprindere a modernismului, ct privete toate concretizrile sale expresive [its outward aspects], poate fi
vzut ca fiind una orientat ndrt. Asta pare paradoxal, dar realitatea e infuzat de paradox, e practic consti-
tuit din acesta.
De aceeai definire a modernismului pe care-o propun ine i aspectul c efortul continuu de a menine exigene i
niveluri de excelen a produs i recunoaterea tot mai larg c arta, c experiena estetic nu mai are nevoie s
fie justificat n ali termeni dect cei proprii, c arta este un el n sine i c esteticul este o valoare autonom. Se
poate acum consimi c arta nu are s-i nvee ceva pe oameni, nu are de glorificat sau de celebrat nimic i pe
nimeni, nu are a pleda cauze; c a devenit liber s se distaneze de religie, politic i chiar de moralitate. Tot ce
are ea de fcut este s fie art de calitate [good art]. Aceast recunoatere a ajuns s dureze. Nu conteaz c ea
nu este nc general sau mai degrab contient acceptat, c arta de dragul artei nc nu este o noiune
respectabil. Lucrurile se petrec conform acesteia i, de fapt, ele s-au petrecut ntotdeauna aa. A fost realitatea
subiacent a practicii artei dintotdeauna, dar a fost nevoie de modernism ca s-o scoat pe deplin la iveal.
Dar s revenim la postmodern. Un prieten i coleg a participat la un simpozion despre postmodern n prim-
vara trecut. L-am ntrebat ce definire cptase termenul acolo. Ca o art, mi-a rspuns el, care nu mai este cri-
tic n raport cu ea nsi. Am ncasat un oc. Eu nsumi scrisesem acum douzeci de ani c trstura auto-critic
e una distinctiv pentru arta modernist. Rspunsul prietenului meu m-a fcut s-mi dau seama, ca niciodat nainte,
ce inadecvat definire pentru modernism sau modern furniza acest criteriu. (C n-am avut prezena de spirit s-l
ntreb pe prietenul meu cum s-ar putea deosebi, la drept vorbind, arta critic n raport cu sine de arta care nu
e aa, a fost ceva accesoriu. Amndoi am neles, n orice caz, c treaba nu avea de-a face cu diferena dintre abstract
i figurativ, aa cum am neles de asemenea c modernul nu se mrginete la stiluri determinate, mode sau direcii
n art.)
Dac definiia modernismului sau a modernului pe care o ofer acum are vreo validitate, atunci vocabula crucial
n postmodernism devine particula post. Veritabila singura veritabil ntrebare ajunge: ce este oare ceea
ce vine dup i a destituit modernul; din nou, nu n sens temporal, ci ntr-unul istorico-stilistic. Dar nu e de nici
un folos, cum ziceam la nceput, s-i ntrebm pe criticii i jurnalitii care vorbesc postmoderna (ntre care i
prietenul meu); ntre ei dezacordul e prea mare i se datoreaz n prea mare msur unor generalizri nebu-
loase. i oricum, nu e nimeni printre ei n ai crui ochi s m ncred.
M aflu pn la urm n situaia prezumioas de a le spune eu tuturor acestora ce cred c au ei n vedere prin
felul lor de a vorbi despre postmodern. Adic, m vd atribuindu-le motive, iar atribuirea de motive e agresiv
[offensive]. ns, totodat, m simt nevoit s fac asta, prin chiar natura cazului.
Aa cum spuneam, modernismul a fost chemat la existen de noile i formidabilele ameninri la adresa
standardelor estetice care au aprut, sau au sfrit prin a aprea, spre mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea. Criza roman-
tic, cum am numit-o, era, aa cum pare acum, o expresie a noii situaii i, sub anumite aspecte, o expresie a
ameninrilor nsele, n msura n care romanticii au contribuit la producerea unei confuzii a criteriilor i nivelurilor
calitative. Fr aceste ameninri, provenite mai ales dinspre un nou public de clas mijlocie, ceva precum mo-
dernismul n-ar fi existat. O spun iari, modernismul e o operaie de meninere, un fel de-a face fa unei stri
de urgen n plin desfurare. Ameninrile persist; ele snt prezente i acum, aa cum au fost ntotdeauna.
Iar astzi ele se poate s fi devenit i mai teribile, fiindc snt mai disimulate, mai neltoare. Filistinii, uor de iden-
tificat, erau ndeobte cei ce reprezentau ameninarea. Ei continu s existe, dar de contat conteaz prea puin.
Acum ameninrile pentru standardele estetice, la adresa calitii, vin mai de aproape de cas, din miezul lucrurilor,
cum s-ar spune, de la prietenii artei avansate. Avansatul acoperea ndeobte aceeai realitate ca modernismul,
dar amicii acetia susin c modernismul nu mai e ndeajuns de avansat; c el trebuie mnat de la spate, mnat s
devin postmodernism. C va rmne napoia vremurilor dac el continu s fie preocupat cu asemenea ches-
tiuni ca exigenele i calitatea. Nu manevrez aici dovezile pentru a obine un avantaj retoric; s ne uitm numai
la ce le place i la ce nu le place acestor postmoderni n arta avnd curs n vremurile noastre. Se ntmpl, cred,
ca ei s fie o ameninare mai periculoas pentru arta cu inut [high] dect au fost vreodat filistinii de odinioar.
Ei aduc la zi gustul filistin mascndu-l n ceea ce-ar fi opusul lui, drapndu-l ntr-un jargon preios mpopoonat al
artei [high-flown art jargon]. S se observe numai ct de tare prolifereaz astzi acest jargon la New York, la Paris
i la Londra, dac nu i la Sydney. De asemenea, s realizm ct de compromise au devenit mai nou cuvinte pre-
30


cum naintat, la fel ca i avangard. Dedesubtul tuturor acestora st ochiul deficient al celor interesai; gustul
lor prost n materie de art vizual.
A face art de nivel nalt este, de obicei, o treab dificil. ns n vremea modernismului, aprecierea chiar mai
mult dect facerea acesteia a devenit i mai penalizant, iar satisfacia i emoia puternic, de obinut din cea
mai bun art nou, mai anevoie dobndite. De-a lungul ultimilor peste o sut i treizeci de ani, cea mai bun
nou pictur i sculptur (ca i cea mai bun nou poezie) s-au dovedit la vremea lor a fi o provocare i o ncer-
care pentru iubitorul de art provocare i ncercare aa cum ele nu mai fuseser nainte. i totui nevoia pre-
sant de destindere exist, aa cum a existat dintotdeauna. Ea amenin i ine sub presiunea acestei ameninri
criteriile de calitate. (Era altfel, dup ct se pare, nainte de mijlocul secolului al XIX-lea.) Faptul c nevoia pre-
sant de destindere se exprim n moduri schimbtoare nu face dect s-i ateste persistena. Afacerea postmodern
e nc o expresie a acestei nevoi presante. i, nainte de orice, este o modalitate de a te justifica n propriii ochi
pentru preferarea unei arte mai puin solicitante fr a fi numit reacionar ori napoiat (care e cea mai mare team a
filistinilor de cel mai nou soi ai dorinei de a-fi-naintat [advancedness]).
Tnjirea dup destindere a ajuns s fie exprimat cu glas tare n presupuse cercuri de avangard pentru ntia oar
cu Duchamp i dada, iar apoi n anumite aspecte ale suprarealismului. Dar ea a cptat o expresie pe deplin ncrez-
toare o dat cu arta pop. i aceast ncredinare s-a perpetuat n toate diversele mode i tendine ale artei decla-
rndu-se naintate i presupuse astfel de-atunci ncoace. Ceea ce remarc eu este c succesiunea acestor curente
dominante a implicat, de la bun nceput, un regres [retreat] de la calitatea superioar la cea minor; iar o pricin
de preocupare pentru starea artei contemporane este chiar aceasta: regresul de la major la minor n ce privete
calitatea, proslvirea minorului ca important [major] sau, altfel spus, pretenia c deosebirea ntre cele dou nu
e important. Nu c a privi de sus la arta minor, nici vorb. ns fr perpetuarea artei majore, arta minor se
afl i ea n deriv. Cnd cele mai nalte exigene de calitate nu mai snt meninute la aceeai altitudine, n prac-
tic sau la nivelul gustului ori al aprecierii, atunci nivelurile inferioare se prbuesc i ele. Aa s-a-ntmplat ntot-
deauna i nu vd de ce de data asta lucrurile ar sta altfel.
Noiunea postmodernului a rsrit i s-a rspndit n acelai climat relaxat al gustului i al opiniei n care au pros-
perat arta pop i succesoarele ei. Ea reprezint n cea mai mare parte o gndire ce-i ia dorinele drept realitate;
cei ce vorbesc despre postmodern snt prea nerbdtori s-i ias n ntmpinare. Da, dac modernul, dac mo-
dernismul e gata i epuizat, atunci se va-nceta cu tot ceea ce el pretinde de la noi, e loc de uurare. n acelai
timp, istoria artei va fi fost meninut-n mers, iar noi, criticii i jurnalitii, ne vom fi situat pe creasta valului ei. Dar
mi vine s cred c modernismul nu e terminat, cu siguran nu n pictur i-n sculptur. nc se mai face art ce
constituie o sfidare pentru dorul de destindere i uurare i care ridic exigene pentru gust (exigene care snt
mai penalizante fiindc snt mai neltoare: cea mai bun art nou din ultimii ani inoveaz ntr-un fel mai puin
spectaculos dect o fcea cea mai bun art din vremea modernismului). Modernismul, n msura n care el con-
st n susinerea celor mai nalte criterii, supravieuiete supravieuiete dinaintea acestei noi raionalizri gsite
pentru coborrea stindardului
5
.

Traducere de Al. Polgr i Adrian T. Srbu
arhiva: Clement Greenberg
31




Note:

1. Greenberg, urmnd firesc regula ortografic englez, noteaz de fapt cu majuscul ntotdeauna n toate textele numele fenomenului istorico-stilis-
tic determinat cruia i consacr partea cea mai angajat, militant (iar n textul de fa i explicit polemic) a demersului su de elucidare istorico-artis-
tic. Aici ns, ntr-o solidaritate intim cu statutul mai mult dect descriptiv conferit modernismului ca simplu -ism, un statut de fapt normativ i
revelator aproape arhetipal s-ar putea zice pentru condiia calitativ a artei bune dintotdeauna (idee care aprea deja i-n eseurile anterioare:
vezi Pictura modernist i Atitudini avangardiste), el propune explicit pn i o supramotivare a regulii de ortografie. Acestea fiind zise, cum n romn
nu exist nici o constrngere ortografic paralel aceleia englezeti, cititorul va trebui n continuare s pstreze n minte dorina criticului american (ea
condenseaz totui esenialul poziiei lui teoretice), n ciuda faptului c n versiunea romneasc a textului nu i-am putut da curs. (N. tr.)

2. n original: standards and levels. Pe tot parcursul textului, Greenberg utilizeaz aceti doi termeni, mai frecvent i insistent pe primul, ntr-o asociere
cu un neles, s zicem aa, categorial i, mai ales, paradigmatic pentru poziia critic pe care vrea s-o apere i el, n siajul tocmai al ceea ce i se
pare lui esenial n modernism. Acest gnd, dimpreun cu articularea lui prin recursul la noiunea englezeasc de standard, apare de altfel sporadic
i n celelalte texte prezentate n acest grupaj. Aici el are totui un rol central n tietura argumentului lui Greenberg. A fi redat ns expresia ca atare,
n romn, n-ar fi inut. Nu numai fiindc, dup sens, nici unul din cei doi termeni pe care i asociaz ea, luat n sine, nu funcioneaz bine, saturat, n
limb (ei cernd, mai totdeauna, o complinire, fiecare): cu att mai puin atunci sintagma ntreag; dar n-ar fi inut i pentru c dei atestat din belug
de uzul romnesc contemporan cuvntul standard rmne totui un termen esenialmente de metrologie (ori tehnico-administrativ, cel mult). Cu
excepia ocurenelor unde cuvntul apare ntr-o sintagm deja atributiv (e.g. standarde estetice), am modulat la traducere ideea, fixnd-o, dup caz,
prin criterii, etaloane, exigene etc. i/sau locuiuni un pic mbogite, dup cum se cerea ea incarnat de fiecare dat n text. Oricum, n englez,
sensurile abstracte ale lui standard cresc nemijlocit din nelesurile concrete pe care el continu s le aib n limba cruia i aparine: drapel, stin-
dard,flamur, emblem; suport, proptea, stlp. (N. tr.)

3. Deja din perioada elisabetan, aceast strad era locul unde hlduiau scriitoraii nevoiai de literatur comandat, precursorii boemei moderne
propriu-zise. (N. tr.)

4. Exclamaia lui Manet, prin 1855, n legtur cu experiena contrastant n privina utilizrii culorii pe care i-a pricinuit-o copierea, la Luvru, a tabloului
lui Mazo Micii cavaleri, e restituit astfel n traducerea biografiei sale scrise de H. Perruchot (Viaa lui Manet, Bucureti, Ed. Meridiane, 1967, p. 65):
Ah! Iat ntr-adevr ceva limpede! Iat ceva care te face s-i fie lehamite de toate sosurile i siropurile. Greenberg folosete n englez expresia stews
and gravies. O minim familiaritate cu gastronomia francez face sesizabil, de ndat, oroarea exprimat prin metafora culinar a lui Manet. (N. tr.)

5. n englez: lowering of standards. Cf. i n. 2. (N. tr.)
32


galerie







Attila Tordai-S.

Societatea artificial a microroboilor nscocii de Daniel Knorr sugereaz o imagine a lumii n care supunerea la comenzi ar putea prea o form de
comportament autonom. Microroboii, pe care el i numete ageni, snt module simple. Ele pot intra ntr-o relaie srcit unele cu altele, la fel cum
pot reaciona la un nivel bazic i la diferitele impulsuri venite din mediul lor nconjurtor.
Daniel Knorr a realizat modelul virtual al microroboilor corespunznd celor 192 de state ale lumii. Modelele abstracte n cauz snt unele care, n viitor,
ar putea fi transformate cu uurin n realitatate. Microroboii poart, fiecare, simbolul unui stat, fiind ntru totul identici n ce privete structura lor, fr
s spun nimic despre rolul geopolitic sau puterea economic a statului reprezentat de ele. E vorba de o figurare simpl, asemntoare cu cea din
atlasurile geografice, unde statele snt simbolizate prin cmpuri colorate sau drapele minuscule, nirndu-se unele lng alte ntr-o atmosfer pacificat.
Sau am putea spune c microroboii se aseamn pieselor din jocul Lego, menit s dezvolte/coloreze imaginaia copiilor. La prima vedere, o ase-
menea reprezentare a statelor ar sugera o imagine a lumii pacifist-utopic, dar, la o examinare mai atent, mesajul ei se dovedete a fi mai puin senin:
ceea ce se pune aici n scen e un sistem de relaii dintre stat i agent, dintre stat i individ, n care acesta din urm nu e mai mult dect un obiect
reprezentaional caracterizat de nite funcii bazice, unul ce poate fi pus oricnd n priz, adic n slujba sistemului.
Cei zece microroboi de pe copert reprezint rile noi ce se asociaz Uniunii Europene, conferind astfel lucrrii i un accent privitor la politica actual.
Titlul ei, Welcome Agents, ne atrage cu o ironie amar atenia asupra relaiilor politice globale, asupra uniformizrii ce le amenin pe toate.




Daniel Knorr: Agents

Attila Tordai-S.
Traducere de Al. Polgr

The artifical society of the robots designed by Daniel Knorr and invested with simple functions suggests a world view in which obedience to instructions could even appear as a mode
of behaviour on its own. The robots he calls agents are simple modules. They are able to establish a restrained relation with one-another and also to react on a primitive level
to the impulses coming from their environment.
On a virtual basis for now, Daniel Knorr has manufactured robots analogous to the 192 states of the world. This is an abstract model, easy to transpose in reality in the future.
Each robot wears the symbol of a state, their structure is totally identical, it says nothing about the current power position, economic power or geopolitical role of the state they repre-
sent. The only item displayed is whereabouts. The display is quite simple, similar to that of coloured fields or tiny flags designating states in the most peaceful manner possible
on a world map, one might even say they are alike the complementary pieces of the Lego game meant to develop and diversify the imagination of children.
This visualisation of states suggests at first sight a pacifist and utopian world view, nevertheless upon a more careful inspection the message is rather a tense one: the model conjures
up such a system of relations between state and agent, actually between state and individual within which the latter is nothing but a reprezentational object invested with primary
functions, which may at any time be activated in order to serve the system.
The ten micro-robots displayed on the jacket represent the ten new member states joining the European Union, the work striking thus a topical political note. Its title, Welcome Agents
directs our attention with bitter irony upon current global political relations, upon uniformism extending over everything.

Translated by Nomi Lszl





DANIEL KNORR born 1968 in Bucharest Romania, lives in Berlin
Education: 198995 Akademie der Bildenden Knste Mnchen; 199596 Vermont College USA
Solo shows: 2004 Artificial, Rote Zelle, Mnchen; 2002 Visible/Invisible Series, The Project, New York, USA; Cattle browsing in the field, Serge Ziegler Galerie Zrich; 2001 Not Another
Ready Made, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zrich, Art Chicago 2001, USA; Klaus, Klaus kommt auch zu Fuss, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zrich; Haste ma ne Mark, Museum Folkwang, Essen;
1999 La femme de ma vie ne maime pas encore, Fri-Art, Fribourg; 1994 Good old Times, Kunstforum Lenbachhaus, Mnchen; 1993 My Market, Akademiegalerie, Mnchen
Group shows: 2004 5th Cetinje Biennale. Cetinje, Montenegro; Berlin Murmur, Ecole Superiure des Beaux Artes, Metz; Raumpool, Frankfurt; 2003 Solmurlaici, Centre Culturel
Suisse, Paris; Crossing Perspectives, Enlargment of the Minds, ECF Headquarters, Amsterdam; 2002 Unstable Narratives, hartware Mediakunstverein, Dordmund;
Public affairs, Kunsthaus Zrich; 2001 Favorites, Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zrich; Foto-Documente, New Gallert, Bucharest, Romania; Periferic Rumanian Biennial, Iai, Romania;
Site Co-Opted, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, N.Y.; 2000 Hey international competiton style, TENT Rotterdam; LISTE 2000, Fri-Art, Centre dArt Contemporain Fribourg,
Basel; On the spot, Bern; Weltwrts, Kunstmuseum Bonn; Cafe Helga & Galerie Goldankauf, Kunstraum Mnchen; 1999 Dream City, Kunstverein Mnchen; Salone Villa
Romana, Florenz; 1998 Ateliers des Artistes, Marseille; Personne sait plus, Villa Arson, Nice; 1997 Gang of Munich, Shedhalle, Zrich; 1996 Update, Kopenhagen;
1995 Collisiones, San Sebastian; 1994 Station, Interimsgalerie 2, Galerie der Knstler Mnchen; opening show, Galeri Nicolai Wallner, Kopenhagen



AGENTS

















































Layout: Philipp Arnold


















001 002
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175 176 177
178 179
180 181 182
183 184
185 186 187
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188 189 190
191 192

001 Afghanistan
002 Albania
003 Algeria
004 Andorra
005 Angola
006 Antigua and Barbuda
007 Argentina
008 Armenia
009 Australia
010 Austria
011 Azerbaijan
012 The Bahamas
013 Bahrain
014 Bangladesh
015 Barbados
016 Belarus
017 Belgium
018 Belize
019 Benin
020 Bhutan
021 Bolivia
022 Bosnia and Herzegovina
023 Botswana
024 Brazil
025 Brunei
026 Bulgaria
027 Burkina Faso
028 Burma
029 Burundi
030 Cambodia
031 Cameroon
032 Canada
033 Cape Verde
034 Central African Republic
035 Chad
036 Chile
037 China
038 Colombia
039 Comoros
040 Republic of the Congo
041 Democratic Republic of the Congo
042 Costa Rica
043 Cte d'Ivoire
044 Croatia
045 Cuba
046 Cyprus
047 Czech Republic
048 Denmark
049 Djibouti
050 Dominica
051 Dominican Republic
052 East Timor
053 Ecuador
054 Egypt
055 El Salvador
056 Equatorial Guinea
057 Eritrea
058 Estonia
059 Ethiopia
060 Fiji
061 Finland
062 France
063 Gabon
064 Gambia
065 Georgia
066 Germany
067 Ghana
068 Greece
069 Grenada
070 Guatemala
071 Guinea
072 Guinea-Bissau
073 Guyana
074 Haiti
075 Holy See
076 Honduras
077 Hungary
078 Iceland
079 India
080 Indonesia
081 Iran
082 Iraq
083 Ireland
084 Israel
085 Italy
086 Jamaica
087 Japan
088 Jordan
089 Kazakhstan
090 Kenya
091 Kiribati
092 North Korea
093 South Korea
094 Kuwait
095 Kyrgyzstan
096 Laos
097 Latvia
098 Lebanon
galerie 099 Lesotho 148 Samoa


100 Liberia
101 Libya
102 Liechtenstein
103 Lithuania
104 Luxembourg
105 The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
106 Madagascar
107 Malawi
108 Malaysia
109 Maldives
110 Mali
111 Malta
112 Marshall Islands
113 Mauritania
114 Mauritius
115 Mexico
116 Federated States of Micronesia
117 Moldova
118 Monaco
119 Mongolia
120 Morocco
121 Mozambique
122 Namibia
123 Nauru
124 Nepal
125 Netherlands
126 New Zealand
127 Nicaragua
128 Niger
129 Nigeria
130 Norway
131 Oman
132 Pakistan
133 Palau
134 Panama
135 Papua New Guinea
136 Paraguay
137 Peru
138 Philippines
139 Poland
140 Portugal
141 Qatar
142 Romania
143 Russia
144 Rwanda
145 Saint Kitts and Nevis
146 Saint Lucia
147 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

149 San Marino
150 Sao Tome and Principe
151 Saudi Arabia
152 Senegal
153 Seychelles
154 Sierra Leone
155 Singapore
156 Slovakia
157 Slovenia
158 Solomon Islands
159 Somalia
160 South Africa
161 Spain
162 Sri Lanka
163 Sudan
164 Suriname
165 Swaziland
166 Sweden
167 Switzerland
168 Syria
169 Tajikistan
170 Tanzania
171 Thailand
172 Togo
173 Tonga
174 Trinidad and Tobago
175 Tunisia
176 Turkey
177 Turkmenistan
178 Tuvalu
179 Uganda
180 Ukraine
181 United Arab Emirates
182 United Kingdom
183 United States
184 Uruguay
185 Uzbekistan
186 Vanuatu
187 Venezuela
188 Vietnam
189 Yemen
190 Yugoslavia
191 Zambia
192 Zimbabwe
52


Attila Menesi & Christoph Rauch:
detour 20032004
Flora Grnwald


Galeria de Art, Muzeul Naional Secuiesc, Sf. Gheorghe, 24 aprilie 7 mai 2004


Attila Menesi (Budapesta) i Christoph Rauch (Hamburg) lucreaz mpreun din 1993 n-
tr-un domeniu aflat la intersecia criticii instituionale, a artei serviciilor i a artei relaionale.
n centrul interesului lor se afl sistemul de funcionare a artei i spaiul public, proiectele lor
fiind legate de evaluarea i ncercarea soluionrii unor situaii problematice. Artitii observ
mici deplasri, conflicte sau lipsuri, care disturb, dezechilibreaz, mpiedic funcionarea cu
succes a unui anumit sistem i rspund provocrilor contextului prin intervenii de natur
demonstrativ, corectiv sau protetic. Publicul este ntotdeauna un element esenial al lucrrilor
lor, situaiile alese fiind examinate n cadrul mai larg al relaionrilor dintre art, instituiile artei
i contextul social.
Activitatea lui Menesi i Rauch poate fi interpretat ca o revizuire continu a funciei artei.
Ei consider activitatea artistic drept ceva dependent de context i avnd relevan practic.
Serviciile lor const n diverse intermedieri, ele fiind reacii la probleme reale ivite n cadrul
sistemului de relaii art-instituii-mediu social i desfurndu-se sub semnul funcionalitii.
Scopul activitii lor este de a nlesni accesul la art i instituiile sale, de a dezvlui sistemul
n care opereaz arta, de a intensifica fluxul comunicaional dintre art i mediul social. Sistemul
vizual propus pentru a facilita orientarea publicului la expoziia cooperativ (2000) n spaiul
multifuncional al Stadthaus Ulm
1
, ziua deschis organizat cu ocazia expoziiei Szerviz (2001)
la Mcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapesta
2
, care a permis accesul publicului n culisele activitii
instituionale i Index. A mvszet helysznei (Index. Spaiile artei), ghidul bilunar al expoziiilor
din Budapesta editat ncepnd cu 1999 de Menesi i Rauch snt doar cteva exemple recente
din activitatea lor de peste un deceniu.
detour 20032004, prezentat de curnd la Galeria de Art din Sf. Gheorghe, este un proiect
care vizeaz sistemul comunicaional al artei, fiind de data aceasta axat pe tema traficului
n lumea artistic. Imboldul proiectului a fost dat de oferta de a organiza o expoziie perso-
nal, ofert lansat de Mihly Vargha, directorul Galeriei. Fiind interesai de circumstanele
produciei, distribuiei i recepiei artei, explorarea contextului viitoarei expoziii a fost un pas
ce a urmat logic n cadrul demersului lui Menesi i Rauch. Lipsa schimbului de informaii cu
scena artistic internaional, n pofida existenei unor tradiii locale n domeniul artei contem-
porane (Medium, AnnArt, evenimente reprezentative mai ales pentru anii 90), pe de o parte,
vecintatea Bienalei Periferic 6 de la Iai, pe de alt parte, s-au nfiat artitilor ca termenii
unei ecuaii de relaionare, avnd drept rezultat scontat reaezarea oraului Sf. Gheorghe n
sistemul artistic. Ediia din 2003 a Perifericului, intitulat Coluri profetice, i avnd drept cura-
tor pe Anders Kreuger, a reunit o ampl participare internaional i urma s fie prezentat
i la Bucureti. Pentru a-i realiza scopul, Menesi i Rauch au propus organizatorilor bienalei
ca, n drum spre capital, transportul de art s fac un ocol de cca 70 km la Sf. Gheor-
ghe, aflat la jumtatea distanei IaiBucureti. Camionul trebuia s parcheze n faa Galeriei
de Art din Sf. Gheorghe, iar n timp ce oferul lua o pauz, publicul interesat urma s se
informeze asupra coninutului transportului de art, conectndu-se, fie i pentru scurt timp,
la circuitul internaional al artei. Fcnd apel la motive de securitate, organizatorii au refuzat
ideea devierii traseului, n schimb, ei au oferit susinerea unei conferine despre bienal la
Sf. Gheorghe, ceea ce s-a i realizat n primvara anului urmtor.
ATTILA MENESI & CHRISTOPH RAUCH: DETOUR 2003 2004
Flora Grnwald

Art Gallery, National Szekler Museum, Sf. Gheorghe,
April 24 May 7, 2004

Attila Menesi (Budapest) and Christoph Rauch (Hamburg) have been
working together since 1993 in a field at the crossroads of institutional
criticism, art services and relational art. Their focus of interest is in the
operational system of art and public space, as their projects are connect-
ed to the assessment and attempt of solution for some problematic situa-
tions. The artists note slight displacements, conflicts or lacks that disturb,
unbalance or stop the successful work of a certain system and answer the
challenges of the context through demonstrative, corrective or supple-
ment interventions. The public is always an essential element of their
works as the chosen situations are examined in the wider framework
of relations between art, art institutions and social context.
The activity of MenesiRauch can be interpreted as a continuous revision
of the function of art. They consider the artistic activity something
dependent on the context and having practical relevance. Their services
consist in intermediation, as they are reactions to real problems that
come up in the art-institution-social environment system of relations and
that unfold under the aegis of usefulness. The aim of their activity is to
offer easier access to art and its institutions, to unveil the operational sys-
tem of art, to enhance the communicational flux between art and the
social environment. The proposed visual system in order to facilitate
the public orientation in the exhibition cooperativ (2000) in the multifunc-
tional space at Stadthaus Ulm
1
, the open day organized for the exhibi-
tion Szerviz (2001) at Mcsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest
2
, that enabled
public access on the backstage of institutional activity and Index.
The Spaces of Art, the bimonthly guide to the Budapest exhibitions edit-
ed since 1999 by MenesiRauch are just a few recent examples of their
activity spanning over a decade.
detour 20032004 recently presented at the Sf. Gheorghe Art Gallery is
a project about the communicational system of art and focusing on the
topic of traffic in the art world. The starting point of the project was
the invitation for a personal exhibition coming from Mihly Vargha, the
gallery director. Interested in the circumstances of the art production,
distribution and reception, to explore the context of the exhibition to
come was a natural step in the approach of MenesiRauch. The lack of
information exchange with the international art scene despite some local
tradition in the contemporary art field (Medium, AnnArt, representative
events mostly for the 90s) on the one hand, an the close Jassy Biennial
Periferic 6 on the other, were the terms of an equation for the artists that
lead to the repositioning of Sf. Gheorghe town in the artistic system.
The 2003 edition of Periferic, entitled Prophetic Corners, curated by
Anders Kreuger, gathered a vast international participation and was sup-
posed to be shown in Bucharest as well. In order to accomplish their pur-
pose, MenesRauch proposed to the organizers of the Biennial that, on the
way to the capital, the art transport make a stop in Sf. Gheorghe, half-dis-
tance between Jassy and Bucharest. The truck would have parked in front

FLORA GRNWALD (Koblenz, Germania). Istoric i critic de art. Doctorand n sociologia artei contemporane n
cadrul CEU Budapesta.
FLORA GRNWALD (Koblenz, Germany). Art historian and critic. PhD candidate
in contemporary art sociology at CEU Budapest.
53
scena



of the Sf. Gheorghe Art Gallery, and while the driver would have had his
break the interested people could have had information about the art
content thus connecting, even briefly, to the international circuit of art.
Invoking security reasons, the organizers refused the idea of this route
change but in exchange they offered a conference about the Biennial that
was actually held in Sf. Gheorghe the next spring.
The coordinates of the situation at that time indicated a dead end and the
failure of the project seemed imminent, but not for MenesiRauch.
This was just the beginning for a complex mix of fiction and reality.
A detailed report, written by the artists, about the journey of the driver
from Jassy to Sf. Gheorghe and the stop at the Art Gallery was published
in Journal for Northeast Issues, no. 2, 2003 in Germany. In April 2004
in Sf. Gheorghe the detour project was presented and in this framework
the public could see the video documentary of the artists journey on the
same route, issues of the journal, the JassyBucharest transport inventory,
web links to the artists present in Periferic 6, an info box with posters
and catalogs.
Finally, MenesiRauch attained their goal: thanks to their mediation,
the Sf. Gheorghe public gets in contact with an international event, gets
informed about new trends in contemporary art. By extension, the feeling
of being connected to the contemporary art circuits is updated and it is
accompanied by the positive feedback of the town inhabitants who show
a genuine interest for the follow up of such experiments. However,
the meaning of detour goes beyond its practical value. Detour evokes
another term, that of deviation, driving a vehicle away from its usual
trajectory. In the present case there is the art transport on the route
regional center capital and the MenesiRauch group as hijackers,
cultural terrorists. As aggression doesnt describe them, MenesiRauch
prefer the play with fiction and reality, plus a subtle irony. Because, in the
end, this game takes place in a cultural periphery and connects to the
artistic material of a Biennial whose purpose was to thematize precisely
the relation cultural center periphery. I am not in a position to evaluate
how real or imaginary the danger of damaging the art transport could
have been in the case of a real detour over the mountains. I dont think,
however, that this is the most important aspect. The situation reveals the
fact that in the artistic system as in any humanly organized system there
are trajectories, itineraries, circuits legitimated through norms, conven-
tions and interests imposed by power. The questioning of these regula-
tions usually comes from minor and peripheral positions. Out of the three
towns, Jassy, Bucharest and Sf. Gheorghe, the last one is the most periph-
eral in terms of economic and cultural power. Being refused the detour
proposed by MenesRauch, Sf. Gheorghe gets yet another connotation,
slightly exotic, that of insecure place, dangerous access, outside the
safe circuit of art objects. Consequently, this is the position that, insisting
in carrying out the project, MenesiRauch intend to deconstruct.
Their method is that of toying with the real and the imaginary, intuiting
somehow an underground leitmotiv of the Romanian art scene, that of the
discrepancy between dreams and make true. The textual fantasy and the
visual document of the drivers journey are key-elements of the project,
through which the artists describe, evoke, comment on and, paradoxical-
ly, actually demonstrate that the journey is possible. It is true that the
demonstration takes place, with no transport, just by car, the personal
vehicle of the artists, but the road and the traffic conditions are the same
with real or imaginary dangers.

Translated by Izabella Badiu


Notes:

1. Cooperativ. Kunstdialoge Ost West, exhibition catalog, ed. Friederike
Kitschen, Ulm, 2000, pp. 3035; Nina Mntmann, Attila Menesi
and Christoph Rauch Showing the Way, ibid. pp. 2530.

2 Szerviz, exhibition catalog, ed. Mcsarnok / Kunsthalle, Budapest,
2001, pp. 2627.
54


Coordonatele situaiei indicau o fundtura, iar eecul proiectului prea iminent, nu i ns
pentru MenesiRauch. Acesta a fost doar nceputul unui complicat mixaj ntre ficiune i reali-
tate. O relatare amnunit, scris de artiti, despre cltoria oferului pe traseul IaiSf.
Gheorghe i popasul fcut la Galeria de Art a aprut n Journal for Northeast Issues, nr. 2,
2003, publicat n Germania. n aprilie 2004 a avut loc la Sf. Gheorghe prezentarea proiec-
tului detour, n cadrul creia au fost puse la dispoziia publicului documentarul video al cl-
toriei artitilor cu maina pe acelai traseu, exemplare din revist, lista obiectelor transportate
pe ruta IaiBucuresti, link-uri web spre artitii de la Periferic 6, un info box cu postere, ca-
taloage.
Iat c n cele din urm Menesi i Rauch i ating scopul: datorit medierii lor, publicul din
Sf. Gheorghe intr n contact cu un eveniment de anvergur internaional i primete infor-
maii despre tendinele recente din cadrul artei contemporane. Prin extensie, sentimentul
conectrii la circuitele artei contemporane e reactualizat, fiind nsoit de feedback-ul pozitiv
al locuitorilor oraului, care i manifest interesul pentru continuarea unor astfel de expe-
riene. Totui, semnificaia lui detour nu se rezum doar la valoarea sa practic. Detour (ocol)
invoc un alt termen, cel de deturnare, de abatere a unui vehicul de la itinerarul su. n
cazul de fa avem transportul de art, ruta centru regional-capital i grupul MenesiRauch
pe post de teroriti culturali. Cum agresivitatea nu le st n fire, MenesiRauch prefer
jonglarea ntre ficiune i realitate, nsoit de o ironie subtil. Cci, n definitiv, acest joc
are loc ntr-o periferie cultural, fiind legat de materialul artistic al unei bienale ce i propu-
ne s tematizeze tocmai relaia centru-periferie cultural. Nu m aflu n poziia de a evalua
ct de real sau de imaginar ar fi fost pericolul distrugerii transportului de obiecte artistice dac
ocolul peste muni chiar ar fi avut loc. Nu cred ns c acesta ar fi aspectul cel mai impor-
tant. Situaia reveleaz faptul c n sistemul artistic, ca de altfel n toate sistemele organizrii
umane, exist trasee, itinerare, circuite legitimate prin norme, convenii i interese institui-
te prin relaii de putere. Chestionarea acestor norme vine de obicei de pe poziii minoritare
i periferice. Dintre oraele Iai, Bucureti i Sf. Gheorghe, ultimul este cel care deine poziia
cea mai periferic n termenii puterii economice i culturale. Fiindu-i refuzat ocolul pro-
pus de MenesiRauch, Sf. Gheorghe mai capta i o nuan uor exotic, de loc incert,
cu acces primejdios, situat n afara circuitului sigur al obiectelor artistice. Prin urmare, aceas-
ta e poziia pe care, insistnd s-i realizeze proiectul, urmresc s-o deconstruiasc Menesi i
Rauch. Metoda lor este cea a pendulrii ntre real i imaginar, sesiznd parc intuitiv un lait-
motiv subteran al scenei artistice romneti, cel al discrepanei dintre vise i realizare.
Fabulaia textual i documentarul vizual al cltoriei oferului snt elemente-cheie ale proiec-
tului; prin intermediul lor, artitii descriu, evoc, comenteaz i, n mod paradoxal, chiar demons-
treaz c parcugerea fr probleme a traseului cu pricina e posibil. Demonstraia are loc,
ce-i drept, fr marf, cu maina personal a artitilor, dar drumul i condiiile snt aceleai,
cu primejdii reale sau imaginare.


Note:

1. Cooperativ. Kunstdialoge Ost-West, catalogul expoziiei, ed. Friederike Kitschen, Ulm, 2000, pp. 3035;
Nina Mntmann, Attila Menesi and Christoph Rauch Showing the Way, ibid. pp. 2530.

2. Szerviz, catalogul expoziiei, ed. Mcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest, 2001, pp. 2627.
55


scena


Formate n micare. Zilele Vienei la Bucureti
Cosmin Costina



formate. Wien ca. 2004, Galeria 2020, Arhiva de Art Contemporan, MNAC, Kalinderu
MediaLab, Galeria Nou, Universitatea Naional de Art, Bucureti, 12 mai 21 iunie


Care e cea mai bun metod prin care un spaiu cultural poate fi prezentat ntr-un mod
relevant ntr-un alt spaiu i care ar putea fi scopul unei asemenea ntreprinderi? Prima
ntrebare e cu att mai dificil cu ct implic riscul de a opera cu termeni neverificai, i
anume specificitatea structural a culturii contemporane dintr-un spaiu dat. Nu pot fi
gsite, astfel, suficiente argumente pentru afirmarea existenei unui spaiu cultural anu-
me (n acest caz, vienez), funcionnd ntr-o msur suficient de mare pe baza unor legi
i determinri proprii, pentru a putea fi delimitat ca un spaiu cultural autonom. Acest
lucru e valabil i n cazul spaiului cultural Bucureti. i aici, i n cazul Vienei, e vorba
mai degrab de rspunsuri ale aceleiai culturi la dou contexte de bun seam diferite.
Dar atta timp ct datele unui context nu snt, n mod explicit, incompatibile cu supor-
tul necesar manifestrii culturii contemporane, reflectarea acestor date n produciile cul-
turale se dilueaz pn acolo nct ele devin greu de distins. Deci mai degrab dect ntlnirea
a dou spaii culturale distincte, la Zilele Vienei la Bucureti a fost vorba despre ntlnirea a
dou eantioane de operatori culturali din cele dou orae. (Despre ntlnirea celor
dou contexte nici nu poate fi vorba, mi-e greu s cred c dou orae cu experiene
istorice att de diferite ar putea fi capabile n viitorul apropiat de o nelegere real a diferen-
elor dintre ele.) Acesta ar putea fi rspunsul la prima parte a ntrebrii. Pentru cea
de-a doua parte, rspunsurile ar fi multiple, dar ndeobte ne mulumim cu reducerea
lor la sintagmele specifice unei cereri de finanare pentru un asemenea proiect: edifi-
carea unei reele de schimburi i dialoguri, de comunicare i nfrire cultural. Iari,
e destul de greu de spus cum anume s-ar putea realiza acest lucru, cum s-ar putea regiza
i controla un fenomen att de complex precum o comunicare real ntre actorii social-
culturali, fenomenele i instituiile din cele dou orae.
Iar dac unei asemenea intenii i se mai adaug i miza diplomatic implicit, am avea toate
motivele ca auzind de o astfel de manifestare, s plecm ct mai rapid din localitate.
Nu trebuie s fii expert n politici guvernamentale ca s-i dai seama c undeva n buge-
tul municipalitii vieneze exist un fond pentru promovarea bunelor relaii (economi-
ce) vienezo-strine prin schimburi culturale. (Iar dac am vorbi n mod explicit de relaiile
dintre Viena i oraele Noii Europe proaspt integrate sau ateptnd/spernd-s-fie-integra-
te n UE, via mahalalele Vienei, nu am face dect s speculm, nu-i aa?)
Totui, ceea ce s-a vzut la Bucureti arat a orice altceva dect a show diplomatic aa
cum l nelegem noi (care e prin definiie cuminte, neproblematic i dac se poate folclo-
ric i ntors cu privirea spre adevratele valori ale neamului pe care vrea s-l prezinte).
Mai mult dect att, problemele de care vorbeam mai sus par a fi fost avute n vedere
de ctre organizatori.
Festivalul n ansamblul su a fost unul discursiv i orientat spre prezentarea dinamicii unei
scene artistice aflate ntr-o continu redefinire, marcate de paradoxuri i compromisuri.
Practic, Zilele Vienei au fost rezultatul intersectrii mai multor programe, multe dintre
ele ncepute i continuate n afara cadrului oficial al festivalului, cum ar fi moving patterns.04,
performing identities i formate. Wien ca. 2004, constnd din manifestri dintre cele mai
diverse, de la muzic electronic experimental la dance performance-uri, de la art vizual

Andreas Fogarasi
Public Brands The Nine States of Austria, 2003























MOVING FORMATS. VIENNA DAYS IN BUCHAREST
Cosmin Costina

formate.Wien ca. 2004, 2020 Home Gallery, The Archive of Contemporary
Art, MNAC, Kalinderu MediaLab, New Gallery, National University of Art,
Bucharest, 12 May 21 June

Which is the best method to present, in a relevant way, the culture
of an area in another area? And what could be the purpose of such an
enterprise? The first question is even more difficult, as it implies the risk
of operating with unproved terms, such as the structural specificity of
contemporary culture in a particular space. One cannot find enough argu-
ments to assert the existence of a particular cultural space (in this case
a Viennese one) functioning to such an extent on its own inner laws and
determinations as to be able to be defined as an autonomous cultural
space. This is also valid for the Bucharest cultural space. For both cases,
it is rather about the responses of the same culture to two obviously diffe-
rent contexts. However, as long as the data of a context arent explicitly
incompatible with the necessary support for contemporary culture, the
reflection of these data in the cultural productions is dissolved to such
a degree that it is difficult to recognize them. So, rather than being about
the encounter of two separate cultural spaces, Vienna Days in Bucharest
were more about the encounter of two samples of cultural agents from
the two cities. (When it comes to assuming an encounter between the two
contexts, I would definitely rule out such a possibility, as it seems impos-
sible that two cities with such a different historical experience would be
able to reach a level of real understanding of the differences between


COSMIN COSTINA este critic de art. COSMIN COSTINA is art critic.












Music and VJ performance at New Gallery, moving patterns.04, photo: Iosif Kirly







Ines Doujak
Untitled, for formate. Wien ca., Bucharest, 2004
scena
57





































Music and VJ performance at New Gallery, moving patterns.04, photo: Iosif Kirly








Dorit Caryster performing at caa, moving patterns.04, photo: Lia Perjovschi Billy Roisz, concert at Kalinderu MediaLab, moving patterns.04,
photo: Wolfgang Kopper
58


la conferine. ntreaga configuraie a festivalului cpta astfel ceva din dinamismul unei
scene culturale vii.

Programul formate. Wien ca. 2004 a fost probabil cel mai explicit n afirmarea situaiei
scenei vieneze, a imposibilitilor demersului acestui festival, a paradoxurilor care le definesc
pe amndou, ntr-o coeren conceptual remarcabil.
Probabil c principalul motiv pentru acest succes a fost ncredinarea organizrii programului
de ctre autoritile culturale vieneze lui Georg Schollhammer i revistei <<springe-
rin>>, una dintre cele mai critice i politic angajate reviste de art din Europa. formate
a funcionat ca o expoziie diseminat n mai multe spaii, ale cror profiluri erau osten-
tativ de diferite. Programul a fost gndit n aa fel nct s pun n discuie relaia dintre
individ i diversele contexte la care se raporteaz, dintre identitatea individual i cea
comunitar, dintre angajamentul social i ingineria social.
Discuia despre formate/cadre/contexte/spaii care modeleaz subiectul a fost iniiat
tocmai de aceast alegere a spaiilor. Am avut astfel Kalinderu, spaiu aparinnd MNAC
(instituie public), am avut galeria 2020, o galerie funcionnd n sufrageria artistului Vlad
Nanc (spaiu privat), atelierul familiei Perjovschi i totodat sediul caa (spaiu inde-
pendent ), Galeria Nou (galerie funcionnd pe principiul parteneriatului iniiativ priva-
t-autoriti locale). (Aici ar mai trebui adugat i gura de metrou din Piaa Unirii spaiu
public folosit pentru un jam session.)
ntrebarea, lsat fr rspuns, e dac aceste etichete s-au pstrat n cadrul acestei expoziii,
dac ele au fost accentuate sau, dimpotriv, au fost dizolvate?
Cert este c n spatele opiunii de a folosi spaii cu o identitate i cu un statut att de diferite
(opuse?) pentru o expoziie care vorbea tocmai despre legtura dintre spaii, nelese
n sensul lor cel mai cuprinztor, i identitile subiecilor care le locuiesc a stat dorina
de a pune sub semnul ntrebrii consistena acestei discuii n Romnia, unde spaiile
expoziionale snt privite doar ca receptacul, principiul anything goes fiind aplicat cu contiin-
ciozitate n alegerea locului pentru o aciune.
De altfel, textul introductiv al catalogului formate, Statul care savureaz masochismul,
semnat de Georg Schollhammer, ilustreaz ocurena aceluiai tip de fenomene i n
arta austriac a ultimelor decenii, unde relaiile public-privat au cunoscut o evoluie n
care aciunile independente, de protest social, au fost de cele mai multe ori copleite
de compromisuri, mezaliane i instituii hibride.
Lucrrile din formate s-au concentrat pe diferite cazuri n care contextul determin / mode-
leaz identitatea individual, din domenii precum problemele imigranilor, implicaiile
diferitelor politici sociale i urbane, chestiunea identitilor sexuale i a feminismului etc.
n Public Brands The Nine States of Austria, prezentat la Galeria Nou, Andreas Fogarasi
a creat cte un brand pentru cele 9 landuri austriece. Fiecrui land i-au fost extrase cte-
va trsturi cu potenial promoional-turistic care au fost apoi mixate ntr-o identitate
vizual bazat pe un logo i un slogan.
Aceast nou heraldic turistic are implicaii care se extind dincolo de imaginea i de
identitatea asumat a comunitii astfel blazonate. De altfel, mecanismul de construcie
al unei astfel de identiti vizuale este identic cu cel al atribuirii blazoanelor medievale.
n ambele cazuri, principala intenie era aceea a construirii unei imagini adecvate n exte-
rior pentru obiectul astfel etichetat, fie c era vorba de un domeniu feudal descris de
acele elemente convenionale ale artei heraldice care i confereau prestigiu seniorului,
fie c e vorba, n cazul nostru, de un land descris de acele elemente care snt n gene-
ral considerate ca atrgtoare din punct de vedere turistic. Nici atunci, nici acum,
aceste elemente simbolice nu au fost n nici un fel reprezentative pentru indivizii care
alctuiau societatea, cu toate c implicaiile unui blazon sau ale unui logo turistic i vizau
n mod direct pe acetia.
Cealalt lucrare a lui Andreas Fogarasi, A ist der Name fr ein Modell, era o analiz mai
detaliat a unui alt caz concret de identitate comunitar construit din raiuni turistice,
them, in the near future.) This could be the answer for the first question.
For the second, one could give many answers but we are generally
content with the reduction of those answers to some cotton language
phrases typical for the application forms used for the financial support of
such projects: the implementation of a network for exchanges and dialog,
for communication and cultural brotherhood. Again, it is quite difficult
to say how, exactly, these goals could be achieved, how a phenomenon as
complex as the communication between the actors, the phenomena and
the institutions of the two cities could be directed and controlled.
And if one would add to these intentions the implicit diplomatic stake,
one would have enough reasons to leave the city as soon as one hears
of such an event.
One doesnt have to be an expert in governmental policies to realize that
somewhere in the Viennese municipalitys budget there is a fund for pro-
moting good (economic) relations between Vienna and foreign cities
through cultural exchanges (and if one would explicitly talk about the
relations between Vienna and the cities of New Europe, recently integrat-
ed or waiting/hoping-to-be-integrated in the EU, via Viennas slums, one
would only speculate, right?).
However, what we saw in Bucharest was anything but a diplomatic show,
as we know it. (Which is by definition reserved, unproblematic and, if pos-
sible, focused on folklore and the genuine spirituality of the presented
nation.) More than that, the organizers seemed to be aware of the ques-
tions mentioned above.
The festival was a discursive one, oriented towards presenting the
dynamics of an art scene that constantly redefines itself among paradoxes
and compromises.
Practically, Vienna Days were the result of the intersection of several pro-
grams, many of which had begun before and continued after the official
framework of the festival, such as moving patterns.04, performing identi-
ties and formate.Wien ca. 2004, with the events ranging from experimen-
tal electro music to dance performances, from visual arts to lectures.
The whole framework of the festival had, thus, something from the
dynamics of a vivid cultural scene.

The formate. Wien ca. 2004 program was probably the most explicit in
asserting the status of the Vienna scene, in asserting the impossibilities
in the intentions of this festival, and of the paradoxes defining them both,
in a remarkable conceptual coherence.
Probably, the main reason for this accomplishment was the fact that the
cultural authorities in Vienna commissioned the directing of the program
to Georg Schollhammer and to <<springerin>>, one of the most critical
and politically engaged art magazines in Europe. formate functioned
as an exhibition disseminated in several spaces, whose profiles where
obviously different. The program was imagined as a debate on the
relationship between the individual and the different contexts to which
he/she is related, between the individual identity and the group/commu-
nity identity, between social engagement and social engineering.
The debate on the formats/frameworks/contexts/spaces was initiated by
this selection of such different spaces. Thus we had Kalinderu MediaLab,
belonging to the National Museum of Contemporary Art (a public institu-
tion), 2020 gallery, functioning in the living room of the artist Vlad Nanc
(private space), the Perjovschi familys studio also the headquarters
of the Center for Art Analysis (independent space), New Gallery (a gallery
based on the partnership between the private initiative and the local
authorities). (We should also mention here a subway station public
space used for a jam session.)
The question, left without a clear answer, was if these labels were main-
tained throughout this exhibition, whether they were underlined or rather
abolished?
However, it is clear that behind the option of using spaces with a different
identity and a different status (should we say opposite?) for an exhibition
that dealt exactly with the connection between space, understood in its
most general sense, and the identity of the subjects inhabiting it, laid the
intention to question the consistence of this debate in Romania, where
the exhibition spaces are perceived solely as recipients, the principle
scena
59




cel al Andorrei, unde situaia de double-bind genereaz contradicii sociale i politice greu
de rezolvat de ctre autoriti. n spaiul diferenei dintre realitate i imaginea vndut
pe pia se acumuleaz frustrrile sociale care amenin s distrug aceast politic de
imagine.
Josef Dabernig a prezentat la Kalinderu proiectul su Envisioning Bucharest, realizat mpreu-
n cu Rudolf Prohaska n 1996 pentru un concurs de urbanism al oraului Bucureti.
Proiectul, prezentat i n cadrul Bienalei de la Veneia din 2003, reprezint o soluie radi-
cal pentru atenuarea dezechilibrului produs de construirea centrului civic ceauist n
anii 80. O intervenie brutal i disproporionat, creia artistul i rspunde cu o soluie
la fel de mutilant pentru organsimul viu al oraului, unicul ei scop fiind unul estetizant.
n ziarul caa al Liei i al lui Dan Perjovschi a fost gzduit proiectul artistei Ines Doujak,
care trata probleme ale feminismului i ale identitii sexuale prin lucrri care ilustreaz
echilibrul fragil dintre imaginile fabricate ale genurilor i ameninarea grotescului din spatele
acestor stereotipuri.
Programul formate a fost intersectat cu celelalte programe ale festivalului, existnd
evenimente amestecate cu pri din cadrul moving patterns.04.

Pn la urm, miza acestui eveniment i motivul succesului su au stat n oferirea unui
cadru optim de ntlnire a unor individualiti care dau semnele iniierii unor proiecte de
colaborare n ambele orae. n timp, aceste colaborri ar putea produce exact efectele
pe care, n general, festivalurile de acest gen i le-ar dori ca efecte directe ale lor nsele.
anything goes being thoroughly applied when choosing the location
for an action.
Also, the introduction to the formate catalog, The State that thrives on
Masochism, by Georg Schollhammer, illustrates the occurrence of similar
phenomena in the Austrian art of the last decades, where the public/inde-
pendent relationship was shaped by the social protest movements, most
of the times overwhelmed by compromises, mesalliances and hybrid insti-
tutions.
The works in formate, focused upon different cases in which the context
determines/shapes individual identity, in situations like the immigrant
problem, the implications of some social and urban policies, the question
of sexual identity and feminism, etc.
In Public Brands The Nine States of Austria exhibited at the New Gallery,
Andreas Fogarasi branded the 9 Austrian lands. Each of the lands where
extracted a few features with a potential in tourist promotion, then this
features were mixed in a visual identity based on a logo and a slogan.
This new tourist heraldics has implications that stretch beyond the image
and the identity assumed by the community branded as such. Also, we
can notice that the mechanism of constructing a visual identity is similar
to the one used for choosing a coat of arms in the Middle Ages. In both
cases, the main goal was that of ensuring an image adequate for the out-
side for the item branded, be it a domain described by those convention-
al elements of the art of heraldics offering prestige to the lord, or a region
described by those elements generally considered as attractive from
a tourists point of view.
Neither then, nor now, were these symbolic elements by any means
representative for the individuals of the community described by
the colors and beasts of the coat-of-arms or by the tourist hot spots from
the visual identity.
The other work by Andreas Fogarasi, A ist der Name fr ein Modell
[A is the Name for a Model] is a more detailed analysis of another con-
crete case of communitarian identity constructed out of touristic reasons,
the case of Andorra, where the double-bind situation generates social
and political contradictions difficult to be overcome by the authorities.
Social frustrations that menace to blow up this image policy arise
in the space of the difference between reality and the marketed image.
Josef Dabernig presented, at Kalinderu, his project, Envisioning
Bucharest, conceived together with Rudolf Prohaska in 1996, for an
urbanism contest commissioned by the city of Bucharest. The project, also
presented in the Venice Biennial of 2003 is a radical solution for the
recovery of the balance destroyed by the construction of the Civic
Center by Ceauescu in the eighties. A brutal and disproportioned inter-
vention, to which the artist responds with a similarly violent solution for
the living structure of the city, its motivation being solely aesthetical.
In the newspaper of the Center for Art Analysis run by Lia and Dan
Perjovschi, Ines Doujak had an intervention which dealt with the prob-
lems of feminism and sexual identity through works illustrating the fragile
balance between the fabricated images of the genders and the menace
of the grotesque hidden behind such stereotypes.
The formate was intersected by the other programs of the festival, some
events being mixed with parts of moving patterns.04.

All in all, the stake and the reason for the success of this event was
the creation of an ideal framework for the encounter of individuals, who
have already signaled the initiation of some projects to be developed in
both cities. In time, these collaborations could have exactly those effects
which are generally desired by festivals of this kind as their own, direct,
follow ups.






Josef Dabernig
Envisioning Bucharest, 2003
60




Ioana Neme
The Wall Project, digital print, 2002, take away CD-Rom with insert, photo: Gabriella Csosz, credit: Traf Gallery
scena
61




<<green box>>
Judit Angel



Galeria Traf, Budapesta, 13 mai 13 iunie
Artiti: Johanna Billing, Esra Ersen, Aydan Murtezaoglu, Ioana Neme, Anri Sala, Ene-Liis Semper
Curator: Lvia Pldi; instalaie: Judit Molnr, Samu Szemerey



Toate expoziiile au o dimensiune individual: ele implic etalarea public a unei necesiti
private. Faptul c ele se pot ndrepta ctre finaliti colective nu schimb caracterul lor pri-
vat n esen, scrie Vasif Kortun ntr-un text referitor la practicile expoziionale.
1
Afirmaia
subliniaz natura comunicaional a actului expoziional, fiind pertinent n cazul expoziiei
<<green box>>, montat recent la Galeria Traf din Budapesta, o expoziie relevant ca
produs artistic, actual prin tematic i ca poziie curatorial.
Lucrrile din <<green box>> nu ilustreaz o tema central, prezint n schimb principii
structurale identice sau asemntoare, fapt care permite expoziiei s fie perceput ca un
ntreg. Asemenea obiectului minimalist, noniluzionist i nonilustrativ, expoziia se consti-
tuie ca o prezen imediat n spaiul de via al spectatorului, pe care l angajeaz pe plan
existenial.
2
Afinitatea cu minimalismul, detectabil n accentul pus pe percepie, reprezin-
t o constant a gndirii i sensibilitii curatoriale, un anume fel de a concepe expoziia ca
oper (de art), nefiind vorba de revitalizarea per se a unor estetici trecute. La nivelul con-
inutului, numitorul comun al ntregii expoziii, principiul de baz al lucrrilor este procesul
relaionrii ntre privat i public, individ i societate, real i imaginar. Acetia constituie polii
construciei identitii subiective i colective, culturale i de gen, de fiecare dat fiind deter-
minant relaia dintre artist i mediul sau de via. Aceast relaie este marcat de referine
istorice, politice i sociale, fiind filtrat prin experiena subiectiv. Sensibilitatea social mani-
fest n expoziie nu este una demonstrativ-didactic, ci se menine n registrul subtil al suges-
tivitii, al empatiei i al intimitii. Necesitatea recontextualizrii esteticului, redescoperirea
ambiguitii, nevoia de a personaliza comunicarea i de a o renvesti cu spaiu i timp privi-
legiat snt tendine spirituale de actualitate la care subscrie i concepia curatorial a lui
<<green box>>.
Instalaia expoziiei capt o importan deosebit prin faptul c modific spaiul galeriei, care
devine mai intim i introduce diversitate n receptarea ansamblului axat pe imaginea video i
pe fotografie. Fiecare lucrare are propriul su spaiu, ceea ce confer un caracter aparte ntl-
nirii dintre spectator i oper, permite contientizarea percepiei i reflecia la faa locului.
Manipularea tehnic a fotoprintului At Room Temperature (20002003) permite lui Aydan
Murtezaoglu s confrunte spaiul privat al locuinei cu spaiul public, simbolizat de vederea
prin fereastr a oraului Istanbul i s se autoplaseze ca personaj feminin la confluena celor
dou sfere. Aplecat la fereastr, pe punctul de a-i aprinde o igar, personajul degaj un
calm aparent, scurtcircuitat de tensiunile latente generate de aceast situaie aproape obi-
nuit. Elementele principale ale videoproieciei Where She Is At (2001) de Johanna Billing,
o tnr confruntndu-se cu oscilaia ntre ezitare i curajul de a sri din turnul de plonjare,
arhitectura modernist a trandului norvegian i publicul ad-hoc ce urmrete scena, dein
funcii simbolice. Cu ajutorul acestora artista modeleaz legtura individ-societate ntr-un sis-
tem de relaii reprezentat de dreptul la alegere personal, ateptrile reciproce i presiunea
conformrii individului la normele societii, pe fundalul ideatic lipsit de iluzii al vremurilor ce
succed utopiei moderniste. La Anri Sala, n videoproiecia Missing Landscape (2001), sursa
tensiunii este tocmai ceea ce nu se vede, adic fundalul imprevizibil, spaiul de via real i


JUDIT ANGEL este istoric, critic de art, curator. Din 1998 activitate curatorial desfurat n cadrul Mcsarnok
/ Kunsthalle din Budapesta.
<<GREEN BOX>>
Judit Angel

Traf Gallery, Budapest, May 13 June 13
Artists: Johanna Billing, Esra Ersen, Aydan Murtezaog lu, Ioana Neme,
Anri Sala, Ene-Liis Semper
Curator: Lvia Pldi, set up: Judit Molnr, Samu Szemerey


All exhibitions have an individual dimension: they involve a public dis-
play of a private need. That they may move toward a collective end does
not ultimately change their essentially private nature writes Vasif Kortun
in a text about exhibition practices.
1
The statement highlights the com-
municational nature of the exhibition as act and it is pertinent in the case
of <<green box>>, an exhibition recently shown at Traf Gallery in
Budapest, an exhibition which is relevant as an artistic product, it is up
to date through its themes and curatorial standing.
The <<green box>> works do not illustrate a central theme but show,
in exchange, identical or similar structural principles, which allow the ex-
hibition to be perceived as a whole. Like the minimalist object, non-illu-
sionist and non-illustrative, the exhibition presents itself as an immediate
presence in the spectators life space, whom it involves at the existential
level.
2
The affinity with minimalism, detectable in the focus on percep-
tion, represents a constant of curatorial thought and sensibility, a certain
way of conceiving the exhibition as a work (of art) without the revitaliza-
tion per se of some past esthetics. At the content level, the common
ground of the entire exhibition, the basic principle of the works is the
relational process between private and public, individual and society, real
and imaginary. These are the poles of identity construction, subjective
and collective, cultural and gender connected, as each time the relation
between the artist and his/her life environment is determined. This rela-
tionship is marked by historical, political and social references and it is fil-
tered through subjective experience. The social sensibility perceivable in
the exhibition is not demonstrative didactical but remains in the subtle-
ty of suggestion, empathy and intimacy. The need to recontextualize the
esthetic, to rediscover ambiguity, the need to personalize communication
and reinvest it with privileged space and time are recent spiritual trends
that <<green box>> curatorial conception abides by.
The exhibition set up gains special importance because it modifies the
gallery space that becomes more intimate and it introduces diversity in
the overall reception of the show composed mainly of video and photo.
Each work has its own space and that makes the meeting between spec-
tator and work special, enables the awareness of perception and reflec-
tion on the spot.
The technical treatment of the photo-print At Room Temperature (2000
2003) enables Aydan Murtezaog lu to confront the private space of the
house with the public space, symbolized by the window view of Istanbul,
and to place herself as a feminine character at the confluence of the
two spheres. Leaning over the window, just about to light a cigarette,
the character is apparently calm but short-circuited by the latent tensions


JUDIT ANGEL is art critic and curator. Since 1998 is curator of Mcsarnok / Kunsthalle,
Budapest.
62



























Esra Ersen
Sisters and Brothers, 2003, video on DVD shown on monitor, color, sound, photo: Gabriella Csosz, credit: Traf Gallery


scena
63




dramatic al copiilor ce joac fotbal pe un platou montan arid. Filmarea frontal, compresia
spaial i reducerea aciunii la perpetuarea regulilor jocului scot din context acest moment
special din viaa copiilor i confirm prezena prin absen a continuumului lor spaio-tem-
poral obinuit. O dialectic aparte a relaiei privat-public apare n proiectul The Wall (2004)
al Ioanei Neme, care prezint fragmentul de perete teritoriu personal, atelier i spaiu
pentru autoanaliz pe care artista l deine n locuina familial. n expoziie vedem doar
un detaliu simbolic al Peretelui, care este prezentat prin intermediul interviului artistei cu ea
nsi, imprimat pe CD, pe care vizitatorul l poate asculta doar n afara spaiului expoziiei,
preferabil n propria sa locuin. Felul prezentrii i mediumul tehnic fac posibil devenirea
public a informaiei personale ntr-un cadru intim. O ntreag lume este comprimat pe disc,
opera este acolo i totui nu este, cci ea exist doar n momentul n care cineva ascult.
Aceast soluie garanteaz supravieuirea eficient a lucrrii i dinuirea caracterului proce-
sual al Peretelui.
Lucrrile din <<green box>> pretind privitorului timp; din cele apte opere prezentate,
ase angajeaz receptorul ntr-o participare mai ndelungat dect doar cteva minute. Este
vorba, n primul rnd, de luarea unei poziii artistice i curatoriale n faa imersiunii incontien-
te n fluxul informaional (vizual, auditiv) cu care sntem tot timpul confruntai. Totodat i
face loc aici un nou mod de a accede la vizibilitate, manifest n caracterul selectiv al procesu-
lui de recepie. Into New Home (2001), videoproiecia Enei-Liis Semper conine referine
concrete minime: un peisaj anost, prin care, ca printr-un vis, cltorete artista, acompania-
t de un mic obolan. Trebuie s vizionezi de mai multe ori consecutiv banda pentru a reali-
za, prin repetiie, constelaia esenial a filmului, dat de paralelismul dintre vis i realitate i
permeabilitatea acestora de ctre experiena personal. Este ca i cum am avea revelaia
Realului, care st neschimbat n faa noastr i pe care l traversm de sute de ori, fr s-l
observm.
3
Cele dou videouri ale Esrei Ersen, bazate pe relaia dintre identitate i spaiu,
apeleaz la tehnica filmului documentar, la mijloacele cercetrii antropologice i ale limbii,
mai ales, ocupnd un loc aparte n expoziie. Dincolo de situarea construciei identitii n-
tr-un sistem complex de referine etnice, lingvistice, culturale i economice, Brothers and Sisters
(2003) ofer posibilitatea autoreprezentrii membrilor comunitii africane din Istanbul. La
rndul su, Hamam (2001) constituie un exemplu reciproc eliberator n cadrul economiei
de schimb a reprezentrii. Pe de o parte, privitorul, indiferent de sex, capt acces n spa-
iul exclusiv feminin al bii turceti i asist la plvrgeala celor dou femei; pe de alt parte,
videoul poziioneaz small-talk-ul ca replic alternativ la vocea oficial / imaginea tradiion-
al a femeii islamice.
<<green box>> ocup, creeaz i ofer spaiu sub semnul continuei relaionri. Este o
construcie ce face prezent ca ansamblu i reuete n acelai timp s asigure individualitatea
lucrrilor. Sentimentul funciar al ambiguitii n raportarea subiectului la lume, manifest aici
n ecuaia privat-public, constituie punctul de convergen dintre nevoia de autoexpresie cura-
torial i lucrrile artitilor din expoziie.

Note:

1. Vasif Kortun, Exhibited: Back-Log, in Exhibited, Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson,
NY, 1994, p. 39.

2. Frances Colpitt, Minimal Art. The Critical Perspective, University of Washington Press, 1993, p. 72.

3. Marko Laimre, Interviu cu Ene-Liis Semper, in Estonian Art 1/01(9), Estonian Institute, 2001.











Aydan Murtezaoglu
At Room Temperature, 20002003, 125 180 cm digital print,
photo: Gabriella Csosz, credit: Traf Gallery



generated by the almost unusual situation. The main elements of the
video-projection Where She Is At (2001) by Johanna Billing, a young
woman hesitating to jump off the diving tower, the modernist archi-
tecture of the Norwegian swimming pool and the ad-hoc public attentive
to the ongoing scene have symbolic functions. With these means the artist
shapes the bond individual society in a system of relations represented
by the right to free choice, the mutual expectances and the pressure of
individual conformation to the society rules on the background of lack
of illusions in the times that follow the modernist utopia. With Anri Sala,
in the video-projection Missing Landscape (2001), the source of tension is
precisely that which is not seen, that is the unpredictable background,
the real and dramatic life space of children playing football on a desert
mountain plateau. The frontal filming, the spatial compression and the
reduction of action to the perpetuation of game rules, take out of the con-
text this special moment in the childrens life and confirms the absent
presence of their ordinary space-time continuum. A singular private
public dialectics appears in the project The Wall (2004) by Ioana Neme
presenting a wall fragment personal territory, workshop and self-analy-
sis space that the artist disposes of in her family house. In the exhibition
only a symbolic detail of The Wall is shown. The Wall is rather presented
through the interview that the artist has with herself, engraved on CD
and that the viewer can listen to only outside the exhibition space, prefer-
ably in his/her home. The presentation style and the technical medium
make possible rendering public the personal information in an intimate
setting. A world in its own right is compressed on the disc, the work is
there and yet it isnt as it exists only at the precise moment when some-
one listens to it. This solution guarantees the efficient survival of the work
and the lasting process-like feature of the Wall.
The <<green box>> works ask time from the viewer, out of the seven
presented works six involve the receiver in a longer participation than just
a few minutes. Firstly, its all about taking an artistic and curatorial posi-
tion when confronted to the unconscious immersion in the informational
flux (visual, aural). A new way to access visibility emerges, identifiable in
the selective character of the reception process. Into New Home (2001),
video Ena-Liis Sempers projection contains minimal concrete refer-
64














Ene-Liis Semper
Into-new-home, 2000, single channel video installation on DVD with sound, photo: Gabriella Csosz,
credit: Traf Gallery
ences: a dull landscape through which the artist travels in the company of
a rat. One has to see the tape several times before realizing, through rep-
etition, the films essential constellation, the parallelism between dream
and reality and their permeability to personal experience. It is as if we
had the revelation of the Real, that remains unchanged in front of us and
that we cross hundreds of times without noticing3. The two videos by
Esra Ersen, based on the relation between identity and space, use the
documentary film technique, the methods of anthropological research
and of language. Beside the positioning of identity construction in a com-
plex system of ethnical, linguistic, cultural and economical references,
Brothers and Sisters (2003) makes possible the self-representation of
African community members in Istanbul. In its turn, Hamam (2001) is
a mutual freeing example in the framework of representation exchange
economy. On the one hand, the viewer, regardless of the sex, gains
access to the exclusive feminine space of the Turkish bath and witnesses
the chat of the two women; on the other hand, the video positions the
small-talk as an alternative to the official voice/ the traditional image of
the Islamic woman.
<<green box>> occupies, creates and offers space under the sign of con-
tinuous relation making. It is an ensemble construction that manages in
the same time to preserve the works individuality. The compelling feeling
of ambiguity in the relation of the subject to the world, present here in
the equation private public, is the convergence point between the need
for curatorial self-expression and the works of the artists.

Translated by Izabella Badiu


Notes:

1. Vasif Kortun, Exhibited: Back-Log, in Exhibited, Bard College, Center
for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 1994, p. 39.

2. Frances Colpitt, Minimal Art. The Critical Perspective, University
of Washington Press, 1993, p. 72.

3. Marko Laimre, interview with Ene-Liis Semper, in Estonian Art 1/01(9),
Estonian Institute, 2001.
scena
65















Johanna Billing
Where She is At, 2001, single channel video installation on DVD, color, sound,
cinematography by Henty Moore Selder, photo: Gabriella Csosz, credit: Traf Gallery
Anri Sala
Missing Landscape, 2001, single channel video installation on DVD, with sound, 14 55,
photo: Gabriella Csosz, credit: Traf Gallery
66



Ion Grigorescu
From Recent Photographs, credit: the author
scena



Despre Ion Grigorescu
la fel ca despre mine nsmi
Raluca Voinea


Ion Grigorescu: Fotografii recente
1
, Galeria Nou 930 iunie


Dumneavoastr deschidei aceast carte, sntei n prag, iar eu snt intrat, nu foarte
departe...
2

Expoziia e o carte, cu filele desfurate pe perei; cel care trece pragul i ncearc s-l
caute pe artist are de ales ntre dou trasee: unul prestabilit, potrivit cruia Ion Grigorescu
este un experimentator, pe care l putem situa n fluxul avangardelor europene i cu
ale crui lucrri putem ilustra orice context i orice mediu de la arta sub comunism
la postcomunismul posttraumatic, de la nouveau-ralisme la neoortodoxism, de la arte
povera la postconceptualism, n acelai timp artistul reuind s nu se lase cuprins n nici
o definiie, cel puin nu n vreuna existent; ceea ce ne rmne de fcut n acest caz este
s parcurgem cel de-al doilea traseu, unde fiecare pas se bazeaz pe o intuiie i pen-
tru fiecare analiz ne inventm criteriile.
Expoziia e o carte i noi o rsfoim ca un cititor care vrea s cunoasc, nu s recunoasc.

Intimitate i cotidian
Autoportretele n care artistul, claustrat n spaiul ngust al camerei sau al atelierului, se
expunea unui obiectiv indiscret snt aici de-abia amintite, lsnd locul autobiografiilor n
care cteva obiecte sau cteva persoane se compun ntr-o cronic de interior (1977
3
).
Persoane i lucruri familiare, o intimitate fcut public unui artist i se permite i asta,
admite Maria, fiica lui Ionic Grigorescu.
4
ns Ionic nu face acest transfer al privatului
n public ca o afirmare a autoritii sale artistice, nicieri nu apare vreun semn al unui
spaiu privilegiat pentru c ar beneficia de prezena artistului; de aceea poate nu ne simim
ca intrui, ci mai degrab ca oaspei; familiaritatea la care asistm este aceea a cotidia-
nului, cu obiectele i gesturile care dau ritmul fiecrei clipe. Cnile de ceai, conturul unei
figuri aprnd ntr-o oglind, printre alte obiecte, printre rufe puse la uscat; o caraf pe
mas, ca un semn de stabilitate i certitudine, ca o ax structuratoare; un scaun care
este prezen pur, i nu nostalgie a absenei cuiva; buctrie, cri, mobile; toate tr-
iesc timpul cotidian: nu acel timp al ndeprtrii de, al naintrii ctre, al ireversibilitii,
ci timpul n care fiecare clip e o condensare a tuturor existenelor i a tuturor lumilor
(ca n nelepciunea zen); timpul totodat al unei singure clipe, diferit i singular; tim-
pul care nu e oprit i ncarcerat (aa cum susine Susan Sontag c se ntmpl n fotografie),
pentru c Ion Grigorescu nu oprete, ci consemneaz (1980
5
). Ca un reporter, ca
un documentarist, pentru care ns fotografia nu e un instrument pentru o privire exteri-
oar, tiinific, ci un limbaj, i el cotidian; limbajul obinuit, comun i n sensul de apar-
innd unei comuniti, limbajul care la Wittgenstein arat (zeigen) fr s spun (sagen),
care sugereaz fr s expliciteze.
Fotografia ca limbaj cotidian este tcere; nu linite, nsemnnd o suspendare i un sfrit
(Hamlet), ci tcere, nerostire anticipativ, ce conine promisiunea unei rostiri viitoare
(Lyotard). Tcerea e spaiul (sau mai degrab timpul) refleciei i al ateptrii; la Roland
Barthes, fotografia e spaiul noematic al unei evidene: cela a t; certitudinea unei pierderi,
definitive, a ceva ce memoria nu mai poate recontura n alt fel dect prin cele cteva penum-
bre ale imaginii fotografice; la Ionic Grigorescu, fotografia devine un spaiu interstiial,



RALUCA VOINEA este critic de art, curator, editor al revistei de art contemporan e-cart (www.e-cart.ro).
ABOUT ION GRIGORESCU AS ABOUT MYSELF
Raluca Voinea

Ion Grigorescu: Recent Photographs
1
, Galeria Nou 930 June

You open this book, you are on the threshold, and I am inside, not very far...
2

The exhibition is a book, with the pages unfolded on the walls; one who
passes the threshold and tries to look for the artist, has to choose
between two ways: an already established one, according to which
Ion Grigorescu is an experimenter, whom we can put in the flux of the
European avant-garde and whose works one can use to illustrate any
context and any medium from the art under communism to the post-
traumatic post-communism, from the nouveau-ralisme to the new ortho-
doxism, from arte povera to post-conceptualism, the artist escaping
nonetheless any definition, at least an existing one; what remains for us
to do in this case is to take the second way, where every step is based
on an intuition and for each analysis we invent our criteria.
The exhibition is a book and we turn it over as a reader who wants
to find out not to recognize.

Intimateness and Quotidian
The self-portraits in which the artist, isolated in the narrow space of the
room or the studio, was exhibiting himself to the indiscrete lens are here
barely reminded of, leaving place to the auto-biographies in which a few
objects or a few persons are forming a review of an interior (1977
3
).
Familiar persons and things, an intimacy made public an artist is allowed
to do such things also, admits Maria, Ionic Grigorescus daughter.
4


RALUCA VOINEA is an art critic, curator, editor of the contemporary art magazine
e-cart (www.e-cart.ro).


Ion Grigorescu
Recent Photographs, photo: Drago Olea, credit: Galeria Nou


Image from the exhibion, photo: Drago Olea, credit: Galeria Nou



Ion Grigorescu
From Recent Photographs, credit: the author
scena



But Ionic does not do this transfer of the private into public as an asser-
tion of his artistic authority, there isnt anywhere any sign of a space that
would be privileged because of the artists presence; thats why, maybe,
we are not feeling as intruders but rather as guests; the familiarity we are
watching is that of the everyday, with the objects and the gestures that
give the rhythm of every moment. The tea cups, the shape of a person
reflecting in a mirror, through other objects, through the laundry left
to dry; a carafe on the table, as a sign of stability and certainty, as a struc-
turing axis; a chair that is pure presence and not a nostalgia for some-
ones absence; kitchen, books, furniture; they all live the daily time:
not that time of getting away from, of going towards, of irreversibility, but
the time in which every moment is a condensation of all the exis- tences
and all the worlds (like in Zen wisdom); also the time of one single
moment, different and unique; the time which is not stopped and impris-
oned (as Susan Sontag states that it happens in photography), because
Ion Grigorescu does not stop, but notes it (1980
5
). As a reporter, as
a documentarist, for whom photography is not however an instrument
for an exterior view, a scientific one, but a language, also of the everyday:
the ordinary language, common including in the sense of belonging
to a community, the language which for Wittgenstein shows (zeigen)
without saying (sagen), which suggests without explaining.
Photography as a daily language is quietness; not silence, meaning a
ceasing and an end (Hamlet), but quietness, anticipatory non-utterance,
which contains the promise of a future utterance (Lyotard). The quietness
is the space (or rather the time) of reflection and expectancy; for Roland
Barthes, photography is the noematic space of a certainty: cela a t;
the certainty of a loss, for good, of something that memory cannot
reshape in other way than through the few shadows of the photographic
image; for Ionic Grigorescu, photography becomes an interstitial space,
it is the breathing within meditation, it intervenes between two
sequences of a ritual: I can call art also the interval of waiting,
preparing, judging. Ideas come when they want, they are considered
for what they first serve to. I must find the purpose of art. For this I need
to find the purpose of a long series of objects the room, the lamp,
the window, what is it that makes them instaurate themselves a ritual
maybe. Art is image? than the image is that of the ritual, of my life in the
room, all the series is saturated with my body and my mind (man, family).
*
The exhibition is a confession; the meditative present which we discover
in the photographs of interior is also the place of a retrospective;
of a selective remembrance that Ion Grigorescu emphasizes either with
a picture or with a text; things that have been known mostly abroad, like
the exhibition Wander Lieder from the Stedelijk Museum, others that
people talked about more, like his church painting, fragments of corre-
spondence, fragments of diary, all of which are following the thread
of memory and not one of chronology or facts; you can never do a thing
completely, confesses the artist, but what you obtain at a certain point,
after long personal researches, you can show to the others as well, so that
what becomes interesting is their reaction and interpretation.
Ion Grigorescu does not make anything accidentally, but once the things
said he doesnt claim the way they should be understood.
In the same way his neo-orthodoxism is not dogmatic; in the Church
there will enter only the few ones, and only those who need this...;
the authentic religious art is that where the artist forgets about himself
I say NO to my persons expansion, in the world, through art (1980).
He abandons not only the search of a style, or what is considered a type of
artistic life, but the mere idea of artist; Ion Grigorescu is equal to him- self
in everything he does, because each time he is an ordinary, authentic
person. The competition between art and religion, which he sees nowa-
days in society, especially the Western one, determines the different
responses to his works; the schizophrenia which Kristine Stiles
6
deci-
phered in Ion Grigorescu as a result of totalitarianisms trauma should be
looked for, maybe, in the interpretation patterns of the critic.




Ion Grigorescu
From Recent Photographs, credit: the author

este respiraia din timpul meditaiei, ea intervine ntre dou secvene ale unui ritual;
Pot numi art i perioada de ateptare, pregtire, judecat. Ideile vin cnd vor ele, snt
judecate pentru raritatea lor, snt judecate la ce servesc n primul rnd. Trebuie s g-
sesc rostul artei. Pentru aceasta mi trebuie s gsesc rostul unui ir lung de obiecte
camera, lampa, fereastra, ceea ce le face s se instaureze un ritual poate. Arta e imagi-
ne? Atunci imaginea este a ritualului, a vieii mele n camer, tot irul e impregnat de
corpul i mintea mea (om, familie).
*
Expoziia e o confesiune; prezentul meditativ pe care l descoperim n fotografiile de
interior este i locul unei retrospective; al unei rememorri selective, pe care Ion Grigo-
rescu o puncteaz fie cu o imagine, fie cu un text; lucruri care au fost cunoscute mai
degrab n strintate, ca expoziia Wander Lieder de la muzeul Stedelijk, altele despre
care s-a vorbit mai mult, ca pictura sa de biserici, fragmente de coresponden, frag-
mente de jurnal care urmresc firul memoriei, i nu unul cronologic sau faptic; nicioda-
t nu poi face un lucru complet, mrturisete artistul, ns ceea ce obii la un moment
dat, dup ndelungi cutri personale, poi arta i altora, i ceea ce devine interesant
atunci e reacia i interpretarea lor. Ion Grigorescu nu las nimic la ntmplare, dar o dat
lucrurile spuse, el nu impune i felul n care s fie nelese acestea.
The Child of Socialism
With an aesthetics of a stadium, the House of People is the work of
a tyrant (a nostalgic of army). He had the appetite to form new people.
Population on the contrary had the opposite appetite to live the life
of a tyrant.
Only a few allusions to communism and its consequences in this exhibi-
tion; Ion Grigorescu is, like always, discreet; he tells us only what we need
to know hes attentive; to the local spectators he addresses closely, speak-
ing not about a dusty history, good for being taught in universities and
for illustrating curatorial concepts, but about that history which repeats
under our very eyes... His tone, when he comments upon these things
is rather expectative than categorical: the critical view does not exclude
the acceptance of another possibility.

The Approximate Man
... and I am inside, not very far; do I not have the courage to go further?
The artist in the avant-garde but who is not looking for new means for the
sake of new; he is not interested in the technique but in the way he is let-
ting himself expressed by the means he experiments. What does he have
in common with Dadaism? Ion Grigorescu is not a revolutionary artist
he enrolls in an esthetics of order and common sense; he is not contest-
ant, as he prefers to integrate himself in a given state of things, to look



Ion Grigorescu
photo: Eduard Constantin
scena
71




La fel cum neoortodoxismul su este nedogmatic; n Biseric vor intra numai cei puini
i cei care au nevoie...; arta religioas autentic este cea n care artistul se uit pe sine
Spun NU inflaiei persoanei mele, n lume, prin art (1980). Nu doar cutarea stilu-
lui, sau a ceea ce e considerat un tip de via artistic, este abandonat, ci nsi ideea
de artist; Ion Grigorescu e egal cu sine n tot ceea ce face, pentru c de fiecare dat e
omul obinuit, autentic. Competiia dintre art i religie, pe care el o constat azi n socie-
tatea mai ales occidental, determin receptarea diferit a lucrrilor sale; schizofrenia
pe care Kristine Stiles
6
o descifra la Ion Grigorescu, rezultat al traumei totalitarismului,
ar trebui cutat, poate, n grilele de interpretare ale criticului.

Copilul socialismului
Cu o estetic de stadion, Casa Poporului este opera unui tiran (un nostalgic al militriei).
El avea pofta de a elabora oameni noi. Populaia avea pofta contrarie de a tri viaa
unui tiran.
Doar cteva aluzii la comunism i urmrile sale n aceast expoziie; Ion Grigorescu e,
ca ntotdeauna, discret; atta doar ct s tim c e atent; spectatorilor locali li se adreseaz
de aproape, vorbind nu despre o istorie prfuit, bun de predat n universiti i de
ilustrat concepte curatoriale, ci despre acea istorie care se repet, sub ochii notri
Tonul su, atunci cnd comenteaz aceste lucruri e mai degrab expectativ dect cate-
goric: privirea critic nu nltur acceptarea unei alte posibiliti.

Omul aproximativ
iar eu snt intrat, nu foarte departe; oare nu am curajul s m ndeprtez?
Artistul aflat n avangard, dar care nu caut mijloace noi de dragul noului; nu tehnica l
intereseaz, ci felul n care se las exprimat prin mijloacele pe care le experimenteaz.
Ce are n comun cu dadaismul? Ion Grigorescu nu este un artist revoluionar el se
nscrie ntr-o estetic a ordinii, a bunului-sim; nu este contestatar, cci prefer s se instau-
reze ntr-un dat al lucrurilor, s caute sensul n planul realului i al imediatului, luat ca atare.
Dada nseamn cinste, corectitudine consecven; Ion Grigorescu are melancolia
lui Tristan Tzara, fr cinismul acestuia; melancolia exilatului n propria ar (mi-a fost
ruine s fiu artist n ara mea), care i-a convertit aceast stare nu ntr-un protest, ci
ntr-o existen construit pas cu pas din ceea ce, n pustiul din jur, se putea numi umani-
tate; pn i atunci cnd neag, Ion Grigorescu afirm, manifest ncredere: ara nu e
a miliienilor, a securitilor i a comunitilor (1991
7
)
Ce ofer aceast expoziie unui public aflat n permanent cutare de nou? O privire
n oglind i luciditatea de a accepta imaginea care se vede; o privire peste umr i rigu-
rozitatea de a selecta acele fragmente care pe de o parte reamintesc unora momente
tiute i trite, iar pe de alt parte alctuiesc mpreun un sens, o provocare i curajul
unei contiine critice care i nfrunt prezentul.


Note:

1. Mulumesc Liei Perjovschi pentru sugestia titlului i pentru metafora crii desfurate pe perei.

2. Toate citatele unde nu se menioneaz altfel snt fragmente de texte din expoziie.

3. Secolul 20 9/1977; text i fotografii cu titlul Cronic de interior de Ion Grigorescu.

4. Mi-a plcut foarte mult expoziia. Uitndu-m la pozele puse pe perete mi spun c am venit, am vzut, ns tiam
dinainte ce reprezint. Ne reprezint pe noi, pe tine, familia noastr. Cine i-a dat voie s faci intimitatea noas-
tr public?! M rog! Oricum, viaa de artist implic i genul sta de lucruri (din caietul de impresii al galeriei).

5. Catalogul expoziie de la Galeria Cminul Artei, mai 1980.

6. Kristin Stiles, Shaved Heads and Marked Bodies: Representations from Cultures of Trauma, 1993.

7. Expoziia Stare fr titlu, Timioara, 2001.
for the sense in the register of the real and the immediate, taken as such.
Dada means honesty, truthfulness... consistency; Ion Grigorescu has the
melancholy of Tristan Tzara, without this ones cynicism; the melancholy
of someone who is exiled in his own country (I was ashamed to be
an artist in my country), who converted this state not in a protest but in
an existence built step by step from what, in the desert around, could be
called humanity; even when he denies, Ion Grigorescu affirms, he mani-
fests confidence: The country does not belong to the Militia men,
to the Securitate and to the communists... (1991
7
)
What does this exhibition offer to a public in a permanent search of the
new? A look in the mirror and the lucidity to accept the image seen there;
a look over the shoulder and the rigor to select those fragments which
on the one hand remind to some people about known and lived moments
and on the other hand build together a sense; a provocation and the
courage of a critical consciousness that faces its present.


Notes:

1. Thanks to Lia Perjovschi for the suggestion of the title and the metaphor
of the book unfolded on the walls.

2. All the quotations where not otherwise mentioned are fragments
of texts from the exhibition.

3. Secolul 20 9/1977; text and photographs under the title Cronic
de interior (Review of an interior) by Ion Grigorescu.

4. I liked the exhibition very much. Looking at the pictures on the walls I
say to myself that I came, I saw but I already knew what they repre-
sent. They represent us, you, our family... Who gave you the permission
to make our intimacy public?! Well! Anyway, the life of an artist implies
this kind of things too (from the impressions notebook of the gallery).

5. Catalogue of the personal exhibition at the Gallery Cminul Artei,
May 1980.

6. Kristin Stiles: Shaved Heads and Marked Bodies: Representations
from Cultures of Trauma, 1993.

7. Exhibition State without a Title, Timioara, 2001.
72













Rassim
Multireligious 13, paintings (acrilic on canvas, 100 130 cm) and Corrections 2, video (VHS 10), 2003, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake


scena
73




Euro-Bouillon
Alina erban



Shake the Limits, MNAC, Kalinderu MediaLab, Bucureti, 525 iulie
Artiti: Daniel Blaufuks (PT), Pavel Brila (MD), Alexandra Croitoru (RO), Joo Paulo Feliciano (PT), ngela Ferreira
(PT), Teodor Graur (RO), Tellervo Kalleinen (FI), Mihaela Kavdanska (BG/RO), Dominik Lejman (PL),
Ciprian Murean (RO), Cristian Pogcean (RO), Rassim (BG), Miguel Soares (PT), Times Up (A), Roi Vaara (FI)
Curator: Maria Rus Bojan (RO/NL)



Prins ntr-o conspiraie pervers, n care eforturile de coagulare i consolidare a puterii
de seducie a spaiului public se pierd n favoarea unor sloganuri comune, limitate i rigide,
flneur-ul se afl n imposibilitatea de a-i desfura jocul cutrii. Acesta a fost confis-
cat. Apropiindu-se de propria cdere, el devine contient de imposibilitatea rtcirii fr
int n spaii diferite, pe strzi diferite. Scenariile snt acum gata fcute de experi, dis-
crete, precise, lsnd puin loc imaginaiei i chiar mai puin loc libertii spectatorului.
Actori ntr-un spectacol meticulos pus n scen, cel al globalizrii iminente, acceptm
distraciile garantate prescrise de politicile culturale, vizuale, fcute obligatorii prin direc-
tive europene. Bucuria descoperirii celuilalt, a necunoscutului, este nlocuit cu o tele-
mediere, cu o interactivitate silit. Network-ul globalist faciliteaz teleshopingul artistic. n
acest context, termenul de identitate devine un clieu facil, a crui relevan, n faa pro-
cesului gradat de integrare n, rmne valabil doar n gama minor.
Teritoriul public este teritoriul estetic ultim. A defini limita teritoriului public ca pe un
punct mort (dead point). Descoperirea acestui punct mort nseamn pierdere a rever-
sibilitii, contradiciei, cdere ntr-o contemplare de sine extatic. Politicile punctului mort
reuesc s transforme evenimentul cultural n eveniment fr consecine, fr istorie.
Aceste evenimente nu refract nimic i nu mai prevestesc nimic.
innd cont de aceste date, doresc s m opresc la dou aspecte care mi se par impor-
tante i care snt legate direct de evenimentul desfurat n Bucureti, Shake the Limits.
Primul aspect vizeaz ideea de network european i apariia unui nou limbaj cultural, pe
care el l identific cu o nou limb de lemn. Cel de-al doilea aspect este mult mai prac-
tic i se refer la conceptul curatorial al expoziiei, la cadrele vizuale create independent
sau dependent de acest concept, precum i la modul n care experimentm ca privitori
un asemenea demers curatorial.
Revenind la ideea de network european, desigur pare extrem de interesant i de inci-
tant acest proces de transmitere de idei, mesaje ntre diferitele centre culturale. Este,
pe de o parte, o punere n tem a fiecruia cu ceea ce se petrece n actualitate, o aduce-
re la acelai nivel a gradului de knowledge al fiecruia, dar reflect, pe de alt parte, i o
anumit reducere a peisajului cultural la cteva categorii precise pe care, dac nu le-am
atins sau demonstrat, trebuie s crem iluzia nelegerii lor cu ajutorul evenimentului
cultural, i nu numai. n principal, network-ul vizeaz mobilitatea, cunoaterea reciproc
i informaia. Atunci cnd el este productor de eveniment cultural, contextul ales spre
demonstraie este destinat structurrii, claritii clasificrilor, stabilitii categoriilor,
monotoniei i repetivitii. Network-ul garanteaz. Valoarea ocant a noului, a imprevi-
zibilului dispare. Limbajul cultural este un limbaj de lemn, srac n semnificaii, precis,
schematic i imobil. Evenimentul funcioneaz ca un produs, vandabil oriunde tocmai
fiindc apeleaz la un limbaj previzibil. Evenimentul se deprteaz de proximitatea es-
tetic, deoarece noutatea se transform n obinuin i emoia n plictiseal.



ALINA ERBAN este curator i redactor al revistei Arhitext Design din Bucureti.
ngela Fereira
A Woman like Polley, video, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake
74








Joo Paulo Feliciano
Run for Your Life, installation, 2004, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake













EURO-BOUILLON
Alina erban

Shake the Limits, MNAC, Kalinderu MediaLab, Bucharest, 525 July
Artists: Daniel Blaufuks (PT), Pavel Brila (MD), Alexandra Croitoru (RO),
Joo Paulo Feliciano (PT), ngela Ferreira (PT), Teodor Graur (RO), Tellervo
Kalleinen (FI), Mihaela Kavdanska (BG/RO), Dominik Lejman (PL),
Ciprian Murean (RO), Cristian Pogcean (RO), Rassim (BG), Miguel Soares
(PT), Times Up (A), Roi Vaara (FI)
Curator: Maria Rus Bojan (RO/NL)

Caught in the middle of a devious conspiracy, wherein the efforts
to strengthen the seductive force of the public space are lost in favor
of some common slogans, limited and rigid, the flneur cannot play his
search game. It has been confiscated. As he approaches his own fall, he is
becoming aware of the impossibility of wandering in different spaces,
on different streets. Experts, ready make the discrete and precise screen-
plays, leaving modest space to imagination and even less to the specta-
tors freedom. Actors in a meticulously staged show, that of imminent
globalization, we accept the guaranteed entertainment of cultural poli-
cies ruled by European norms. The joy of discovering the other, the un-
known, is replaced with tele-mediation, a forced interactivity. The global
Network facilitates artistic tele-shopping. In this context, the term identi-
ty becomes an easy clich, whose relevance, in the progressive process
of integration in, stays valid only on the minor scale.
The public territory is the ultimate aesthetic territory. Id define the limit
of the public territory as a dead point. Discovering this dead point means
losing the reversibility, the contradiction, and the fall into ecstatic con-
templation. The dead point policies are able to transform the cultural
event in an event with no consequence and no history. These events dont
open up to anything and dont foretell anything any longer.
Taking into account this information, I wish to consider two aspects that
I find important and strictly connected to the event Shake the Limits
in Bucharest.
The first aspect refers to the idea of European network and the birth of
a new cultural language that I identify with a new set language. The sec-
ond aspect is rather practical and refers to the curatorial concept of the
exhibition, to the visual frames created independently or in close relation
to this concept, as well as the way in which we experience as viewers such
a curatorial approach.
Returning to the idea of European network, of course the process of idea
and message transmission between various cultural centers seems very
interesting and exciting. On one hand, it means an update for each par-
ticipant with the news, to level out their amount of knowledge, but, on
the other hand, it also reflects a certain reduction of the cultural scene
to a few precise categories, which if we didnt tackle or demonstrate we
have to pretend we understand by means of the cultural event. Mainly,
the network aims at mobility, mutual information and knowledge.


ALINA ERBAN is curator and editor of the Arhitext Design magazine, Bucharest.
75



Daniel Blaufuks
A Parfect Day, photos, 210 297 mm, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake
76










Times Up
Anchortronic, audio-video installation, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake
scena
77













Ciprian Murean
3D Rubliov, video projection of 3D animation, photo: Iosif Kirly, credit: Relocation/Shake
78


Shake the Limits este gndit drept o ncercare de aducere n prim-plan a unor demer-
suri artistice specifice pentru spaiile de frontier, n ideea de a analiza relaia dintre cen-
tru i periferie, pornind n sens invers, de la margine spre centru. Proiectul propune
multiplicarea perspectivelor, ceea ce conduce la o viziune mai deschis i mai ampl asupra
spaiului artistic european. Shake the Limits dorete s fie un proiect de comunicare,
de nelegere a diferitelor identiti culturale europene i de schiare a unei hri afec-
tive a Europei din chiar interiorul ei. Trecnd peste acest limbaj cu un grad de genera-
litate mare, m ntreb care este adevrata miz a acestui proiect. Desigur, este ludabil
efortul managerial de realizare a unui astfel de eveniment n Bucureti, de revitalizare
a unui spaiu n care din ce n ce mai greu se ntmpl ceva, de includere a show-ului
ntr-o reea i de obinere a unei diseminri a acestuia n parametrii normali. Dar rmne
nc sub semnul ntrebrii demersul curatorial n sine, alegerea proiectelor, gradul de
implicare al privitorului i modalitatea prin care l determini s se regseasc n aceast
identitate la limit. De aceea voi urmri trei aspecte: modul n care are loc crearea
spaiului estetic, privitor pasiv versus flneur i nu n ultimul rnd cteva aspecte ce in
de o etic curatorial.
Orice spaiu expoziional este ca un teren de joc. n funcie de gradul de creativitate al
antrenorului (curatorul), jocul poate s fie dinamic, nou, obsedant, juctorii pot impre-
siona prin inuta lor, iar privitorul se poate implica direct n jocul curatorial. Dac anali-
zm cu atenie datele tehnice ale proiectului Shake the Limits, devenim contieni de
faptul c jocul n sine este unul uor lecturabil, este un joc de popularizare. L-a numi
mai curnd un fel de solitaire. O anumit inegalitate a proiectelor prezentate (jocul destul
de banal i oarecum programatic de a surprinde privitorul n cazul fotografiilor Alexandrei
Croitoru ROM_The New Exoticism i al instalaiei fantom a artistului Daniel Blau-
fuks, A perfect day, Just a perfect day) creeaz o atmosfer de amestec ntmpltor, de
pierdere a chefului de a te juca. Tocmai lipsa unei problematizri reale induce expoziiei
senzaia unei abandon n termeni generali. Exist ns i alegeri curatoriale extrem de
interesante care salveaz din cnd n cnd jocul.
Privitorul unui astfel de show l-a numi un privitor hibrid. Este un privitor pasiv i un flneur
n acelai timp. Flneur, fiindc se joac cu un spaiu social al distanelor, teritoriilor, gra-
nielor, fie ele i imaginare, fiindc uit de ele atunci cnd privete o lucrare. i este pasiv
fiindc tipul de reacie la cadrul general, conceptual al proiectului este unul neutru.
Revenind la ultimul aspect, cel al eticii curatoriale, a accentua constrastul ntre ceea ce
i propune proiectul, viziunea ampl asupra spaiului european, pe care o putem accep-
ta ca pe o afirmaie general, i aspectul de solitaire al jocului. Puterea de seducie se
regsete nu n terenul curatorului, n edificiul conceptual, ci n cel al juctorului (al artis-
tului). Ideea unei expoziii pe marginea granielor mentale, imaginare sau identitare nu
este deloc o noutate. Dar, n cele din urm, nici acest fapt nu l putem considera un impe-
diment, n fond anumite concepte revin n spaiul public atunci cnd ele nu i gsesc o
soluionare. El poate dovedi doar o imposibilitate de a depi o anumit etap. ns,
argumentativ, teoretic i vizual, ideea frontierei, a limitei ar trebui s fie susinut de cea
a identitii. Or, lucrurile snt oarecum confuze. De cele mai multe ori jocul limitelor
nu este secondat de nici o identificare sau difereniere a unei identiti specifice zonelor
periferice.
Este cazul spaiului utopic creat de lucrarea lui Miguel Soares, Space Junk, o trimitere
la spaiul consumist n care plutim, n care limitele snt anulate, dar i al videoului lui Dominik
Lejman, NY Marathon, ce accentueaz fenomenul nonidentitii individului sufocat de
mas, sau n cazul ngelei Ferreira, A Woman like Polley, unde identitatea cultural a artis-
tei este construit printr-o trimitere direct la figura exemplar a lui James Polley,
iniiatorul Festivalului de Film de la Capetown n timpul regimului de apartheid. n acest
video este evideniat procesul de reconstrucie identitar. Instalaia sound a grupului din
Austria Times Up mi se pare a fi cel mai atipic caz al acestei expoziii, fiind n afara contex-
tului conceptual creat, ca i cel al fotografiei intitulate Praia Grande a ngelei Ferreira,
When it produces a cultural event, the context chosen for the demonstra-
tion is meant for structure, clearly categorized and stable groups, monot-
ony, predictability and repetition. The Network guarantees it.
The shocking value of new and unpredictable disappears. The cultural
language is a set language, poor in meanings, precise, schematic and
static. The event functions as product, good for sale anywhere precisely
because it operates with this predictable language. The event moves far
from the esthetic vicinity, because the new turns into habit and the emo-
tion into boredom.
Shake the Limits is conceived by the curator as an attempt to bring to the
fore some artistic approaches specific for the frontier areas with the pur-
pose to analyze the relation between center and periphery, starting back-
wards, that is from the margin towards the center. The project proposes
the multiplication of perspectives that leads to a more open and wider
vision on the European artistic space. Shake the Limits aspires to be a
communication project, to understand the various European cultural iden-
tities and to draw an affective map of Europe from the inside. Looking
over this far too general language, I wonder what is the real stake of this
project. Surely, the managerial effort to put together such an event
in Bucharest, to revitalize a space where hardly anything happens,
to include the show in a network and promote it within normal standards
is worthy of appreciation. However, the curatorial approach as such is still
in question: the choice of the projects, the degree of the viewers involve-
ment and the means to make him/her find himself/herself in this identity
at the limit. This is why I would like to point out three things: the way
in which the esthetic space is created, passive viewer versus flneur and,
last but not least, something about a curatorial ethic.
Any exhibition space is like a playground. According to the degree of cre-
ativity of the coach (the curator), the game can be dynamic, new, obses-
sive, the players can impress with their demeanor and the viewer can get
involved directly in the curatorial game. If we carefully analyze the techni-
cal information about Shake the Limits project we become aware of the
fact that the game itself is a highly accessible one, it is a popularization
game. Id rather call it solitaire. A certain unequal quality of the present-
ed projects (the game ordinary enough and somehow programmatic
in surprising the viewer in the case of Alexandra Croituru photographies
ROM_The New Exoticism and in that of the ghostlike installation A per-
fect day, Just a perfect day of the artist Daniel Blaufuks) creates the feel-
ing of a fortuitous mix and the loss of appetite in playing the game.
It is the lack of a real topic that induces to the show the feeling of general
abandon. There are, however, some very interesting curatorial choices
that, now and then, manage to save the game.
The viewer of such a show is, in my opinion, a hybrid viewer as he/she is
passive and flneur in the same time. Flneur, because he/she plays with
this social space of distances, territories, borders, even imaginary,
because forgets about them when looking at a work. And he/she is pas-
sive because the reaction to the general setting and the concept of the
project is a neutral one.
Making the transition from this idea to the third aspect, that of curatorial
ethic, Id have to highlight once more the contrast between the offer
of the project, the wide vision on the European space, which we can
take for a general assertion, and the solitaire appearance of the game.
The seductive force is not to be found in the curators field, in the concep-
tual construct, but in the players/artists field. The idea of making an
exhibition on the theme of mental, imaginary and identity boundaries is
not a new one. But, we cannot consider this fact an impediment, because
essentially some concepts are coming back in the public space when
no solution its found. This fact can only prove the impossibility of passing
beyond a certain stage. But, argumentative, theoretical and visual,
the idea of boundary, of limit should be supported by that of identity.
Or, the matters are somehow mixed. Most of the times, any identification
or differentiation of an identity, typical for the peripherical regions, does
not double the game of limits.
Is the case of the utopian space created by the work of Miguel Soares,
Space Junk, a reference to the consumerist space in which we are float-
ing. It is the same in the video work of Dominik Lejman, NY Marathon
scena
79





















Alexandra Croitoru
ROM_The New Exoticism, digital print, 45 67 cm, 2004, credit: Relocation/Shake





dezavantajat prin poziia ei n cadrul expoziiei, fiind exilat n acest fel, i nu n ultimul
rnd a seriei Bed Nature a artistei Mihaela Kavdanska. Un alt dezavantaj, de aceast dat
tehnic, a suferit lucrarea lui Joo Paulo Feliciano Run for Your Life, instalaie ce construie-
te simbolic la infinit limitele unei piste de alergri.
innd cont de aceste lucruri, strategia curatorial ar fi trebuit s impun o clarificare a
criteriilor de selecie. Intrnd n detalii, a spune c exist n primul rnd o neclaritate n
a defini limita i relaia sa cu un anume tip de identitate. Judecnd dup diferitele limite
(urbane, spaiale, imaginare) pe care le experimenteaz privitorul n expoziie, identi-
tatea la limit nu e nicidecum codul unei spaiu limitrof, ci este doar un alt cod al artis-
tului. Artistul este cel care ofer o anumit coeren cadrului expoziional, susinnd ca
individualitate ideea unei hri afective. ns, la fel de bine, acelai joc individual poate
crea un nou context conceptual, cu noi funcii, semnificaii, trimiteri.
Cred c curatorul i-a dorit s surprind identitatea unei zone, s-o numim periferic,
dei termenul este destul de obosit, rednd-o cu ajutorul identitii artistului. Limita ar
trebui citit ca o modalitate imaginativ prin care artistul i definete identitatea n noul
spaiu comun, european. ns surprinderea acestei identiti la limit, subiect central
al expoziiei, ncercarea de raportare direct a artistului la ea, de a o exprima n termeni
conotativi, de a o justifica, ntemeia sau combate este valabil doar n cteva din lucrrile
prezente. M refer n primul rnd la lucrarea lui Ciprian Murean 3D Rubliov, remarca-
bil prin capacitatea ei de a modela o arhiv cultural, depind-o, pentru a crea automat
diferena. Pe aceleai coordonate s-ar nscrie i Leap into the void3 seconds after, trans-
format din nefericire ntr-un instrument didactic prin alturarea punctului de plecare
(Yves Klein, Leap into the void), cea a lui Pavel Brila, Shoes for Europe, a lucrrilor lui
Rassim, Multireligious i Corrections 2, n care pespectiva i metodele artistice ale auto-
rului vorbesc cel mai bine de dorina utopic de a depi limita propriei identiti. Facelifting
corporal devine cartea de vizit de intrare n normele unei noi societi. Aceeai linie
a schimbrii de paradigm o regsim i n Video Cross-ul lui Cristian Pogcean i nu n
ultimul rnd n performance-ul video al lui Roi Vaara Artists Dilemma, ce lanseaz posi-
bilele strategii prin care artistul se poate juca cu limita: arta sau viaa.
Shake the Limits i construiete personalitatea cu ajutorul srtategiilor contiente sau incon-
tiente lansate de ctre juctor, aspectul pozitiv al acestui eveniment constituindu-l toc-
mai aceast prezen a unor contiine individuale, ce depesc orice cod politic-cultural,
identitar-local.
which accentuates the phenomenon of non-identity of the individual, suf-
focated by mass and in that of ngela Ferreira A Woman like Polley,
where the cultural identity of the artist is built through a reference to the
exemplary figure of James Polley, the initiator of the Film Festival from
Capetown during the apartheid regime. In this video is accentuated
the process of reconstruction the. The sound installation of the Austrian
group Times Up seems to me the most atypical case of this exhibition,
being outside the conceptual context created, as the one of the photogra-
phy entitled Praia Grande by ngela Ferreira, disadvantaged by its posi-
tion in the frame of the exhibition, being exiled in this way; and last but
not least, the series Bed Nature of the artist Mihaela Kavdanska. Another
disadvantege, a technical one, suffered the work of Joo Paulo Feliciano
Run for Your Life, installation which constructed symbolically to infinite
the limits of a running track.
Taking into consideration these data, the curatorial strategy must have
imposed a clarification of the selection criteria. Getting into details,
I would say that first exist an ambiguity in defining the limit and its rela-
tion with a certain type of identity. Judging by the different limits (urban,
spatial and imaginary) the viewer experiments in the space exhibition,
the identity at the limit is not the code of a limitrophe space, but just
another code of the artist. The artist is the one to provide some coherence
to the overall exhibition supporting individually the idea of an affective
map. But, just as likely, the same individual game can create a new con-
text, with new functions, meanings and references.
I think that the curator wanted to detect the identity of a certain zone,
lets name it peripherical, although the term is weakly enough, reproduc-
ing with the help of the artist identity. The limit must be read as an imag-
inative modality through which the artist defines identity in the new
common space, the European one. But the reproduction of this identity
at the limit, the central subject of the show, the attempt of the artist to
relate directly to it, to express it in connotative terms, to justify it, to find
it or combat it is valid only in few of the works presented. I am referring
firstly to the work of Ciprian Murean 3D Rubliov, remarkable for its
capacity to model an cultural archive, surpassing it to create automati-
cally the difference. On the same coordinates is registered also Leap into
the void3 seconds after, transformed unfortunately in a didactical
instrument by adding the original point (the work of Yves Klein, Leap into
the void), the one of Pavel Brila Shoes for Europe and the works
of Rassim Multireligious and Corrections 2, in which the perspective and
the artistic methods of the author speak properly about the utopian wish
to surpass the limits of his own identity. The corporal facelifting becomes
the visit card to enter in the norms of a new society. The same direction
of shifting the paradigm is seen in the Cristian Pogceans Video Cross,
and last but not least, in the video performance of Roi Vaara Artists
Dilemma, which launches the possible strategies through which the artist
can play with the limit: art or life.
Shake the Limits is building its personality with the help of the conscious
or unconscious strategies launched by the player, the positive aspect
of this event being exactly this presence of some individual consciences,
which goes beyond any cultural-politic, local-identity code.

Translated by Izabella Badiu and Alina erban
80


RadioArteJump!
Ioana Neme



From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting, 29 februarie 14 martie,
Utrecht, Olanda


Cineva tuete. Apoi mici fonete. Trebuie oare s ne scoatem caietele i pixurile? Carola,
care este rcit, i d sceptic fularul jos, iar Anne i amintete de mrul verde din rucsac.
Dup cteva ezitri inevitabile pentru un astfel de moment, lumina roie care ne anuna c
sntem LIVE se aprinde. Nu mai mic nimeni. Ne uitm unii la alii stnjenii de linitea care
se transmite LIVE. Microfoanele care atrn deasupra capetelor noastre par mai incomode
i mai impuntoare ca niciodat. Bine c nu ne vede nimeni
n jurul unei mese rotunde, optsprezece artiti, muzicieni, regizori, scenografi i lucrtori n
diferite centre sociale provenind din Olanda, Frana, Italia, Romnia, Polonia, Serbia i Bul-
garia ateapt s fie prezentai audienei locale (oare ascult cineva la ora asta matinal?) de
ctre Federico Fusi
1
, coordonatorul acestui masterclass. Workshop-ul face parte din pro-
iectul Almost Real propus de Vincent de Boer i Marijke Hoogenboom pentru Fundaia Cultu-
ral European i se ine n cldirea Muzeului Central din Utrecht un orel uor provincial,
dar nzestrat cu tot ceea ce-i nevoie pentru a fi un ora civilizat.
RadioArteJump! este cel mai recent exerciiu realizat n cadrul proiectului RadioArteMobile
(RAM), al crui obiectiv este crearea un spaiu nou pentru prezentarea proiectelor artistice
audio i a dezbaterilor n jurul artei i stocarea arhivelor sonore despre artiti i cu ajutorul
lor prin intermediul radioului i al internetului.
Pe durata celor dou sptmni, participanii au trebuit s contribuie activ cu materiale so-
nore dedicate fiecrei teme n discuie la alctuirea programului zilnic al radioului temporar
gzduit pe frecvena FM 105,7 i pe net la www.almostreal.org.
RADIOARTEJUMP!
Ioana Neme

From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting, February 29 March 14,
Utrecht, Netherlands

Somebody coughs. Then some rustle. Do we have to take our notebooks
and pencils? Carola, who has caught a cold, skeptically takes off her muf-
fler and Anne remembers the green apple in her backpack. After some
inevitable hesitations for such a moment, the red light announcing that
we are LIVE is turned on. Nobody moves anymore. We look at each other
embarrassed by the silence that is broadcasted LIVE. The micros that
hang above our heads seem more uncomfortable and more imposing than
ever. Luckily no one can see us...
Around the round table, eighteen artists, musicians, directors, stage
designers and workers from various social centers in the Netherlands,
France, Italy, Romania, Poland, Serbia and Bulgaria are waiting to be
introduced to the local audience (is anyone listening at such an early hour
in the morning?) by Federico Fusi
1
, the coordinator of this master class.
The workshop is part of the Almost Real project proposed by Vincent de
Boer and Marijke Hoogenboom for the European Cultural Foundation and
it is held in the building of the Central Museum in Utrecht a small town,
slightly provincial but with everything that a civilized town needs.
RadioArteJump! is the latest exercise in the framework of RadioArteMobile
(RAM) project, whose objective is the creation of a new space for the


IOANA NEME este absolvent a Universitii de Art Bucureti, secia foto-video. Abordeaz fotografia din diferite
perspective: economie, mod, publicitate.
IOANA NEME studied at University of Art Bucharest, Photo-Video Department.
She practices photography from different perspectives: economical, fashion, publicity.























Photos: Ioana Neme
scena
81




Toate lucrrile audio, indiferent de coninutul lor, urmau s fie transmise fr a li se aplica nici
un fel de cenzur. Aceast transparen este o atitudine pe care olandezii i-o asum bene-
vol, iar cel mai bun exemplu care arat aceast obsesie (a deschiderii) snt ferestrele largi,
neacoperite, de la nivelul strzii, care invit practic trectorii s priveasc n intimitatea casei;
iar dac aceasta are geamuri i pe partea opus, atunci poi vedea prin cas strada cealalt,
ca printr-un layer transparent. Mai trziu, am descoperit c aceast deschidere a olandezilor
este destul de artificial, similar cu acea political correctness a americanilor, c n spatele imagi-
nii de happy people exist o neputin n asimilarea eecurilor (balcanicii asimileaz parc mult
mai uor nereuita i insuccesul n viaa de zi cu zi), o ncercare de permanent cosmetiza-
re, de nfrumuseare a realitii, care i pierde oarecum din autenticitate. Bineneles, n Utrecht
i n Amsterdam am ntlnit i olandezi care fac excepie de la cele spuse mai sus.
Dar s ne ntoarcem la radio. Federico, mbrcat mereu n costumul su negru i cu cmaa
alb apretat, ne-a prezentat nc din prima zi cele patru teme n jurul crora ne vom con-
centra atenia i creativitatea:
1. Linitea. ntr-un interviu, Federico spunea c se gndete la sunet ca la un produs, n timp
ce linitea este materialul de baz cu care lucreaz, c tcerea nu este o absen a ceva, ci
un spaiu pentru ascultat. C, fcnd linite, construieti un spaiu, iar un asemenea spaiu este
condiia necesar pentru ascultare. C, astzi, ascultm din ce n ce mai puin i facem din
ce n ce mai mult zgomot.
2. Puritatea. Prin aceast tem, am experimentat pe pielea noastr dimensiunea spaial a
sunetului alturi de muzicianul Harry de Wit. Practic, am cntat LIVE o melodie de aproxi-
mativ nou minute, regizat de Harry i realizat din diferitele sunete pe care fiecare partici-
pant le emitea cu diverse obiecte mai mult sau mai puin muzicale: pietre cu materialiti i
dimensiuni diferite, tuburi din plastic, corzi sau tobe improvizate. n acest exerciiu, am simit
c sunetului i trebuie o anumit suprafa pentru a fi perceput, c el circul prin aer de la
un capt la altul al slii muzeului.
3. Subiectul. Am vizitat un cartier plin cu imigrani arabi, turci, indieni, africani i inevitabilii
chinezi, care, n ciuda deschiderii olandezilor, nu se integraser cu adevrat n ora, construin-
du-i propriul mediu, cu magazinele de mbrcminte, cafenelele, limba i muzica de acas.
presentation of the audio artistic projects and debates on art themes as
well as the storage of audio archives about artists and with their help by
means of radio and internet.
During the two weeks the participants had to actively contribute with
audio material according to each discussion topic in order to make the
daily program of the temporary radio station on 105,7 FM and on the net
at www.almostreal.org.
All the audio works, regardless of their content, were to be broadcasted
without any censorship. This transparency is an attitude that Dutch peo-
ple take voluntarily and the best example showing this obsession (of the
openness) are the large uncovered windows at street level that practically
invite the passers-by to take a look into the intimacy of the house; and if
the house has windows in the rear, then one can see through the house
the other street, as if through a transparent layer. Later on, I discovered
that this Dutch openness is rather artificial, similar in some ways to the
American political correctness, that behind the happy people image there
is an incapacity to assume failure (the Balkan people seem to assume
more easily failure and day to day malfunction), a permanent attempt to
hide, to embellish the reality that loses some of its authenticity. Of course,
in Utrecht and in Amsterdam Ive met Dutch people who are exceptions
to the above statement.
But let us get back to radio. Federico, always wearing his black suit and
perfect white shirt, introduced us right from the start the four themes
to focus our attention and creativity on:
1. Silence. In an interview, Federico used to say that he thinks of the sound
as of a product, while silence is the basic material he works with, that
silence is not an absence but a space for listening. That when making
silence one builds a space and such a space is the prerequisite for listen-
ing. That today we tend to listen less and less and make more and more
noise.
2. Purity. With this theme, we experienced on our own skin the spatial
dimension of sound by the side of musician Harry de Wit. Practically,
we played LIVE a tune, approximately nine minutes, staged by Harry
and made of the different sounds that each participant made with various
objects more or less musical: stones of different size and consistence,
plastic tubes, improvised strings and drums. In this exercise, I felt that







82


4. Stilul. Tema dezbtea felul n care stilurile i formarea lor/procedeele de nvare pe care
ni le impune societatea n care ne dezvoltm (cu accentul pe coal) ne afecteaz comunica-
rea, felul n care, de exemplu, limba englez ne oblig s ne exprimm altfel dect o facem
n limba matern.

Pe lng cele patru teme, din rutina noastr zilnic mai fac parte ceasul (fiecrui participant i
s-a rezervat o zi n care trebuia s anune ora exact; libertatea a fost total, fapt ce a deter-
minat pozitiv output-ul creativ: s-a anunat n direct ora exact din ara de provenien a artis-
tului, decalajul amintind de una dintre calitile primordiale ale radioului, aceea de a lega virtual,
prin comunicare, oameni i spaii situate la sute i mii de kilometri distan; cifrele s-au schim-
bat n culori, astfel c n Utrecht orele au fost verzi, galbene, roii sau albastre, subliniind per-
cepia subiectiv a timpului n funcie de starea emoional, sau am avut zgomote care din
or n or ne anunau iritant c a mai trecut o or din viaa noastr) i tirile (echipe de cte
doi participani trebuiau s produc, s nregistreze i s emit tirile pentru o zi dinainte sta-
bilit. Am fost rugai s redefinim conceptul de tire, s-l abordm din perspective subiec-
tive i s crem tirile care NU s-au ntmplat ntr-o zi anume. Astfel, tirile zilnice s-au
transformat n poveti i chiar n mituri, dac m gndesc la the green man-ul artistului polonez
Wojciech, n interviuri spontane cu participanii la workshop, pn i raele locuitori
emblematici ai oraului au fost intervievate!).
n timpul workshop-ului, nevoii s lucrm cu un mediu total strin pentru unii dintre noi, am
ncercat s aflm mai multe despre fratele mai mare al televizorului. Istoria ncepe cu Hein-
rich Hertz, primul om de tiin care a detectat undele radio. Mai trziu, Marconi inventeaz
transmitorul de scntei cu anten, acas la el, n Bologna, n decembrie 1894. i-a luat cutia
neagr cu el n Anglia i, chiar dac aceasta a fost distrus n vam, Marconi reuete s-o
asambleze i s pun pe picioare mai trziu, pe Hall Street, prima fabric de radiouri din lume.
Urmeaz o serie de invenii realizate de diveri amatori, cum ar fi: undele scurte de Con-
rad n 1921 i undele FM
2
n anii 30 de Armstrong. Prezena obligatorie a radiourilor pe navele
cu cltori este stipulat de legea din 1912 care apare dup scufundarea Titanicului n luna
aprilie a aceluiai an.
Nu trebuie uitat David Sarnoff, managerul general de la RCA, care, nc din 1919, ncepe
producia n mas a cutiilor muzicale de radio. Mai aproape de timpurile noastre, n
2000, apare radioul digital (creaie a celor de la XM Satellite Radio), facilitat de descoperirea
n 1990, pe lng bandele AM i FM, a bandei L (aproape imun la interferene graie trans-
misiei prin satelit). Din 1995, n Canada se comercializeaz primele radiouri digitale, ncepnd
astfel tranziia de la radioul analog la cel digital. Se preconizeaz c pn n 2010 n Canada
radioul digital va nlocui complet benzile AM i FM. Deja compania Ford Motors i echipeaz
mainile fabricate cu aparate de recepie radio digitale.
Ce se ntmpl cnd radioul ptrunde pe internet? n primul rnd, definiia radioului are de
suferit, pentru c este cu neputin s mai numeti broadcasting o transmisie pe internet care
este strict adresat unui numr limitat de asculttori, n funcie de preferinele comune ale
acestora. Iar componena interactiv a internetului d posibilitatea fiecrui asculttor s-i cons-
truiasc propria selecie audio, adic propriul post de radio. Mai mult, arhiva audio i per-
mite navigarea i ascultarea materialelor transmise n trecut, avantaj pe care radioul obinuit
nu l are.
La sfritul workshop-ului, concursul Memorialul Colin DeLand propus de Federico n memo-
ria prietenului su i artdealer-ului din New York, decedat recent, ne-a determinat s ne
gndim serios la capacitatea noastr de a dedica o pies audio de trei minute prin intermediul
radioului unui prieten absent. Toate lucrrile realizate n acest workshop, inclusiv memoria-
lul Colin DeLand, vor putea fi ascultate pe un site la care se lucreaz n prezent.
Chiar dac nu am simit feedback-ul de la asculttorii din Utrecht, acest feedback a existat
n mod indirect i snt sigur c radioexperimentul nostru a influenat, att ct a permis engle-
za noastr european, publicul local.
the sound needs a certain surface to be perceived, that it circulates
through the air all around the museum hall.
3. Subject. We visited a neighborhood of immigrants: Arabs, Turks,
Indians, Africans and the inevitable Chinese, who, despite the Dutch
description, were not really integrated in the town and who had built
their own environment with homeland clothing shops, coffee shops, lan-
guage and music.
4. Style. The topic discussed the ways in which styles, and their building
up or learning methods the society we develop in (with an accent on
school) imposes on us, affect our communication. For instance, the way
in which the English language compels us to express ourselves differently
than we would in our mother tongue.
Besides the four themes, our daily routine also included the clock (each
participant had a day when he/she was required to announce the exact
time; there was total freedom about this and that had a positive effect on
the creative output: the exact time in the home country of each artist was
announced live, the gap reminding of a basic feature of radio, that of vir-
tually connecting through communication people and spaces at hundreds
and thousands of miles away; the numbers turned into colors so that in
Utrecht the hours were green, red or blue, underlining the subjective per-
ception of time according to the emotional mood, or we had noises that
each hour announced irritatingly that yet another hour of our lives had
passed) and the news (teams of two participants had to produce, record
and broadcast the news of a day. We were asked to redefine the concept
of news, to approach it subjectively and to create news that did NOT hap-
pen that day. Thus, the daily news turned into stories or even myths if
I come to think of the green man of Polish artists Wojciech, in sponta-
neous interviews with the workshop participants, including the ducks
emblematic inhabitants of the town were interviewed!).
During the workshop, having to work with a totally unknown environment
for some of us, we tried to find out more about televisions big brother.
The history begins with Heinrich Hertz, the first scientist who detected
radio waves. Later on, Marconi invents the antenna transmitter at his
home in Bologna, in December 1894. He took his black box to England
and despite it being wrecked at the customs, Marconi manages to put it
back together and start up latter, on Hall Street, the first radio factory in
the world. A series of other inventions follow by various amateurs: short
waves by Conrad in 1921 and FM
2
in the 1930s by Armstrong. The com-
pulsory presence of radios on passenger ships is regulated in the 1912
law issued after the sink of the Titanic in April of the same year.
David Sarnoff, the president of RCA, shouldnt be forgotten as he started
mass production of the singing radio boxes as early as 1919. Closer to
our times, in 2000, digital radio is demonstrated (creation of the team at
XM Satellite Radio), and made possible by the discovery in 1990 of the
L band (almost immune to interference thanks to satellite broadcast),
besides the existing AM and FM. Since 1995, in Canada the first digital
radios are on the consumer market and thus the transition from analog to
digital radio is initiated. It is expected that by 2010 in Canada the digital
radio will completely replace the AM and FM. Ford Motors is already
equipping its cars with digital radio receivers.
What happens when radio goes on the internet? Firstly, the definition of
radio has to suffer because it is impossible to call broadcasting an internet
transmission that is strictly meant for a limited number of listeners accord-
ing to their common interest. And the interactive component of internet
gives any listener the opportunity to build his/her own audio selection,
that is his/her own radio station. Moreover, the audio archives enable surf-
ing and listening to past material, a feature lacking with mainstream radio.
At the end of the workshop, the Colin DeLand Memorial contest pro-
posed by Federico in memory of his recently deceased friend and art-deal-
er in New York, made us think seriously about our abilities to dedicate
a three-minute audio piece to an absent friend through the radio. All the
works made in this workshop, including the Colin DeLand Memorial, will
be available for listening on a web site presently under construction.
Even if we didnt perceive the feedback from listeners in Utrecht, it exist-
ed indirectly and I am sure that our radio-experiment has influenced,
at the extent our European English was understandable, the local public.
scena
83




Adrese de site-uri radioart:
http://www.resonancefm.com/
http://somewhere.org/
http://www.mediascot.org/drift
http://www.deepwireless.ca/2002/radiolinks.html
www.radioartemobile.it

Mulumesc lui Han Halewijn i Carola Spadoni pentru informaiile furnizate.


Note:

1. Federico Fusi: artist italian ale crui lucrri variaz de la sculptura figurativ cu referine cretine pn la instalaii mul-
timedia complexe i proiecte specifice locului. Abordarea neconvenional a comunicrii proiectului RAM
(RadioArteMobile) reprezint o provocare la adresa normelor convenionale ale produciei artistice. Folosind o
simpl furgonet i un transmitor radio, RAM a circulat prin toat Europa pn s ajung la Bienala de la Veneia
din 2003.

2. FM radio frequency modulation: una dintre principalele metode de transmisie radio n care undele radio snt modu-
late prin variaia propriei frecvene, n timp ce la AM are loc prin variaia amplitudinii.
Radioart web sites:
http://www.resonancefm.com/
http://somewhere.org/
http://www.mediascot.org/drift
http://www.deepwireless.ca/2002/radiolinks.html
www.radioartemobile.it

I would like to thank Han Halewijn and Carola Spadoni for the information
they provided.



Notes:

1. Federico Fusi: Italian artist whose works go from figurative sculpture with Christian
references to complex multimedia installations and local projects. The unconven-
tional approach of the RAM (RadioArteMobile) project is a challenge to all known
standards of artistic production. Using a mere van and a radio transmitter, RAM
journeyed all around Europe before arriving at the Venice Biennial in 2003.

2. FM radio frequency modulation: one of the main radio transmission methods
in which radio waves are modulated through the variation of their own frequency,
whereas with AM their amplitude is modulated.







Jeppe Hein
Bear the consequence, 2003,
Courtesy Gallery Brndstrm & Stene / Johan Kning Gallery, Berlin


















Sebastian Romo
Rejected project, 2002, Courtesy OMR Gallery, Mexico
scena
85




Quicksand
Laurence Perrillat


De Appel, Amsterdam, 1 aprilie 23 mai
Cu lucrri de: Edgar Arceneaux, Fikret Atay, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, Yael Bartana, Mircea Cantor, Jota Castro, Sulki
Choi, Hubert Czerepok, Natascha sadr Haghighian, Jeppe Hein, Amel Ibrahimovic, Erik van Lieshout, Jean-Luc Moulne,
Jenny Perlin, Sebastian Romo, Tillman Wendland


Cei aisprezece artiti internaionali reunii de Curatorial Training Program al Centrului
de Art Contemporan De Appel au n comun o voin de a exprima fragilitatea fun-
damentelor lumii contemporane prin explorarea noiunilor de instabilitate i de
schimbare.
Una dintre reuitele acestei expoziii const n ntreptrunderea unor abordri tratnd
instabilitatea ca element conceptual i a unor abordri plastice supunnd percepia la proba
instabilitii. Titlul expoziiei Quicksand e nsoit de o explicaie: Solid ground makes you
think about where you are going; Unstable surfaces make you think about what moves
you now. Aceast formul incarneaz de una singur contiina prezentului i sentimentul
de incertitudine care eman din lucrrile prezentate.
n filigranul expoziiei Quicksand, mediile. Ele snt pentru real ceea ce apa este pentru
nisipul mictor. Dincolo de un prag de saturare, realul devine o suprafa instabil la
care gndirea nu mai are priz. n lucrarea artistei coreene Sulki Choi, mutaiile geopolitice
n sensul mediatic dau natere la mutaii cartografice ntemeiate pe recurena unor cuvinte
anume n mediile internaionale. Instalaia video Ho

tel des transmissions a francezului


Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil provine att din ficional i din paranoia, ct i dintr-o reflecie
despre tratarea conflictelor de ctre media. Cele nou monitoare aliniate difuzeaz o
alternan de panorame i de zoom-uri violente scrutnd orizontul a nou capitale
europene, surprins de la terasa unui hotel central, repertoriind cldirile strategice i admi-
nistrative ale metropolelor. Acest amestec de informaie, de spectacol, dintre o form
de panoptism i securitate se regsete i n animaia Nataschei sadr Haghighian, care
provoac trecerea ntre o lume a spectacolului i lumea carceral prin intermediul unui
element formal specific, proiectorul de lumin, care permite ca n acelai timp s vezi
mai bine i s fii mai bine vzut.
Quicksand las s se ntrevad un paradox fundamental n tratarea prezentului. Rapidele
schimbri care se petrec n real nu istovesc o utopie de schimbare, mai ales fa de re-
gimurile politice. Acest lucru e exprimat prin manifestaia de strad ca model democra-
tic. Instalaia video Low Relief II a artistei israeliene Yael Bartana arat o manifestaie panic n
Ierusalim. Proiectat deasupra lintoului unei pori, filmul a suportat o tratare de suprafa
care-l face s apar ca un basorelief n piatr. Manifestaia organizat de Mircea Cantor
la Tirana se ancoreaz n contextul n mutaie al acestui ora, care se reflect n oglinzile
purtate ca nite pancarte de ctre manifestani. Acest film traduce deopotriv evoluia
contemporan a oraului Tirana i schimbrile sale vizibile (cu vopsirea n culori a faa-
delor, de exemplu), precum i ansamblul schimbrilor posibile purtate de ctre aces-
te pancarte fr slogan ce retrimit puterii propria sa imagine. Micarea prezent n filmul
Fast and Best al artistului turc Fikret Atay transmite noiuni pe ct de contemporane, pe
att de contradictorii: tineretul turc, din care filmul nu dezvluie dect un fragment se-
lectat, picioarele n micare, se conformeaz i tradiiilor sale, cu dansul militaro-folcloric,
dar i modei vestimentare occidentale. Aceste trei filme se nscriu n oraul contempo-
ran i nfieaz manifestri colective ale contiinei prezentului.
QUICKSAND
Laurence Perrillat

De Appel, Amsterdam, April 1 to May 23
Works by Edgar Arceneaux, Fikret Atay, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil,
Yael Bartana, Mircea Cantor, Jota Castro, Sulki Choi, Hubert Czerepok,
Natascha sadr Haghighian, Jeppe Hein, Amel Ibrahimovic, Erik van
Lieshout, Jean-Luc Moulne, Jenny Perlin, Sebastian Romo, Tillman
Wendland

The sixteen international artists gathered by the Curatorial Training
Program from De Appel have in common a will to express the fragility
of the contemporary world foundations through the exploration of two
notions: instability and change.
One of this exhibitions achievements is the junction of several approach-
es to instability as a conceptual element and of plastic approaches that
put perception to the test of instability. The title of the exhibition Quick-
sand is accompanied by a punch line: Solid ground makes you think
about where you are going; Unstable surfaces make you think about
what moves you now. This formula alone embodies the consciousness of
the present moment and the feeling of uncertainty that emerge from the
presented works.
Between the lines of Quicksand, the media. They are to reality what water
is to quicksand. Beyond the saturation level, the reality becomes an unsta-
ble surface that mind can no longer grasp. In the work of the Korean
artist Sulki Choi, the geopolitical mutations in the media sense beget car-
tographic mutations based on the recurrence of specific words in the
international media. The video installation Hotel des transmissions by
the French Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil starts off both from fiction and
paranoia and from a meditation on the way media cover the conflicts.
The nine screens display alternatively panoramas and violent zooms scan-
ning the horizon of nine European capitals from the terrace of a central
hotel, reviewing the strategic and administrative buildings of the metrop-
olises. Such junction of information, show, some form of panoptism and
security can also be found in the animation work by Natascha sadr
Haghighian who challenges the passing from the show world to the prison
world through a formal specific element, the light projector that enables
both better vision upon the others and better vision upon oneself.
Quicksand hints at a fundamental paradox in dealing with the present.
The rapid changes in reality do not exhaust the utopia of change, espe-
cially concerning political rgimes. This is expressed through street mani-
festation as a democratic model. The video Low Relief II by Israeli artist
Yael Bartana shows a pacific manifestation in Jerusalem. Displayed above
a door, the video is modified in terms of surface and it appears to be
a bas-relief in stone. The manifestation organized by Mircea Cantor in
Tirana is anchored in the changing context of this town, which is reflected
in the mirrors carried instead of banners by the protesters. This video
speaks both of the contemporary evolution in Tirana and its visible
changes (with the colorful painting of the faades for example) as well
as of the potential changes carried by this banners without a slogan that


LAURENCE PERILLAT is a french art critic and curator. Specialist in video art and museology of contemporary art. LAURENCE PERILLAT is a french art critic and curator. Specialist in video art and museology
of contemporary art.




































Sulki Choi
Daily World View, 2004, Courtesy the artist

Tilman Wendland
The attic, 2004, Courtesy the artist / Galerie Koch und Kesslau, Berlin
refer to the power of image as such. The movement present in the video
Fast and Best by Turkish artist Fikret Atay aligns notions equally contem-
porary and contradictory: the Turkish youth, which is shown fragmentarily
in the video, just the moving legs, conforms both to tradition with their
military-folk dance and to the western clothing trend. These three videos
are inscribed in the contemporary town and show collective manifesta-
tions of the present moment consciousness.
The seal of uncertainty marking the present doesnt spare the past either,
with its ideological models that have influenced society, and that under-
goes, in the art of Jota Castro, a violent iconoclasm. The photos are con-
sidered here as icons with their ideological and veneration charge that the
artists tries to annihilate. The protecting glass was broken on the photos
leaving on the faces of the models scars and on the floor glass fragments
inducing to the ensemble a feeling of malaise and disequilibrium.
The psychological instability comes up in the animation work by Jenny
Perlin who expresses the human feelings and the psychology in the form
of music scores, and it also comes up in the projection and drawings
by Erik van Lieshout who worked in a psychiatric institution to show
the uncertain and fragile border between normality and madness.
Quicksand shows works that state the dissolution of traditional artistic
forms in the permanent change of instable forms. The sculpture
The Center is not the Center by Mexican artist Sebastian Romo, made
of mirrors installed on the faade of De Appel, reflects both the visitor
who looks at the work through the window and the street perspective
that has for convergence point the Rijksmuseum. The multiple interpreta-
tions of such a work also refers to the system of composition in historical
painting with the construction of perspective and to the surveillance sys-
tems of the contemporary cities. Technical and museum audacity,
the work of Danish artist Jeppe Hein consists of a flame emerging from
a wall according to the position of the visitor in space. When one enters
the flame suddenly appears and grows immensely as one comes closer
to it. Menacing and fascinating, its stability depends on ours.
Like Jeppe Heins flame, which attracts and drives back equally and
incites to meditation upon the consequences of ones deeds, Quicksand
invites to a journey in the heart of a world in too much movement and too
contemporary for one to think it over with certainty.
Quicksand exhibition has a follow-up in the public space with the collabo-
ration of SKOR (Foundation for art and public space) through the building
of ten public art projects in De Pijp neighborhood in Amsterdam.

Translated by Izabella Badiu



Broadcast Hotels, 2003, Prt du Fonds National dArt Contemporain (FNAC), Paris. Achat 2003. Inv. 03-579(1) to 03-579(11)


























Jota Castro
Breaking Icons, 2004, Courtesy Galleria Minini, Brescia
88


Pecetea incertitudinii care marcheaz prezentul nu ocolete nici trecutul, ale crui mrci
ideologice care au influenat societatea sufer, n mna lui Jota Castro, un violent icono-
clasm. Fotografiile snt considerate aici drept icoane cu ncrctura lor de ideologie i
de veneraie pe care tinde s-o anihileze artistul. Sticla protejnd fotografiile a fost spart,
lsnd pe chipurile acestor modele cicatrici i presrnd solul cu cioburi de sticl, scufun-
dnd totul n nelinite i dezechilibru.
La rndul su, instabilitatea psihologic apare n munca de animaie a lui Jenny Perlin, care
exprim psihologia i sentimentele omeneti sub form de partituri muzicale, precum
i n proiecia i desenele lui Erik van Lieshout implicndu-se ntr-un institut psihiatric, eviden-
iind frontiera vag i fragil ntre normalitate i nebunie.
Quicksand expune lucrri stnd mrturie pentru disoluia formelor artistice tradiionale
n schimbarea permanent a formelor instabile. Sculptura The Center is not the Center a
artistului mexican Sebastian Romo, compus din oglinzi instalate pe faada cldirii De
Appel, reflect n acelai timp vizitatorul privind opera prin fereastr i perspectiva str-
zii care are ca punct de fug Rijksmuseum. Mulimea interpretrilor unei asemenea opere
face referin att la sistemul de compoziie pictural istoric i la construcia perspec-
tivei, ct i la sistemele de supraveghere ce guverneaz oraele contemporane. Reuit
tehnic i muzeal, opera artistului danez Jeppe Hein const ntr-o flacr nind din
centrul unui perete n funcie de poziia vizitatorului n spaiu. Atunci cnd intr, flacra
apare brusc, pentru a crete tot mai mult pe msur ce se apropie de ea. Amenintoare
i fascinant, stabilitatea ei depinde de a noastr.
Asemeni flcrii lui Jeppe Hein care atrage pe ct respinge i ne ndeamn s ne cntrim
consecinele actelor noastre, Quicksand invit la o deplasare n miezul unei lumi prea
mictoare i prea contemporane pentru a o putea gndi cu certitudine.
Expoziia Quicksand se continu n spaiul public cu realizarea n colaborare cu SKOR
(Fundaia pentru Art i Spaiu Public) a zece proiecte de art public n cartierul De Pijp
din Amsterdam.

Traducere de Ciprian Mihali



























Mircea Cantor
The landscape is changing, 2003, Courtesy the artist & Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
scena




90


Muzeul privat n serviciul public
Interviu cu Sabine Breitwieser realizat de Marius Babias


SABINE BREITWIESER este directoarea artistic a Fundaiei Generali din Viena, pe care o conduce din 1991. Ea a
dezvoltat att concepia instituiei, ct i aceea a coleciei. O alt ambiie a Sabinei Breitwieser este acum aceea de a
expune permanent o parte a coleciei, n spaii suplimentare, complementar expoziiei itinerante.


Concernul de Asigurri Generali i-a permis s aib din 1991 un muzeu propriu, Generali
Foundation n Viena, care este condus de Sabine Breitwieser. Aceast instituie a propus un
prototip corporatist n domeniul culturii: ea nu numai c aduce un ctig de imagine ntre-
prinderii, ci i preia sarcini care pn acum preau s aparin muzeelor de stat. Pe de o parte,
Generali Foundation aduce privatizarea artei i culturii, iar pe de alta colecioneaz art cri-
tic o dilem care apare mereu atunci cnd concernele private se angajeaz n arta plas-
tic. n pofida criticii ndreptite la adresa corporatismului Concernului Generali, criticii au
salutat politica de asigurri a acestuia, care a fcut cu putin plata ctre motenitori a asigu-
rrilor evreilor ucii n Al Doilea Rzboi Mondial. Concernul Generali a fost la sfritul anu-
lui 1990 primul concern de asigurri din lume dispus la astfel de pli.
Colecia Generali Foundation cuprinde 1400 de opere a 140 de artiti internaionali cu punc-
tul de greutate n arta conceptual a anilor 1960 i 1970, precum i o colecie video volu-
minoas. Achiziiile au fost efectuate n conformitate cu recomandrile unui consiliu tricefal,
din care n anii trecui au fcut parte ntre alii i Hildegund Amanshauser, Ute Meta Bauer,
Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Kasper Knig i Christine Van Assche.
Alturi de aspecte conceptuale i performative, colecia se dedic i temelor feministe, ca
i proiectelor care depesc graniele dintre arhitectur i design. Ca rezumat al coleciei ne
st n fa o voluminoas publicaie*. n 35 de capitole e cuprins complexul format din operele
unor artiti importani precum: Gottfried Bechtold, Maria Eichhorn, Valie Export, Harun Farocki,
Andrea Fraser, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, Elke Krystufek,
Gordon Matta-Clark, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Peter Weibel i Helmo
Zobernig. Dup prezentarea coleciei n Viena, Generali Foundation plnuiete un tur ex-
poziional prin Europa, ntre altele la Haus der Kunst n Mnchen i la Museu dArt Con-
temporani din Barcelona.

Marius Babias La drept vorbind, totul a nceput destul de simplu. Atunci cnd n 1988
Direcia General a Grupului de Asigurri EA-Generali s-a mutat ntr-o nou cldire la Viena,
birourile au trebuit s fie decorate artistic. Ai concurat pentru acest post?
Sabine Breitwieser Nu, n-am concurat. n acel timp lucram alturi de un grup de artiti
liberi care ncercau s-i organizeze un spaiu expoziional n Viena. Noi am ncercat foarte
devreme s nu fim dependeni exclusiv de bani publici, ci s ctigm parteneri din econo-
mia privat pentru proiectele noastre. Banii publici care ne-au fost promii erau mereu att
de puini, nct cu ei nu puteam finana dect o parte a costului proiectului nostru. Nu exis-
tau bani pentru organizarea proiectelor i a ntregii ntreprinderi, pe care am preluat-o eu.
Am ctigat pentru un proiect mai mare sprijinul Asigurrilor Generali, care, n acel timp, avea
de gnd s-i constituie o colecie proprie de art. Unul dintre manageri, care este i astzi
n conducerea de la Generali Foundation, mi-a oferit postul. De altfel, atunci n-am fost deloc
entuziast, ci mai degrab sceptic. Pe de o parte, fiindc ntr-un fel schimbam poziia pe care
m aflam, pe de alta din cauza primului proiect al fundaiei.
Iniial tu ai studiat dreptul. Cum te-ai calificat pentru postul de director artistic?
PRIVATE MUSEUM FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Interview with Sabine Breitwieser realized by Marius Babias

SABINE BREITWIESER runs from 1991 the Generali Foundation and has
developed the concept of the institution as well as of the collection.
A further ambition of hers is to show permanently a part of the collection,
in additional spaces, complementary to the touring exhibition.

The Generali Insurance Corporation afforded to get a museum of its own
in 1991, Generali Foundation in Vienna, managed by Sabine Breitwieser.
This institution proposed a corporatist prototype in the cultural field: not
only does it bring an image profit for the company but it takes over tasks
that until now seemed to belong to the state museums. On one hand,
the Generali Foundation brings about the privatization of art and culture,
and on the other hand, it collects critic art a dilemma that comes up
always when private corporations get involved with fine arts. Despite the
justified criticism against the corporatism of Generali Insurance, the crit-
ics saluted their policy that made possible the compensation of insur-
ances owned by the Jews killed in World War II to their heirs; Generali
Corporation was at the end of 1990 the first insurance company in the
world to agree to such payments.
The Generali Foundation collection comprises 1,400 works by 140 inter-
national artists having for landmark the conceptual art of the 1960s and
1970s, as well as a vast video collection. The acquisitions were made
according to the recommendations of a three-headed board wherein
in the past years also sat, among others, Hildegund Amanshauser,
Ute Meta Bauer, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Kasper Knig and Christine
Van Assche.
Besides the conceptual and performative aspects, the collection also takes
up feminist issues and projects that surpass the limits between architec-
ture and design. As a summary of the collection we have a voluminous
publication*. In 35 chapters we find the complex systems of crucial
artists: Gottfried Bechtold, Maria Eichhorn, Valie Export, Harun Farocki,
Andrea Fraser, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly,
Elke Krystufek, Gordon Matta-Clark, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler,
Allan Sekula, Peter Weibel and Helmo Zobernig. After the presentation
of the collection in Vienna, Generali Foundation plans a tour throughout
Europe, at Haus der Kunst in Munich and Museu dArt Contemporani in
Barcelona among others.

Marius Babias Frankly, everything started in the most unspectacular
manner. In 1988 when the Directory General of the Insurance Group EA-
Generali moved in a new building in Vienna, its offices had to be deco-
rated with art. Did you apply for this job?
Sabine Breitwieser No, I didnt. At that time I was working in a group of
independent artist who were attempting the self-organization
of an exhibition space in Vienna. We have tried for a very long time not to
be exclusively dependent on public money and to earn partners form the
private sector for our projects. The public money that had been prom- ised
to us was always insufficient so that only a part of our project was


MARIUS BABIAS a studiat literatura i tiinele politice la Freie Universitt din Berlin. Este autorul crilor Herbst-
nacht [Noapte de toamn] (1990), Ich war dabei, als [Eram acolo, cnd...] (2001) i Ware Subjektivitt [Subiecti-
vitatea-marf] (2002), n curs de apariie la IDEA Cluj.
MARIUS BABIAS studied literature and political science at the Freie Universitt
in Berlin. Babias is the author of Herbstnacht (1990), Ich war dabei, als... (2001)
and Ware Subjektivitt (2002).
91
scena



Postul care mi s-a oferit atunci era acela al unei organizatoare, respectiv curatoare, i nu
acela de directoare a Generali Foundation. La acel timp mi-am ncheiat studiile i am prac-
ticat mai bine de un an n diferite tribunale. Paralel cu aceasta, am nceput o pregtire pen-
tru teatru ca scenarist. Concret, asta arta aa: de-a lungul zilei scriam sentine, noaptea
colaboram la o punere n scen a lui Beckett. Iluzia mea, de a putea schimba ceva n socie-
tate ca avocat al celor dezavantajai din punct de vedere social i tratai nedrept, am pier-
dut-o repede n timpul practicii mele juridice. La teatru am nceput foarte devreme s m
preocup de aspectele organizatorice. Calificarea pentru postul de la Generali Foundation,
aa cum era definit atunci, mi-am dobndit-o evident prin practica mea artistic. Am frec-
ventat chiar i prelegerile de la Institutul de Istoria Artei, ns oferta nu mi s-a prut mulu-
mitoare.
EA-Generali Foundation, ntemeiat de concern ca uniune, trebuia s promoveze arta con-
temporan punnd accentul pe sculptura austriac i s constituie prin aceasta o colecie. Efectivul
era constituit sau ai negociat pentru el?
Conceptul iniial al Generali Foundation era de a constitui o colecie de sculptur austri-
ac contemporan. Prin aceasta se nelegea producia generaiei mijlocii, de la 1880, ca i
operele istoric-clasice care trebuiau s ajung pn la Fritz Wotruba i coala sa. Paralel cu aceas-
ta, s-a dorit achiziionarea unor lucrri pe hrtie ale pictorilor austrieci, care erau deosebit de
adecvate preponderent culori, picturi lipsite de obiect pentru amenajarea spaiilor prin-
cipale. Nu a existat nimic prealabil. A fost adoptat un consiliu tricefal pentru recomandrile
de achiziii. N-am fost mulumit cu rezultatul primei achiziii. Generali credea c prin acest
concept va obine un profil singular, cu toate c, nu departe, o banc urma mai mult sau mai
puin acelai concept. Am nceput mai nti s organizez expoziii specifice locului, n biroul
meu. Prin aceasta am vrut s ajung la o controvers nemijlocit cu arta actual. Dup circa
trei ani am fost numit conductoarea afacerii i director artistic, iar consiliul artistic a fost numit
la propunerea mea, din nou, i temporar. Cu acest colegiu al experilor, care se reface mereu,
la fiecare trei ani, am discutat problemele artistice i am luat deciziile.
De ce promoveaz un concern artele plastice? Domeniul muzicii sau teatrului nu e oare la
fel de respectabil?
Arta plastic ndeplinete din punctul de vedere al asigurrilor mai multe ateptri. Mai nti
c ea mprumut unei asigurri, care face comer cu un produs care nu este vizualizat,
proiecia, o fa. Artele plastice au valoare de imagine, care lipsete unui concern de asigu-
rri cum este Generali: inovator, modern, deschis, comunicativ .a.m.d. Domeniile teatrului
i muzicii snt asociate cu caliti de care nu putem lega astfel de ateptri. Deciziile n do-
meniul sponsorizrii se bazeaz pe cercetri care snt apoi reexaminate. De altfel, Generali
este activ i n domeniul muzicii, totui ntr-o msur mai limitat dect s-a angajat prin Fundaie,
n artele plastice. Acceptarea i atenia nu snt singurele decisive. Important este constana,
profilul. Totui, aceasta conduce la puin succes dac lipsete receptarea. Desigur, nu fac n
fundaie nici un program de cotare. ns programele noastre au totui o foarte bun cifr a
vizitatorilor. Totui, n ultimul timp, cei care iau deciziile la Generali au impus orientarea n
direcia unei mai mari deschideri.
De cnd i-a fost clar c limitarea la Austria nu este suficient? O dat cu instalarea unui con-
siliu artistic internaional?
Nu, nc de la bun nceput. Eu nu in la un concept orientat naional. Nimeni nu a putut
vedea, organizat de mine, o expoziie cum ar fi Sculptura actual n China n cadrul Generali
Foundation. ntr-adevr, Austria nu se numr chiar printre cele mai mari i mai plurale naiuni.
Oricum, condiionat de Cortina de Fier, scena artistic austriac fierbe de prea mult timp
exclusiv n propria sup. Eu am luptat de la nceput pentru posibilitatea de a integra arta inter-
naional n Fundaie, n colecie. Cooptarea unor experi internaionali n Consiliu este un
pas mai departe n direcia aceasta.
Care a fost temeiul ca n 1995 s deschidei propriul spaiu expoziional cu arhiv i depo-
zit, ca tendin spre instituionalizare? O practic de cooperare cu alte instituii a existat i pn
acum, mai ales c Fundaia este legat i spaial de sediul su.



















Hans Haacke
Visitors Profile, 1971, C print, Detail Fragebogen, Sammlung GF Wien
92






O discuie despre propriul spaiu expoziional s-a produs datorit necesitii unui spaiu
pentru colecie. Atunci aveam drept spaiu un birou un pic mai mare, care servea i ca spaiu
expoziional pentru proiecte adaptat la ambient. Am cutat nu o dat un depozit pentru
colecie. Am fcut curatoria a dou expoziii de mari dimensiuni n Wiener Secession, cu care
am angajat un parteneriat n primul an, adic noi am fost sponsori principali ai Secession-ului.
Conductorii concernului au fost foarte mulumii cu dezvoltarea Fundaiei i au fost gata s
se angajeze n continuare la ea. Am schiat diferite scenarii de viitor, n special pentru colecie.
Variantele imaginate, de a o da cu mprumut unei instituii publice austriece, au prut puin
atractive. Contrar acestora, s-a oferit un imobil central convenabil, vechea fabric de plrii
Habig, pe care Generali a obinut-o aproape pe nimic i care, datorit anumitor aspecte,
nu era valorificabil n mod optim. O investiie n construcia unui astfel de obiectiv era oricum
inevitabil pentru proprietari. Desigur, costurile pentru exploatarea unei astfel de cldiri ar fi
fost cu mult mai mari dect, spre exemplu, parteneriatul cu o instituie ca Secession i nchirie-
rea unui depozit. Prin deschiderea propriului spaiu, Fundaia putea n sfrit s se dezvolte
optim. Conceptul elaborat de mine al unui muzeu de art contemporan cu un program
internaional de expoziii, care este legat de dezvoltarea unei colecii, care ofer un spaiu
pentru studiu accesibil publicului i care, desigur, dispune de o infrastructur cum snt birourile,
depozitul etc., este comparabil numai condiionat cu nceputurile noastre din anul 1980. Din
perspectiva mea i din perspectiv vienez, era realmente nevoie de o instituie cu o astfel
de orientare. Astfel c spaial sntem mult mai separai de casa-mam, dac putem s o numim
aa. Aceasta este valabil i pentru alte ntreprinderi ale Concernului Generali. Aceast dis-
tan spaial are drept urmare fireasc faptul c prezena noastr e mai puin perceput de
conducerea ntreprinderii i de efectivul salariailor. Aceasta are avantaje i dezavantaje: mai
mult autonomie fa de o intermediere mai dificil a ofertei i aciunilor noastre. Trebuie
s lucrm mai mult pentru ca Fundaia, de care Concernul profit, s ctige mai mult vizibili-
tate. Marketingul intern a devenit dintr-o dat o tem.
Ceea ce a nceput modest i conservativ, ca un Art Consulting propriu casei, a devenit, ntre
timp, singura instituie din Austria finanat exclusiv din fonduri private.
n anii tinereii am avut posibilitatea de a ncepe un proiect dificil ca One Woman Show i
acum conduc un mic muzeu care are o reputaie excelent. Spiritul pe care l-am invocat
trebuie pstrat pe termen lung. Chiar cu mult mai mult know-how i angajare din partea
mea, aceast rapid dezvoltare n-ar fi fost posibil dac n-a fi avut sprijinul celor care iau
deciziile n Concern. Pentru Fundaie se ridic actualmente problema cum am putea
menine vie calitatea noastr i n viitorul deceniu, cum s facem ca personalul de la Generali
s-i ofere o fundaie.
Alturi de Maria Eichhorn, Andrea Fraser, Dan Graham sau Isa Genzken, n centrul coleciei
stau Valie Export i Gordon Matta-Clark, ale cror filme ai pus s fie restaurate complet. La
acetia se adaug Mary Kelly i Martha Rosler. Pe scena austriac protejaii ti snt Matthias
Poledna i Rainer Ganahl. Un cmp profund eterogen, cu nalte componente artistice. Care este
linia conductoare a programului tu?
Spre deosebire de sarcinile instituiilor de stat, colecia nu intenioneaz s ofere o pers-
pectiv general asupra unei largi creaii artistice. Dup experiena primului an a fost fixat cen-
trul de greutate, care a fost urmrit cu consecven i extins succesiv. Am ncercat s plasez
tematica sculpturii n centrul Fundaiei, n conformitate cu datele istorice i practica actual.
Pentru nelegerea conceptual a categoriilor sculpturii, mediile film, fotografie, instalaii i video
au un loc de o valoare special. Ne preocup tematici ca domeniile de grani ale sculpturii
cu arhitectura i designul, precum i poziiile care pun n chestiune rolul mediilor i parametrii
lor sociali. n cursul muncii mele am lucrat asupra unui ir de poziii importante care nu au
fost reprezentate corespunztor n alte instituii, adesea din motive neclare. Valie Export, Dan
Graham i Gordon Matta-Clark se numrau, cu un an n urm, printre acestea. n 1995 am
organizat n Generali Foundation prima retrospectiv a filmelor lui Valie Export n Viena. Cu
toate c de ctva timp n strintate au avut loc deja asemenea prezentri n 1987 la Londra
i San Francisco, n 1988 la New York n Austria nu a fost interesat, evident, nici o insti-














Dan Graham
Sunset to Sunrise, 1969, Filminstallation, Sammlung GF Wien



Dan Graham
Body Press, 1970-72, Filminstallation, Sammlung GF Wien
scena
93

































Harun Farocki
Die Schpfer der Einkaufwelten, 2001, Videostill, Sammlung GF Wien
covered. There was no money to organize the whole enterprise as I took it
over. For a larger project I won the support of Generali Insurance, who,
at that time, intended to build an art collection of its own. One of the
managers, who is still in the executive board at Generali Foundation
offered me the job. Besides, I wasnt enthusiastic at all back than, on the
contrary more than skeptical. On one hand because I was changing barri-
cades, on the other, because of the first concept of the foundation.
You have been studying Law at first. What qualified you for an artistic
director job?
The job I was offered in the beginning was that of an organizer and
a curator and not yet of an artistic director at Generali Foundation.
By then I had finished my studies and had been practicing for over a year
in court. In parallel, Id started a training for theatre design. Practically,
this meant: during the day I was editing sentences, at night I was
contributing to stage Beckett. I soon abandoned my idea to make a dif-
ference in society as a lawyer for the poor and discriminated as a conse-
quence of my law practice. At the theatre I started very early to take care
of the organization aspects. Obviously, I acquired the qualification for the
job with Generali Foundation, as it was described at that time, through
my practice in the artistic enterprise. I even attended the courses at
the Art History Institute but I found the offer dissatisfying.
EA-Generali Foundation established by the corporation as a union had
to promote first the contemporary art and mostly the Austrian
sculpture and to make a collection of it. Was the ensemble already gath-
ered or did you negotiate?
The primary concept of Generali Foundation was to build a collection of
contemporary Austrian sculpture. And by that they understood the pro-
duction of the middle generation, from 1880, as well as historical-classical
works that had to go as far as Fritz Wotruba and his school. In parallel,
they also wanted to acquire works on paper by Austrian painters, which
were very adequate for interior design just colors, no objects. There was
nothing prearranged. A three-headed committee was formed to
recommend the acquisitions. I was dissatisfied with the outcome of
the first acquisition. Generali thought that with such a concept they will
obtain a singular profile, despite the fact that, nearby, a bank was follow-
ing more or less the same concept. Ive started by organizing exhibitions
specific to the place in my office. This is how I intended to get to a direct
controversy with present art. After approximately three years I was
appointed director of the business and artistic director, plus the commit-
tee was appointed at my proposal and for a limited period of time.
With this expert committee, renewable every three years, I discussed
the art problems and we made the decisions.
Why is a corporation promoting fine arts? Arent fields such as music
or theatre highly accepted or esteemed?
Fine art fulfills several expectances from the insurance viewpoint.
First it gives to the insurance a face as this is a business that sells a pro-
duct that cannot be visualized. Fine arts have an image value that insur-
ance companies such as Generali lack, the image of innovation, modern,
open, communicative, etc. the fields of theatre and music are obviously
associated with other qualities. The decisions for sponsoring are based
on researches that are constantly reassessed. Besides, Generali is also
active in the field of music, however to a lesser extent than in arts with
the Foundation. Acceptance and attention are not the only decisive
aspects. Constance and profile are equally important. However, this leads
to meager success if reception is lacking. Of course, I dont have an esti-
mation program in the Foundation. But, concerning our programs,
we have very good numbers of visitors. Still, lately the decision makers
at Generali imposed an enhancement of a wider opening.
Since when was it clear to you that the limitation to Austria is not
enough, was it with the new international artistic committee?
Since the very beginning. Im not fond of a national concept. Nobody
has seen under my name an exhibition such as Nowadays sculpture
in China at Generali Foundation. It is true, Austria is not among the
largest or most plural nations. Anyway, conditioned by the iron curtain,
the Austrian art scene has been boiling for too long in its own juice.
I have been fighting from the very beginning for the possibility to inte-







































Friedl Kubelka
Das tausendteilige Portrait, 1980, 1150 s/w Fotografien, Detail, Sammlung GF Wien


Friedl Kubelka
Das erste Jahresportrait, 197173, 333 s/w und Farbfotografien, Sammlung GF Wien
grate international art into the collection. Bringing international experts
in the Committee was one step further in that direction.
How come that in 1995 you opened your own exhibition space with
archive and storage areas, was it the tendency towards institutionaliza-
tion? A cooperation practice with other organizations has also existed
especially that the Foundation is very connected to the space at the
headquarters.
There was a discussion about the exhibition space because there was
need for a space to store the collection. At that time I had a little larger
office that also functioned as exhibition space for specific projects.
Ive been searching many times for storage for the collection. I have
curated two very large exhibitions in Wiener Secession with whom
Ive had a partnership in the first year, that is we were their main spon-
sor. The leaders of the company were very satisfied with the development
of the Foundation and were ready to further invest in it. I have drawn
sketches of several future scenarios, especially for the collection. The situ-
ations I imagined, to loan it to some Austrian public institution, appeared
as not very attractive. In exchange, I was offered a central building very
convenient, the old hat factory Habig, that Generali bought for almost
nothing and that, due to certain aspects, wasnt best valued. An invest-
ment in the construction of such a site was either way inevitable for the
proprietors. Of course, the costs for the maintenance of such a location
would have been much more important than, for example, the partner-
ship with Secession and the rental of a storehouse. Opening its own loca-
tion, the Foundation could at last develop correctly. The concept Ive
elaborated of a museum for contemporary art with an international pro-
gram of exhibitions, connected to the collection development, offering
study halls for public access, infrastructure such as offices, art storage,
etc., is barely comparable with our beginnings in 1980. From my view-
point and from a Viennese perspective, an institution with such an orien-
tation was really needed. Fact is that we are much more separated from
our mother-house, if I may say so. This is also valid for other enterprises in
the Generali consortium. The spatial distance has for a natural conse-
quence the fact that we are less perceived by the corporation board and
the staff. And there are advantages and disadvantages to that: more
autonomy and a more difficult intermediation of our offer and actions.
We have to work more for the Foundation to become more visible.
Internal marketing has become all of a sudden an issue.
What has started modestly and conservatively as an Art Consulting for
the house, has become the only institution in Austria that is financed
exclusively with private funds.
In my youth I had the opportunity to start as difficult a project as One
Woman Show and now I lead a small-scale museum with an excellent
reputation. The genii Ive invoked must be kept in the long run. Even with
more of my know-how and dedication this rapid development wouldnt
have been possible without the support of the decision makers in the cor-
poration. The problem with the Foundation is now how can we keep the
same quality in the next decade, how can we determine the Generali staff
to offer themselves a foundation.
With Maria Eichhorn, Andrea Fraser, Dan Graham or Isa Genzken
in the heart of your collection, there is Valie Export and Gordon Matta-
Clark whose films you had reconditioned. We have to add Mary Kelly
and Martha Rosler. On the Austrian scene your protgs are Matthias
Poledna and Rainer Ganahl. A deeply heterogeneous field with artistic
high tones. What is the guiding line of your program?
Unlike the mission of the state institutions, the collection doesnt aim at
offering a general perspective on a wide range of artistic creation. After
the first year experience we established a gravitation center that has
been consequently pursued and successively extended. Ive tried to place
the theme of sculpture in the cradle of the Foundation according
to historical data and current practice. For the conceptual understanding
of categories, sculptures, film, photo, installation and video media hold
a special value. We are preoccupied by topics such as the borderline
fields between sculpture, architecture and design as well as the positions
that question the role of media and social parameters. During my work
Ive been dealing with a series of important positions that havent been
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95




tuie. De altfel, nici poziii artistice ca ale lui Helmo Zobernig i Franz West nu i-au gsit real-
mente locul n coleciile publice din Viena. Problema participrii artistelor nu a fost o tem
pentru programul expoziional, dar la un moment dat ea a devenit una pentru colecie. Pornind
de la tematica de care ne ocupm, prezena artistelor a devenit deja puternic. Bunoar, a
vedea finalizat Post-Partum Document de Mary Kelly a fost nu numai o trire emoiona- l,
ci, nainte de orice, o important contribuie la receptarea artei conceptuale. Asemntor
este cazul Marthei Rosler. Ambele snt artiste care, dei se bucur de recunoatere n anu-
mite cercuri, nu au fost prezente nc n marile expoziii tematice.
Concernul Generali a fost primul concern de asigurri dispus s plteasc despgubiri n val-
oare de milioane de dolari asigurailor evrei. Munca ta implic i aceast chestiune?
Eu lucrez cu artiti n mare parte orientai politic foarte critic, printre care, n mod firesc,
exist civa de provenien iudaic i care snt foarte bine informai despre evoluiile actua-
le. Civa artiti colegi au trimis altor artiti articole de ziar pe aceast tem. Am vorbit din
cnd n cnd cu artitii despre acest lucru, ns nu a existat nici o problem. Din partea mea,
ca i din partea tuturor celor de la Generali, a existat dorina ca aceast problem s fie rapid
rezolvat.
Ai vorbit ntr-un text programatic despre faptul c Generali Foundation ndeplinete sarcinile
complete ale unui muzeu i c ar fi astfel un productor cultural. O dat cu o atare pretenie
nu se terg graniele dintre principiul statului cultural i interesele economice private ale con-
cernului?
nainte de toate, n acel text am vrut s accentuez faptul c rolul nostru nu se mrginete
la a menine i pstra, ci c am preluat rolul unui productor activ. Desigur, muzeul este n
sine un astfel de productor, anume un productor de valori recunoscute. i aici apare real-
mente un conflict de interese. Pentru c, aa cum se spune i n ptrunztoarea analiz efec-
tuat de Benjamin Buchloh, muzeul ca productor se afl n conflict, fie c pstreaz i menine
producia sa, fie c o las s dispar. Domnete ideea convenional c exist o sarcin cul-
tural a statului. Acesta ar avea ca obligaie s se ngrijeasc de arta i cultura rii sale, idee
ce s-a dezvoltat astzi n concepte privite critic, cum snt cel de expoziie naional care
mpodobete respectiva naiune i reprezentanii si. Artitii snt pui la treab pentru a con-
feri unei naiuni o valoare special, o imagine special. Riturile oficiale la astfel de festiviti
se petrec, adesea, asemntor cu cele de la festivitile sponsorilor din economia privat.
Exist totui o mic deosebire aici. n economia privat interesele i scopurile snt clar i expli-
cit formulate. Apoi, i administratorul banilor publici pretinde dovezi ale succesului, ca i sponso-
rii. n fine, poziia macazului depinde mereu de o persoan singular, fie c aceasta se poate
identifica cu o problem i are acces la ea, fie c nu. Nu e mare diferen dac trebuie s-l
conving pentru asta pe cancelarul statului sau pe preedintele unui concern de asigurri.
Aici, un concern i are propriul muzeu altfel dect prin sponsorizare. Este privatizarea pro-
prietilor simbolice un model al viitorului n domeniul muzeelor?
M ndoiesc de faptul c modelul Generali Foundation poate fi considerat n general ca
un model al viitorului. n Europa el este mai degrab excepia dect regula. Fapt este ns c
n Europa multe ntreprinderi nu mai vor s sponsorizeze pur i simplu proiecte interesante,
ci dezvolt propriile concepte, propriul know-how i adesea l instituionalizeaz. n SUA, spaii
expoziionale din muzee snt cumprate i atribuite anumitor sponsori n forma condomi-
nionului. Aceasta este o evoluie care nu a primit nc la noi ntreaga dimensiune, ns i-o
va primi cu siguran. Am impresia c noi sntem deja n miezul acestei evoluii. Este aici de
chestionat dac artei i revine o valoare exclusiv simbolic i, dac aa stau lucrurile, dac aceas-
ta trebuie s revin statului.
Cnd snt produse opere special pentru Fundaie nu se poate bnui c ele actualizeaz o par-
adigm dat dinainte care servete profilului concernului?
Aceast critic a fost rspicat pronunat n proiectul pe care l-am realizat mpreun cu Andrea
Fraser. Din nsrcinarea mea, Fraser a angajat o cercetare asupra funciei artei, respectiv a
Fundaiei pentru Concernul Generali. ntr-o expoziie ulterioar cu titlul The making of orga-
nizat de Matthias Poledna s-a fcut auzit o voce similar. n afar de cazul Fraser,






















Friedl Kubelka
Erwin, Toni, Ilse, 1968-69, Filmstill, Sammlung GF Wien
96









Sanja Ivekovic
Tuzna i setna, Fotomontage, aus der Serie Tragedy of a Venus, 1975




Sanja Ivekovic
ELLE, novembar 1974. [Rechts] 1967. Prag., Fotomontage, aus der Serie Double Life, 1975, Sammlung GF Wien
correctly represented in other institutions for obscure reasons most of
the times. Valie Export, Dan Graham and Gordon Matta-Clark were,
a year ago, among them. In 1995 Ive organized at Generali Foundation
the first retrospective of Valie Exports films in Vienna. Although there
had been presentations abroad in 1987 in London and San Francisco,
in 1988 in New York in Austria there was no institution interested to do
the same. Besides, neither positions such as Helmo Zobernigs nor Franz
Wests could find their place in the Vienna public collections. The problem
of women-artists participation was not a theme for the exhibition pro-
gram but at a certain point it has become one for the collection. Based
on the themes we deal with, the presence of women-artists has become
a strong one. To witness the achievement of Post-Partum Document
by Mary Kelly was not only a strong feeling but also a main contribution
to the reception of conceptual art. Very similar is Martha Roslers case.
They both are artists that, strongly received in certain milieus, were not
present in the large thematic exhibitions.
The Generali corporation has been the first insurance company willing
to pay damages worth millions to the Jews. Does this issue concern your
work?
Generally, I work with artists who are politically oriented very much
towards criticism and, naturally, some of them are Jewish and they are
very well informed about the current developments. A few artist col-
leagues sent to other artists newspaper clippings on the topic. From time
to time Ive discussed about his with the artists but there was no prob-
lem. I, as all the people at Generali, wished for this problem to be solved
as quickly as possible.
Youve spoken in a programmatic text about the fact that Generali
Foundation carries out all the tasks of a museum and thus it would be
a cultural producer. With such a pretense, arent borders between
the cultural state principle and private corporate interest wiped out?
First of all, in that text, I wanted to underline the fact that our role does-
nt end at keeping and preserving but that we took over the role of an
active producer. Of course, the museum is in itself such a producer,
namely a producer of recognized values. And here comes in the real con-
flict of interests. Because, as Benjamin Buchloh once analyzed with great
insight, the museum as producer is in conflict, either it keeps and pre-
serves the production or it lets it die out. The convention that there is
a state cultural task rules. The state has for an obligation to take care of
the art and culture of the country. Nowadays this idea developed in
concepts that are criticized such as that of national exhibition that crowns
the nation and its representatives. The artists are put to work in order
to confer a nation a special value position, a special image. The official
rites in such festive occasions take place just like the celebrations of spon-
sors in private economy. There is however a slight difference here.
In private economy the interests and purposes are clearly and explicitly
formulated. Then, the public money administrator wants too some proof
of success just like the sponsors. Finally, this position always depends
on one person, either he can identify with a matter, or he has or not
access to it. Either I have to convince the state chancellor or the chairman
of an insurance company, there is no big difference.
Otherwise than by sponsorship, here a corporation owns a museum. Is
the privatization of properties a model for the future of museums?
I doubt the fact that the model of Generali Foundation can be
considered, generally, as a model for the future. In Europe it is rather the
exception than the rule. Fact is that in Europe many enterprises do not
want
to sponsor any longer the interesting projects but they develop their own
concepts, their own know-how and often institutionalize it. In the USA
the singular exhibition spaces within museums are bought and attributed
to certain sponsors just like a condominium. This is an evolution that has-
nt reached its full dimension here but it certainly will. Im under the
impression that we are already in the heart of this evolution. We have
to ask here if art has an exclusive ideal value and if this is the case should
it go to the state.
When works are produced especially for the Foundation, isnt there a
suspicion that they abide by a paradigm that has been given in advance
97


nici un artist nu a fost provocat sau stimulat s se refere la noi, la Fundaie sau la Generali.
Totui, realitatea noastr este evident una cu care artitii vor s se explice. Aceasta se
petrece dup parametrii cmpului lor profesional. M ndoiesc puternic de faptul c un ast-
fel de proiect ar servi profilul firmei Generali. Nu se poate presupune c Haacke, spre exem-
plu, cu lucrarea sa critic despre Peter Ludwig, l-a ajutat pe acesta n cele din urm numai
la publicitate. Haacke n-a fost, desigur, invitat sau chiar finanat cum este cazul mandatailor
notri. Totui, noi tim c circulaia banilor n ntreprinderile artistice este mic i se nchide
repede. Mai degrab ar fi de ntrebat dac din aceast lucrare a rezultat o contribuie artis-
tic interesant. Rezultatul proiectului Andreei Fraser este, spre exemplu, un studiu de caz
unic asupra sponsorizrii artei; nu exist nici un alt document comparabil. Dorit Margreiter,
Simon Leung, Nils Norman, Matthias Poledna au dezvoltat pentru The making of o lucrare
care se refer la modelul fundaiei, dar privete n general ntreprinderea artistic.
Cooperarea dintre Guggenheim i Deutsche Bank n Berlin este un exemplu amenintor pen-
tru tendina de privatizare n cultur. Este Generali Foundation precursorul unei nou particu-
lariti?
Aceasta este o ntrebare interesant. n principiu, trebuie pornit de la faptul c o ntreprindere
care vrea s se profileze prin art face exact ceea ce vrea ptura vizat a clienilor. Se poate
afirma c ceea ce o ntreprindere face pentru propria s-i spunem publicitate este de
fapt i n interesul comunitii. Snt rare cazurile n care o ntreprindere comite erori, cum
ar fi, de pild, s se nele sau s ia cu bun tiin alte msuri dect cele adecvate. Ei trebuie
s se decid crei pri din populaie vor s i se adreseze: uneia extinse, difereniate sau mai
degrab pturii greu de atins, dar formatoare de opinie?


* Occupying Space: Sammlung Generali Foundation Collection, editat de Sabine Breitwieser, Kln, Verlag der Buch-
handlung Walther Knig, 2003.






Sanja Ivekovic
Make Up Make Down, 1976, Videostill, Sammlung GF Wien
This criticism has been loudly affirmed in the project Ive made with
Andrea Fraser. On my assignment, Fraser ordered a research on the role
of art, that of the Foundation for the Generali corporation. In an ulterior
exhibition entitled The making of organized by Matthias Poledna a similar
voice was heard. Except the Fraser case no artist has been provoked
or stimulated to refer to us, be it the Foundation or Generali. However,
our reality is one that artists want to explain. This is happening in the
parameters of their professional field. I strongly doubt the fact that such
a project would serve the profile of Generali. We cannot assume that
Haacke, for instance, with his critical work on Peter Ludwig helped the
latter for publicity only. Haacke surely was not invited or financed, as it is
the case with our contractors. However, we know that money circulation
in the art enterprises is low and stops quickly. You should rather ask if
from this work some interesting artistic contribution resulted. Andrea
Frasers project outcome is, for instance, a singular case study on art
sponsoring; there is no other comparable document. Dorit Margreiter,
Simon Leung, Nils Norman, Matthias Poledna have elaborated for
The making of a work that refers to the foundation model but concerns
generally the artistic enterprise.
The cooperation between Guggenheim and Deutsche Bank in Berlin is
a scary example for the privatizing trend in culture. Is Generali
Foundation the predecessor of a new particularism?
This is an interesting question. In principle, we should start from the
fact that an enterprise that wants to get a profile through art does exactly
what the targeted group of clients would want. We can assert that what
an enterprise does for its own lets say publicity is in fact in the
interest of the community too. Exceptionally, an enterprise makes a mis-
take, for example, they are wrong about the target-group or
conscientiously take other measures. What population category is
addressed: extended, differentiated or often the difficult to get but opin-
ion maker layer?

* Occupying Space: Sammlung Generali Foundation Collection, edited
by Sabine Breitwieser, Kln, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Knig,
2003.


Sanja Ivekovic
Make Up Make Down, 1976, Videostill, Sammlung GF Wien
98


Cnd eti strin, eti obligatoriu n trecere...
Amiel Grumberg n discuie cu Dirk Snauwaert


DIRK SNAUWAERT s-a nscut n 1963. Responsabil cu expoziiile de la Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Bruxelles
(19891995). Director al Kunstverein Mnchen (19962001). Codirector al Institutului de Art Contemporan din
Villeurbaine (ncepnd din 2002). Numit n aprilie 2004 director al viitorului centru de art Wiels. Autor al mai mul-
tor texte monografice (ntre care Guy Mees, la Editura Ludions, Gand, 2002), Dirk Snauwaert a participat de aseme-
nea la numeroase colocvii, jurii i lucrri colective.


Amiel Grumberg Pentru a reaeza niel lucrurile n context, v propun o scurt privire
asupra carierei dumneavoastr, pentru a-i descrie parcursul, traiectoria dumneavoas-
tr nuntrul mediului artei contemporane internaionale.
Dirk Snauwaert Parcursul meu nu e atta internaional, ct european. Nu e urmarea unei
opiuni, ci o simpl constatare aceea c n-am strbtut mediile de dincolo de ocean i nici
noile teritorii geografice care s-au deschis de vreo zece ani ncoace. Am rmas destul de aproa-
pe de un mediu de origine care e pentru mine Belgia. Asta se leag fr ndoial i de fap-
tul c aparin unei generaii de actori care au crezut puternic n ideea contextualitii. Mai
nainte de a voi s produci un sens ntr-un context, trebuie totodat s-l stpneti i s-l cunoti.
Iar asta nu se petrece fluturndu-te de colo colo, nermnnd ntr-un anumit mediu dect
vreme de-o expoziie pentru a-i lua zborul de-acolo ndat dup aceea. Probabil, e una din
raiunile pentru care rmn legat de puncte de ancorare i care m fac s lucrez pentru un
anumit mediu care susine i cruia i se adreseaz o anumit instituie.
Care e parcursul intelectual care v-a adus la arta contemporan? i, pe urm, cum
de-ai ajuns la meseria de comisar de expoziii?
O fericit ntmplare a vrut s fac o tez pe Marcel Broodthaers. Nu vin deloc dinspre un
mediu de art contemporan i nici mcar de art pur i simplu, ci mai degrab dintr-
unul de clas mijlocie care e orientat mai mult spre muzica clasic. Prin cursul liber al
mprejurrilor, s-a ntmplat s dau de un amic interesat de aceeai scen muzical experi-
mental i de art i care m-a convins c ar trebui s privesc cu atenie munca lui Marcel
Broodthaers. i ncetul cu ncetul, mpreun cu Marcel Broodthaers, am naintat, nsoit [ast-
fel] de unul din cei mai buni artiti din generaia sa, un artist avnd contact cu toate problematicile
de ieri i de azi, problematici care m-au hrnit cu ceva pe care continuu s surfez. Bagajul
meu intelectual e Broodthaers. De aici pornind, mi-am lrgit puin sfera de interes, lund ca
zon de referin intelectual i artistic evoluia ce-i avea punctul de plecare n Belgia. Belgia
anilor 5875 era pe atunci unul din pivoii unei internaionalizri a unei scene postbelice,
ntre Dsseldorf, Amsterdam sau Olanda, Paris sau Frana, nordul Italiei i Elveia. Era un fel
de plac turnant cu o activitate artistic i de pia foarte dinamic, subntinznd de aseme-
nea i chestiunea perifericului i a centrului, cci aceast scen artistic era considerat de
critici drept o periferie doldora de epigoni. Actualitatea care se vedea era mai curnd aceea a
Parisului. E un pic aceeai schem ca n cazul scenei germane i olandeze ntre, s zicem,
1956 i 1964, unde a existat o ntreag nou generaie care s-a format i dezvoltat. M-au
interesat foarte tare nu numai Broodthaers, ci i ali artiti pe care-i consider foarte impor-
tani, cum snt cercurile gravitnd n jurul galeriei Wide White Space sau al galeriei MTL, Jef
Geys, Guy Mees i Lili Dujourie, mediul lor critic, raportndu-se la dezbaterile estetice i pe
chestiuni ce in de viaa n societate. Cam asta ar fi despre formarea mea.
Dup aceea am nimerit n lumea curating-ului din ntmplare, deoarece pentru noi la termi-
narea studiilor singura perspectiv era omajul i fiindc s-a ntmplat s existe o ocupaie con-
stnd n organizarea de expoziii. Eu o apucasem mai curnd pe calea cercetrii i a scrisului,
dar neprevzutul biografiei face s fi adoptat aceast ocupaie, dup care am fost angajat la
WHEN YOU ARE A STRANGER YOU ARE ALWAYS IN PASSING...
Amiel Grumberg in Conversation with Dirk Snauwaert

DIRK SNAUWAERT Born in 1963. Responsible for the exhibitions at Palais
des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (19891995). Director of Kunstverein Munich
(19962001). Co-director of Institut dArt Contemporain de Villeurbaine
(since 2002). Appointed in April 2004 director of the future Wiels art cen-
ter. Author of several monographic texts (such as Guy Mees, Ludions,
Gand, 2002), Dirk Snauwaert has also collaborated to many symposiums,
juries and collective works.

Amiel Grumberg In order to put everything in a perspective,
I suggest an overview of you carrier, to trace back your trajectory
in the international contemporary art milieu.
Dirk Snauwaert My trajectory is less international and rather European.
It is not the result of a choice but an observation: I havent spent time in
the milieus across the ocean or in the new geographical territories that
opened up in the past ten years. I remained attached of my origin envi-
ronment, which is Belgium. This is due to the fact that I belong to a gen-
eration of actors who really believed in the idea of contextuality. Before
wanting to make sense in a context, one has to know it and have
a hold of it. And that cant be done flying around, staying just the time
of an exhibition in one place and then flying away. Surely it is one
of the reasons for me to remain attached to some firm points and to work
for an open environment that is addresses by a certain institution.
What intellectual path has led you towards contemporary art?
How did you become a professional curator?
One happy hazard was that of having done a PhD thesis on Marcel
Broodthaers. Im not at all coming from the contemporary art milieu,
nor from plain art, but rather from a middle class oriented towards clas-
sical music. It so happened that a friend of mine who was interested
in the same experimental music scene and art convinced me to pay spe-
cial attention to Marcel Brodthaerss work. Progressively, with Marcel
Broodthaers, I evolved in the company of an artist who was among
the best in his generation, an artist who tackles all the issues past and
present, issues that gave me a material that I am still surfing on.
Broodthaers is my intellectual luggage. From there I broadened my area
and took for an intellectual and artistic landmark the Belgian evolution.
In the 19581975s Belgium was an axis of post-war internationalization
between Dsseldorf, Amsterdam or the Netherlands, Paris or France,
Northern Italy, and Switzerland. It was somewhat of a turntable with
a very dynamic artistic activity and market, that also sustained the issue of
center and periphery as this art scene was considered by critics a periph-
ery full of epigones. The shown topicality was rather that from Paris.
It is the same pattern as with the German and Dutch scene between, lets
say, 1956 and 1964, when a whole new generation develops. I was extreme-
ly interested not only in Broodthaers but also in other artists that I find
very important such as the circle gravitating around Wide White Space
gallery or MTL gallery, Jef Geys, Guy Mees and Lili Dujourie, their critical
circle that pursued aesthetic and social debates. This was my education.


AMIEL GRUMBERG este curator independent, lucreaz i triete la Paris i Amsterdam. AMIEL GRUMBERG is a free-lance curator, works and lives in Paris and Amsterdam.
scena
99




Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Bruxelles pentru a dezvolta un program de art contemporan
timp de ase ani, ntre 1989 i 1995. Apoi, ca urmare a unor experiene fortuite cu artiti
care lucrau mai mult n Germania i care mi-au vorbit despre un post la Mnchen, am candi-
dat pentru el i am fost acceptat. Am lucrat, aadar, vreme de ase ani la o Kunstverein [uniu-
ne de creaie artistic]. Acest gen de instituie este forma preistoric a centrului de art [aa
cum funcioneaz el, de pild, n Frana n. red.], susinut de un grup de ceteni dintr-un
anumit loc, i cu intenia explicit de a fi n contact cu arta internaional, cu toate ateptrile,
conflictele i numeroasele nenelegeri pe care asta le implic. Presiunile erau cele tiute de
pretutindeni, numai c acolo nu exist protecia pe care o avem n Frana, presiunea e direc-
t cci nu exist aceast protecie din partea statului. Dup Mnchen, voiam s regndesc ches-
tiunile de principiu asupra crora lucrasem deja de zece sau doisprezece ani. Un ntreg grup
de artiti i modificaser practica artistic, considerau deja expoziia ca pe o oper, ca pe un
proiect de cercetri i de distribuire de informaii. Ne-am dat seama dup doisprezece ani
c nu exista nc nici o colecie care s reprezinte ceva din aceast practic i c, dimpotriv,
artitii i expoziiile care se vd i snt cumprate cu mult succes erau versiunile soft i for-
maliste ale practicilor care mpinseser interogaiile pn la capt, n tradiia anilor 70 a lui Buren,
Ascher, Broodthaers etc., aceea a unei gndiri care repunea n discuie un ntreg sistem.
Gndirea aceasta era pe-atunci reprezentat de ctre instituiile artistice?
Ea a influenat puternic funcionarea lor dac ne uitm la programarea [expoziional] avnd
curs n marile muzee, ntre didacticism, participare, spaiu social i critic, platform experi-
mental etc.... S spunem c se considera c arta este n principal un spaiu public, spaiul
privat al pieei nu era cu adevrat luat la socoteal, se credea c activitatea de colecionare
va urma tendina ca ntotdeauna. Piaa a inut pasul oarecum, aa cum ea urmeaz toate mode-
le intelectuale, ns cele care nu au inut pasul au fost mai ales instituiile publice. Fiindc aces-
te tipuri de chestionare erau nu doar critice, ci, totodat, ele se integrau cu dificultate ntr-o
genealogie a coleciei. O colecie presupune s construieti o naraiune, iar asta reclam mai
mult dect reunirea unor opere izolate. n cazul anumitor expoziii trebuia pur i simplu achi-
ziionat ntregul lor, n-ar fi avut nici un sens s iei o singur pies.
Demersul acesta de a coleciona altfel nu era nicieri n vigoare n Europa?
Aproape nicieri. Au existat cteva scntei, dar nu n maniera n care se poate zice c asta
s-a fcut la Schaffhausen (Elveia) sau la Dia Art Foundation (SUA), unde aceste case au gn-
dit o instituie n raport cu o anume exigen de prezentare. S-a revenit mai degrab la case
mai clasice, cu o informaie elementar i un aspect foarte senzorial al desftrii vizuale, cele-
lalte chestiuni putnd fi tratate n catalog. O dat cu solicitarea de a veni la Institutul de Art
Contemporan din Villeurbaine, am fost foarte intrigat [s vd cum vor merge lucrurile n
aceast privin], cci exista aici colecia FRAC [Fondul Regional de Art Contemporan
regiunea Rhone-Alpes]. E o form de colecie niel complicat, pe care am ncercat s-o orien-
tez mai mult spre producerea de proiecte.
Perspectiva pe care o avem despre Belgia se nvrte n jurul unei ambiguiti. Scena bel-
gian pare s posede deopotriv o pia de art extrem de prosper, comisari de
expoziie i directori de instituii strlucii i, n mod paradoxal, s acuze o anume caren
a susinerii instituionale. Pare c singurele instituii solide care s-au dezvoltat n Belgia
s-au bazat pe o conexiune foarte direct cu piaa i c nici un spaiu de experimenta-
re i de producere n-a operat vreodat pe deplin.
S spunem c de vreo zece ani, n fond de cnd snt eu plecat, a existat o erupie de ini-
iative din partea artitilor, dar uneori i din partea colecionarilor sau a altor persoane. Treaba
asta funcioneaz mai mult sau mai puin bine, dar cu toii ncearc s ias n fa cu acelai
tip de programe. Problema care se ridic dup ce aceste structuri i-au stabilizat ct de ct
funcionarea este aceea a raportului lor cu ceea ce se ntmpl pe plan internaional, rapor-
tul cu o perspectiv mai larg i mai complex a problematicilor. Asta rmne de domeniul
mai curnd al directorilor de mari instituii. Scena belgian a fost ntotdeauna puternic orien-
tat de piaa privat de art, cu criterii uneori acceptabile, alteori mai puin. Nu vei gsi aproape
deloc artiti, chiar i din generaia noastr, care s lucreze ntr-un fel care nu e market, conven-
Afterwards, I went into curating by chance as, after the university,
the only perspective was unemployment and a job came up for organiz-
ing exhibitions. Initially I was inclined to become a researcher and
a writer but the hazards of biography made me take this first job and
after that I was hired at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels to develop a six-
year contemporary art program, 1989 to 1995. Then, after some fortunate
experiences with artists operating mostly in Germany who told me about
a job in Munich I went there and I was hired. So for another six years Ive
been working in a Kunstverein. Kunstverein is the prehistorical form of
the art center, supported by a group of local people who wish to be
in contact with international art with all the expectance, conflicts and
numerous misunderstandings that it implies. The pressures were the
same as everywhere, except that we didnt have the protection offered
in France by the state. After Munich, I wanted to rethink the fundamental
issues that I have been working on for ten or twelve years. A whole group
of artist had changed their artistic practice and taken the exhibition for
a work, for a research project and information distribution. We realized
after twelve years that there was no collection to represent any of this
practice and that the artists and exhibitions that sell successfully were
the soft and formalist versions of the practices who went with the ques-
tioning to its ends, in the tradition of the 70s with Buren, Ascher,
Broodthaers, etc., of a thinking that would question the whole system.
This kind of thinking, was it presented in the artistic institutions?
It seriously influenced their functioning if we are to take a look at
the planning of the great museums, between didacticism, participation,
social and critical space, experimental platform etc.... Lets say that the
common opinion was that art is mainly a public space, the private space
of market wasnt referred to and that collections will follow naturally.
The market followed as it always has the intellectual modes but the public
institutions didnt follow. Because this kind of questioning wasnt just crit-
ical but could hardly find a place in a genealogy of the collection. A col-
lection implies to build a plot and that means more than gathering
isolated works. For some exhibitions it was necessary to get the whole
ensemble, and to have just one piece of it wouldnt make sense.
This different approach to collection gathering wasnt effective any
place else in Europe?
Almost nowhere. There were some sparkles but not in the sense we can
say it has been done in Schaffhausen (Switzerland) or at Dia Art
Foundation (USA) where the house conceived an institution according to
a specific presentation requirement. We went back to rather classical
structures with basic information and a very sensorial aspect of visual
delight and the other issues being dealt with in the catalogue.
I was intrigued, after being recruited for the Institut dArt Contemporain
de Villeurbaine, as the FRAC [Rhone-Alpes] collection was there.
It is a rather complex collection form and I tried to orient it more towards
project production.
The perception one has about Belgium is rooted in a ambiguity. The
Belgian scene seems to have been an extremely prosperous art market
with brilliant curators and institution directors but, paradoxical- ly, with
a lack in institutional support. It would seem that the only solid
institutions to develop in Belgium were relying on a very direct connec-
tion with the market and that no experimental or production space was
ever fully operational.
Lets say that, for ten years now, since Ive left, there is an outbreak
of initiatives coming from the artists but also from collectors or other peo-
ple. This is working more or less but everyone tries to be on the front
page with the same kind of programs. After these structures are some-
what established in their functioning, the subsequent issue is the relation-
ship with the international scene, with a larger and more complex vision
of the themes. And this is the task of the directors of big institutions.
The Belgian scene has always been lead by the private art market with
criteria that sometimes are acceptable and other times not so much.
You wont find artists, including from our generation, who would do work
which is not market, conventional. It always has to fit patterns that
are considered to be art.
Today are you about to develop a new activity around Belgium?


Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, September 26th 1974, credit: Kunstverein Mnchen
scena
101




ional. Ceea ce se face trebuie ntotdeauna s intre, aproximativ, n schemele a ceea se con-
sider a fi art.
Astzi sntei pe punctul de a dezvolta o nou activitate legat de Belgia?
Tocmai am fost chemat s conduc sau mai curnd s gndesc (cci mai ales asta e ceea ce
m stimuleaz) un loc nou pentru a-l amenaja n aa fel nct s nu fie doar de expoziie (cen-
trul pentru arte contemporane Wielemans-Ceuppens, la Forest, Bruxelles, v. cartuul), [un
loc] de reprezentare, ci i de reflecie i de producie, i de sociabilizare prin intermediul artei.
La Bruxelles nu a fost gndit ntr-un mod structural faptul c, mai-nainte de a avea opera, exist
un timp anterior, nu numai acela al producerii, ci nainte de producere exist deja o ntreag
munc mental de cercetare i de formare a gndirii care este la fel de esenial ca timpul/
momentul prezentrii. Vaszic, n Belgia nu exist mai deloc, nicieri, programe pentru a
gzdui, programe de susinere/asistare a creaiei. Ceea ce are loc nu e doar spectacolul i
reprezentarea, ci, la fel ca n economie, trebuie fcute investiia i dezvoltarea (faimosul research
& development), trebuie acordat tot atta atenie cercetrii, ct i dezvoltrii. Trebuie inut
seama de un spaiu social i critic care e primordial n art. n arta contemporan acest spaiu
al refleciei preliminare este pentru mine la fel de important ca spaiul de prezentare.
Cldirea e o veche braserie construit n anii 1930. Ea nfieaz o arhitectur i o istorie
interesante care snt mrturia unui trecut industrial, un trecut muncitoresc. E o braserie, aadar,
exist aici i motivul drogurilor, intensificarea senzaiilor, e o tematic interesant pentru mine.
Este o cldire foarte deschis, foarte mare, cu sli centrale care vor servi pentru expoziii i
mai exist o parte a cldirii unde erau magazii, ce vor deveni cmrue de lucru pentru artiti.
La parter, un spaiu public i social prelungete expoziiile. E vorba de a crea linii de tensiu-
ne i o anume densitate ntre aceste tipuri deosebite de spaii i de activiti artistice.
Misiunea mea e aceea de a inventa instituia corespunztoare pentru locul acesta i de a-l
regndi, mpreun cu o coleg belgian (Anne Pontgnie), pentru a face din el o cas n care
s se desfoare activitatea unui anume tip de expoziie care, n parte, lipsete din Belgia.
ntr-un prim-plan al acestei activiti, intenionez s-i adaug un program internaional de reziden-
iat pentru artiti. Bruxelles este un ora n care snt prezente dou comuniti [cea valon i
cea flamand n. red.], care are aceast realitate istoric singular, care a fost un bloc politic
vreme de ani buni i care acum este depit de evenimente, cci e un ora traversat de flu-
xuri de locuitori care rmn aici civa ani doar i dup aceea se duc, locuitori care nu au nimic
de-a face cu revendicrile naionaliste i identitare care au astupat orice alt interogaie... Nu
e un ora n care se rmne. Trecerile snt cele interesante. Acest fenomen poate fi reflec-
tat prin intermediul invitaiilor adresate unor [reprezentani din] ri europene sau altele, susinn-
du-i s gndeasc realiti multicomunitare complexe.
Este aceasta i o ocazie pentru a lrgi Europa [artistic]?
E limpede c una din marile schimbri va fi aceea c n Europa se va dezvolta o mai mare
mobilitate profesional. Faptul de a fi conectai unii cu ceilali ntr-o reea fluid trebuie s mearg
mn-n mn cu existena unor puncte de ntlnire, de informare i de reevaluare. Se afl la
ndemn unelte, unice n Europa, pentru a permite o reflecie care s cuprind art, cerce-
tare, o gndire programatic. Vorbesc de festivaluri i de bienale. nainte, n vrtejul bienalelor,
care snt n primul rnd mobilizri de persoane sau de bani, existau ntotdeauna nie, insule
n care se puteau institui ntotdeauna ntlniri cu consecine evaluabile. O dat cu inflaia de
bienale, aceste ntlniri devin foarte pre-formatate, aproape superficiale. Trebuie s putem
regndi dinamica dintre o instituie i spaiile altfel, ntre o permanen i o munc pe timp
lung, pe de-o parte, i ceea ce e momentan i efemer, pe de alta. Bienalele au ngduit timp
de civa ani alte moduri de producere, existau comenzi, artitii puteau dispune de ase sau
nou luni de munc n amonte. Modelul Bienalei este astzi pe cale de-a deveni desuet, chiar
dac bienale exist din ce n ce mai multe. Lumea artei, i nimeni, nu ia bienalele n serios,
nici curatorul, nici artistul, cci ele nu mai ngduie s lucrezi pentru ele ntr-un alt fel. Se face
ceva, se ncearc a se face ct mai bine, dar nu se aprofundeaz nimic. Nimeni nu mai poate
lua asta n serios, deci toat lumea se face numai c face. n ce m privete, cred mai cu plcere
I have been asked to run, or rather to conceive (this is in fact what
drives me) a new place not only for exhibition (the contemporary arts
Center Wielemans-Ceuppens in Forest, Brussels) and representation but
also for reflection, production and socialization with art.
In Brussels nobody thought in a structured manner that before the art
work there is a pre-time and not just production but also a pre-produc-
tion implying a mental work of research and thought formation which is
just as essential as the time of presentation. Consequently, in Belgium
we dont have programs to welcome or to help creation. There isnt just
the show and the representation, things work like in economy: one has
to invest and develop (the famous Research & Development), one has
to pay the same attention to research and to development. One has to
take into account the social and critical spaces that are primordial in art.
In contemporary art, this space of preliminary meditation is for me just
as important as the exhibiting space.
The building is a former brasserie constructed in the 1930s. Its architec-
ture and history are interesting and remind of an industrial past, a laborer
past. It is a brasserie, so there is also the drug, the intensification of sen-
sations, it is a theme that interests me. It is a very large and very open
building, with central halls that will be used for exhibitions and there is
an area, which used to be the silos and that will become work cells for the
artists. At the ground floor, a public and social space continues the exhi-
bitions. We have to create tension axes and a density between these dif-
ferent types of spaces and artistic activities.
My mission is to invent an institution for this place and to rethink it
together with a Belgian colleague (Anne Pontgnie) in order to make of
it a house for certain activities and exhibitions that are lacking in Belgium.
I also want to make a priority of an international artist residence pro-
gram. Brussels is a town with two communities, with a singular historical
reality. The town has been in a political blockade for years and now it has
been outrun by the events as it is a town crossed by fluxes of inhabitants
who stay for some years and then leave, who have nothing to do with
the nationalist and identity claims that have repressed any other
questioning... It is not a town to stay in. The passages are the interesting
ones. We can reflect upon this phenomenon through the invitations of
European and other countries encouraging them to think complex multi-
communitarian realities.
Is it also an opportunity to enlarge Europe?
It is obvious that one of the big changes will be that an increased
professional mobility will develop in Europe. The connection in a fluid net-
work has to go along with meeting points, information and assessment
points. We can find tools that are unique in Europe to enable a reflection
that includes art, research and a programmatic thought. Im talking
about festivals and biennials. Some time ago, in the whirl of biennials,
which are mostly mobilizations of people or money, there used to be nich-
es wherein reunions with predictable consequences could be organized.
With the inflation of biennials, these reunions are standardized, almost
superficial. We should be able to rethink the dynamics between one insti-
tution and the rest, between permanence and short term work, ephemer-
al. The biennials made possible for a few years different modes of
production: orders were passed; the artists had six or nine months
of work before the event. The Biennial model is today about to become
obsolete, even if there are more and more biennials. In the art world,
nobody takes seriously the biennials, not the curator nor the artists as
they cannot work differently any longer. One does something, tries
his/her best, but no one goes in depth. Nobody can take it seriously so
everyone fakes it. I honestly believe in a long-term work for one place,
one precise situation with network relationships, connections, and
durable development. The fashionable term of the 70s the relational
constantly put forward in the last years should be rethought. For the rela-
tions are not only between people but also with other spheres, languages,
rules, history.
This is the reason why I intend to develop this residence program so that I
can bring new groups every 12 months and we keep in touch after hav-
ing shared experience, understood a process, how the things happened,
from which debate, what went wrong, etc. Visas are becoming so compli-
















Andr Cadere, Yvon Lambert-The Fine Arts Building New-York, November
6th November 30th 1976




Andr Cadere, at the restaurant La Taverne du Passage, avec Fernand
Spillemaeckers (Galerie MTL) and Gilbert & George, 1975. Photography:
Benjamin Katz
cated and, despite European integration, we witness a twofold move-
ment: there is expulsion and there is integration. Everything becomes
very complicated for the residence programs as, today for example,
in order to have someone here for twelve months he/she has to come and
go every three months so that the student or tourist visa can be validated.
Even if the deciders in culture say one thing, the ministry of internal
affairs often says the opposite. It is obvious that culture has less power.
The irony, or even the sarcasm, is that the big fuss about the enlargement
on the 1st of May coincides with the implementation of a visa system
intolerably severe.
Your approach means two things: to work on the context and
to take the time to develop long-term relationships instead of having
a coffee between two planes.
This is culture according to Michel de Certeaux, something which is re-
applied permanently, which is lived and not abstract, something which is
conveyed, a practice. And we cannot encourage something like that
through Goethe Institut or British Council programs. We can perhaps
offer a little something to the projects but we cannot create them out
of nothing. From a cultural viewpoint, in Europe, we have to work more at
the regional level; it is something that will totally change the landscape.
Because the decision-making will be carried out at a lower level and,
maybe, hopefully, it will be less bureaucratic. Maybe there will be a possi-
bility for us to avoid the centralization, expression of a bygone state
nationalism. Financing can be created to support production. We can also
hope to avoid the main poles of tourist attraction. But this is no false pre-
tense about succeeding immediately in changing the approach of the
important museums. MoMA, Tate Gallery, Centre Pompidou will always
stick to the idea that they are the origin of modern art history. And it is
true of course, nothing has changed because it is so slow and hard, with
a monopole over peoples attention, that everyone reproduces what they
see, hence a history of clichs. We really have to keep on working on the
fragmentation of stories.
I am curious to find out what you think about the integration of east
European countries in the European community. It is fifty years of an art
history that we ignored and that is coming back now; we try today
to recuperate it, to preserve it by organizing cultural seasons and bilat-
eral programs.
Ive been discussing with another journalist the issue of forgotten van-
guards, confined to a different historical time, obstructed by the post-war
totalitarian systems. There is hardly anything left to collect from
the 1920s modernism, after World War One to the conceptualisms.
Every radical formalism, if not preserved in establishments, has been pur-
chased on the art market, from the Hungarian expressionists to the Czech
photomontages. They make indeed extraordinary ensembles. They were
bought for nothing and we still dont now if the heirs received anything
at all... Another question is who will go through this history all over again,
and that is a complex history in its own right. It doesnt reproduce
the same patterns as in other small countries such as Belgium and
the Netherlands where the modernisms are also very problematic, where
there is also a coming and going between reaction and experimentation.
There is a misappreciation, a superiority widely cultivated in the last
fifty years by the artistic milieu itself.
Especially by the artistic milieu that is not very innovative in matters of
mentality transformation. The questions will concern the actors exactly
like in the 50s60s in Europe for those who went to build a carrier in the
big centers and never upheld the local scene. Its a shame, with their
knowledge they could have, should have improved the situation.
It is the responsibility of important persons to come back from time
to time and to get involved in exchanges. Nothing is more efficient than
an artist who is somewhat successful abroad against the snobbism of cer-
tain decision makers. I heard a discussion about Erik Bulatov who went
back to Moscow whereas Ilya Kabakov never went back to his country.
Even those who were able to make the last train at the beginning of
the 90s, all the artists who got a visa for the United States
or Western Europe never returned home.


Andr Cadere
Invitation Card, avec Bernard Marcelis, chez Mr Georges Bolus,
in Caf de lOasis Kain, Belgique, December 12th 1975
scena



ntr-o munc pe termen lung n raport cu un loc, cu o situaie concret, cu plasarea ntr-o
reea, cu eserea unor legturi, a unei dezvoltri durabile. Trebuie repus n discuie termenul
acesta la mod n anii 70 n mod constant mpins n fa de civa ani: relaionalul. Relaiile
snt ceea ce are loc nu numai ntre persoane, ci i cu celelalte sfere, limbi, reguli, istorie.
De aceea i dezvolt programul acesta de rezidene, pentru a putea aduce timp de 12 luni
i alte grupuri cu care s pstrm raporturile dup ce vom fi mprtit experiene, pentru
a cunoate mai bine un proces, a nelege mai bine cum s-au petrecut lucrurile, din ce dezba-
tere au ieit ele, din ce discuie, ce nu a mers etc. Vizele devin ceva att de complicat i dei
zicem c integrm Europa, ceea ce are loc e o dubl micare: expulzm i integrm. Asta
face lucrurile foarte complicate pentru, de pild, programele de reziden, astzi; ca s ai
pe cineva timp de 12 luni, trebuie ca persoana respectiv s plece i s revin din trei n
trei luni pentru a fi n regul cu viza de student sau de turist. La nivelul culturii se poate zice
un lucru, dar ministerul de interne zice adesea altceva. E limpede care din cele dou are
mai mult putere. Ironia ori chiar sarcasmul e mare, dac te gndeti c tot tam-tamul aces-
ta pentru deschidere, de 1 mai, coincide cu instaurarea unui regim de vize de o severitate
insuportabil.
Demersul dumneavoastr implic dou lucruri: munca pe context i rgazul acordat
pentru a dezvolta relaii pe termen lung, nu la o cafea ntre dou avioane.
Aa ceva e cultura n sensul unui Michel de Certeau, ceva ce e reaplicat n permanen,
ceva care e trit, e o cultur, nu o abstraciune, ceva care se transmite, o adevrat prac-
tic. Nu poi stimula aa ceva prin programe de genul Goethe Institut sau British Council.
Poi poate contribui la respiraia unui proiect, dar nu le poi crea ex nihilo. n Europa, din punct
de vedere cultural, trebuie lucrat mai mult la nivelul regiunilor, iar asta e ceva ce va modifi-
ca peisajul complet. Cci nivelurile de decizie se vor afla mai jos i, poate, s sperm, vor fi
totodat ceva mai puin birocratice. Vom avea poate posibilitatea de a putea ocoli centralizarea,
expresie a unui naionalism statal revolut. Se pot crea scheme de finanare pentru susinerea
unei munci de producere. S-ar putea spera eventual ocolirea marilor poli de atracie turis-
tic. Dar toate astea n-au pretenia de a schimba imediat modalitatea de a gndi a marilor
muzee. MoMA, Tate Gallery, Centrul Pompidou vor profesa mereu aceast idee c ele se
afl la originea artei moderne. i obligatoriu, e-adevrat, asta nu s-a schimbat, fiindc e un
strat al lucrurilor att de greoi i de lent, iar acesta monopolizeaz ntr-att atenia nct
oamenii nu reproduc dect ceea ce li se impune privirii, deci fac din asta, obligatoriu, o isto-
rie de cliee. Trebuie continuat ntr-adevr s lucrm la nivelul fragmentrii naraiunilor, mergnd
n paralel cu continuarea unei istorii pe care tim s-o regularizm.
Snt curios, tocmai, s aflu cum vedei intrarea rilor din Europa de Est n comuni-
tatea european. Pe undeva, e vorba de cincizeci de ani ai unei istorii a artei pe care
n-am vrut s-o lum n considerare, care acum revine frontal i pe care ne strduim azi
s-o recuperm, s-o ncadrm n nite repere securiza(n)te, punnd pe picioare manifestri
culturale (de genul zilele...) i programe bilaterale.
Discutam deunzi cu un alt ziarist despre chestiunea avangardelor care-au fost uitate, fiind-
c ele au czut ntr-un timp istoric diferit, obliterat de totalitarismele postbelice. Nu mai rmne
aproape nimic de colecionat din modernismul anilor 20, din perioada imediat urmtoare
Primului Rzboi Mondial pn la conceptualisme. Tot ceea ce a fost radicalism formalist, dac
n-a fost conservat prin instituii, totul a fost cumprat de piaa de art, de la expresionitii maghiari
pn la fotomontajele cehe. i snt totui nite ansambluri extraordinare. Ele au fost cumprate
pe nimic, cu dificultatea de a mai ti dac legatarilor de drept le-a revenit ceva... O alt chestiune e
i aceea de a ti cine va reelabora aceast istorie, care este o alt istorie complex. Ea nu
reproduce aceleai scheme precum n alte ri mici, ca Belgia, ca Olanda, unde modernitile
snt de asemenea foarte problematice. Unde a avut loc de asemenea un du-te-vino ntre
reacie i experimentare.
Exist o ne(re)cunoatere, un sentiment de superioritate care e n mare msur ntreinut
n ultimii cincizeci de ani chiar de ctre mediul artistic.


Andr Cadere
In Genova: alla deriva, May 25th May 30th 1977
104


Mai ales de ctre mediul artistic, care nu e foarte inovator atunci cnd vine vorba de schim-
brile de mentalitate. Chestiunile se vor ridica n raport cu actorii nii, aa cum ele s-au pus
n anii 5060 n Europa relativ la aceia care au plecat s-i fac o carier n marile centre i
care nu au susinut scena local. E pcat, ei ar fi putut-o face, ar fi trebuit, i cu priceperea
lor ar fi putut ameliora situaia. E pe undeva responsabilitatea acestor persoane importante,
s revin din cnd n cnd, s joace cartea aceasta a schimburilor. Nimic nu e mai eficace dect
un artist care are un pic de succes n strintate, vizavi de snobismul anumitor factori de decizie
i n raport cu priceperea pe care o pot aduce cu ei. E demn de discuie cazul lui Erik Bulatov,
care s-a rentors la Moscova, n timp ce un Ilya Kabakov n-a revenit niciodat n ara sa.
Chiar i cei care au putut profita de ultimele valuri de la nceputul anilor 90, toi artitii
care au putut obine o viz pentru Statele Unite sau pentru Europa de Vest n-au revenit
niciodat acas.
De mult vreme deja a existat o migraie fizic la nivelul ntregii Europe (polonezi, dar i
belgieni, scandinavi, irlandezi) ctre Statele Unite datorit perioadelor de foamete din seco-
lul al XIX-lea. i atunci care este cu adevrat zona cultural de influen? Unde se oprete
ea, astzi? Izolarea intelectual nu mai este total. Prin internet, te poi afla ntr-o spelunc
arab i s dialoghezi cu un vr la Los Angeles. Exist goluri imense, care-i gsesc originea
n teoriile la Samuel Huntington, care snt probabil raiunea pentru care orice cercetare
asupra acestor fenomene nu e prioritar, dect poate pentru antropologi doar. Cred c ne-
am fixat att de mult pe termenii de imigrare i emigrare n Europa Occidental, n vreme
ce cuvntul migraie e mai deschis, mai aproape de realitate, fr a voi s idealizezi cum se
ntmpl cu multiculturalismul.
Exist figuri n modernitatea occidental care au biografii ce creeaz pasarele interesante. Deja
n sec. XIX, poate c nu s-a uitat nc nimeni mai n amnunte, dar ar trebui, cci unii au
dezvoltat estetici care se afl n raport cu trecutul lor. Alexandre Dumas e un bun exemplu
al unui fiu de sclav care sfrete prin a fi mutat la Panthon. Dar care snt, n munca lui
Alexandre Dumas, prefigurrile a ceea ce astzi numim creolizare?
Dar n privina asta se ntmpl mereu acelai lucru, e nevoie de un timp pentru cerce-
tare, timp pe care nc nu ni-l acordm.
Vom finana ns cercettori pentru a scrie nite teorii care s ngduie trasarea unor alte
istorii n aceste istorii cam monoteiste?
Cine ar putea furniza un caz de studiu asemntor n istoria artei contemporane?
De vreme ce discuia aceasta va fi publicat ntr-o revist romneasc, a evoca figura lui
Andr Cadere. n legtur cu Cadere, eram foarte familiarizat n Belgia n privina reputaiei
sale printre artitii conceptualitii i ai minimalului fiindc exist la el o rigoare formalist extrem
n munca sa, dublat de o tendin de a repune totul n discuie, n permanen. Benjamin
Buchloch a fost cel care zicea despre Cadere: nu e pictur, i totui e pictur, nu e sculp-
tur, i totui e sculptur, nu e performance, i totui e performance, e o chestionare n priv-
ina instituiei, dar nu numai. Cadere nu este doar un european, ci i un nomad cultural,
el vine de aiurea, iar [la asta contribuie] faptul de a fi fost nscut la Varovia, educat n Romnia,
de unde, venind la Paris, n trei ani procedeaz la reformularea muncii sale. E spectaculos.
Activitatea lui de dinainte rmnea probabil n [cadrele a] ceea ce se cunotea atunci n Europa,
geometria hard edge a anilor 50. Dup aceea, el ajunge o figur care se afirm n mediul
parizian prin interrelaionare cu nsi munca sa. Ce tulburare introduce munca lui Cadere,
raportndu-l la BMPT (Buren, Toroni, Mosset, Parmentier), n aceast istoricizare a minimalului
francez! Se creeaz o perturbare n acesta, dac l includem, mult mai puin, dac nu-l inclu-
dem. Daniel Buren consider astfel c nu [mai] e vorba despre acelai lucru. El [Cadere]
trateaz aceleai problematici, dar ntr-o manier complet diferit. E sigur c s-a uitat
foarte atent la ceea ce fcea Buren i a reinut de aici anumite lucruri, a nvat foarte repede
cum funcioneaz mediul [le milieu], c nu e [vorba] doar de o chestie agat pe perete, a
fcut o art critic, foarte iute. Dar rmne o figur situat la margine, poate fiindc el
sfideaz n acelai timp n care afirm lecturile formaliste.
There has been for a very long time physical migration from Europe
(Polishes but also Belgians, Scandinavians, Irishmen) to the United States
because of the famines in the 19th century. Which is then the really influ-
ential cultural area? Where does it end today? Intellectual isolation
cannot be total any longer. On Internet, one can be in a small Arabian
caf and dialog with a cousin in Los Angeles. There are huge gaps origi-
nating in the theories la Samuel Huntington, which are probably the
reason for any research on these phenomena not to be a priority or,
at best, for anthropologists only. I think that we restrict the terms immi-
gration and emigration to Western Europe, whereas the word migration is
far more open, closer to reality without going so far as to idealize it as
in multiculturalism.
There are some figures in western modernity that have biographies that
make interesting cross bridges. In the 19th century, even if we didnt
scrutinize that as we should, some have developed aesthetic conceptions
that are related to their past. Alexandre Dumas is the good example of
a slaves son who made it to the Pantheon. But in Alexandre Dumass
work what are the prefigures of what we call today creolisation?
But here again it is the same, a time of research is needed that was
never taken yet.
But are we going to finance researchers to write theories that enable
other histories inside these somewhat monotheist histories?
Who could provide a case study of the kind in the history of
contemporary art?
As this interview will be published in a Romanian magazine I would like
to evoke Andr Cadere. I was very familiar with Caderes reputation in
Belgium in the circle of the conceptualist and minimalist artists because
there is an extreme formalist rigor in his work doubled by a tendency to
permanently question everything. Benjamin Buchloh used to say about
Cadere: it isnt painting but it is painting, it isnt sculpture but it is sculp-
ture, it isnt performance but it is performance, it is a questioning
of the establishment but not only. Cadere isnt just a European but
a cultural nomad, he comes from somewhere else, born in Warsaw, edu-
cated in Romania, he comes to Paris and within three years he rephrases
all his work. It is spectacular. Before, his work was following the European
trend, the hard edge geometry of the 50s. Afterwards, he took a stand in
the Parisian milieu as a character who interrelated with the work as such.
As compared to BMPT (Buren, Toroni, Mosset, Parmentier), Caderes work
brings about trouble in this historicisation of French minimalism. It makes
trouble if we include it and much less if dont. Daniel Buren also thinks
that it is not the same thing. He deals with the same issues but in a com-
pletely different manner. It is certain that he has been observing Buren
closely and retained things, he learned very quickly how the milieu func-
tioned that it was not just a thing hung on the wall, he very quickly made
critic art. But he remains a marginal maybe because he defies and states
in the same time the formalist readings.
In Munich, Ive made my first exhibition with Cadere because it was a lit-
tle metaphoric. When you are a stranger you are always in passing,
the issue of the root doesnt exist or not in the same way. Besides, that
the stick be exhibited or not was a matter of definition for Cadere.
He was always walking around with a stick in his hand but not always
exhibited. He plays on the limits of visibility and the regulations of the
spectacular and the institutional. Given the nomadic condition of his over-
all approach, one can also use it as an instrument to measure the contra-
dictions in the policies concerning irregular immigrants or exiled.
The really interesting thing is to compare with the notion of visible
and invisible of the irregular immigrants, for example, who are existing
people but who are considered invisible.

CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER WIELEMANS-CEUPPENS This new international art
center will be located in a Brussels suburb: Forest, in the former Brasserie Wielemans-
Ceuppens. Dirk Snauwaert and Anne Pontgnie have been assigned to conceive
the structure and the planning for this present art laboratory. The restoration
of the building dating from the 30s will start in 2005. See more at www.wielemans-
ceuppens.de.
scena



La Mnchen, prima mea expoziie am fcut-o cu Cadere, ntruct [pentru mine] era ceva
pe undeva metaforic. Cnd eti strin, eti obligatoriu n trecere, chestiunea trunchiului din
care provii [la question de la souche] nu se pune, sau nu se mai pune n acelai fel. De alt-
fel, c bastonul era expus sau nu era expus avea o mare importan pentru Cadere. Era o
chestiune de definire i de anun. E interesant de fcut o analogie cu partea vizibil i cea
invizibil a imigranilor fr acte, de exemplu; acetia snt oameni care se afl acolo, dar care
nu snt vizibili, tot aa cum Cadere se plimba mereu cu bastonul lui, n timpul unei perfor-
mane sau n afara acesteia depindea de artist dac treaba asta era de privit ca art sau
doar ca baston.

Traducere de Adrian T. Srbu


CENTRUL DE ARTE CONTEMPORANE WIELEMANS-CEUPPENS Acest nou centru internaional de art se instaleaz
ntr-o comun suburban a oraului Bruxelles: Forest, n vechea Braserie Wielemans-Ceuppens. Dirk Snauwaert i
Anne Pontgnie au primit sarcina de a imagina structura i programarea acestui laborator pentru arta din zilele noas-
tre. Lucrrile de reamenajare ale cldirii din anii 30 vor ncepe n 2005. A se urmri n continuare pe situl web:
www.wielemans-ceuppens.de.




Installation in Museum of Modern Art, Villeneuve dAscq, exhibition Yvon Lambert, collector, black, white, blue, yellow black, red, white, blue
red, white, yellow, blue green, red, white, blue courtesy Yvon Lambert, Photography Bernard Philip, credit: Kunstverein Mnchen
All images from the catalog of the exhibition Andr Cadere, Geschichte einer Arbeit published by Kunstverein Mnchen (Director: Dirk Sanuwaert)
and Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz (Curator: Peter Weibel), 1996





105
106










Trk.kurd.deutsch reprezint transcrierile n alfabetul Braille ale cuvintelor turc, curd, german. Ele se refer la tripla motenire a artistului i snt
practic interanjabile.
Au fost realizate 500 de buci din fiecare identitate de mai sus, ele rmnnd s fie inserate la ntmplare n revista Idea. Prin urmare, fiecare exemplar
conine o asemenea identitate.

Instruciuni de aplicare:
abloanele, care snt imagini n oglind, trebuie imprimate cu clctorul, cu partea lipicioas aezat direct pe material (de preferin un tricou alb, pe
care ele trebuie aplicate n zona abdominal). Clctorul fierbinte trebuie inut apsat 23 minute pe ablonul aezat pe tricou. Apsai cu putere pentru
ca imprimarea s fie corespunztoare. Lsai apoi ca ablonul s se rceasc i ndeprtai cu grij bucata de hrtie pe care au fost imprimate bulinele.
Ceea ce rmne e cuvntul n scriere Braille care anume putei afla dac l vei compara cu ilustraiile.


Nevin Aladag: trk. kurd. deutsch.
2003/2004


trk. kurd. deutsch., as seen here in the picture, are the Braille words for Turkish, Kurdish, and German, in their respective language. They refer to the triple heritage of the artist and
are virtually interchangeable.
500 such identities were produced for the Idea arts + society and inserted randomly. Each copy therefore contains only one identity.

Instructions:
The transfers are mirrored images, and must be applied with the sticky side down. They should be placed at belly height on a white t-shirt (see illustration).
Iron the transfer onto the t-shirt for about 23 minutes. Press hard to ensure that it sticks well. Let the transfer cool off, then pull off the loose parts. The remaining flock material
forms the Braille writing. You may determine the language by comparing it to the illustration.




NEVIN ALADAG 1972 born in Van/Turkey; 19931999 Academy of Fine Arts, Munich; 1998 co-founder of the project Caf Helga; 1999 co-founder of the project Galerie Goldankauf;
2000 Diploma.
Group shows: 2004 Galerie K & S, Berlin; Rote Zelle, Munich; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; Berlin MurMur, Metz. 2003 Knstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Proje4L, Museum of
Contemporary Art, Istanbul; waiting room, Amsterdam; Blut und Honig, Sammlung Essl, Vienna; Mursollaici, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris. 2002 Proje4L, Museum of Contemporary Art,
Istanbul; Fluxus und die Folgen, Wiesbaden; count down, Kunstverein, Munich; German Leitkultur, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel. 2000 Caf Helga & Galerie Goldankauf, Kunstraum,
Munich; Liste, FriArt, Basel; FriArt Centre dArt Contemporain, Fribourg; Schpfung, Freising; Galerie Goldankauf, Munich. 1998 Atelier dArtistes, Marseille; Personne sait plus, Villa
Arson, Nizza.

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insert


Identiti / Identities














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kurd.

















deutsch.









% a


109


+ (timpul liber)


Argument



Cum se tie, chestiunea timpului liber preocup de ceva vreme sociolo-
gia i filosofia social. La Adorno, de pild, discutarea timpului liber se arti-
culeaz ca o problem a imposibilitii libertii. Iar asta datorit industrializrii
i utilizrii funcional-pragmatice din punct de vedere social a libertii pe
care formula timp liber, opunndu-se timpului de munc, pare c o suge-
reaz. ns istoria teoretic a acestei chestiuni nu se oprete nicidecum aici.
Astfel, s-a putut vorbi la un moment dat de o leisure class, iar interogaiile
privitoare la timpul liber s-au putut coagula recent n ceea ce se cheam
leisure studies.

Intenia noastr este de a readuce n discuie problematica timpului liber
focaliznd privirea pe ce se petrece chiar sub ochii notri, n condiiile so-
ciale actuale ale Romniei postcomuniste. S-a modificat oare ceva n privin-
a timpului liber n raport cu sentina lui Adorno? S fi devenit timpul liber
un timp al libertii? Ce nseamn faptul c exist o industrie a timpului liber?
Care este impactul industriei timpului liber asupra reprezentrilor sociale?
Ce nseamn industria timpului liber n Romnia actual? i, n msura n
care organizarea i structurarea timpului liber pot fi un bun analizor al strii
unei societi, ce nseamn faptul c televiziunea pare s domine astzi majori-
tatea timpului liber al concetenilor notri, punnd n umbr, mcar statis-
tic, tot ce ine de alte forme ale recreerii: dans, sport de agrement, turism,
cinema etc.? Se poate deslui oare, studiind timpul liber, desenul unei noi
segregri sociale, al unor noi structuri de clas n societatea romneasc?
Iat cteva ntrebri pe care vi le propunem spre a fi discutate.

Redacia
STATEMENT


It is common knowledge that the topic of free time has been addressed by soci-
ology and social philosophy for some time. With Adorno, for instance, the dis-
cussion of free time is articulated as a problem of the impossible freedom.
And this is due to the industrialization and the functional-pragmatic usage that,
from a social viewpoint on freedom, the phrase leisure time as opposed
to work time seems to suggest. However the theoretical history of this issue
doesnt stop here. Thus, at a certain moment the idea of leisure class came
up and the questions concerning free time have recently articulated in what we
call leisure studies.

Our intention is to bring back to discussion the issue of spare time focusing
on what is going on right before our eyes in the present social conditions
of post-communist Romania. Has something changed about free time as com-
pared to Adornos sentence? Has free time become a time of freedom? What
does it mean that there exists a leisure industry? What is the impact
of leisure industry on the social representations? What does leisure industry
mean in Romania today? And, at the extent the organization of free time
can be a good barometer of a society, what does it mean that television seems
to dominate most of our fellow citizens spare time, shadowing, at least statis-
tically, every other kind of recreation: dancing, sports, tourism, cinema etc.?
Can we perceive, studying leisure time, the pattern of a new social segre-
gation, of a new class structure in the Romanian society? here are some
questions that we put forward for debate.
The Editors
110


Orele care rmn. Plasturi existeniali
Emilian Cioc & Ciprian Mihali




Atunci cnd vine vorba despre timpul liber, reflexele i automatismele gn-
dirii ne snt mereu la ndemn, cnd nu devin de-a dreptul insistente. Inva-
darea sau capturarea timpului liber de ctre timpul de munc prin mijlocirea
consumului trece drept evidena nsi, diagnostic facil al timpurilor noas-
tre. n plus, chiar expresia de timp liber produce numaidect un fel de exces
de semnificaie, ndeosebi datorit trimiterii la ideea de libertate. Pornind
de aici, se nate impresia c, ntre experienele noastre, ar exista un timp
ce-ar reveni libertii, care ne-ar elibera sau n care am fi chemai s ne eli-
berm. Opoziia dintre un timp liber i un timp ocupat (cel mai adesea de
munc) se vede astfel investit cu puteri extraordinare de rezisten, de opo-
ziie sau disiden. Dar dac aceast dimensiune a emanciprii sau reapro-
prierii se dovedete a fi un (simplu) spectru excesiv, ne rmne s relum
analiza n ali termeni. Prin urmare, nu cumva trebuie deconstruit inclu-
siv aceast idee de eliberare? De ce trebuie s ne eliberm (nu de ce anu-
me ar fi s ne eliberm, ci din ce cauz?) Cine, ce anume, ce proces istoric,
ce devenire a pus n noi ideea c trebuie s ne eliberm (indiferent dac
de noi nine, de cei sau de cele din jur)? Care e deficitul, care e excesul
care ne introduce n aceast logic a eliberrii, fcnd din ea o eviden? Fr a
putea insista aici asupra tuturor acestor aspecte, ele ar trebui mcar ps-
trate n vedere.

La nceputul anilor cincizeci, Adorno citea rubrica de astrologie din Los Angeles
Times n ncercarea de a elucida condiia existenei contemporane relevnd
dihotomia sa fundamental ntre productor i consumator. La nivelul indivi-
dului, aceast separaie a planurilor se traduce ntr-o condiie bifazic:
munc i timp liber. Potrivit lui Adorno, principiul care ordoneaz acest tip
de rubric rezid n subsumarea obligatorie a activitilor timpului liber fa
de obiective utilitariste. Din perspectiva acestei lecturi, gesturile timpului
liber snt, aadar, manipulate n vederea recuperrii lor n circuitul (vicios)
al produciei i consumului.
Ce am putea spune despre existena noastr social dac am citi n Romnia
postcomunist a anului 2004 ghidurile urbane, ghidurile TV, monitoarele
i panourile care prezint nesfritele ocazii de a petrece timpul liber?
Aceast ntrebare ni se adreseaz ct se poate de concret, nou celor care
mprtim dificil i confuz spaiul acestei societi. Ne ndoim c tipul
de societate despre i din care scria Adorno are comun msur cu Rom-
nia de azi. Altfel spus, starea societii romneti face greu aplicabile catego-
riile analitice ale lui Adorno. Salariatul romn este exploatat att de violent
i de fr rest nct reprezentarea ce i-ar putea fixa noiunea devine inope-
rant la nivel analitic; el poate fi comptimit, cel mult. ntr-o societate pre-
cum aceea de la noi, aproape c nici nu se poate pune problema existenei,
sau poate doar la modul elegiac ori acuzator. ntr-o suspect complicitate
THE REMAINING HOURS. EXISTENTIAL PATCHES
Emilian Cioc & Ciprian Mihali

When spare time comes up in discussion, the reflexes and automatisms of
thought come in handy and often become persistent. The invasion of free time
by work time through consume is taken for granted, easy diagnose of our times.
More than that, the very phrase free time makes excessive sense due to
the idea of freedom it implies. Starting here, an impression can be born that
between our experiences there is a time pertaining to freedom, a time that
would free us. The opposition between free time and occupied time (usually by
work) is thus invested with extraordinary powers of resistance, opposition or
dissidence. But if this dimension of emancipation or re-appropriation proves
to be a (mere) excessive specter, we would have to rephrase our analysis.
Consequently, dont we have to deconstruct precisely the idea of freedom?
Why would we need to get free? Who, what exactly, what historical process,
what becoming put in our minds the idea that we have to get free (regardless
of what we are freed: ourselves, the others)? What is the deficit, the excess that
drives us into this logic of freedom making it obvious? We dont have the time or
the space here to deal with all these aspects but they should be, at least, kept in
mind.

At the beginning of the 1950s, Adorno was reading the astrology section in
the Los Angeles Times in his attempt to elucidate the contemporary conditions of
the being highlighting its fundamental dichotomy between producer and
consumer. At individual level, this separation translates in a biphasic con-
dition: work and leisure. According to Adorno, the principle that organizes such
sections is the compulsory submission of leisure activities to some utilitarian
objectives. From such a viewpoint, the leisure actions are manipulated in order to
recuperate them in the (vicious) circuit of production and consumption.
What can we say about our social existence if we read in the post-communist
Romania of the year 2004 the urban guides, the TV guides, the screens and bill-
boards endlessly presenting offers to spend our leisure hours? We doubt that the
kind of society Adorno was writing about is in any way comparable to pres- ent
day Romania. In other words, the Romanian society makes Adornos analyt- ical
categories difficult to apply. The Romanian employee is so violently and totally
exploited that he becomes inoperative at the analytic level; at most
he can be pitied. In a society such as Romania, the issue of existence is almost
impossible to tackle or maybe in an elegiac or accusing tone. In a suspicious
complicity between the administrators of public discourse, on one hand, and
the employers and the political class, on the other, almost everybody agrees
to incriminate the inefficiency, the lack of proficiency or plainly the laziness

EMILIAN CIOC este doctorand n filosofie la Universitatea din Nisa i la Universitatea din Cluj cu o tez
despre mplinirea nihilismului n modernitate.

CIPRIAN MIHALI pred filosofie contemporan la UBB Cluj. Traductor, eseist, redactor la revista
IDEA art + societate.
EMILIAN CIOC is PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Nice and at the University of Cluj with
a thesis on the achievement of nihilism in modernity.

CIPRIAN MIHALI teachies XXth century philosophy at Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj.
Author, translator and editor of the IDEA arts + society.
+ (timpul liber)
111



ntre funcionarii discursului public, pe de o parte, i patronat i clasa
politic, pe de alt parte, mai toat lumea e de acord s incrimineze inefi-
ciena, lipsa de randament sau de-a dreptul lenea romnului. ns, dinco-
lo de imposibilitatea de a ntemeia posibilitatea nscrierii unui parametru
economic ntr-o determinaie naional (orice ar nsemna aceasta, dac
nseamn cu adevrat ceva), avem aici un mare neadevr sau, mai bine zis,
o imens iluzie: c exist un romn sau un Romn lene. Nu tim prea
bine ce nseamn romn, dup cum nu tim nici att cum am putea s atri-
buim acestei entiti fictive, dar creatoare de emoie, o determinaie, i ea
vag, de lene. Realitile cotidiene, dispreuind orice categorie i orice
ficiune, stau mrturie pentru un raport disproporionat ntre munc i tim-
pul liber, dar, mai ales, ntre resursele investite n munc i posibilitile pe
care ea le procur n schimb.
Nu ne rmne prin urmare dect s suspectm faptul c precaritatea
extrem a marii majoriti a societii romneti este deturnat prin catego-
rii sacrificiale: politicienii i bunul-sim au pstrat n mod interesat ntr-un
caz, n chip inerial n cellalt acest imperativ al sacrificiului de sine n vede-
rea, zice-se, a realizrii unei societi mai bune n istorie. ns aceast
economie metafizic a sacrificiului este invalidat tocmai de cele mai ele-
mentare principii ale glorificatei economii libere de pia, care o demasc
astfel ca pe una dintre cele mai perverse ideologii menite s disimuleze inca-
pacitatea de a reconstrui sau gestiona economicul i socialul.

Atenia acordat spaiului romnesc actual nu nseamn ns s neglijm fap-
tul c timpul liber are o relevan mai vast. n el se anun o dialectic speci-
fic lumii moderne, aceea dintre liber i neliber, n multiplele sensuri pe care
economia i politica, economia (ca) politic, le dau acestor cuvinte. n
sensul pe care cuvntul liber l are n expresia timp liber, el trimite la dialec-
tica propriului i impropriului, a autenticitii i a alienrii, mult, aadar, din-
colo de o simpl ocupare sau eliberare a unui interval cronologic, cuantificabil
cu precizie. n expresia timp liber, precizat n formule contemporane pre-
cum timp privat, srbtoare, week-end, concediu, vacan, nu ne
vorbete doar simpla evacuare a unei poveri, simpla delestare a scurgerii
timpului, ci, pe un palier calitativ diferit, avem judeci de valoare extrem
de solide, care fac din cuplul liber-neliber (cu variaiile lui: timp liber timp
de munc, de pild) un cuplu dominant n nelegerea societii i a noas-
tr nine ca tritori n aceast societate.

Mai nainte s ne ntrebm nu att ce este timpul liber, ct, mai degrab, ce
se ntmpl cu noi n timpul liber, se cuvine s ne ntrebm n primul rnd care
pot fi personajele acestei analize. Intelectualii i spierii, distribuitorii oficiali
i oficioi de Aufklrung, cei ajuni prea trziu sau deloc la luminile raiunii;
elitele, prostimea; aleii, figuranii; majorii, minorii? nelegem s repunem
astfel n chestiune tentaia recurent a unor ierarhizri valorice generatoare
de segregaii i, n plan politic, de excluderi. O asemenea atitudine nu este
ns dect decalcul social al unei economii a salvrii, trafic eclezial de locuri
n lumea fericiilor. Nimic ns din felul n care noi sntem, trim, muncim i
scriem azi nu ne ndreptete s credem c fcnd asta (muncind sau scri-
ind ntr-un fel anume) am scpa acestei autocomprehensiuni n termeni de
trud zilnic i timp liber, timp de eliberare de trud. De aceea, onestita-
tea intelectual trece obligatoriu prin evitarea judecilor de valoare ce ar
face din noi, cei ce scriem despre timpul liber (al maselor, nu-i aa? Al maselor
ce consum tot, inclusiv timp, inclusiv libertate), nite personaje care avem
of the Romanian. But, besides the impossibility to ground the possibility to
inscribe an economic parameter in a national determination (whatever that
means, if anything), we are facing an untrue statement or, better, a huge illu-
sion: that there is a Romanian or a lazy Romanian. We dont know very well
what Romanian means, just like we dont know how to attribute to this ficti-
tious, but touching, entity the determination, vague in its turn, of laziness. The
day-to-day realities, despite any category or fiction, are testimonies of
a high unbalance between work and leisure and mostly between the resources
invested in work and the opportunities it provides in return.
All we have left is to presume that the extreme precariousness of most of the
Romanian society is diverted in sacrificial categories: politicians and common
sense have kept by interest in the first case and by inertia in the second
the imperative of self sacrifice in order, they say, to make a better society
in history. But this metaphysical economy of sacrifice is invalidated precisely by
the most basic principles of the upraised free market economy, unveiling it as
one of the most devious ideologies meant to hide the incapacity to rebuild or
manage the economy and the society.

The attention we pay to the Romanian area doesnt mean to neglect the fact that
free time has a larger relevance. It announces a dialectics of the modern world,
between free and non-free, according to the multiple meanings that economy
and politics give to these words. The meaning that the word free gets in the
phrase free time sends it to the dialectics of proper and improper, of authentic
and alienated, far beyond a simple occupation or liberation of
a time interval, that can be quantified with accuracy. In the phrase free time,
particularized in contemporary formulations such as private time, holiday,
week-end, vacation, we have not only the simple evacuation of a charge, the
alleviation of time flow, but, on a qualitatively different level, we have very
solid value judgments, which make of the couple free/non-free (with its varia-
tions: leisure time work time, for instance), a dominant couple in the under-
standing we have of the society and of ourselves as living in this society.

Before asking what happens with us in the free time more than what is free time
we should first ask ourselves who could be the characters of this analysis. The
intellectuals and the technicians, the official and unofficial providers of Auf-
klrung and those who reached too late or never the light of reason, the elites
and the ignorants, the chosen ones and the extras, the majors and the minors?
We mean to question again the recurrent temptation of some value hierarchies
that generate segregation and, politically, exclusions. Such an attitude is noth-
ing but the social imitation of an economy of salvation, ecclesiastic traffic of
places in the world of the happy. But nothing of the way we are, live, work and
write today allows us to believe that by doing that (working or writing in a cer-
tain manner), wed get rid of this self comprehension in terms of daily labor
and free time, time to get free of labor. This is why, intellectual honesty has
to avoid the value judgments that would make us, writers about free time
(of the masses, isnt it? Of the masses that consume everything, including time,
including freedom), some characters with a superior and exterior under-
standing of the fall into consumption, which we get rid of precisely because
wed understand a little something and write about it.
After all, free time is not the authentic time versus the alienating work time.
Who could pretend today that free time is the time of self-accomplishment, of
happiness and authenticity? On the contrary, more and more are the ones
112


o nelegere superioar i exterioar a cderii n consum, de care noi sc-
pm tocmai pentru c am nelege cte ceva i am scrie despre asta.
Timpul liber nu este, n definitiv, timpul autenticitii versus timpul alienant
al muncii. Cine ar mai putea pretinde azi c timpul liber e timpul mplinirii
de sine, al fericirii i autenticitii? Dimpotriv, tot mai muli snt cei care ar
spune c se mplinesc n carier, n munc, ceea ce pare s infirme
propoziia potrivit creia munca alieneaz, cel puin n forma vag i impre-
cis a propoziiei. Dac munca poate deveni la rndul ei o form de uitare
de sine, atunci poate c ar fi de regndit raportul dintre munc i alienare.
Workaholic? Munca nsi este uneori reteritorializat n postura de plasture
existenial: putem munci ca s uitm, dar, mai profund i mai radical: tre-
buie s muncim ca s ne nelegem pe noi nine. Altfel spus: nu ne mai n-
elegem dect prin munc, n cele dou sensuri posibile ale acestei expresii:
trebuie s ne muncim, s ne trudim ca s ne nelegem, accesul nostru la
noi nine e unul tot mai dificil; dar i n sensul mai evident: sensul nostru
e sensul pe care-l cptm muncind, fcnd ceva, proiectndu-ne n viitor
ca subiect i obiect, cauz i efect al unei munci.

ns rmne s nelegem de ce nu putem avea un alt raport cu noi nine,
unul n care s nu angajm timpul liber. Sau: c exist un continuum al muncii
i al timpului liber care strbate n toate sensurile i n toate straturile o socie-
tate, n care variaiile tipurilor de munc (intelectual, managerial, munc
fizic etc.) i variaiile de petrecere a timpului liber (concediu la mare, n Italia
sau la Rio, la munte sau la ar, sporturi extreme, expediii i aventuri) nu
pot anihila, nu pot destabiliza o uniformitate i o dominaie a mentalitii
consumiste care este, pentru noi, astzi, clieni ai unei societi postpoli-
tice, nsi definiia libertii. Pentru c libertatea, n forma postmodern i
postcomunist, sustras definitiv exigenei politice i proiectului modern al
emanciprii, nseamn deopotriv libertate a muncii i libertate a nemun-
cii, dar i una i alta ca surse de producie i de consum (indistinct).
Ajuni aici, ntlnim neputina liberului, faptul c sntem ntotdeauna prini,
branai, ocupai i c nu ne putem elibera. Elibera de ce?, ntrebam mai
sus. Elibera ntru ce, n vederea a ce? i dac ne-am elibera, ce-ar putea
s nsemne asta? Nu ar fi asta chiar definiia tmpeniei, a faptului de a rmne
mut, pe plaj sau sub un brad, n livada prinilor sau n faa televizorului?
Aceasta s fie definiia libertii care ne face autentici? E drept, vrem une-
ori s rupem ritmul, s ieim din rutin i uzur, s ne simim liberi. i
atunci nu cumva, n mod subtil i ntemeiat, ne face semn acea gndire
Sade, Bataille, Blanchot a excesului, a suveranitii, mai degrab dect
autenticitatea heideggerian? Pentru c, fie i numai gndindu-ne o clip la
nopile intense ale tinerilor i mai puin tinerilor care sntem, ruptura, break-
ul, switch-ul nu se produce ntr-o refacere, ntr-o pauz, ntr-o absen de
activitate, ci, mai degrab, ntr-o cheltuire superioar, ntr-o supraactivitate,
ntr-o epuizare a acelor energii pe care rutina nu le consumase, nu putuse
s-o fac, pentru c nu erau n target n vizorul ei.

Orele care rmn
Cu timpul liber sau cu noi n timpul liber se mai poate ntmpla ceva. Sau,
altfel spus, mai exist o dimensiune a timpului liber de care analizele spe-
cializate nu se preocup i nu dau seama. Tocmai de acest timp care r-
mne negndit vom ncerca s vorbim n cele ce urmeaz. Sau, mai simplu,
tocmai despre un timp care rmne. Ne rmn nite ore care nu snt nici
timp de munc i nici timp liber ca opus al muncii. Acestea snt nite ore
who would say that they accomplish themselves in their carrier, in their work,
which seems to argue the idea that work alienates, as vague as this idea can
be. If work can become itself a form of self-oblivion than maybe we should
rethink the relation between work and alienation. Workaholic? Work itself is
often reshaped in an existential patch: we can work in order to forget, but,
more deeply and more radically: we have to work in order to understand our-
selves. In other words: we can only understand ourselves through work, in the
two possible meanings of the expression: we have to work ourselves out,
to labor in order to understand ourselves. The access we have to ourselves gets
more and more difficult; but in a more obvious way: our goal is the goal we have
when working, doing something, projecting ourselves into the future as
a subject and object, cause and effect of a work.


But we still need to understand why we cannot have another relation to our-
selves wherein free time wouldnt be involved. Or: that there is a work and free
time continuum that pervades society, wherein the variation in types of work
(intellectual, managerial, physical, etc.) and the variation in spending leisure
time (vacations at the seaside, in Italy or Rio, in the mountains or in the
countryside, extreme sports, expeditions and adventures) cannot annihilate
or destabilize a certain uniformity and domination of the consumerist mentality
that is for us, clients of a post-political society, the very definition of freedom.
Because freedom, in its post-modern and post-communist form, definitively
freed of political requirements and the modern project of emancipation, means
equally freedom to work and freedom not to work but both as sources of pro-
duction and consumption (indistinct).
At this point, we encounter the impossibility of freedom, the fact that we are
constantly caught in something or other, busy, and we cannot get free. Free of
what?, as I asked before. Free for what purpose? And if we were to get free,
what would that mean? Wouldnt that be the very definition of stupidity,
of remaining silent, on the beach or under a fir tree, in our parents orchard or in
front of the TV set? Is this the definition of the freedom that makes us
authentic? It is true, we sometimes want to break the rhythm, to get out of the
daily routine and fatigue, to feel free. And then somehow in a subtle and well
founded way, the ideas of such thinkers as Sade, Bataille, Blanchot... excess,
sovereignty appeal to us more than Heideggers authenticity? Because, if we
think only of the intense nights of the young or less young people that we are,
the break, the switch doesnt happen through rest, absence of activity but rather
through excess, hyperactivity, exhaustion of those energies that routine hadnt
consumed, and couldnt have because they were not its target.

The remaining hours
With free time or with us during our free time something else can also happen.
Or, in other words, there is yet another dimension of free time that is not
addressed by specialized analyses. We will try hereafter to talk precisely about
this time that is left un-thought. Or better yet about a time that remains.
We have left a few hours that are not work time and not leisure time as
opposed to work. These are hours in excess, which exceed the current possibili-
ties to use time.
The readers who have seen The Hours might have recognized in the title a line
from this film. We thought it was more appropriate in the present context to
refer to such a discourse rather than to the Fundamental Concepts of the Meta-
physics, for instance, and the analysis of boredom that Heidegger constructs
+ (timpul liber)
113



n exces, care excedeaz posibilitile curente de folosire a timpului.
Cititorii care au vzut The Hours vor fi recunoscut probabil c prima parte
a titlului e preluat dintr-una din replicile filmului. Ni s-a prut mai potrivit
n contextul de fa s ne referim la un astfel de discurs dect, bunoar, la
Conceptele fundamentale ale metafizicii i la analitica plictisului pe care o con-
struiete n acea carte Heidegger. Toate orele snt, potrivit filmului, relative
la orele care rmn. Mai mult, toate orele snt la fel ca aceste ore care rmn;
cu diferena radical pentru c e vorba de o chestiune la propriu de via
i de moarte c acestea rmn pentru c nu au putut fi ocupate. Timp fr
ocupaie sau, altfel spus, timp liber. De data aceasta ns, timpul liber nu mai
este categoria sociologic generat de sistemul ordonat de maximizarea profi-
tului Muncii. ntr-un alt lexic, dispoziia fundamental a existenei contem-
porane este plictisul, iar timpul acestei experiene snt nite ore care rmn.
Sinuciderea, la fel ca i activitatea productiv sau recreativ , nseamn
scurtarea, anularea timpului liber restant. Altfel spus, timpul liber este, n
aceast perspectiv, cel puin, un timp rezidual.
Paradoxal, tocmai aceste reziduuri de timp ordoneaz sau dezordoneaz
toate celelalte experiene ale timpului. Restana existenei, faptul c rmne
(inclusiv n via), produce mainal impresia c rmne n ateptare, i
deci n ateptarea a ceva. Acest mecanism este analizat n detaliu de ctre
Gnther Anders ntr-un comentariu la Beckett. Diferena dintre cele
dou abordri este urmtoarea: pentru una dintre ele, orele care rmn
snt un accident, un incident local, minor, cu semnificaie redus. Pentru
cealalt perspectiv, orele care rmn snt cele decisive, fie i numai pen-
tru c repun n discuie toate celelalte ore posibile ale existenei, iar refle-
xele defensive cer ca aceste ore care rmn s fie reocupate controlate,
recuperate, anulate.

Plasturi existeniali
Dintr-o posibil definiie a plasturelui existenial ar face n primul rnd parte
arbitrarietatea lui, n sensul c ntre lucrul care este folosit ca plasture i leziu-
nea pe care se aplic nu exist un raport de similitudine sau de consubstan-
ialitate. Singura exigen pe care este solicitat s-o satisfac n aceste ore orice
lucru al lumii este aceea de a face s treac timpul. E domeniul lui anything
goes. Pentru a rezista angoasei sau suspendrii timpului totul se potrivete
pentru c, la drept vorbind, nimic nu se potrivete: deci te poi duce la coafor
sau la cumprturi pentru a gestiona o criz existenial pentru c oricum
ea nu poate fi dect deturnat. A merge la cumprturi se confund astfel
cu o rscumprare. Distracia este aici o distragere a ateniei, o tehnic a
neateniei. Dac a te uita la televizor, a merge la cinema pentru a vedea
Dogville sau a citi Fenomenologia spiritului ori Capitalul snt plasturi existeniali,
ntre toate acestea, i la un nivel care conteaz, nu exist nici o diferen.
Poate ns c existena va alege activiti recreative care s nu implice efort
i deci consum.
n orele care rmn nu avem, altfel spus, o structur de tip nevoie/satisfacere.
Plasturele nu este satisfacerea unei nevoi. Ceea ce marcheaz, n defini-
tiv, caracterul preeminent al fragilitii n raport cu nevoia, economia nevoilor
fiind n acest sens secundar n raport cu o analitic a existenei cotidiene.
Tot astfel s-ar putea explica i o anumit rezisten a insatisfaciei la trata-
mentul aplicat, o nencetat regenerare a ei i a promisiunii ei.
Plasturii snt chemai s refac o anumit coeren, o anumit suprafa sau
superficialitate, ceea ce poate c nu trebuie luat neaprat n sens peiora-
tiv. Sntem dispui s consumm produse de unic folosin i (deci) deeuri
in that book. According to the film, all the hours are relative to the remaining
hours. More than that, all the hours are like the remaining hours; with the radi-
cal difference because it is genuinely a matter of life and death that they
remain because they couldnt be occupied. Time without occupation or, in other
terms, free time. This time, however, free time is no longer the sociological cat-
egory imposed by the profit maximization system. In a different vocabulary,
the fundamental disposition of the contemporary existence is boredom and the
time of this experience is some hours left.
Suicide, just like activity productive or recreational , means shortening
or annulling the remaining free time. In other words, free time is, from this per-
spective at least, a residual time.
Paradoxically, precisely these residues of time put in order or disorder all
the other experiences of time. The remains of existence, including the fact that it
remains (alive), produce automatically the impression that it is waiting for
something. Gnther Anders analyzes this mechanism in detail in a comment on
Beckett. The difference between the two approaches is the following: for one
of them, the remaining hours are an accident, a minor local incident, barely sig-
nificant. For the other viewpoint, the remaining hours are the decisive ones
because, if not else, they question all the other possible hours of the existence
and the defensive reflexes require that these remaining hours be occupied
again controlled, recuperated, canceled.


Existential patches
A likely definition of the existential patch would include first its arbitrariness, in
the sense that between the thing that is used for a patch and the lesion it is
applied on there is no similarity or consubstantiality. The only requirement for
anything in the world during these hours is to make time pass. It is the domain of
anything goes. In order to resist angst or the suspension of time everything is fit
to do it because, truth be told, nothing fits: so you can go to the hairdresser or
shopping in order to cope with an existential crisis because in any case it can
only be detoured. To go shopping thus gets confused with a ransom. Having
fun is distraction of the attention, a technique of inattention. If watching TV,
going to the cinema to see Dogville or reading the Phenomenology of the Spirit
or The Capital are existential patches, there is no difference between all these
at the level that really matters. But maybe the existence will choose recreation-
al activities that wont require effort and consumption.
In the remaining hours we dont have a need/satisfaction kind of structure. The
patch is not the satisfaction of a need. This is underlining the preeminent
character of fragility over need; the economy of needs is thus secondary in rela-
tion to an analysis of the day-to-day life. In the same way, we could explain a
certain resistance of the dissatisfaction to the treatment applied, its permanent
regeneration and promise.
The patches are meant to rebuild a certain coherence, a certain surface or
superficiality, which shouldnt be taken pejoratively by all means. We are ready
to consume single use products and (consequently) waste just to suppress the
angst or, by its popular psychology name, depression. Depression as a sign
of the negative or medical connotation is already a means to divert angst.
As such it tries to make bearable not the pressure but rather the depressuriza-
tion that the voids of existence beget. The suppression of angst, getting rid of
the unsettling guest that awaits at the door or has already entered the house.
The risk is that the patches hide forever this fragility, the immeasurable expo-
sure to angst of the existence. The risk, that is the possibility that the patch
114


doar pentru a suprima angoasa ori, cu numele pe care i-l d psihologia po-
pular, depresia. Depresia ca semn al medicalizrii sau al conotrii nega-
tive reprezint deja un mod de a deturna angoasa. El ine de tentativa
de-a face suportabil, poate nu att presiunea, ct depresurizarea pe care
o provoac golurile existenei. Suprimarea angoasei, descotorosirea stnga-
ce de oaspetele nelinititor care ateapt la u sau care va fi intrat ntre timp
n cas. Riscul este ca plasturii s ascund definitiv prin funcionarea lor toc-
mai aceast fragilitate, tocmai incalculabila expunere angoasant a existenei.
Riscul, adic posibilitatea ca plasturele s fie prea mic, strmb pus, nici la locul
lui, nici la timpul lui i atunci fragilitatea s se manifeste n toat fora
ei, n fora de fisurare i de vidare a existenei.
Plasturele este apoi o chestiune de securitate. Tehnici de securizare a
existenei poate n primul rnd n faa ameninrii pe care o provoac nsi
existena. Asta dac urmrim ambele indicaii cuprinse n cuvntul plasture:
cea medical, intervenie superficial de prim ajutor, i, mai nou, cea infor-
matic (patch). Plasturele se aplic pentru a remedia o caren de securi-
tate sau pentru a proteja o zon de expunere la risc. Oricum ar fi, este o
tehnic local de dezinfecie sau de protecie.
Un alt mod n care timpul (liber i neliber) amenin coerena istoriei indi-
viduale este o anumit form de suspendare sau stagnare, de moarte. Prin
aceast imobilizare, timpul liber pune n pericol timpul nsui, dinamica lui
esenial. Altfel spus, ntreruperea activitii, timpul inactiv contest presupusa
securitate a individului i, o dat cu ea, separaia ferm ntre libertate i
ocupaie. E poate locul n care ar trebui s amintim expresii precum
a-i trece timpul, a-i petrece timpul, a-i omor timpul, a pierde tim-
pul. Urmnd indicaiile cuprinse n aceste expresii, am putea spune c unele
dintre activitile neproductive snt menite s restabileasc trecerea timpului
sau s l anuleze n forma sa imobil. Pierderea timpului nu este doar sem-
nul unei mustrri sau al unei remucri provocate de nesupunerea la o po-
runc utilitarist, ci i strategia de a consuma un timp gol, n surplus, care
nu servete la nimic concret. Petrecerea timpului liber nu se rezum,
dac e s speculm resursele limbii romne, doar la divertisment, ci trimi-
te la faptul c omul i nsoete oarecum propriul timp, l petrece, aa cum
petreci pe cineva la cununie sau la plecarea pe ultimul drum. n aceast n-
soire, timpul poate fi condus, aadar, deopotriv la mplinirea sau la anu-
larea lui.

N-am nimic de fcut. Suspendarea lui homo faber. A nu avea nimic de fcut
sau, poate mai precis spus, a nu avea nimic (mai) bun de fcut. Un fel de
generalizare a nonvalorii, a lipsei de interes pentru orice valoare. A nu avea
nimic de fcut s fie aceasta o rezonan modest la enigmatica negati-
vit sans emploi a lui Bataille i Blanchot?

Orele care rmn snt, n acest sens, timpul revocrii existenei, al destrmrii
vocaiei.

Nici mcar nu trauma pune probleme, ci timpul liber, neocupat, al lipsei
de ocupaie. Nu pierderea unui paradis al nceputurilor, nu doliul vieii. Or,
lucrurile cu adevrat interesante de-abia de aici ncep. Cine este oaspetele
de care vrem s scpm, care vrem s ne (re)dea pace, cum de-a ajuns
pn la u, cum de-a ajuns s treac pragul, ce se va fi ntmplat cu etho-
sul i ce etic poate fi potrivit de-acum pentru aceast situaie fr ieire?
Dac nu cumva trauma este chiar expunerea la imposibilitatea de a rspunde
be too small, badly put, not in place or not in time and then the fragility man-
ifests in all its... force, its force to crack and vacuum the existence.
The patch is also a security issue. A technique to make existence more secure
against the menace that existence itself represents. That is if we follow both
indications contained in the word patch: the medical one, first aid superficial
intervention, and, recently, the IT one, for fixing computer viruses. The patch is
applied in order to amend a lack in security or to protect a risk exposure area.
Either way, it is a local technique of disinfection or protection.
Another way in which time (both free and non-free) threatens the coherence
of the individual history is a certain form of suspension or stillness, of death.
Through such immobility, free time threatens the time itself, its essential
dynamics. In other words, stopping an activity, the inactive time contests
the assumed security of the individual and, alongside, the clear-cut separation
between freedom and occupation. Maybe it is here that we should remind
phrases such as to waste time, to pass time, to kill time, to let time go
by. Following the indications of these phrases, we could say that some of the
unproductive activities are meant to reestablish the passing of time or to annul
its still form. Wasting time is not just the sign of remorse because a utilitarian
imperative wasnt obeyed, but also the strategy to consume an empty time,
a surplus that serves no purpose.


I have nothing to do. Suspension of homo faber. Having nothing to do or, more
accurately, having nothing better to do. A kind of generalization of non-value, of
lack of interest for any value. To have nothing to do can it be a modest
echo to Batailles and Blanchots enigmatic negativit sans emploi?


The remaining hours are, in this sense, the time of existence revocation,
of vocation dismembering.

It is not the trauma that troubles but the free unoccupied time, the lack
of occupation. It is not the loss of an original paradise, not the mourning over
life. And interesting things start happening only here. Who is the uninvited
guest that we want to get rid of, how did it get to our door, how did it manage
to come in, what happened with ethos and what ethic would be appropriate
in such no exit situation? What if the trauma is the very exposure to the impos-
sibility to give an answer to the question why? A question that no practice can
avoid and that Nietzsche, misunderstood, called nihilism.
Starting from here another reading of the relation between recreational leisure
time activities and productive activities with specific purposes is possible.
The utilitarianism that Adorno takes for an imperative induced through manip-
ulation, can also be considered as an existential patch. Reducing the recre-
ational activities to the utilitarian imperative represents the attempt to justify the
activity; or, in the end, to give an answer to the question why?. It is the way to
answer the question about the meaning and less, or secondarily anyway, the
rationalist machine of a blameworthy capitalism. In this respect, if we pay
a little attention to what happens with and in our daily life, the interest is not
only the practical exit to pleasure but time passing. This is why, to talk about
the remaining hours is the attempt to take into consideration the lack of consid-
eration of existences time, its residual character. The residual character of free
time, the fact that there is always something left, would probably deserve more
in-depth approach in its double dimension: that there is still hope left to have
leisure (a vacation, a date, an anniversary, etc.), so to recuperate, recycle and
+ (timpul liber)
115



la ntrebarea de ce?, ntrebare pe care nici o practic nu o poate evita i
pe care Nietzsche, neneles, a numit-o nihilism.
De-aici pornind, este posibil o alt desluire a raportului dintre activitile
recreative din timpul liber i activitile productive care urmresc obiective
precise. De aceea, utilitarismul, pe care Adorno l nelege ca imperativ indus
prin manipulare, poate fi considerat i ca o tehnic de plasturare a existenei.
Subsumarea activitilor de recreaie fa de imperativul utilitarist reprezin-
t tentativa de a justifica activitatea; sau, pn la urm, de a da un rspuns
la ntrebarea de ce?. Este modul de a rspunde la ntrebarea privitoare
la sens i mai puin, ori mcar secundar, mainria raionalist a unui capita-
lism blamabil. n aceast perspectiv, dac e s fim o clip ateni la ceea ce
se ntmpl cu i n cotidianul nostru, interesul nu e att sau nu e numai de-
bueul practic al plcerii, ci trecerea timpului. De aceea, a vorbi despre orele
care rmn reprezint ncercarea de a lua n considerare lipsa de conside-
raie n care se ine timpul existenei, caracterul su rezidual. Caracterul rezi-
dual al timpului liber, faptul c rmne mereu ceva, ar merita poate s fie
aprofundat n dubla sa dimensiune: c mai e o speran de a petrece (un
concediu, o ntlnire, o aniversare etc.), deci de a recupera, de a refolosi
i deci de a (ne) ntrebuina; dar i c mereu e ceva de aruncat, c snt res-
turi netrebuincioase, c uneori noi nine devenim, prin timpul nostru,
reziduu Timpul ca speran de libertate, timpul ca deeu

ncercarea de a releva un tip particular de timp sau de dispoziie pe care
l-am numit provizoriu orele care rmn este menit s resitueze termenii
dezbaterii privind timpul liber. Motivaia ei se gsete n faptul c nimic nu
pare mai steril acum dect repetarea mimetic a acestei opoziii care, toc-
mai sub presiunea unor reluri nesfrite, a ajuns s fie prea simpl i previ-
zibil pentru a mai putea contribui la nelegerea de sine a prezentului. Pe
de alt parte, un asemenea tip de abordare ar putea contribui la dezvluirea
ncrcturii ideologice pe care o poart opoziia n discuie. n al treilea rnd,
analizele care se ntemeiaz pe exigenele i judecile de valoare ale aces-
tei opoziii nu reuesc s explice o serie de practici ale indivizilor sau socie-
tilor contemporane. Bunoar, cum poate fi explicat nevoia acut de
dispensare de sine? De ce eliberarea pare s presupun garantarea unui
timp liber? Mai radical: de mine m eliberez n timpul liber sau cu mine m
ncarc n timpul liber, pentru a m descrca de alii i de alte lucruri? Pentru
c, n definitiv, eliberarea nu se raporteaz numai la munca strin sau ca
nstrinare de sine, ci inclusiv la sine. Cine (re)devine liber n timpul liber?
Cel ce devine liber este acelai cu cel care mai nainte nu era astfel? A cui
este aceast libertate?

A rspunde ns la toate aceste ntrebri nu mai este o sarcin scriitoriceasc,
nici o (pre)ocupare de timp liber, ci devine, pe nesimite poate, un alt plas-
ture existenial pe care, cu gesturi nendemnatice, l aezm peste spaimele
i nemplinirile noastre.
make use; but also that there is always something left to throw out, that there
is waste, that we become ourselves residues through our time... Time as hope
for freedom, time as waste...

The attempt to highlight a particular kind of time or mood that we, temporari-
ly, called the remaining hours is meant to reposition the terms of the debate
concerning free or leisure time. Its motivation is to be found in the fact that
nothing seems more sterile now than the mimetic repetition of this opposition
that, precisely under the pressure of endless reiterations, has become too sim-
ple and predictable to be able to make a contribution to the understanding
of the present. On the other hand, such an approach could make a difference in
the unveiling of the ideological load carried by the discussed opposition. Thirdly,
the analyses based on the requirements and the value judgments of this
opposition are unable to explain a series of practices of the individuals or the
contemporary societies. For instance, how can the acute need for self-liber- ation
be explained? Why freedom seems to presuppose the guarantee of free
time? More radically: is it me that I am freed of during free time or is it me that I
am loaded with during free time, free to get away from the others and other
things? Because, in the end, liberation is not in relation only to the outside
work, alienating from the self, but also to the self. Who becomes free (again)
during free time? Is the one who gets free the same with the one who wasnt so
before that? Whose is this freedom?

But to answer all these questions is no longer a writers task, nor a (pre)occupa-
tion for leisure. It becomes, unnoticeably maybe, another existential patch that,
clumsily, we put on our fears and failures.

Translated by Izabella Badiu
116


Carnavalul despotic
Vintil Mihilescu




Stau la fereastra camerei mele de la Hotel Bulgaria, n centrul Sofiei, i mi
blestem zilele c nu am o camer video la mine. La picioarele mele, ct se
poate vedea cu ochii, de-a lungul unuia dintre bulevardele principale ale
capitalei Bulgariei, defileaz un cortegiu nentrerupt de maini din gama Mer-
cedes, BMW, Audi, VW, ba chiar un Rolls i un Ferrari. Toat circulaia este
deviat pentru ca acest cortegiu s-i urmeze curgerea lent. Baloane i cla-
xoane ca la nunt. Mainile opresc n faa porii hotelului, n dreptul unui
covor rou, i cupluri descind triumftor din mainile de lux, fac cu mna i
snt ntmpinate cu urale: unu, doi, trei... strig mulimea, iar cnd ajunge
la doisprezece, izbucnesc strigte din toate piepturile. Tocmai s-a oprit un
truck uria, cum am vzut numai n filmele americane. Pe capota lui, nite
tineri n costume haute couture danseaz n ritmul inconfundabil, la
Kusturica, al unui taraf de igani. Poliia este prezent numai pentru a per-
mite alaiului s se desfoare. Un tnr cobort dintr-un Mercedes decapota-
bil i explic ceva unui poliist, apucndu-l trengrete de gu, iar organul
de ordine d nelegtor din cap.
Petrecerea de-abia ncepe. Va dura toat noaptea, ca i ieri i, se pare, ca
i mine. Este sfritul anului colar i cei din clasa a XII-a din Sofia serbeaz
sfritul liceului.
Cnd i-am ntrebat pe amicii mei bulgari ce-i cu aceast festivitate extrava-
gant, mi-au explicat c a devenit deja un fel de tradiie, pentru care prinii
se pregtesc cu un an dinainte, cutnd printre rude i prieteni apropiai cele
mai floase maini pentru a le nchiria cu ocazia acestei zile i fiecare neam
face totul pentru ca odrasla sa s descind n faa hotelului dintr-o main
ct mai scump. Toaletele cost i ele vreo dou, trei salarii i am vzut
una dintre cele mai fascinante parade de mod, de la rochii lungi, cu tren,
la belle poque, pn la cele mai postmoderne nvluiri efemere de sni i
coapse.
Nimeni nu a putut dormi n acea noapte n Hotel Bulgaria. Chalga echi-
valentul bulgar al manelelor a luat locul tarafului de igani i a rsunat asurzi-
tor pn la ziu. Eu cel puin m-am consolat cu gndul c am fcut un mic
teren antropologic...
La voi nu se face la fel? m-a ntrebat, surprins, un coleg bulgar a doua
zi dimineaa. Nu, nu chiar aa, m-am gndit eu. Dar, pe de alt parte, spiri-
tul acestei petreceri poate fi regsit n nenumrate alte ocazii. Ceea ce se
ntmpl la Vama Veche de civa ani de zile ncoace, de pild, nu este deloc
strin de srbtoarea absolvirii din capitala Bulgariei. Un anumit aer de
tranziie plutete deasupra granielor.
THE DESPOTIC CARNIVAL
Vintil Mihilescu


Im at the window of my room at Hotel Bulgaria, in central Sofia, and Im curs-
ing for not having a video camera with me. At my feet, as far as eye can see,
along one of the main boulevards in the Bulgarian capital, a never-ending
motorcade of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW, and even a Rolls and a Ferrari is para-
ding. All the traffic was deviated so that the motorcade can crawl along. Balloons
and horns as for a wedding. The cars stop in front of the hotel, the red carpet is
waiting and couples get off the luxury cars triumphantly, wave at
the audience, and the crowd cries out: one, two, three..., at twelve everyone
shouts from the top of their lungs. A huge truck just stopped, of the kind Ive
seen only in American movies. On the rear, young people dressed in haute cou-
ture suits dance on the unmistakable rhythm la Kusturica of a gipsy band.
The police are present only to ensure the safe movement of the convoy.
A young man who just got off a convertible Mercedes explains something to a
police officer taking him by the neck and the order body nods complacently.
The party is just starting. It will last all night long like yesterday and, apparent-
ly, just like tomorrow. It is the end of the academic year and the Sofia high-
school graduates celebrate their graduation.
When I asked my Bulgarian friends why is this celebration so extravagant, they
explained that it has become something of a tradition and that the parents pre-
pare it a year in advance, looking for the most expensive car with friends or rel-
atives in order to rent it for the day and the whole family contributes at best
to have their offspring get off the most expensive car possible. The outfits cost
the equivalent of two or three monthly wages and I saw the most fascinating
fashion shows from long dresses with a tail la belle poque to the most post-
modern and ephemeral veiling of breasts and hips.
No one could sleep that might at Hotel Bulgaria. Chalga the Bulgarian equiva-
lent for contemporary gipsy songs replaced the authentic gipsy band and
provided a deafening sound until dawn. I for one was consoled for having done
some fieldwork in anthropology...
Isnt it the same in your country? a Bulgarian colleague asked me much sur-
prised the next morning. No, not really like that I said to myself. But, on the
other hand, the spirit of this party is to be found in numerous occasions.
What has been happening in Vama Veche for a few years, for instance, is not
totally different from the Bulgarian graduation feast. A wind of transition is
floating over the borders.



VINTIL MIHILESCU (n. 1951) e profesor de antropologie la Departamentul de Sociologie al
Universitii din Bucureti. A obinut doctoratul n psihologie la Universitatea din Bucureti n 1993.
A fost profesor invitat la numeroase instituii, printre care universitile din Provence, Lyon II, Mont-
pellier (Frana), Neuchtel (Elveia), Humboldt (Germania), Pcs (Ungaria), i UQAM (Canada). De
asemenea, este preedinte al Societii Romne de Antropologie Cultural i secretar pe Europa de
Est al Societii Europenitilor. Printre textele sale publicate recent se numr Le monde enchant
de la culture populaire, Ethnologies, vol. 21, 2, 1999; Fascinaia diferenei, Bucureti, Paideia, 1999;
Socio hai-hui. O alt sociologie a tranziiei, Bucureti, Paideia, 2000.
VINTIL MIHILESCU (born 1951) is Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Sociology,
Bucharest University, Romania. He received his PhD in psychology from the University of Bucharest
in 1993. He is a Visiting Professor at a number of institutions, including the universities of Provence,
Lyon II, Montpellier (France), Neuchtel (Suisse), Humboldt (Germany), Pcs (Hungary), and UQAM
(Canada). He acts as the President of the Romanian Society of Cultural Anthropology and as the
Secretary for Eastern Europe of the Socit des Europanistes. His most recent publications include
Le monde enchant de la culture populaire, Ethnologies, vol. 21, 2, 1999; The Fascination of
Difference (in Romanian), Bucharest, Paideia, 1999; and Another Sociology of Transition (in Romanian),
Bucharest, Paideia, 2000.
+ (timpul liber)
117



1. Time is money: timpul liber interesat
Intrarea n marea familie a societilor de consum nu avea cum s nu afec-
teze i petrecerea, srbtoarea i, mai larg, timpul liber al nou-veniilor.
Despre acest loisir consumerist tim deja o mulime de lucruri. S-l urmm,
de pild, pe Baudrillard (1970) i lectura sa tipic francez.
Ca muli alii naintea lui i alturi de el, Baudrillard ncepe prin a decreta
drama loisir-ului ca fiind imposibilitatea de a pierde timpul. Lipsii de profun-
zime, dar nu i de intuiie, ntre prieteni de crcium ne zicem i noi, aser-
tiv, c singurul mod de a ctiga timpul este acela de a-l pierde. Lucru imposibil
ns, de fapt, ne asigur Baudrillard. Timpul liber al celor din societile de
consum are doar aparena aceasta, este doar ambalat ca libertate: aceea
de a nu munci, loisir-ul definindu-se doar negativ, ca absen a timpului de
munc. n fapt, timpul liber se bazeaz pe o moral colectiv de maximi-
zare a trebuinelor i satisfaciilor, care reflect punct cu punct n sfera pri-
vat i liber principiul maximizrii produciei forelor productive din
sfera social. Ct mai mult linite sau dans, ct mai mult bronzat sau scl-
dat, ct mai mult timp cu familia sau cu amanta etc., totul ntr-o curs com-
pulsiv i recuperatorie, simetric punct cu punct constrngerilor din timpul
productiv. Libertate de o parte, constrngere de alta: de fapt, structura
este aceeai. Acest fapt al diviziunii funcionale ntre aceste dou mari mo-
daliti ale timpului este ceea ce face sistem i face din loisir ideologia nsi
a muncii alienate.
Desigur, exist ceva n plus n acest timp liber de constrngerile productive.
El produce la rndul su ceva: economic improductiv, acest timp este cel
al unei produceri de valoare valoare de distincie, valoare de statut, valoa-
re de prestigiu. A nu face nimic (sau a nu face nimic productiv) este din acest
punct de vedere o activitate specific. [...] De fapt, timpul nu este liber,
el este cheltuit, i anume nu n pur pierdere, de vreme ce este momen-
tul, pentru individ, al unei produceri de statut. [...] Loisir-ul nu este deci n
aa mare msur o funcie de juisare a timpului liber, de satisfacie i de repaus
funcional. Definiia sa este aceea a unei consumri de timp improductiv.
Din alt perspectiv, am putea rezuma spunnd c, n timpul su liber, indi-
vidul acestor societi are nu numai dreptul, ci i obligaia de a-i urmri i
satisface interesele sale proprii i profunde, private, eliberate de constrngerile
vieii sale publice. i societatea face totul pentru a elibera ct mai mult
timp pentru membrii si: o reclam de la noi ne convinge, de pild, ct timp
liber putem ctiga folosind maina de splat cutare. Timp de care ne pu-
tem bucura apoi, eventual, uitndu-ne n linite la televizor la reclama pen-
tru o alt main de splat cci tot societatea ne convinge c avem tot
interesul s ne uitm la televizor n timpul nostru liber. Sau, de ce nu, pen-
tru a ne investi, liber, n viaa public, dac sntem sincer i profund intere-
sai n aceasta...

2. Pasiunile i interesele
Interesul acesta, individual ntruct construit social, nu este ns un lucru att
de meschin pe ct ar putea prea el multora dintre noi. Albert Hirschman
a scris o carte ntreag (1977) pentru a ne convinge de contrariul. Ea por-
nete, dup cum declar autorul, de la urmtoarea reflecie a lui Montes-
quieu: i este un noroc pentru oameni s se afle n situaia ca, n vreme
ce pasiunile i ndeamn s fie ri, ei s aib totui interesul de a nu fi astfel.
Civa ani mai trziu mai spune Hirschman , am descoperit ideea nru-
dit, dar mai instituionalizat, din Inquiry into the Principles of Political
Economy a lui Sir James Steuart, potrivit creia complicatul sistem al eco-
1. Time is money: free time with an interest
Entering the large family of the consumer societies was bound to affect
the party, the celebration, and, in a wider sense, the spare time of the new
comers. About such consumerist leisure we know a lot already. Let us first
follow the typical French interpretation by Baudrillard (1970).
As many others before him and along with him, Baudrillard starts by decreeing
that the drama of leisure is the impossibility to waste time. Lacking depth,
but not intuition, we, pub mates, also say to each other that the only way to gain
time is by wasting it. Impossible fact, however, according to Baudrillard. The
free time in the consumer societies is only apparently so, it is packaged as
freedom: that of not working, leisure being defined only via negativa as
absence of work time. In fact, free time is based on a collective moral of
maximization of needs and satisfactions that reflect exactly in the private and
free sphere the principle of production maximization and productive force
maximization in the social sphere. More calm or dancing, more tanned or
swimming, more time with the family or the mistress, etc., everything in a com-
pulsive race to recuperate symmetrically the constrains of the productive time.
Freedom on one hand, constrain on the other: in fact, the structure is the
same. The functional division between the two main categories of time is what
makes a system and turns leisure into the very ideology of the alienated work.
Of course, there is more to it than just time freed of the productive constrains.
It produces something in its turn: economically unproductive, this time is that
of a value production distinction value, status values, prestige value. To do
nothing (or not to do anything productive) is a specific activity from this view-
point. [...] In fact, time isnt free, it is not spent and not lost, since for the indi-
vidual it is the moment of a status production [...] Leisure is not so much
a jouissance function of free time, of satisfaction and functional rest. Its defini-
tion is that of unproductive time consumption.
From a different perspective, we could summarize by saying that, in his spare
time, the individual of such societies has not only the right but also the obliga-
tion to pursue and satisfy his own deep private interests freed of the con-
strains of his public life. And the society does everything to free as much
time as possible for its members: an ad tries to convince us, for example,
of how much more free time we can enjoy if we buy a certain washing machine.
A time that we can enjoy then watching on TV the ad for another washing
machine because the society convinces us also that we must have an interest in
watching TV in our spare time. Or, why not, to invest ourselves, freely,
in public life if we are honestly and deeply interested in this...


2. Passions and interests
The interest, individual because it is socially built, is not such a petty thing,
as it might seem to many of us. Albert Hirschman wrote an entire book (1977) to
convince us of the contrary. It starts, according to the author, from Montes-
quieus following reflection: And it is a luck for people to be in a situation that,
while the passions drive them to be bad, they have the interest however of not
being so. A few years later Hirschman also says , I discovered the kindred
idea but somewhat more institutionalized, in Inquiry into the Principles
of Political Economy by Sir James Steuart, according to whom the complex sys-
tem of modern economy (that is to say interests) was necessarily the best rein
ever invented for the despotism madness. In other words, by the end
of the 16th century, the European thinkers start introducing a new category of
the human behavior, interests, situating it somewhere between passion and
118


nomiei moderne (adic interesele) era n mod necesar cel mai bun fru
inventat vreodat mpotriva nebuniei despotismului. Altfel spus, pe la sfri-
tul secolului al XVI-lea, gnditorii europeni ncep s introduc o nou cate-
gorie a comportamentului uman, interesele, plasnd-o undeva ntre pasiuni
i raiune, cele dou categorii care dominaser, ncepnd cu Platon, anali-
za comportamentului uman. [...] O dat ce pasiunea a fost considerat dis-
tructiv, iar raiunea lipsit de eficien, punctul de vedere potrivit cruia
comportamentul uman putea fi descris ntr-o manier exhaustiv prin ape-
lul la una dintre cele dou categorii devenea echivalentul unei viziuni ex-
trem de sumbre asupra viitorului umanitii. Inserarea interesului ntre
cele dou categorii tradiionale ale motivaiei umane a fcut posibil renaterea
speranei. Cu timpul, ea a cptat i un nume: capitalism.
Altfel spus, nainte de a se afla n centrul economiei capitaliste, interesul a
nceput prin a fi o subtil domesticire a pasiunilor n folosul societii. n prefaa
sa la cartea lui Hirschman, Amartya Sen ofer o parabol lmuritoare n acest
sens: Pentru a folosi o analogie (de tip hollywoodian), s ne imaginm c
sntem urmrii de o band de fanatici ucigai, crora le displace un aspect
al persoanei noastre culoarea pielii, forma nasului, religia sau orice altceva.
Urmrii de ei, le aruncm o sum de bani, rezultatul fiind c fiecare din-
tre ei se repede ncercnd s adune ct mai multe bancnote pe cont pro-
priu. O dat scpai, ne mulumim s reflectm la ce noroc am avut c indivizii
au fost mnai de nevinovata poft de ctig. Interesul pentru bani n acest
caz este, n principiu, mult mai panic dect sngeroasele pasiuni umane.
Analogia lui Sen poate fi ns completat n felul urmtor: imaginai-v c
banda de fanatici ucigai care v urmrete este un grup de vntori de capete
din Amazonia; nu v-a recomanda n acest caz s v risipii banii pe ei, cci
aceti oameni s-ar putea s fie att de primitivi nct s nu-i cunoasc pro-
priul interes i s v fugreasc n continuare...
Categoria motivaional a interesului este o invenie genial. Ea are ceva
din caracterul banului, fiind fa de motivaia uman ceea ce moneda este
fa de schimb: orice imbold comportamental poate fi convertit i msurat
n interes sau cel puin aceasta este convingerea dominant. Interioriza-
t i instituionalizat, aceast convingere a dus la o naturalizare a intere-
sului, considerat de acum a ine direct de natura uman. Garry Becker,
faimosul economist, spera, de pild, s poat ntemeia dorinele i prefe-
rinele umane pe o origine genetic, oferind astfel o baz mai solid cal-
culului economic al intereselor (Berthoud, 1994). Nu este astfel de mirare
c, atunci cnd afirm c orice teorie social temeinic trebuie s porneasc
de la postularea unei engine of action, Coleman (1988) nu gsete alt
soluie mai bun dect interesul individual. Iar n aceast privin puini ar
fi cei care l-ar contrazice n zilele noastre. De asemenea, nu este de mira-
re c majoritatea gnditorilor sociali au ncercat i ncearc n moduri care
mai de care mai ingenioase s reduc altruismul i alte acte gratuite la
forme indirecte sau derivate de interes. De fapt, gndirea existenei umane
sub specia interesului este (sau tinde s fie) o clasificare fr rest: a vorbi
n acest caz de comportamente dezinteresate este lipsit de sens, cci nu
este dect o modalitate subversiv de a nega valabilitatea acestui principiu
al interesului. Paradigma interesului nu accept concuren. n cel mai
bun caz poate accepta, cu fals modestie, c nu poate explica chiar toate
cele omeneti, dar c, deocamdat cel puin, o face mult mai bine dect
orice alt teorie concurent.
Indiferent ns de avatarurile teoriei i practicii intereselor, un lucru este cert:
soarta a ceea ce numim, generic, capitalism este n continuare legat or-
reason, the two categories that had dominated, starting with Plato, the analy-
sis of human behavior. [...] Once the passion is considered destructive and rea-
son lacking efficiency, the viewpoint according which the human behavior
could be described entirely with these two categories became the equivalent of a
very dark vision of the future. The insertion of interest between the two tradi-
tional categories of human motivation made possible the rebirth of hope.
In time, it was also given a name: capitalism.
In other terms, before it became the center of the capitalist economy, interest
had begun by being a subtle domestication of passions for the use of society.
In his preface to Hirschmans book, Amartya Sen gives an enlightening parable:
Using a (Hollywood like) analogy, let us imagine that we are followed by
a gang of killer fanatics who dislike one aspect of our personality the color of
our skin, the shape of our nose, the religion or anything else. Followed by them,
we throw them a sum of money and the result is that each one tries to grab as
many banknotes as he can on his own. Once we are free we just think of how
lucky we were that the individuals were driven by the innocent desire to gain.
Interest for money in this case is, in principle, much more peaceful than
the bloody human passions.
Sens analogy can be further extended: imagine that the gang of killer fanatics
that is following you is a group of head hunters from the Amazon; I wouldnt
recommend to waste your money on them in this case because these people
might be so primitive that they didnt know their own interest and keep
on chasing you...
The motivational category of interest is a genius invention. It has something of
the moneys features, as it is to human motivation what money is to exchange:
any behavioral impulse can be converted and measured in interest or at least
this is the dominant conviction. Interiorized and institutionalized, this con-
viction led to a naturalization of the interest, considered by now as pertaining
to human nature. Garry Becker, the famous economist, had hopes to be able to
ground the human desires and preferences on a genetic origin, thus offering a
more solid foundation to the economic calculus of interests (Berthoud, 1994). No
wonder then that, when he asserts that any firm social theory has to start from
the postulation of an engine of action, Coleman (1988) he finds no
better solution than the individual interest. And in this respect, few could con-
tradict him nowadays. Also, there is no wonder that most of the social thinkers
have attempted and still do in the most ingenious ways to reduce altruism
and other gratuitous actions to some indirect or derivate forms of interest.
In fact, thinking the human existence in the light of interest is (or tends to be) a
strict categorization: to speak in this case about dis-interested behaviors is
meaningless, because it would be nothing but a subversive means to deny the
validity of the interest principle. The interest paradigm doesnt accept competi-
tion. At best, it can accept, with false modesty, that it cannot explain all that is
human but that, at least for now, it does it better than any other rival theory.
Regardless of the avatars of interest practice and theory, one thing is certain: the
faith of what we call generically capitalism is still organically connected
to the central position of this specific motivation, painfully constructed, used
and abused, but always alive, that is individual interest.
In this case, free time in capitalism cannot be anything else but time with
an interest. A time of freed interests we might say but under no circumstances
a dis-interested time.
+ (timpul liber)
119



ganic de centralitatea acestei motivaii specifice, construite cu trud, uzat
i abuzat, dar mereu vie, care se cheam interesul individual.
n acest caz, timpul liber n capitalism nu poate fi nici el altceva dect un timp
interesat. Un timp al intereselor eliberate, s-ar zice, dar n nici un caz un
timp dez-interesat.

3. Time is power: timpul liber pasionat
Pentru aceasta, membrii societii (s-i spunem, generic, capitaliste) trebuie
s-i cunoasc ns interesele. Instituiile trebuie s funcioneze de aa na-
tur nct s produc o ct mai intens i complet socializare a intereselor
general umane. Ce se ntmpl ns cnd acest deziderat nu este ndepli-
nit, sau nu n suficient msur? Cnd, ntr-o societate n tranziie, ca a noas-
tr, sistemul intereselor de-abia ncepe s se configureze, cnd socializarea
capitalist este incomplet, iar comportamentele corespunztoare snt mai
mult un als ob?
O ipotez simpl ar fi aceea c, necunoscndu-i nc suficient interesele,
oamenii vor regresa (din perspectiva capitalismului matur) la starea pro-
blematic n care snt mnai mai mult de pasiuni. S dezvoltm puin aceast
ipotez.
Din perspectiva orientrii lor sociale, pasiunile ar putea fi grupate n dou
mari categorii: pasiuni orizontale, care unesc simpatetice i pasiuni
verticale, care difereniaz ierarhice; Eros i Putere, ca s spunem aa.
Acestea ns nu pot exista ca atare, nu mai au semnificaia dintr-un ri-
tual primitiv sau un potlach. Trite i performate ntr-o societate care se
vrea i este deja n bun msur o societate de consum, aceste pa-
siuni vor fi i ele pasiuni de consum. Ele se cer consumate public, sincre-
tic, n re-prezentri ale semnelor dominrii i sexului. Este, dup toate
aparenele, cazul celebrrilor de absolvire ale elevilor sofioi, despre care
am vorbit la nceput.
Aceast rbufnire exuberant a pasiunilor n timpul liber al tinerilor are o
interesant dimensiune carnavalesc i subversiv. Ea se nscrie ntr-un fel
de timp alternativ i inversat n raport cu cel al Ordinii instituite pe care,
pe de alt parte, o mimeaz. Semnele autoritii (poliitii, de pild, n
exemplul de mai sus) snt contestate sau puse ntre paranteze pentru a fi
pus n scen triumful efemer al unei re-produceri pasionale a lumii interese-
lor bine temperate a establishment-ului. Spre deosebire ns de un adev-
rat carnaval, acesta nu are timpul i spaiul su delimitate, dup i dincolo
de care se revine la ordinea instituit, ci este un fel de carnaval de fiecare
zi sau, mai degrab, din orice zi.
Esenial este faptul c acest timp liber nu este organizat n filiera interesu-
lui individual. Pe de-o parte, el trebuie s fie un timp colectiv, cci are nevo-
ie de spectacol i de imagine public; este aproape incompatibil cu a-i
bronza propriul corp, pe ezlongul personal, sorbind din rcoritoarea ta
preferat. Colectiv nu nseamn ns i comun, cci acest tip de loisir-spec-
tacol este organizat, de regul, mpotriva cuiva sau ntr-o indiferen
ostentativ fa de cineva acel significant other al ordinii instituite.
Despotismul pasional este o component aproape definitorie a acestui
mod de petrecere a timpului liber. Pe de alt parte, nu este o eliberare
a interesului, cci nu se definete ca o negare a muncii productive, ca timp
de nemunc. Complementar, acest timp, chiar dac este i el unul al pro-
ducerii de valoare, de semne de distincie, nu produce ns o valoare care
se definete pe piaa muncii, care s fie cotat la bursa vieii productive,
ci doar n rspr cu aceasta, mimnd-o i refuznd-o n acelai timp. Pe scurt,
3. Time is power: passionate free time
However, the members of the (lets call it generically capitalist) society have
to know their interests. The institutions have to function in such a way that they
produce a most intense and complete socialization of the general human
interests. But what happens when this is not accomplished or not enough?
When, in a transition society such as ours, the system of interests barely starts
to configure, when capitalist socialization is incomplete and the corresponding
behaviors are rather als ob?
A simple hypothesis would be that, not knowing their interests well enough,
people would regress (from the mature capitalist viewpoint) to the problem-
atic state wherein they are driven more by passions. Let us develop this hypo-
thesis.
From the perspective of their social orientation, passions fall into two main cat-
egories: horizontal passions, which unite sympathetic , and vertical pas-
sions, which differentiate hierarchic; in other words, Eros and Power, so to
speak. But they cannot exist as such, they dont have the meaning of a primi-
tive ritual or a potlatch. Lived and performed in a society that wants to be and
at some extend it is already a consumer society, these passions will also be
consumer passions. They ask to be consumed publicly, in syncretism, in re-
presentations of the domination and sex signs. It is the case, apparently, with
the graduation celebrations of the Sofia students that Ive been talking about in
the beginning.
This exuberant burst of passions in the teenagers free time has an inter-
esting carnival and subversive dimension. It is inscribed in a kind of alternative
time and reversed to the time of established Order which, on the other hand,
they are miming. The signs of authority (the policemen in my example) are con-
tested or eluded in order to stage the ephemeral triumph of a passionate re-
production of the world with the well-tempered passion of establishment.
Unlike a real carnival, this one doesnt have its own delimitated time and space,
before and after which everything comes back to the established order, but it is a
sort of day-to-day carnival, or rather an any day carnival.
It is essential that this free time not be organized in the area of individual inter-
est. On one hand, it has to be a collective time, because it needs show and pub-
lic image; it is almost incompatible with tanning your body in your personal
deckchair, drinking your favorite soda. Collective doesnt mean common how-
ever, because this type of leisure-show is organized, usually, against someone
or in ostentatious indifference against someone that significant other of estab-
lishment order. Passionate despotism is an almost defining component of this
way to spend free time. Besides, there is no liberation of the interest because
there is no denial of the productive work, no time of non-work. Complementarily,
this time, even if a value and distinction production time itself, doesnt produce
however a value to be defined on the market, that
would enter the productive life stock exchange, but only against it, mimicking
and refusing it in the same time. Briefly, despite the numerous surface resem-
blances with consumerist free time, this transition free time seems to be
differently motivated, positioned on a different level, in a kind of pre- or semi-
capitalism: the relation to interest is not a central one in this case.

4. Television, the magic box of the despotic carnival
Children aged 6 to 14 watch TV an average of 2,5 hours per day informs
a Gallup Romania and Metro Media Transylvania survey. Other poll data could
give the same kind of precise information about the number of hours spent by
120


n ciuda numeroaselor asemnri de suprafa cu timpul liber consumerist,
acesta pare s fie motivat diferit, s se plaseze pur i simplu n alt registru,
ntr-un soi de pre- sau semicapitalism: relaia cu interesul nu este n acest
caz una central.

4. Televiziunea, cutia magic a carnavalului despotic
Copiii ntre 6 i 14 ani se uit n medie 2,5 ore pe zi la televizor ne
informeaz un sondaj Gallup Romnia i Metro Media Transilvania. Alte date
de sondaj ar putea s ne informeze cu aceeai precizie despre numrul de
ore pe care l petrec adulii n faa televizoarelor, care snt emisiunile lor prefe-
rate etc. Dar chiar i fr aceste statistici, tim cu toii c televiziunea este
cea mai rspndit form de timp liber. Ce ne ofer ea?
Televiziunile (i nu doar cele comerciale!) funcioneaz dup o lege de pia
a maximizrii profitului, n care rating-ul este cuvntul magic. Ele reuesc acest
lucru vnznd ceea ce se cumpr alt formul magic drag producto-
rilor. Instinctiv sau mai elaborat, ele au intuit c materia prim care poate
fi exploatat i transformat cel mai bine n profit comercial o constituie aceast
exuberan a pasiunilor, i nu interesele. Iar micul ecran ofer mijlocul ideal
de consum public al semnelor acestor pasiuni, punnd n scen spectacole
de Eros & Putere reduse la simbolurile lor elementare, uor de vndut, uor
de cumprat. Televiziunile marketizeaz astfel cu dibcie capitalist o resur-
s pre- sau semicapitalist, valoriznd-o i reproducnd-o astfel. Interesul
lor. Doar c spectatorilor nu le mai rmne atunci dect s-i macine pasiu-
nile i s-i lase balt toate interesele...
Parafraznd o formul a lui Alesander Kiossev, am putea vorbi n acest caz
de un (auto)colonialism al pasiunilor.


Referine bibliografice:

BAUDRILLARD, J. (1970), La socit de consommation, Editions Denol.

BERTHOUD, G. (1994), Lconomie: un ordre gnralis? Les ambitions dun prix Nobel, in
M.A.U.S.S., 3, pp. 4259.

COLEMAN, J. S. (1988), Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital, in American Journal of
Sociology, Vol. 94, Supplement, pp. 95120.

HIRSCHMAN, A. O. (1977), The Passions and the Interests. Political Arguments for Capitalism before
its Triumph, Princeton University Press.
adults in front of the TV set, which are their favorite broadcasts, etc. But even
without such statistics, we all know that television is the most widespread
media of free time. What is its offer?
Televisions (and not only the commercial ones!) function according to a market
law of maximum profit making wherein the magic word is rating. They manage
it by selling what is bought another magic formula dear to the producers.
Instinctively or in a more elaborate way, they intuited that the raw material
to be best exploited and transformed for commercial profit is this exuberance
of passions and not the interests. The TV screen offers the ideal medium
for public consumption of the signs of the these passions as they stage shows
of Eros & Power reduced to their elementary symbols, easy to sell, easy to buy.
The televisions astutely make good capitalist marketing for a pre- or semi-capi-
talist resource, valuing and reproducing it. Their interest. But the viewers
only have left to stir their passions and leave aside all their interests...
Paraphrasing one of Alesander Kiossevs formulas, we could speak in this case
of an (auto)colonialism of passions.

Translated by Izabella Badiu


Bibliographical references:
BAUDRILLARD, J. (1970), La socit de consommation, Editions Denol.
BERTHOUD, G. (1994), Lconomie: un ordre gnralis? Les ambitions
dun prix Nobel, in M.A.U.S.S., 3, pp. 4259.

COLEMAN, J. S. (1988), Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital,
in American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 94, Supplement, pp. 95120.

HIRSCHMAN, A. O. (1977), The Passions and the Interests. Political Arguments
for Capitalism before its Triumph, Princeton University Press.
+ (timpul liber)
121



Timp bogat, timp srac
Andor Horvth




Putem vorbi de timp liber prin raportare la doi termeni. Primul e munc
activitate lucrativ. Timpul care nu e afectat acestei activiti e timp liber.
Aceast delimitare indic numrul de ore care nu snt cuprinse ntr-o acti-
vitate dedicat muncii, fr a indica totui defel modul de utilizare a aces-
tui timp.
Cel de-al doilea termen este cultur. Timpul liber, n sine vid, trebuie umplut
cu ceva, or, acest ceva este cultura, neleas aici, n sensul cel mai larg, ca
totalitate a ndeletnicirilor n care timpul e utilizat n alte scopuri dect mun-
ca: viaa religioas, lectura, sportul, hobbyurile etc. Spre deosebire de can-
titate, n aceast relaie este determinant calitatea, coninutul propriu-zis
al orelor cuprinse n noiunea de timp liber.

Privit n primul sens, timpul liber e puternic restructurat i redistribuit n
Romnia postcomunist. Pentru largi categorii ale populaiei, tendina do-
minant este reducerea masiv, pna la eliminarea complet, a timpului liber.
Snt vizate aici n special dou segmente sociale: pe de o parte, cei care valo-
rific astfel la maximum ansa lor real de acumulare rapid, iar, pe de alt
parte, cei care nu-i pot asigura subzistena dect prin nmulirea orelor de
munc. Aceast polarizare reflect modificarea radical, n condiiile eco-
nomiei de pia, a ponderii capitalului individual investit n activitatea lu-
crativ: calificare, poziie social, caliti personale etc.
La un pol se afl cei, nu foarte muli, numii de sociologi toxicomani ai mun-
cii: persoane care, de dimineaa pn seara, nu-i prsesc o clip locul de
munc deoarece se cred, sau poate chiar snt, indispensabili n funcia pe
care o dein, n exercitarea unor atribuii ce le procur satisfacii imediate
i semnificative. Pentru ei, noiunea de timp liber s-a depreciat considera-
bil, ei l percep ca un nivel inferior al existenei, caracterizat prin intensitatea
redus a tririlor, un nivel fa de care pot simi nostalgie, fr a avea ns
nici voina, nici dorina de a-l rectiga. Ei snt cei care au concediat defini-
tiv timpul liber.
La polul cellalt se afl cei, foarte muli, pentru care ziua de munc nseam-
n nu opt, ci dousprezece ore, nu o slujb, ci dou, iar asta nu fiindc ar
fi robii beiei muncii, ci din simplul motiv c altfel nu-i pot ntreine fami-
lia. Dotai cu un capital individual modest, ei snt obligai s accepte pen-
tru munca prestat salarii conforme cu valorile bursei de munc, valori stabilite
nu att n funcie de calificarea lor, ct n funcie de oferta pieei muncii. Dis-
locai sau disponibilizai n urma restructurrilor care au transformat peisajul
economic al rii, ei snt, chiar dac nu victimele n sens strict, oricum perdan-
ii tranziiei. Timpul liber a devenit pentru ei o amintire sau o speran de
viitor.

Fenomenul indicat aici tinde s cunoasc o expansiune continu n viitor.
Ambele categorii de mai sus vor spori ca numr. Cea din urm ntr-un ritm
mai rapid, deoarece mai snt de ateptat restructurri, precum i modificri
RICH TIME, POOR TIME
Andor Horvth

We can speak of free time relating it to two terms. The first one is work, lucra-
tive activity. The time spent for other purposes is spare time. This delimitation
shows the number of hours that are not spent for work activities but doesnt
give any hint about the usage that is made of them.
The second term is culture. Free time, void as such, has to be filled with some-
thing and this something is culture understood here in the largest sense as
the sum of activities to spend time in purposes other than work: religion, read-
ing, sport, hobby, etc. In this second kind of relation it is no longer quantity but
quality that is determined, the content of the hours that make leisure time.

As seen in the first meaning, free time is strongly restructured and redistri-
buted in post-communist Romania. For large categories of population the dom-
inant trend is the massive reduction, going as far as total elimination, of free
time. Two social segments are especially concerned: on one hand, those who
take maximum profit of their real chance to rapidly accumulate, and on the
other hand, those who cannot provide for their own subsistence unless they
extend their work hours. This polarization reflects the radical change, in a mar-
ketplace economy, of the individual capital that is invested in the lucrative
activities: qualification, social status, personal qualities etc.
At one end there are those, not very numerous, that sociologists call worka-
holics: people who, from dawn to dusk, dont leave their job for one second
because they think or maybe they really are indispensable in the position they
have, carrying out attributions that offer them immediate and significant satis-
factions. For them the notion of free time has considerably depreciated as they
perceive it as an inferior level of existence because of the low intensity of emo-
tions that cannot bring about nostalgia and that cannot make a person want
to get it back. They are the ones who completely dismissed free time.
At the other end, there are those, very numerous, for whom the work day
doesnt mean eight but twelve hours, not one job but two and not because
they are workaholic slaves but simply because they cannot support their fam-
ilies otherwise. Having a modest individual capital, they have to accept for
their work wages according to the work market and not according to their
qualification. Displaced or fired as a consequence of the reforms that modified
the economic environment of the country, they are, if not strictly the victims,
in any case the losers of transition. Free time has become for them a memory
or a hope for the future.

The phenomenon Ive tried to sketch tends to constantly expand in the future.
Both evoked categories will increase in number. The latter at a faster rate
because more restructurings are to be expected as well as changes in the rural


ANDOR HORVTH este confereniar universitar de literatur comparat la UBB Cluj. ANDOR HORVTH is lecturer in Comparative Literature at Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj.
122


n structura rural a populaiei, n urma crora va crete numrul celor dispo-
nibili pe piaa muncii, iar prima ntr-un ritm mult mai lent, creterea prii
superioare a clasei de mijloc lovindu-se de nite limite obiective. Acest pro-
ces va duce n continuare la adncirea discrepanelor dintre cei cu ctiguri
mari i cei situai la nivelurile inferioare pe scara veniturilor, dar asta e deja
tema unei alte dezbateri. O serie de alte consecine snt ns legate direct
de modificarea structurii timpului liber n cazul acestor categorii, fie c ne
referim la evoluia instituiei mariajului i la urmrile asupra indicilor demo-
grafici, fie c avem n vedere aspecte ale sntii publice, de la alimentaie
pn la consumul de medicamente etc.
Nu pot fi ignorate totodat nici implicaiile socio-politice ale fenomenului.
Orice om care muncete se nscrie ntr-o dubl poziionare. Prin profesia
pe care o exercit, el particip la un praxis legat de lumea obiectual i de
tehnicile prin care omul i creeaz sau i asigur acesteia o funcionalitate.
Diversificarea i specializarea acestor tehnici n lumea postmodern sporesc
n mod considerabil monotonia i rutina multora dintre profesii sau meserii
(n sfera serviciilor, bunoar, aflate n extindere progresiv la noi). Or, dac
admitem c personalitatea uman se afl ntr-o interaciune dinamic,
inclusiv prin mijlocirea muncii, cu lumea nconjurtoare, efectele limitative,
reductive ale unei asemenea relaii ni se vor prea evidente. Modelul aa-
numitului om nou, denunat pe bun dreptate ca obiectiv nefast al regimului
comunist, se poate realiza i prin reducerea benevol a omului la nivelul
unei liberti fr un orizont propriu.
Dar omul care muncete se mai afl n relaie i cu ceilali, fie n cadrul unor
norme juridice obligatorii, fie n virtutea unor legi nescrise de ierarhie, de
colegialitate, de prietenie. Chiar i fr a consulta analize tematice sau in-
vestigaii de teren, se poate observa la noi obiceiul multor patroni de a an-
gaja salariai fr forme legale i n condiii deosebit de dure, care impun
prestarea unui numr maxim de ore de munc retribuite la cote minime
de salarizare. Dincolo de neregulile de ordin fiscal sau de alt natur, ase-
menea cazuri pun n eviden statutul deseori precar al salariailor mai ales
tineri care se vd obligai s accepte, fr o negociere real i o nelegere
echitabil, condiiile ce li se propun. Pot fi evocate i alte cazuri: toate indic
funcionarea defectuoas a protejrii angajailor n privina programului de
lucru, a condiiilor de munc, a drepturilor salariale etc. Aceste abuzuri afec-
teaz nu numai timpul liber de care dispune un numr nsemnat de salariai,
dar i integritatea persoanei umane n raport cu ideile de bine i de ru, de
libertate i de servitute, de demnitate i de nedreptate. Cum ar putea oare
toi cei care, n calitatea lor de angajai, ncearc sentimente de frustrare i
de neputin, s se afirme n calitatea lor de ceteni prin nite convingeri
i opiuni raionale?
Bineneles, asemenea fenomene atrag atenia asupra nivelului insuficient
al organizrii sindicale, singura capabil s garanteze respectarea unor nor-
me juridice i a unor interese salariale n relaiile angajailor cu patronatul.

n regimul comunist, piaa bunurilor culturale nu a fost deloc srac, n ciuda
unui control i a unor restricii de ordin ideologic. Oferta acestor bunuri este
ns incomparabil mai larg ntr-o democraie, n condiii de competiie cali-
tativ i rentabilitate financiar.
Diferenele dintre cele dou sisteme sociale nu se opresc aici. Regimul comu-
nist a rmas ataat unei concepii tradiionale, esenialiste, am putea spu-
ne, asupra culturii. n prelungirea direct a epocii luminilor, acest regim atribuia
culturii valenele unei esene capabile s desvreasc persoana uman,
structure of the population and the number of those available on the work mar-
ket will surely increase. The first one will grow at a slower rate as the superior
layer of the middle class confronts with objective limitations. This process will
lead to further deepening of the discrepancies between those with large incomes
and the ones at the lower levels of the income scale, but this is the topic of
another debate. A series of other consequences are however in direct connection
with the change in the free time structure in the case of these cate- gories
whether we refer to the evolution of marriage and its incidence
on the demographic statistics or to the issues of public health, from alimenta-
tion to medication usage etc.
The social-political implications of the phenomenon cannot be ignored either.
Any person who works has a double position. Through his/her profession he/ she
participates to praxis in connection with the world of objects and the tech-
niques used by man to create or ensure its functionality. The diversification and
specialization of these techniques in the postmodern world increases consider-
ably the monotony and routine of many professions or crafts (in services for
instance that are progressively expanding in Romania). Or, if we admit that
human personality is in a dynamic interaction, including through work, with the
environment, the limitative effects, reductive of such a relation will seem obvi-
ous. The model of the so-called new man, rightfully accused as a malign
objective of the communist regime, can also be achieved through the voluntary
reduction of man to the level of a freedom without a personal horizon.
But the worker also relates to the others, either in the framework of compulsory
legal norms, or in virtue of unwritten laws of hierarchy, fellowship, and friend-
ship. Even without the support of thematic analyses or field studies, one can
notice that in Romania the custom of business owners is to hire people illegally
for work in difficult conditions for the maximum amount of hours at the lowest
wage. Besides the fiscal irregularities, such cases highlight the precarious con-
dition of the employees especially the young ones forced to accept, without
real negotiation or mutual understanding, the conditions they are offered.
Other cases can also be evoked: all will indicate the malfunction of employee
protection at all levels: work hours, work environment, salaries, etc. The abuses
affect not only the free time of the employee but also the integrity of the
human being in relation to the idea of right and wrong, of freedom and servi-
tude, of dignity and injustice. How can all those who as workers are frustrated
and powerless to take a stand as citizens with rational convictions and options?
Of course, such phenomena draw the attention upon the insufficiency in trade
union organization, the only that could guarantee the respect of law and remu-
neration in the relationship employer employee.

Under the communist regime the cultural market hasnt been poor at all
despite the ideological control and restrictions. The offer, however, is so much
wider in a democracy in conditions of value competition and financial prof-
itability.
The differences between the two social systems dont stop here. The com-
munist regime has remained attached to a traditional conception of culture, an
essentialist one. Follower of the Enlightenment, this regime granted culture
the features of an essence capable to accomplish the human being, just as,
at the political level, it thought itself as an essence of historical becoming.
Beyond the vulgarization and voluntarist aberrations of the intervention in the
field of artistic creation, this vision could preserve, within certain limits, the his-
torical prestige of culture in society. (What else used to be the Ubu-like festival
+ (timpul liber)
123



aa cum, pe plan politic, se concepea pe el nsui ca pe o esen a
devenirii istorice. Dincolo de aberaiile vulgarizatoare, voluntariste ale
interveniei n cmpul creaiei artistice, aceast viziune putea prezerva,
bineneles ntre anumite limite, prestigiul istoric al culturii n societate. (De
altfel, ce era pn i acel ubuesc festival numit Cntarea Romniei, dac nu
transbordarea unei esene presupuse a culturii din perimetrul creaiei libere
a artitilor profesioniti n acela al maselor, declarate purttoare adevrate
ale acestei virtui?)
Liberalismul politic i economic al societii posttotalitare desfiineaz com-
plet ideea unei esene a culturii, aa cum, de altfel, nici n reprezentarea
propriei fiine sociale nu recurge la vreun principiu transcendent. Nu o face
n mod declarat sau programatic, dar o face cu mult eficien n realitate.
Niciodat exponenii ideii c omul nu se poate lipsi de suportul spiritual al
culturii nu s-au bucurat de o libertate mai mare de exprimare i niciodat
cuvntul lor nu a fost auzit i nsuit de mai puini.
Criza culturii n societatea (post)modern nu const n devitalizarea ei dac
nu altfel, ea rmne intact i viguroas chiar i numai prin tezaurul su din
trecut , ci n deturnarea mecanismelor sale de funcionare: ea nu mai are
relevan pe plan social. Pentru cei care se apropie de ea dintr-un impuls
moral, intelectual ori estetic, ea rmne bineneles ceea ce a fost de-a lun-
gul istoriei: un loc al marilor interogaii i al ntlnirii cu ideea uman a per-
feciunii. Acetia reprezint ns numai un segment redus al societii i,
oricum, cazul lor ilustreaz mai curnd modul n care oamenii pot ajunge
la cultur, i nu felul n care ajunge cultura la oameni.
Cci ceea ce ajunge la oameni, masiv, agresiv i captivant, e o pseudocul-
tur, cea a unei globalizri a valorilor simbolice, la fel de penetrant i de
cuprinztoare precum cea a mrfurilor. n studiouri ndeprtate sau autohto-
ne zeci de mii de oameni i consacr zilele de lucru nobilei misiuni de a
alimenta timpul liber al miliardelor de oameni de pe planet cu programe
pe ct de triviale, pe att de distractive. Omul timpului liber globalizat obine
din partea unui ntreprinztor specializat, n schimbul propriului timp liber,
acel mecanism care suspend perceperea timpului, singura n msur s-l
avertizeze c existena sa pe Pmnt este trectoare.
ntr-unul din celebrele sale poeme n proz, Baudelaire adresa semenilor
si ciudata chemare: mbtai-v! (Enivrez-vous!), enumernd printre
mijloacele recomandate: vinul, virtutea i poezia, justificndu-i chemarea
tocmai prin povara insuportabil pentru om a trecerii timpului. ntr-o epo-
c diferit, ce cultiv din belug beia aductoare de uitare, avem poate
ndreptirea s inversm apelul poetului: Lsai beia, cutai s v trezii
prin poezie i virtute, sport i hobby sau orice v-ar plcea...
called Ode to Romania if not the transfer of a supposed essence of culture
from the free artists creation area to that of the masses declared the true
carrier of this virtue?)
The political and economic liberalism of the post-totalitarian society abolishes
the idea of culture as essence just like in the representation of its own social
being it doesnt make use of any transcendent principle. It doesnt do that
openly or programmatically, but in fact it does it efficiently. Never before
the upholders of the idea that man cannot do without the spiritual support of
culture have they enjoyed so much freedom of expression and never before
their word has it been heard and taken in by fewer people.
The crisis of culture in the (post)modern society does not consist in its devital-
ization if not else, it remains intact and vigorous through its past heritage
but in the diversion of its functioning mechanisms: it is no longer relevant
on the social scene. For those to address culture form a moral, intellectual or
esthetic impulse, it remains of course what it has always been along history:
a place of the great questions and of the meeting with the human idea of per-
fection. But these people are only a small segment of the society and their case
illustrates the way in which people can reach the culture and not the way in
which culture reaches people.
For the people are touched massively, aggressively and captivatingly by pseu-
do-culture, a globalization of the symbolic values just as penetrating and all
embracing as that of merchandise. In far away or local studios tens of thou-
sands of people spend their working day accomplishing the noble mission to fill
the free time of the billions of people around the world with shows as trivial as
entertaining. The man of globalized free time gets from a specialized entrepre-
neur, in exchange of his free time that mechanism of time perception suspen-
sion, the only one capable of announcing that his life on earth is passing.
In one of his famous prose poems Baudelaire calls out to his fellow man the
peculiar injunction: Get drunk! (Enivrez-vous!), enumerating among the rec-
ommended means: wine, virtue and poetry and justifying his call precisely by the
unbearable burden of time passing. In times so different from the ones cul-
tivating drunkenness begetting oblivion, we might have the right to reverse
the poets call: Leave drunkenness behind, try waking up through poetry and
virtue, sport and hobby, anything you like...

Translated by Izabella Badiu
124


Libertate i timp
Eseu despre televiziune i timp liber n Romnia
Alec H. Blescu



HAMLET:
[] Vremile ieitu-i-au din matc O, soart blestemat, nenoroc
S fiu nscut ca s le-adun la loc.
Shakespeare, Hamlet, actul I, scena 5 (trad. de Ion Vinea)



Timp liber pe ct de simpl pare aceast expresie n utilizrile ei cotidie-
ne, pe att de complicat este ea. n sintagma timp liber snt coninute dou
concepte majore, fundamente ale vieii umane aa cum o tim: libertatea
i timpul. Voi insista numai asupra celui de-al doilea, lsndu-l pe primul
filosofilor politici sau oricui s-ar interesa de el.
Timpul nsui e o chestiune dificil, n msura n care el poate fi legat de felu-
rite moduri ale organizrii vieii: fr a pretinde c aceast niruire e exhaus-
tiv, timpul poate fi biologic, social, istoric sau transcendental. Cu toate c
aceste distincii snt mai curnd instrumentale dect naturale, voi vorbi numai
despre conceptul de timp social i voi pune n eviden semnificaiile ntre-
esute ale timpului.
Poate c punctul de pornire cel mai fericit e s ne ndreptm privirea pe
cteva expresii comune n care apare timpul i s indicm contextul n care
le folosesc actorii sociali. Timpul a expirat [running out of time] pare a fi,
pentru mine, cea mai spectaculoas dintre aceste expresii, fiindc ea vor-
bete despre un simptom al timpurilor moderne: timpul ca marf rar.
Desigur, cea mai evident expresie a timpului ca marf e aceea n care tim-
pul e prezent ca posesiune material: (Nu) am timp.
Dar s ne ntoarcem la chestiunea expirrii [running]. Cnd timpul expir
[running out of time], stocul de timp pare a fi din ce n ce mai puin, cu un
final ce poate fi prevzut, o finitudine ce poate fi depit prin fug [running].
Fuga este ceea ce se ntmpl atunci cnd timpul e scurt i se ntmpl
aproape fr voia noastr sau chiar mpotriva ei. Fuga ESTE condiia natura-
l a penuriei de timp.
n acelai timp, fuga poate fi singura posibilitate de a ctiga timp, cu con-
diia ca aceast fug s aib loc cumva n afara [out] cadrului timpului. A
parcurge o distan cu vitez mare nseamn a ctiga timp (trimiterea la Ein-
stein poate c e deja evident).
Dar cum poate timpul s expire? Cum se poate scurta el? De unde vine
finitudinea sa? i ce rol joac libertatea n aceast dinamic?

Timp raional/Timp moral
Pentru a putea fi gndit n aceste ipostaze, timpul trebuie s fi devenit o enti-
tate raionalizat, rupt de succesiunea natural a anotimpurilor ciclice i
divizat n uniti egale i interanjabile cum ar fi orele, minutele, secundele
O serie de transformri sociale la sfritul evului mediu au dat natere tim-
pului linear i, totodat, penuriei de timp. Aceste transformri se datorea-
z noilor practici sociale i noilor modaliti de a le evalua. Inventarea
FREEDOM AND TIME
Essay on TV and Leisure in Romania
Alec H. Blescu

HAMLET:
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Shakespeare, Hamlet, act I scene V, p. 33

Free time is as complicated an expression as simple as it may seem in its daily
uses. It contains two major concepts, fundaments of human life as we know it:
freedom and time. I will dwell only on the second, leaving the first to politi-
cal philosophers, or to whomever there may be interest...
Time itself is a complicated issue, as it may be linked to a variety of modes
of life organization: without pretending to be exhaustive, time may be biologi-
cal, social, historical, or transcendental. Although these distinctions are more
instrumental than natural, I will discuss only the concept of social time, and
point out to the intertwined meanings of time.
Perhaps the best starting point is to consider some common expressions in
which time appears, and to point to the context in which the social actor uses
them. I am running out of time seems the most spectacular to my sensibility,
because it encapsulates a syndrome of modern times: time as scarce com-
modity. Of course, the most obvious expression of time as commodity is the one
in which time is present as a material possession I have (no) time.
But let us go back to this matter of running. When running out of time, time
seems to be in short supply, with an envisageable end, a finitude that may be
overcome through running. Running is what happens when time is short,
almost without (or even against) ones will. Running IS the natural condition
of time shortage. At the same time, running may be the only possibility
of gaining back the time with the condition of doing it somehow out of the
time framework. Rapidly covering space means saving time (the reference
to Einstein may already be evident).
But, how could one ever run out of time? How did time become short? Where
does its finitude come from? And how does freedom play into this dynamic?

Rational time/Moral time
In order to be thought of in this manner, time needed to become a rationalized
entity, broke from the natural succession of cyclical seasons, and broken into


ALEC H. BLESCU este doctor n antropologie (Universitatea Irvine, California). Teza sa analizeaz
incipienta industrie a modei din Teheran i legturile ei materiale i simbolice cu Parisul.
ALEC H. BLESCU is PhD in Anthropology (University of California, Irvine). His thesis analyzes
the fashion industry in Teheran and its material and symbolic relationship with Paris.
+ (timpul liber)
125



orologiului, posibilitatea vnzrii forei de munc pe o pia incipient a muncii
(nsoit de apariia bancnotelor i a conturilor bancare), mprirea timpului
i a sarcinilor dup modelul raional care atribuia fiecrei sarcini timpul ei
propriu toate acestea au aprut simultan n societatea european prere-
nascentist i renascentist.
n mod tradiional, timpul unei zile a fost marcat de timpul rugciunii; sp-
tmna trimitea i trimite nc la Geneza din Biblie. n evul mediu, timpul
social avea un referent religios. Sunetul clopotului marcheaz evenimentele
importante ale vieii, srbtorile, moartea sau cstoriile. E important s
remarcm c primele orologii au fost construite n turnuri de biseric i piee
de mrfuri (uneori aceste locuri se confundau). Nu toate bisericile aveau
orologii, n schimb, ele erau prezente pe turnurile tuturor bisericilor protes-
tante (chiar i numai dac ar fi vorba de o mod, ruptura pe care a nsem-
nat-o Reforma s-a petrecut dup inventarea orologiului). Richard H.
Tawney (1952) e un important teoretician al apariiei capitalismului (chiar
dac unul mai puin cunoscut dect Max Weber), care a subliniat la rndul
su legtura intim dintre timpul capitalist i cel religios. Finitudinea timpu-
lui nu e o trstur a bisericii protestante, n schimb, predestinarea moral,
cu un accent special pe Ziua Judecii de Apoi, e caracteristic pentru
aceast biseric. Exigena de a folosi timpul numai pentru fapte bune are
o vdit nuan moral, lenea fiind vzut ca unealta diavolului.
O dat cu dezvoltarea societii industriale, timpul a devenit singura marf
ce sttea la dispoziie pentru a-i ctiga existena, iar clopotele bisericilor
au fost nlocuite progresiv cu sirenele uzinelor. Clasa burghez n formare
a fcut din gestionarea timpului privilegiul ei i semnul distinciei sale.
Punctualitatea e o virtute care trebuia cultivat n minile oamenilor, chiar
i numai din raiunile mercantile ale creterii productivitii. Timpul i uti-
lizarea sa au devenit un semn prin care se deosebeau clasele, aa cum
nainte era un semn al separaiei religioase. Persoanei care gestiona pro-
priu-zis timpul altora i se asigura un loc att n Cartea de Aur a Sfritului
Timpurilor, ct i printre puternicii societii lumeti. Pendulele deveniser
sine qua non al locuinelor urbane burgheze. i o dat ce educaia bur-
ghez a nceput s se realizeze prin coli, acestea au devenit i snt un dispo-
zitiv prin care se inculc, printre altele, ideea c timpul e o marf preioas.
De altfel, mprirea sarcinilor colare pe ore, organizarea linear a ac-
tivitilor colare induc ideea unui progres natural (Foucault 1979,
Lofgren f.a.).
mprirea raional a timpului i moralitatea snt ntreesute, avnd o serie
de nuane religioase. Practicile cotidiene ale produciei industriale i gene-
ralizarea educaiei rspndesc n rndul maselor ideea timpului ca marf i,
de asemenea, distincia ntre timpul muncii i/sau al colii i timpul liber.
n acest context, nu e greu de vzut cum putea funciona teoria lui Thorstein
Veblen despre clasa timpului liber [leisure class] la vremea conceperii sale
(secolul XX timpuriu). Clasa care a obinut monopolul asupra gestiunii tim-
pului, burghezia, nlocuind clasa religioas, a obinut de asemenea posibi-
litatea de a trasa structura timpului. Astfel, n timp ce timpul bisericii a
devenit transcendental i irelevant pentru afacerile publice (expresia
ultim a acestei scindri e doctrina secularizrii i a separrii bisericii de stat),
timpul lumesc s-a scindat n timp de munc i timp liber. A poseda timp liber
a devenit semnul unei poziii sociale elevate, care permitea folosirea tim-
pului dup plac. Srcia e marcat de necesitatea de a munci peste pro-
gram sau n cea mai mare parte a timpului vieii. Lucrurile nu se opresc
totui aici.
equal and interchangeable units like hours, minutes, seconds... A series of social
transformations at the end of the Middle Ages brought up the linear and scarce
time. New social practices and new modalities of reckoning them induced these
transformations. The invention of horologe, the possibility of sell- ing ones work
on an incipient job market (potentate by the apparition of paper money and
bank accounts), the segmentation of time and tasks on the ration- al model of
assigning to each task its proper time were all simultaneous apparitions in the
pre-Renaissance and Renaissance European society. Traditionally the time of the
day was marked by the prayer time; the week was and continues to be the
referent to the Biblical Genesis. In the Medieval ages social time had a religious
referent. The sound of the church bell marked impor- tant life events, holidays,
death, or marriages. It is important to observe that first horologes had been
constructed in churches towers and market places (sometimes occupying the
same location). Not all churches had a horologe,
but all Reformist churches adopted one (be it only for reasons of fashion, the
Reformist schism happened after the invention of horologe). Richard H. Tawney
(1952) is an important (although less known than Max Weber) theorist of the
rise of capitalism, and he emphasizes in his account the intimate link between
capitalist and religious time. The finitude of time is not a characteristic of the
Reformist church, but the moral doctrine of predestination with an emphasis on
the importance of Judgment Day is. The requirement of using ones time for
the good works has a moral undertone, laziness being seen as devils tool. With
the development of industrial society, time had become the only available
commodity a person had in order to gain ones own existence, and church bells
gradually have been replaced by manufacturers sirens. The emerging bour-
geois class made out of time management its privilege and its mark of distinc-
tion. Punctuality is a virtue that needed to be cultivated in peoples mind, be it
only for the materialist reason of an increase of productivity. Time and its uses
became a mark of class distinction, as it was before a mark of religious separa-
tion. The person who properly manages ones time is both secured a place in the
Golden Book of the End of Times, as well as a potential place of power
in the worldly society. The ticking wall clocks became the sine qua non of the
bourgeois urban dwellings. And as bourgeois education was accomplished in
schools, school was, and continues to be, an apparatus that inculcates, among
other things, the idea that time is a valuable commodity. Besides the breaking
of school tasks in hours, the linear organization of school activities induces
the idea of natural progress (Foucault 1979, Lofgren n.d.).
Rational division of time and morality are intertwined, and they have religious
undertones. Daily practices of industrial production and the generalization
of education spread into population the idea of time as commodity, but also
the division between working and/or school time and leisure time.
In this context it is obvious to see how Thorstein Veblen theory of the leisure
class functioned in the moment of its inception (early 20th Century).
The class that acquired the monopoly of the management of time, the bour-
geoisie, replacing the religious class, acquired also the possibility of delineating
time. Thus, while the time of the church became transcendental and irrelevant
in public affairs (the ultimate expression of this separation is the doctrine of sec-
ularism and the separation of church and the state), the worldly time broke into
working and leisure time. The possession of the latter marked a socially elevated
position that allowed the dispensation of time at ones pleasure.
Poverty is marked by the necessity of working overtime, or most of ones life-
time. Things do not stop here, though.
126


Transformrile tehnologice progresive au dat oamenilor din clasa munci-
toare posibilitatea de a a dispune de un timp liber din ce n ce mai mare;
ei au intrat n posesia unei mrfi att de rare, iar chestiunea distinciei [din-
tre clase] a reaprut cu o vigoare i mai mare. Abia n 1930 muncitorii au
obinut o zi liber pe sptmn. Dezbaterea asupra acestei chestiuni a fost
acerb. Iat un extras din 1936 din ediia n limba englez a unui ziar
suedez:
Timpul liber trebuie s fie cu adevrat liber, fr obligaii mpovrtoare i
restricii obositoare apsnd asupra individului; totui, pe de alt parte, tim-
pul liber nu trebuie s fie un timp mort irosit cu amuzamentul trndav ce d
natere plictiselii i nemulumirii. Dac oamenii nu-i pot umple timpul
liber cu ceva care s le aduc sntate i plcere, atunci e sarcina comunitii
s-i ajute prin sfaturi i aciune, s le dea posibilitatea de a-i petrece tim-
pul liber ntr-o manier mai bogat i mai profitabil (Lofgren, p. 40).
Pericolele ce pasc confundarea clasei muncitoare i a celei a timpului liber
[leisure class] au fost rezolvate cu uurin printr-o rentoarcere la valorile
morale care opuneau trndvia i profitul. Timpul liber e la un pas de
moarte dac nu e utilizat n mod corespunztor, adic dac nu aduce pro-
fit. Acest lucru introduce o tiranie a timpului (pentru a vorbi ca Lofgren)
care profesionalizeaz fiecare aspect al vieii, timpul liber inclusiv.
n paralel, se pot ghici cu uurin originile industriei divertismentului [leisure
industry] n lupta de a distinge bogaii i sracii, avuii i neavuii, cei care
au timp i cei care nu au. Diferenele n ce privete felul n care i petreci
timpul liber [spending the leisure] au devenit n ultimii cincizeci de ani deose-
biri ce depind n mod clar de puterea de a cheltui pentru divertisment
[spending for leisure].

Clas, timp liber i participare civic n Romnia
Poziia socio-economic determin n mare msur modalitile n care se
petrece timpul liber. Gustul joac, e drept, un rol important aici, dar el e
ntotdeauna limitat nc din capul locului de puterea de cumprare. Ce fel
de timp liber i poate cumpra cineva de banii pe care-i are? A schia dou
ore sau a vedea un film nu snt modaliti echivalente de a-i petrece tim-
pul i ele nu snt evaluate ca echivalente nici de ctre societate.
Televiziunea e felul cel mai ieftin de a-i petrece timpul liber. Dac ne-am
ntreba de ce televiziunea e o afacere att de nfloritoare n Romnia, pen-
tru a primi un rspuns ar fi suficient s comparm n statistici venitul pe cap
de locuitor i numrul orelor petrecute n faa televizorului. M-a ncumeta
s spun c s-ar putea s existe o legtur ntre cele dou. ns ntrebarea
fundamental nu e de ce statul n faa televizorului e divertismentul
[leisure] predominant n Romnia, ci cum se ntmpl acest lucru? i, mai
important, care snt efectele pe termen lung ale acestui obicei?
Voi schia dou posibile direcii de reflecie viitoare asupra acestei chestiuni.
A sta n faa televizorului e un habitus al utilizrii spaiului i timpului care e
dobndit i poate fi reprodus prin educare. Imediat dup 1990, televiziunea
era o nou marf accesibil pturilor largi ale publicului romnesc; n scurt
timp, rearanjarea interioarelor apartamentelor a nceput s se modeleze
n funcie de noile modele de consum i a fost adaptat noilor utilizri ale
televizorului. Mesele voluminoase de pe care se serveau prnzul i cina, pre-
zente n toate apartamentele n mijlocul camerei de zi i semnalnd o anu-
mit ordine patriarhal (Mihilescu .a. 1995), au disprut n mod miraculos
i au fost nlocuite cu msuele de cafea. Dei fenomenul acesta a fost expli-
cat adesea ca o chestiune de mod, trebuie remarcat totui c mesele volu-
The gradual technological modifications made that it that working class people
acquired more and more disposable time; they entered in the possession
of such a scarce commodity, and the matter of distinction reemerged more
forcefully. It is only in the 1930s that workers acquired one holiday per week.
The debate was fierce, and here is an extract from a 1936 English edition
of a Swedish journal debating time:
Leisure time should certainly be free time without any burdensome obliga-
tions and wearisome restrictions on the individual, yet on the other hand it
should not be a dead time frittered away on idle amusement which breeds
boredom and dissatisfaction. If the people are unable to fill up their leisure
hours in such a way that they derive health and pleasure from it, then it is
for the community to help them by advice and action, give them the possibility
of spending their leisure time in a richer and more profitable manner.
(in Lofgren, p. 40)
The dangers of confusing the working and leisure classes have been easily
resolved through a return to moral values that opposed idleness and profit.
Free time borders death if it is not properly used, and a proper use brings
about profit. This introduces a tyranny of time (in Lofgrens words) that pro-
fessionalizes every aspect of life, including free time.
In parallel one can easily guess the origins of the leisure industry in the strug-
gle of distinction between rich and poor, haves and haves not, timely and
timeless. The different modes of spending the leisure became in the last fifty
years a clear distinction based on the power of spending for leisure.

Class, leisure, and civic participation in Romania
Socio-economic position largely determines the ways in which one passes ones
leisure time. Taste plays greatly in this, and it is always limited beforehand by
ones buying power. What quality of leisure can one buy for the money one has?
Skiing for two hours and watching a movie are not equal ways of spending
ones time, and they are not equally valued in our society. Acquiring taste for
skiing as opposed to taste for watching TV is part of the mechanisms of distinc-
tion operating at all social levels.
Television is the cheapest leisure. If one wonders why television is so successful
a business in Romania, it is enough to correlate the per-capita revenue with the
hours of TV watching. I venture to say that there may exist a strong correlation
between the two. But the important question is not why watching TV is the
predominant leisure in Romania, but how this happened? And more important,
what are the effects of this habit in long run?
I will sketch out two directions of possible future reflections on the matter.
Watching TV is a habit of using space and time that is acquired and may be
reproduced through education. Immediately after 1990s, TV broadcasting was
a new commodity accessible to the public at large in Romania; over a short
period of time spatial rearrangements of house interiors developed around new
consumption patterns and adapted the new uses of the TV set. The all too pres-
ent big lunch and dinner table in the middle of the living room, sign of a cer- tain
patriarchal order (Mihilescu et al. 1995), disappeared miraculously,
and was replaced by the small coffee table. While many times explained as a
fashionable option, it may be important to underline that the big table imped-
ed the comfortable watching of the TV broadcasting. At the same time,
the explosion of cable TV and satellite programs encouraged an individual use of
the TV set, a renegotiation of space and time among the members of families in
order to adapt a diversification of possibilities of choices. Second and some-
+ (timpul liber)
127



minoase deranjau uitatul la televizor. n acelai timp, nmulirea programelor
de pe televiziunile prin cablu sau satelit a favorizat utilizarea individual a tele-
vizoarelor, precum i o renegociere a spaiului i timpului ntre membrii fami-
liei n vederea diversificrii posibilitilor de alegere. Au nceput s apar al
doilea i, cteodat, al treilea televizor n multe dintre apartamentele din Ro-
mnia. n aceast faz (nceputul anilor 1990), televizorul a devenit cataliza-
torul reordonrii relaiilor de familie i mediatorul unor noi determinri i
al unor noi semnificaii ale opiunii individuale (Blescu 1996). O dat
ncetenite, dei televiziunea i-a pierdut caracterul de noutate, aceste obice-
iuri snt puin susceptibile de a fi modificate, chiar dac n spaiul public rom-
nesc au aprut i alte posibiliti de petrecere a timpului liber. Dificultatea
(economic) de a avea acces i la aceste noi produse ale industriei timpu-
lui liber nu face dect s ntreasc raiunile perpeturii statului, s zicem,
excesiv n faa televizorului.
Complexitatea transformrilor sociale din Romnia n ultimii zece ani e greu
de surprins n cteva rnduri. Nu numai timpul, ci i spaiul, mpreun cu per-
ceperea lui, joac un rol important n modelarea noilor obiceiuri de petre-
cere a timpului liber. Strzile i parcurile, spaiile publice tradiionale, folosite
de plcere pentru a petrece timpul liber, au devenit surse de primejdie.
S-au ivit locuri ale consumului cum ar fi centrele comerciale i/sau barurile,
restaurantele i cluburile, propunnd o alt modalitate de petrecere a tim-
pului. Ele formeaz noua industrie a timpului liber n Romnia. n acelai timp,
strzile, fiindc ele nu snt lucrative (vezi mai sus), snt reprezentate nu-
mai ca spaii de trecere, i nu ale desftrii [leisure]. Accesul la noile locuri
ale consumului face parte din formarea i etalarea unui statut social nou-
aprut. Petrecerea timpului liber pe strzi e pe cale s fie dat uitrii, iar m-
preun cu ea dispare i conotaia pozitiv a flneur-ului, nlocuit de vagabonzii
periculoi. Prins ntre posibilitatea de a se uita la televizor i aceea de a
fi confundat cu un delincvent, o persoan care nu-i poate permite s par-
ticipe la consumul din industria timpului liber prefer mai mult ca sigur s
stea acas i s se uite la televizor.
S-au scris multe despre noile forme ale participrii i ale sentimentelor
civice i despre legtura lor intim cu spaiile publice urbane tradiionale
ale accesului democratic. Asemenea spaii snt strzile, dar nu i spaiile
industriei timpului liber. Aceasta este cea de a doua i poate cea mai impor-
tant direcie de reflecie pe viitor, iar ea ine de participarea politic i de
felul n care influeneaz televiziunea (mai degrab prin forma sa dect prin
coninutul a ceea ce e emis) ideile legate de participarea civic. Repro-
ducerea imaginilor i fascinaia reproducerii mecanice pot fi puse n leg-
tur cu totalitarismul ca form de organizare social (Benjamin 1969). n
anii 1930, Benjamin punea n chestiune felurile n care avem acces i par-
ticipm la consumul de cinematografie (ca opus teatrului sau altor forme
participative de art). El spunea c filmul sau cinematografia, ca form de
angajare pasiv, de acceptare prosteasc a ceea ce se prezint pe ecran,
se afl oarecum n vecintatea acceptrii formelor totalitariste de guvernare.
El scria toate acestea n contextul istoric al ascensiunii fascimului n Ger-
mania, n anii 1930, i examinnd utilizarea la scar larg a propagandei
inspirate de i rspndite prin mijloacele formei de expresie hollywoodiene.
Emisiunile TV au acelai caracter. Ele mai degrab propun i impun dect
invit la participare direct (participarea n cadrul numeroaselor concursuri
interactive e de asemenea mediat). E important s reinem c orice reor-
donare a relaiilor sociale fortific i debiliteaz totodat actorii implicai, iar
consecinele nu snt uor de prezis.
times third TV set appeared in many urban Romanian households. At this stage
(early 1990s), the TV set became the catalizer of the rearrangement of family
relations, and mediator of new definitions and understanding of individual
choice (Blescu 1996). Once put in place, although the TV as described lost its
novel character, these habits are less likely to be modified, in spite
of the new possibility of leisure that appeared in Romanias public spaces.
The (economic) difficulty of access to these new leisure industries only add
to the reasons of perpetuation of, some say, excessive TV watching in Romania.
The complexity of the social transformations in the last ten years in Romania is
hard to be grasped in few lines. Not only time, but also space and its percep-
tion play an important role in the formation of new habits of leisure. Streets
and parks, traditional public spaces, leisurely used for spending ones free
time, became epitomes of danger. Places of consumption like malls and/or
bars, restaurants, and clubs appeared and proposed a distinctive way of spend-
ing ones time. They form the new industry of leisure in Romania. In parallel,
streets, because not productive (see above), are represented only as spaces of
transition, and not of leisure. Access to the new spaces of consumption is part
of the formation and display of a new elevated social status. Leisure on the street
is at its dusk, and with it the positively conotated flneur disappeared, replaced
by the dangerous stroller. Caught between the possibility of watch- ing TV, or
that of being confused with a delinquent, a person who cannot afford to partake
in the consumption of leisure industry most probably prefers to stay home and
watch TV.
Much has been written on the new forms of civic participation and civic feel-
ings, and its intimate link with the traditional urban public spaces of democrat-
ic access. Streets are these kinds of spaces, while leisure industrys spaces are
not. This is the second, maybe more important direction for reflection, pertain-
ing to the political participation and the ways in which TV set (through setting
rather than through the content of the broadcasting) influences the ideas
of civic participation. The visual reproduction of images and the fascination
of mechanical reproduction may be intimately linked with totalitarianism as
form of social organization (Benjamin 1969). In the 1930s Benjamin discussed
the modes in which one have access and partake in the consumption of cine-
matography as opposed to theatre or other participative forms of art. He made
the argument that cinematography encourages a form of passive engagement,
of dull acceptation of the screen presentation that is somehow in the vicinity
of acceptation of any other totalitarian form of governing. He wrote this in
the historical context of the raise of fascism in Germany, in the 1930s,
and observing the extensive use of propaganda inspired by and with the means
of the Hollywoodian form of expression.
TV broadcasting has the same quality of proposing and imposing rather than
encouraging direct participation (the participation in a diversity of inter-active
competitions is also mediated). It is important to keep in mind that any re-
arrangement of social relations is both empowering and disabling for the actors
involved, and the consequences are not as easy to predict.
The entire complex of factors revolving around TV consumption in Romania
(I have numbered schematically only few of them) may be interesting to consid-
er from the perspective of the civic participation it encourages (or not). The set-
ting of the TV (in ones private quarters) encourages mediate participation in
debates, for example, but discourages physical presence in the public spaces of
the city. Losing their power of catalizing human interaction among a large vari-
ety of social actors, those spaces are redefined as potentially dangerous.
128


Ar fi interesant s se ia n considerare ntregul complex de factori ce se rotete
n jurul consumului de televiziune n Romnia (am prezentat schematic doar
civa dintre ei) din perspectiva participrii civice la care ndeamn (sau nu).
Prezena unui televizor (n apartamentele noastre) mbie la participare
mediat n cadrul dezbaterilor, de pild, dar descurajeaz prezena fizic n
spaiile publice ale oraului. Pierzndu-i capacitatea de a fi un catalizator al
interaciunii umane ntre multiplii actori sociali, aceste spaii snt redefinite
ca fiind, virtual, periculoase. ntre timp, industria timpului liber i construi-
rea de spaii semiprivate sau private care i nsoesc dezvoltarea favorizeaz
o form restrictiv de participare, definit de consumism. n timp ce televi-
ziunea e forma predominant de petrecere a timpului liber pentru cei privai
de posibilitatea consumului, spaiile cele mai bune ale oraului snt ocupa-
te de cei care i permit s-i cheltuiasc timpul liber n mod profesional,
prin consum, i nu prin prezena inutil pe strzi. Participarea civil direc-
t la viaa oraului i la luarea deciziilor e descurajat de noile forme social-
mente acceptate ale petrecerii timpului liber.
Pentru a da un exemplu zguduitor care ne va mprospta memoria, tre-
buie s ne gndim la ce s-a ntmplat n Romnia ntre 1989 i 1991. n vreme
ce locul semnificativ al micrilor sociale din Romnia n 1989 a fost stra-
da, imediat dup ce noul guvern a preluat puterea, am putut fi martori la
redenumirea ca huligani a acelora care nc i mai revendicau o voce politic
prin ocuparea spaiilor publice, o dat cu stigmatizarea oficial a spaiilor urba-
ne pe care ei le ocupau, mergnd pn la rebotezarea unora dintre acele
spaii (de pild Piaa Universitii din Bucureti).
n plin proces de reconfigurare continu a spaiului i a timpului, ne-am putea
imagina ivirea unor noi forme de participare democratic; dar nu trebuie
s uitm semnalul de alarm tras de Benjamin n faa uurinei cu care repro-
ducerea mecanic a imaginilor produce o oarecare facilitate a acceptrii unor
forme de guvernare care nu fac dect s poarte haina strlucitoare a
democraiei.

26 aprilie 2004
Irvine, California

Traducere de Al. Polgr

List de referine:

BLESCU, Alexandru. 1996. Privindu-i pe telespectatori. Revista de cercetri sociale, nr. 4:
130139.

BENJAMIN, Walter. 1969. Illuminations. New York: Schocken Books.
FOUCAULT, Michel. 1979. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage Books.
LOFGREN, Orvar. n.d. Rational and Sensitive. Changing attitudes to Time, Nature, and the Home.
MIHILESCU, V., V. NICOLAU, M. GHEORGHIU. 1995. Le bloc 311. Rsidence et sociabilit dans
un immeuble dappartements sociaux Bucarest. In Romania, constructions dune nation. Ethnologie
Franaise, XXV, 1995, 3.

SHAKESPEARE, William. 2002. Hamlet. Edinburgh: Longman Group Limited Editions.

TAWNEY, Richard Henry. 1952. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. New York: Harcourt, Brace
and Co.

VEBLEN, Thorstein. 1927. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. New
York: Vanguard Press.
Meanwhile, the industry of leisure and the construction of semiprivate or pri-
vate spaces that accompanies its development encourage a restrictive form of
participation defined through consumerism. While TV is a predominant form of
leisure for the disenfranchised, desirable spaces of the city are occupied
by those who can afford to spend their free time professionally through con-
sumption and not through idle presence in the streets. The direct civic partici-
pation in the life of the city and in the processes of decision making is
discouraged by the new socially accepted forms of spending ones free time.
To give a poignant example that would refresh our memory, one has to think
about the events in Romania in 19891991. While the significant locus during
the social movements in Romania in 1989 was the street, immediately after
the new government took power, we witnessed the reframing of those who still
claimed political voice through the occupation of public spaces as hooligans,
along with the official stigmatization of the urban spaces they occupied, going as
far as renaming some of those spaces (e.g. Piaa Universitii from Bucharest). In
the continuous reconfiguration of space and time one may imagine new
forms of democratic participation emerging, but one may not forget Benjamins
alarm facing the easiness with which mechanical reproduction of images induces
facility in acceptation of forms of governance that wear the shiny coat
of democracy.


26 April 2004
Irvine, CA



Reference List:
BLESCU, Alexandru. 1996. Privindu-i pe telespectatori. Revista de cercetri sociale,
no. 4: 130139.
BENJAMIN, Walter. 1969. Illuminations. New York: Schocken Books.
FOUCAULT, Michel. 1979. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York:
Vintage Books.
LOFGREN, Orvar. n.d. Rational and Sensitive. Changing attitudes to Time, Nature,
and the Home.
MIHILESCU V., V. NICOLAU, M. GHEORGHIU. 1995. Le bloc 311. Rsidence et sociabil-
it dans un immeuble dappartements sociaux Bucarest. In Romania, constructions
dune nation. Ethnologie Franaise, XXV, 1995, 3.
SHAKESPEARE, William. 2002. Hamlet. Edinburgh: Longman Group Limited Editions.
TAWNEY, Richard Henry. 1952. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. New York: Harcourt,
Brace and Co.
VEBLEN, Thorstein. 1927. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study
of Institutions. New York: Vanguard Press.
+ (timpul liber)
129



Timpul liber
ca rentabilizare a pulsiunilor subiective
Aurel Codoban



Nu reuesc s regsesc printre lecturile mele trimiterea la informaia fur-
nizat de un arheolog francez
1
potrivit creia o femeie din preistorie putea
aduna din cules n trei zile hrana pentru membrii familiei sale. in minte c
m-am ntrebat atunci cu o frustrare de om ocupat, al modernitii mai mult
sau mai puin trzii: restul timpului ar fi fost timp liber? tiu, desigur, c ntreba-
rea nu era bine pus. Lungul proces de formare a omului, antropogeneza,
a lsat foarte puin loc individualitii, singura la care se poate raporta nelesul
nostru de timp liber. Omul a fost mult vreme la nceputurile lui o combi-
naie ntre adaptarea biologic i ritualizarea semnificant a comportamen-
tului su. Adic omul a nsemnat un hard biologic, cu respectivele nzestrri
instinctuale, i un soft colectiv, comportamentul ritualizat prin semnificaii
de natura celor religioase. Ceea ce nseamn c, n totalitatea lui, comporta-
mentul era acoperit de necesitatea natural i de cea social, ce nu lsau
loc pentru individualitate, care nu este, de fapt, nici biologic, nici social,
ci transcenderea reciproc a celor dou.
Abia ieirea din colectivitile puternic formatoare, care fceau din indivizi
exponenii strici ai unei anumite comuniti, spre societile antichitii, care
ncepeau s detaeze responsabilitatea individului de cea a celei mai apro-
piate i stricte comuniti, de cea a familiei sale, i care deci au permis apariia
individualitii umane, pune realmente problema timpului liber. El este
pentru antici condiia vieii libere: om adevrat este numai cel al crui timp
este cu adevrat liber, respectiv cel care nu are de ndeplinit munci necesa-
re i i poate organiza existena i nzui la un scop ideal. n acest caz semnifi-
caia timpului liber este aceea a detarii de necesitatea adaptativ, biologic,
rezolvat n forma social a muncii, pe scurt detaarea de munca brut i
orientarea individualitii spre nsuirea liber a semnificaiilor pe care se ba-
zeaz ritualizarea colectiv a comportamentului. Timp liber nseamn la drept
vorbind pentru omul antichitii posibilitatea unei individualizri a compor-
tamentelor cotidiene ritualizate prin individualizarea nsuirii semnificaiilor
i sensurilor colective. Aici, orict de clasic ar putea prea, diferena care r-
mne este cea dintre cel care are timp liber i cel care nu are timp liber, este
distincia ntre capacitatea ta de a defini ceea ce faci i capacitatea a ceea ce
faci de a te defini.
Dou consecine laterale, dar importante, pentru c ajung pn la noi, rezult
din aceast prim semnificaie a timpului liber. Una dintre ele este politic
i i definete pe cei care, ca grup sau clas social, snt destinai condu-
cerii politice a societii: numai acele grupuri sociale pot conduce realmente
societatea care nu-i schimb tipul de activitate atunci cnd recurg la activi-
tatea politic. Pentru c nu poi face activitate politic autentic n timpul liber.
Timpul liber este destinat achiziionrii a ceea ce este prealabil oricrei activi-
ti politice i folosirea lui pentru activitatea politic are conotaia diletantismului.
FREE TIME AS A WAY TO MAKE PROFIT OF SUBJECTIVE DRIVES
Aurel Codoban

It seems impossible to me to find any exact trace among my reading of the
information given by a French archaeologist
1
according to which a woman in
prehistoric times could gather in three days food enough to feed her family for
a week. I remember musing with the frustrated air of the busy man of our
more or less belated modern times: could the rest of the time be free then?
The question was misstated, I am quite aware of that. Anthropogenesis, mans
long process of formation, left very little space for the individual, which is the
only point of reference for the meaning of our present notion of free time.
In the very beginning, man used to be a combination of biological adaptation
and of the significant ritualization of his behavior for quite a long period. Accor-
dingly, man consisted of a biological hard, with related instinctual abilities and of
a collective soft, behavior ritualized through purports similar to those reli- gious.
Behavior, as a whole, was shrouded in natural and social necessity,
so that there was no space left for individuality, an entity neither biological, nor
sociological, but the mutual transcendence of the two.
It is only the advance from collectivities which powerfully framed the group
turning individuals into strict exponents of certain communities, towards
ancient societies which started to differentiate individual responsibility from the
responsibility of the closest and strictest community, from that of the fami- ly,
and which, consequently, made the birth of human individuality possible, that
really raises the question of free time. Free time was for the ancients the
precondition of free life: only persons whose time was actually free, the ones
with no needful work to do, who could organize their existence and aim for an
ideal goal passed for real humans in the true sense of the word. The signifi-
cance of free time is in this case the detachment from adaptive, biological
necessity solved through the social form of work, it is, in brief, the detachment
from brute work and the orientation of the individual towards the free appro-
priation of the purports which form the basis for the collective ritualization
of behavior. Free time covers for ancient man the possibility of individualizing
daily behaviors that are ritualized through the individualization of the assump-
tion of collective purports and significances. No matter how classical it may
seem, the remaining difference is the one between the person who has free time
and the one who has not, the distinction between ones capability to define what
he or she is doing and the capability of what one is doing to define what one is.
This first meaning of free time has two side-consequences important through
their effect upon us. One of these is of a political nature defining those who, as

AUREL CODOBAN este profesor de filosofie la UBB Cluj. Cri publicate: Repere i prefigurri,
1982; Structura semiologic a structuralismului, 1984; Filosofia ca gen literar, 1992; Introducere n
filosofie, 1995; Sacru i ontofanie, 1998; Teoria semnelor i interpretrii, 2001; Amurgul iubirii. De
la iubirea-pasiune la comunicarea corporal (2004); a coordonat: Postmodernismul. Deschideri
filosofice, 1995.
AUREL CODOBAN is professor of philosophy at Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj. Books published in
Romanian: The Semiological Structure of Structuralism, 1984; Philosophy as Literary Genre, 1992;
The Twilight of Love, 2004.
130


Cealalt privete stilurile existeniale ale vieii cotidiene, felul diferit n care
abordeaz munca cineva familiarizat cu ea i cum o abordeaz cineva ne-
familiarizat. Spre exemplu, felul cum intelectualul abordeaz de obicei
munca fizic i cum o face cel obinuit cu ea. Intelectualul care are de efec-
tuat o munc fizic ncearc s o termine total i dintr-o dat, ncearc s
o epuizeze, epuizndu-se de fapt pe el. Pe cnd muncitorul experimentat
aa cum l vedeam i l vd eu de la fereastra blocului din Mntur i
las ct mai muli timpi de odihn: el tie c munca nu se termin, c va avea
de muncit tot restul vieii i nu se grbete, o ritmeaz cu suficiente pauze,
adic i pstreaz pe ct posibil intact fora de munc sau, cel puin, i las
mereu timp de refacere.
Dar semnificaia timpului liber este consecina unei anumite modaliti de
concepere a timpului n general, care este hotrt modern, pentru c mo-
dernitatea este cea care impune nsi ideea de timp aa cum o percepem
noi astzi. ntr-adevr, una dintre remarcabilele diferene dintre moderni-
tate i epocile anterioare rezid n percepia diferit a spaiului i timpului.
Misterios i necunoscut a fost, pn n pragul epocii moderne, spaiul. Pn
la epoca marilor cltorii geografice, Pmntul era presrat de locuri miste-
rioase. Remarcabile, poate, prin intuiiile lor plastice, hrile geografice snt
mai ales opere de art ezitnd ntre schemele unor itinerare i descrierea
figurativ a unor inuturi, cu peisaje muntoase, cu animale mai mult sau mai
puin fantastice sau cu pete albe i atenionri de felul: Hic sunt leones.
n schimb, pentru cei vechi timpul era cert. Majoritatea vechilor civilizaii
au fixat o dat precis pentru naterea (i pentru sfritul) lumii, pentru fonda-
rea oraelor, apariia unor popoare, state sau imperii ori pentru evenimente
mai mult sau mai puin mitice. Calendarele ct mai precise ale marilor eveni-
mente mitico-istorice au fost unul din cele mai frecvente aspecte ale mari-
lor civilizaii. Dac spaiul era populat de locuri i fiine misterioase, timpul
n schimb avea o ordine i transparen de cristal. Se tia cu precizie cnd
fusese fondat un ora, ci ani s-au scurs de la un anume eveniment, ade-
sea mitic.
2
Fcnd, prin aplicarea matematicii, din spaiu ceva cunoscut, per-
fect msurabil i configurabil, nceputul modernitii rstoarn aceast
relaie. ncetul cu ncetul timpul devine ceva misterios i chiar straniu, popu-
lat de momente secrete, locuit de evenimente netiute i nenregistrate.
Modernitatea, ca i moda, cu care mparte aceeai rdcin semantic, este
esenial legat de timp. Timpul devine chiar dimensiunea fundamental a
Fiinei. Dar este vorba deja despre un timp spaializat, despre un timp neles
prin raportarea lui la spaiu, pentru c vechii geometrii euclidiene i este aplica-
t matematica de ctre Descartes n gestul fondator al tiinei modernitii
prin care geometria devine analitic. ntr-adevr, timpul mecanicii clasice,
galileano-newtoniene, este un timp spaializat, pentru c nu face dect s
msoare o micare regulat n spaiu.
Expresia timp liber n semnificaia ei actual denot deja o spaializare a
timpului care aparine paradigmei modernitii, pentru c trimite la o dispu-
nere spaial a activitilor. Numim timp liber timpul neocupat de activiti
pe care le resimim ca obligatorii. Este mai acurat s spunem c timpul mo-
dern spaializat este ocupat sau colonizat, ca i spaiul, de populaia activitilor
noastre. Sau c exist o zon spaializat a timpului care nu este ocupat
sau populat de astfel de activiti. Spaializarea timpului apare foarte clar
n maniera modern de a construi agende: pagina alb e spaiul devenit timp
n care ne nscriem activitile. Modernitatea a prut c preuiete moral i
social munca n sine pentru c i-a propus s urmeze cu strictee sloganul
Time is money. Munca este o activitate derulat esenialmente i definito-
a group or social class, are destined to politically rule society: society can only
be lead by social groups which do not change their type of activity when
engaged in political activity. This is so as no authentic political activity may be
lead in ones free time. Free time is consecrated to the acquisition of that which
is prior to all political activity while its use for political activity bears the conno-
tations of dilettantism. The other relates to the existential styles of everyday
life, to the different approaches to work of those who are and of those who are
not familiar with it. For instance the way an intellectual usually relates to physi-
cal work as opposed to persons used to it. Intellectuals charged with physical
work try to do it at once and to the end, they try to exhaust it, exhausting
themselves as a matter of fact. Experienced workers on the other hand, at least
as I see and have always seen it through my Mntur (a famous neighbour-
hood of Cluj) flat window, reserve a considerate part of the time for rest: they
know their work never ends, that they have to work till the end of their life
so they are not in a hurry, they keep a steady rhythm of breaks, they are actual-
ly preserving or at least continuously restoring most of their force.
The significance of free time is nevertheless a consequence of a certain univer-
sal way of understanding time, which is definitely modern, as the idea of time
itself as we conceive of it today is an achievement of modernity. Actually one of
the telling differences between modern and previous times lies in the different
perceptions of space and time. Before the dawn of the modern age, space used
to be mysterious and unknown. The Earth was full of mysterious places until the
era of great geographic journeys set in. Remarkable perhaps through their sug-
gestive intuitions, geographic maps are above all works of art, hesitating in
between the patterns of certain itineraries and the figurative description of var-
ious lands with mountainous areas and more or less fantastic animals, or with
white spots and warnings of the kind: Hic sunt leones. Time for the ancients
used to be a certainty, nevertheless. Most of the old civilizations set a precise
date for the birth (and the end) of the world, for the founding of cities, for the
appearance of certain peoples, states and empires or for various events more
or less mythical. Exact calendars for great mythical-historical events were among
the most frequent aspects of great civilizations. While space was popu- lated by
mysterious places and beings, time was of a crystal-clear order and
transparence. The date for the foundation of certain cities or that of various
events, quite often mythical, was known with precision.
2
Turing space, through
the prism of mathematics, into something known, perfectly measurable and easy
to configure, the beginning of modernity inverted the situation. Time took to
slowly becoming a mysterious and strange realm, populated by secret moments
and inhabited by unknown and unrecorded events. Modernity, as fashion, with
which it shares the same semantic origins, is essentially time-relat- ed. Time
actually becomes the fundamental dimension of Being. The implied notion of
time is nevertheless a spatialized one, conceived through its relation
to space, as soon as Descartes, laying the foundations for modern science,
applies mathematics to the old Euclidean geometry making it analytical.
Time in classical, Galileian-Newtonian mechanics is a spatialized kind of time as
it does nothing but measure a uniform movement in space.
Implying a distribution of activities in space, the phrase free time in its pres-
ent meaning already denotes a spatialization of time belonging to the para-
digm of modernity. We denote as free the time unoccupied by activities that
are considered compulsory. To put it in a more accurate way, modern spatial-
ized time is occupied or colonized, just as space, by the population of our activ-
ities. The same way, there is a spatialized zone of time which is not occupied,
+ (timpul liber)
131



riu n timp i recompensat de obicei n raport cu timpul folosit, nu cu fora,
care rmne greu de apreciat.
Diferit de cel al omului antichitii, obiceiul omului modernitii era deci
s-i umple timpul, s fie ocupat pn peste cap, s fie aferat. Totodat ns,
n modernitate s-a difuzat, mai trziu, e adevrat, i un stil de via aparent
contrar, care ndemna la prsirea oraului locul de munc vara sau toam-
na sau, cel puin, smbta i duminica. Numai coliziunea celor dou tendine
produce semnificaia timpului liber modern. Pentru c un atare obicei nu
fcea dect s dea form nelepciunii eficiente a celui care tie cum s mun-
ceasc. Spuneam mai sus c priceputul n ale muncii i las rgazurile ct
s-i trag sufletul, pentru a reveni la munc cu intensitate i randament.
Cel care atac frontal obiectul muncii fr ncetare risc s-i piard rit-
mul, fora de munc i eficiena. Prsirea oraului, a locului privilegiat al muncii
moderne, industriale, era necesar cu att mai mult cu ct munca industria-
l era nenatural n raport cu deprinderile omului i eficient n ordinea
muncii pentru c ngduia refacerea forei de munc. Timpul liber, acest timp
al rgazului, era tot un timp al eficienei, un timp mort din punctul de vedere
al produciei, dar un timp eficient pentru productivitate. O dat cu aceas-
ta a aprut o semnificaie diferit a timpului liber fa de cea iniial, a indi-
vidualismului antic. Pentru omul antichitii, timpul liber ngduia o asumare
personalizat a semnificaiilor colective, era adic locul unei individualizri.
Pentru modernitate timpul liber, care, s nu uitm, trebuia programat i folosit
eficient, ca i timpul de munc, este spaiul refacerii forei de munc.
ns raporturile ntre munc i timp liber s-au schimbat nc o dat n post-
modernitate prin trecerea de la o societate a produciei, care preuiete
munca, la o societate a consumului, care preuiete risipirea produciei (Ba-
taille) n spaiul timpului liber. n modernitate, timpul liber nsemna orar liber,
spaiu pentru alte activiti reparatorii i naturale. Acum, n modernitatea
trzie, cea n care trim noi, el nseamn subiectivitate liber, eliberarea subiec-
tivitii pulsionale de codificrile normative frustrante i castratoare. Situaia
este similar aceleia a sclavului din antichitate, care numai departe de st-
pn i la cderea nopii devenea el nsui. Generalizarea muncii moderne
ne-a fcut pe toi asemenea sclavului: devenim noi nine numai dac ne
ndeprtm de munc, n general de rolurile sociale pltite. O explicitare
implic dezvoltarea unor polariti care opun munca, srbtorii, adaptarea,
jocului liber i, eventual, srbtoresc al semnificaiilor, coerena adap-
tativ a comportamentului, delirului pulsional liber. Vechea via social sau
public, cea care implica diferitele forme ale muncii, presupune statut, funcii,
roluri care normau comportamentele, limitau contactele i reprimau spon-
taneitatea. Acum statutul individului nu mai este definit att socio-profesional,
prin munc, ct mai degrab prin felul distraciei vacane, ieiri, distracii
colective care au mai puin o menire reparatorie i de refacere a forei de
munc i mai mult una de risipire personal i de consum socio-economic.
O supraabunden productiv trebuie epuizat pentru ca mecanismul so-
cio-economic s poat continua s produc, pentru ca societatea s nu se
lase sufocat de propria abunden. E ca i cum am fi angajai de societate
nu pentru procesul producerii, ct pentru cel al consumului de bunuri. n
acest scop este distribuit timpul liber, ct mai mult timp liber. n acest scop
par s se aboleasc ierarhiile funcionale ale societii moderne a produc-
iei i s se introduc altele noi. De aceea se inventeaz orare ct mai flexi-
bile de munc, precum i forme de munc cu durate diferite, care sporesc
timpul liber. Din perspectiva acestei semnificaii a timpului liber i a iden-
titii umane definite mai degrab prin tipul de distracie dect prin profe-
not populated by activities of such type. The spatialization of time is quite
clearly reflected in the modern way of designing diaries: the blank page is
the space turned time we record our activities on. It seemed modernity valued
work morally and socially in itself because it tried to respect the slogan
Time is money with the greatest rigidity. Work is an activity essentially and defi-
nitely unfolded in time and rewarded as a rule according to the time consumed
by it, and not to the force, which is difficult to measure.
Quite different from that of the ancients, the habit of modern man was to pop-
ulate his time, to be busy to the extreme, to be fussy. A bit later but still in
modern times though, an apparently contrary way of life spread, urging people
to leave the city, their workplace, during summer or autumn, or on weekends
at least. The true significance of modern free time comes to light through the
collision of the two tendencies. This was so owing to the fact that certain habits
did nothing but frame the efficient wisdom of those who knew how to work.
I have already spoken of the recreational brakes of workers in the know that
allow them to get back to work in an intense and efficient fashion. Those who
heedlessly attack the object of their work head-on, risk to lose their rhythm,
force and efficacy. Leaving the city, the privileged place of modern, industrial
work was all the more necessary as industrial work was unnatural as com-
pared to mans usual activities and it also was efficient as it allowed for the
renewal of work force. Free time, this time consecrated to rest, was also a time of
efficacy, a time dead from the point of view of production but fruitful for pro-
ductivity. At this sage a connotation of free time different from the original,
ancient individualism, appeared. Free time allowed the ancients to assume col-
lective purports in a personalized way, meaning it was the place of a certain
individualization. For the moderns free time, destined to be efficiently pro-
grammed and used just as work time, is the space of recreation for work.
The relation in between work and free time has nevertheless changed in post-
modern times owing to the transition from a society of production valuing work
to a consumer type of society valuing the squandering of production (Bataille)
within the space of free time. Free time meant free schedule in modernity, space
for recreational and natural activity. By our belated modern times the notion
implies free subjectivity, the liberation of compulsive subjectivity from under
frustrating and castrating normative codes. The situation is much similar to that
of ancient slaves, who became themselves only in the absence of their lord and
at nightfall. The generalization of modern work made us all slave-like: we
become ourselves only when we obliterate work and social roles we are
paid to undertake. A more explicit way of looking implies the development
of certain polarities which oppose work to celebrating, adaptation to the free
and possibly ceremonial play of purports, the adaptive coherence of behavior
to free compulsive delirium. Old social or public life demanded status, func-
tions and roles that all regulated behavior, limited contacts and repressed
spontaneity. The status of the individual today is not so much defined socio-
professionally, by work as rather by various ways of entertainment holidays,
outings, collective distractions that instead of a relaxing, recreational character
have one of personal waste and socio-economic consumption. An extreme pro-
ductive abundance needs to be exhausted for the socio-economic mechanism to
keep producing and save society from choking because of its own abun-
dance. It is as if we were employed by society not for the sake of the productive
process but for the consumption of goods. Free time, as much of it as possible,
is distributed with this aim. This aim is also the force that seems to abolish the
functional hierarchies of modern society based on production and to introduce
132


sie, persoanele snt considerate unice, egale i snt acceptate cu particularitile
care le fac diferite n scopul unic al creterii consumului. Edgar Morin a obser-
vat excepional de bine retoric acest proces advers modernitii atunci cnd
a spus: Valoarea marilor vacane este vacana marilor valori.
3

Prin urmare, ce este adevratul timp liber pentru noi, oamenii, deja, ai post-
postmodernitii, adic oamenii societii n care comunicarea este globa-
lizat? Timpul liber este spaiul eliberrii pulsiunilor noastre. Ideea esenial
a postmodernitii este ideea c noi, ca subieci, sntem codificai de pro-
pria noastr cultur aa cum calculatoarele snt programate de softul lor. Idee
nsoit de contiina lucid c orice decodare este o alt codificare, c nu
putem iei, ca oameni, ca subieci culturali, n afara procesului de codaj. Sin-
gurul care rmne n afar este acela al pulsiunilor care ncalc regulile so-
ciale, al transgresrii normelor noastre culturale. Sau, mai exact, am putea
spune c s-a nscut o cultur a transgresiunii, a nclcrii regulilor socio-cultu-
rale n limite totui nc suportabile sau tolerabile pentru coeziunea social.
Societatea nu poate face valoare dect din ceea ce este norm social. Valorile
definesc scopuri individuale validate social, prin generalizare. n acest sens,
modernitatea are pretenia universalizrii valorilor umane sau mai precis a
impunerii lor universale. Cultura noastr, motenitoarea culturii modernitii
trzii, se strduiete din rsputeri s fac loc particularismelor, alteritii, pre-
zenei celuilalt diferit, totui nu prea individualizat, cum ar fi spre exemplu
pedofilul sau violatorul n serie, ci aparinnd totui unui grup, la limit, tolera-
bil social, unei, dup termenii culturii postmoderne, minoriti, cum snt ho-
mosexualii, transsexualii sau consumatorii de droguri uoare.
O dat cu aceast schimbare n semnificaia timpului liber, care devine tim-
pul eliberrii pulsionale, ceva profund s-a schimbat totodat i n felul n care
societatea folosete acest timp liber. Deoarece ceea ce ni se permite so-
cial s nscriem n spaiul timpului liber, ceea ce este acceptat social ca avnd
valoare de timp liber i schimb natura o dat cu istoria societilor occiden-
tale. ntr-adevr, antichitatea a acceptat nscrierea n timpul liber a activitilor
de nsuire individual a valorilor respectivei societi greceti sau romane.
Pentru modernitate, timpul liber a fost spaiul unei recuperri mai mult sau
mai puin naturale a forei de munc, consumat n procesul produciei.
Modernitatea a cenzurat manifestarea pulsiunilor chiar i n spaiul timpu-
lui liber: pn i, paradoxal, libertatea timpului liber, adic irosirea timpului
liber n mod neplanificat, simpla lene, paradiziac pentru individ, era con-
damnat. Observaiile lui I. P. Culianu din una dintre cele mai importante
texte ale sale i n aceeai msur, cele mai puin citate sau analizate din-
tre textele sale n Romnia , Religie i creterea puterii
4
, snt perfect vala-
bile pentru modernitatea trzie, pentru trecerea dinspre modernitate spre
postmodernitate. ntr-adevr, el observ o deosebire semnificativ n
tratarea comportamentelor deviante, adic pur i simplu pulsionale, cele
care elibereaz puterea individului, cele n detrimentul crora dup for-
mula lui Freud se construiete civilizaia, n cele dou sisteme, existente
nc atunci, cel capitalist i cel socialist. El distinge ntre statul vrjitor i sta-
tul poliist. n primul caz, statul capitalist utilizeaz pulsiunile individuale inac-
ceptabile social pentru a-i menine n micare i a amplifica micarea
mecanismului economic, lsnd n acelai timp pe aceti marginali s se
autodistrug, s se autoexclud prin exercitarea pulsiunilor lor. Statul socia-
list, ca un autentic urma al modernitii, a folosit n schimb panoptismul
supravegherii moderne i nchisorile sau azilurile de boli nervoase pentru
a reeduca, redresa i face utile social nite fore individuale compromise.
De ctigat n istoria Occidentului a ctigat varianta statului vrjitor, care ns
new ones. This is why more and more flexible schedules and the most varied
work periods increasing the amount of free time are being invented. From the
perspective of this significance of free time and of human identity defined rather
by the type of entertainment than by that of profession, persons are con- sidered
unique, equal and are accepted with their particularities that generate the
difference between them with the unique aim of the growth of
consumption. Edgar Morin noted this process opposed to modernity with an
exceptional rhetorical skill when he said: The value of great holidays is the hol-
iday of great values.
3

Consequently, what does free time actually consist of for us, people already
of postmodernity, people of the society with global communication? Free time
is the space for liberating our drives. The essential idea of postmodernity is
the idea that we, as subjects, are coded by our own culture the way computers
are programmed by their soft. The idea goes with the conscious awareness of
the fact that any decoding is only another encoding, that it is impossible for us
as humans and cultural subjects to escape encoding. The only way out is that
of drives transgressing our social rules and cultural norms. We might even say,
for the sake of greater precision, a new culture of transgression, of the violation
of socio-cultural rules came into being within limits still bearable for social
cohesion. Society can create values only from social norms. Values determine
individual aims socially validated through generalization. Modernity insists
in this respect on the universality of human values, that is on their universal
validity. Our culture, an heir to late modern culture, tries to reserve by all
means a place for particularities, for alterity, for the presence of the different
but not extreme (as the pedophile or the rapist) other, belonging to a group
that is yet not past the limits of social tolerance, to a minority, to put it in post-
modern terms, such as homosexuals, transsexuals or consumers of light drugs.
Along with this change in the significance of free time, which became the time
of compulsive deliverance, came a profound change in the way society makes
use of free time. Actually the activity we are socially allowed to inscribe
in the space of free time, anything that is socially accepted as having the value
of free time, changes its nature in line with the history of western societies.
The ancients accepted the inscription in free time of activities that consisted
in individually assuming the values of the Greek or Roman society in question.
Free time signified for the moderns the space of a more or less natural recre-
ation of the work force consumed in the process of production. Modernity cen-
sored the manifestation of drives even in free time: in a paradoxical way, even
the freedom of free time, meaning the freedom to waste free time without any
design, simple indolence, heavenly for the individual, was condemned.
The notes of I. P. Culianu in one of his most important texts and to the same
extent among the ones less frequently quoted in Romania Religie i creterea
puterii (Religion and the Growth of Power)
4
, are completely valid for late
modernity, fro the time of transition from modernity to the postmodern. Culianu
notes a significant difference in the treatment of deviant, that is compulsive
behavior, behavior that liberates the power of the individual, behavior against
which as formulated by Freud civilization is built,
in the two systems that existed by then, the capitalist and the socialist ones.
His distinction is drawn between the witch state and the police state.
In the first case the capitalist state uses the socially unacceptable individual
drives to maintain and amplify the functioning of its economic mechanism,
leaving at the same times these marginal individuals a prey to self-destruction,
allowing them to exclude themselves from society through exercising their
+ (timpul liber)
133



i-a schimbat, dup victorie, perspectiva. Spaiul timpului liber a devenit tot
mai pulsional i, paralel, intenia societii de a-l folosi ca loc al autodistrugerii
individuale tot mai redus. Intenia nsi s-a schimbat: pulsiunile individuale,
transgresiunile snt folosite pentru a susine micarea mecanismului economic
pe o durat ct mai ndelungat, astfel c autodistrugerea subiecilor pulsionali
trebuie amnat. Asta pentru c noua rentabilizare a ceea ce societatea de
consum admite ca timp liber are n vedere pulsiunile noastre individuale.
Societatea occidental pe cale de globalizare a descoperit subtilitatea sau
perversiunea de a ne vinde nou propriile noastre pulsiuni prin imaginile
multiplelor media sau o dat cu numeroasele gadgeturi tehnologice. i nu
numai cum ar fi, lesne de gndit de la Freud ncoace, pulsiunile erotice, ci
mai nou, tot mai mult chiar i pulsiunile tanatice. Se practic sporturi ex-
treme, turism extrem, se practic glumele, cum zicea un amic, fizice, adi-
c se nsceneaz realiti ocante pentru a urmri tririle i catharsisul celui
vizat, se caut imaginile violente, ocante sau se produc artistic astfel de ima-
gini; pe scurt, se cultiv adrenalina. Timpul liber al post-postmodernitii a
ajuns s fie spaiul social al rentabilizrii totale, att erotice, ct i tanatice, a
pulsiunilor individuale.


Note:

1. Ori antropolog?... Poate chiar Leroi-Gourhan; dac nu, cu siguran cineva din coala sa.

2. La fel ca n romanele istorice ale lui Sadoveanu, unde fiul de domn scrie dragei sale o scrisoare
pe care o dateaz cu precizie, de la facerea lumii mai nti i de la naterea Mntuitorului nostru
mai apoi.

3. Edgar Morin, Lesprit du temps, Paris, Grasset, 1962, p. 27.

4. In: G. Romanato, M. G. Lombardo, I. P. Culianu, Religie i putere, Bucureti, Nemira, 1996.
drives. The socialist state, as an authentic descendant of modernity, uses in
exchange the machinery of modern surveillance and the penitentiary system
or mental asylums to reeducate, straighten and turn socially useful certain com-
promised individual forces. The winning variant in the history of the West is the
witch state which nevertheless has changed its perspective after the victory.
The space of free time became more and more compulsive while the intention
of society to use it as a space for individual self-destruction decreased.
The intention itself changed: individual drives, transgressions are employed to
sustain the movement of the economic mechanism for a period as long as
possible a reason why the self-destruction of subjects needs to be postponed.
This happens so as the new way to make all that consumer society admits as free
time efficient is actually built on our individual drives. Globalizing Western
society has discovered the subtlety or perversion of selling our own drives to us
through the images of multiple media or along with numberless technological
gadgets. And this pertains not only to erotic drives, as it were so easy and natu-
ral to think ever since Freud, but even to Thanatic drives lately. Forms of extreme
sports and extreme tourism are encouraged, physical jokes, as
a friend used to say, are played off, shocking realities being staged for the
audience to follow the experiences and catharsis of the persons involved,
violent, shocking images are sought for, or artistically produced; the cult
of adrenaline is upon us, in brief. The free time of postmodernity ended up
being the social space of the complete profit-making, with tools erotic
and Thanatic as well, out of individual drives.

Translated by Nomi Lszl

Notes:

1. Or was it an anthropologist?... Perhaps Leroi-Gourhan himself, or one of his disciples,
if not.

2. Just as it happens in Sadoveanus historic novels, where the prince writes a letter
to his beloved dating it with precision from the making of the world first and from
the birth of our Savior then.

3. Edgar Morin, Lesprit du temps, Paris, Grasset, 1962, p. 27.

4. In: G. Romanato, M. G. Lombardo, I. P. Culianu, Religie i putere [Religion and Power],
Bucharest, Nemira, 1996.
134


Timp liber, spaiu ocupat
Dana Vais



You cant have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices.
(Aldous Huxley)



Timpul liber a ncetat s mai fie un privilegiu nobiliar i a devenit un fel de
atestat de noblee de mas o dat cu modernitatea. Timpul liber modern,
de mas, este ns o noiune paradoxal. Liber este de fapt prin exce-
len timpul individual, timpul n care nu numai c nu eti obligat s munceti
i s-i ctigi pinea prin corvezi, dar n care nu trebuie nici s te conformezi
n vreun fel altora, adic s intri ntr-un cadru obligat sau mcar indus de valul
celor din jur. Timpul liber este ceva personal absolut i exclusiv perso-
nal , altfel nu e liber.
Nimic nu face mai vizibil paradoxul timpului liber de mas ca metamor-
foza prin care trece suportul su spaial: spaiul urban de mas, mai precis
spaiul de loisir al oraului modern. Timpul e o dimensiune abstract, dar
spaiul urban e concret, prezent i teribil de eficient. n aparen, o mas
tot mai mare de oameni cu tot mai mult timp liber a pretins oraului s-i
rspund cu spaii adecvate, iar acesta s-a conformat. De fapt rspunsul a
luat-o mult naintea problemei. Spaiul e cel care i se impune masei. Lsat
n voia libertii ei de timp, masa s-ar mica exact ca o mulime de particu-
le browniene dezordonate, ncrcate de energie, dar nu i de sens. Spaiul
oraului tocmai asta face, canalizeaz masei micarea i i exploateaz ener-
gia direct proporional cu timpul liber. Spaiul urban nu servete timpul liber,
ci l consum.

Utopia (spaiul indiferent)
Timpul liber este prin definiie timpul plcerii i, dac se poate, chiar al ferici-
rii. Utopia modern a formulat-o explicit.
n Brave New World, Aldous Huxley descria o societate modern perfect.
Timpul liber nsemna acolo mai ales dou lucruri: sex liber (copiii erau ori-
cum produi n eprubete) i drogare oficializat. Drogul era de o chimie
perfect i nu avea nici o urmare propriu-zis nesntoas. n afar de de-
penden, desigur dar plcerea n sine e cea care creeaz dependen.
Faptul c drogarea (adic pur i simplu uciderea timpului) nghiea foarte
mult din timpul liber determina i organizarea spaiului. Mai exact, felul n
care era organizat spaiul oraului nu avea mare importan. n afar de
satisfacerea strict a funcionrii mainriei sociale, singura cerin clar era
aceea de a nu ncuraja singurtatea (drogarea nu nseamn singurtate,
ci evadare chiar i din condiia personal). S-i petreci timpul liber n sin-
gurtate era foarte suspect. S citeti cri, de exemplu, era considerat un
act antisocial dar dintr-un motiv care sun azi premonitoriu din partea
lui Huxley: pentru c dac i petreci timpul citind nu prea mai ai timp s
consumi, iar consumul este ceva obligatoriu, n interesul dezvoltrii indus-
triei. Arta era i ea exclus fericirea trebuie ntotdeauna preferat artei,
FREE TIME, OCCUPIED SPACE
Dana Vais

You cant have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices.
(Aldous Huxley)


Free time has ceased to be a noble privilege and has become some kind of
mass nobility certificate in modern times. Modern mass free time is however
a paradoxical notion. Free is in fact and essentially the individual time,
the time when not only you dont have to work and painfully make a living but
also you dont have to conform in any way to others, that is to get into the envi-
ronment of the surrounding people. Free time is something personal absolutely
and exclusively personal otherwise it is not free.
Nothing makes the paradox mass leisure time more visible than the metamor-
phosis undergone by its spatial support: the mass urban space, the leisure
space of the modern city to be exact. Time is an abstract dimension, but the
urban space is concrete, present and extremely efficient. Apparently, an increas-
ing number of people with more and more spare time require the city to provide
adequate space, and the requirement was answered. In fact, the answer came
about long before the issue. The space is the one to impose itself onto the mass.
Left to its own freedom of time, the mass would move exactly like a lot of
Brownian particles in disorder, filled with energy but not with sense. The city
space canalizes the mass movement and exploits its energy in direct ratio with
its free time. Urban space doesnt serve free time but consumes it.


Utopia (indifferent space)
Free time is by definition the time of pleasure and, if possible, even the time
of happiness. Modern utopia phrased it explicitly.
In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley described a perfect modern society.
Free time meant there especially two things: free sex (children were conceived
in vitro anyway) and official drug use. Drugs had a perfect chemical composi-
tion so that no unhealthy outcome existed. Except for addiction of course but
pleasure as such is the one to create the addiction. The fact that getting high
(merely killing time) was extremely time consuming also determined the space
planning. To be precise, the way in which the city space was organized wasnt
very important. Besides the strict functionality of the social system, the only
clear requirement was that of not encouraging loneliness (getting high doesnt
mean loneliness but evasion even from the personal condition). To spend your
free time alone was considered very suspicious. To read books, for instance,


DANA VAIS s-a nscut n 1965, la Cluj. Este doctor n arhitectur, ef de lucrri la Facultatea de
Arhitectur i Urbanism a Universitii Tehnice din Cluj. Domeniul ei de cercetare este arhitectura
modern i contemporan.
DANA VAIS (born 1965, Cluj) is PhD in architecture, lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and
Urbanism, Technical University Cluj. Her research field is modern and contemporary architecture.
+ (timpul liber)
135



subliniaz Huxley.
1
Societatea modern era imaginat ca o societate a feri-
cirii generale.
Cu o singur condiie: s nu fii diferit. Cci orict ar fi fost de precis teh-
nologia eprubetelor, din greeal, vai, apreau i oameni diferii de restul
masei. Pentru ei din pcate nu exista loc n minunata lume nou (drept
urmare erau deportai pe o insul n ocean). Spaiul modernitii perfecte
era rezervat exclusiv oamenilor-mas, un spaiu n care timpul individual pur
i simplu nu avea loc.

Oraul radios (spaiul gol)
n utopia pus n oper, cea a urbanismului modernist, spaiul liber
apare n schimb ca o obsesie. Le Corbusier i colegii si de la CIAM au
prevzut n organizarea lor tiinific i funcionalist a oraului destul spaiu
special dedicat timpului liber. n Carta urbanismului modern, alias
Carta de la Atena (definit la nceputul anilor 30, exact ca lumea nou
a lui Huxley), capitolul despre Loisir afirm de la prima fraz nevoia
categoric de suprafee libere. Cum oraul modern este prin definiie
igienist, spaiul e n primul rnd o chestiune de sntate public. Orele
libere, pe care mainismul le va nmuli negreit, vor fi consacrate unui sejur
reconfortant n snul elementelor naturale.
2
Timpul liber trebuie s n-
semne plimbare n spaiile verzi i mult sport. E mijlocul sigur de a fi sn-
tos, adic pentru moderni n mod automat i fericit (dei nu cred c pe
atunci se tia c exerciiul fizic produce n corp endorfina, hormonul
fericirii). Ceea ce Le Corbusier va numi oraul radios este ca un fel
de staiune de agrement (o plimbare prin cartierul Gheorgheni din Cluj,
de exemplu, excluznd irurile imunde de garaje de tabl, te mai face
nc s te simi ca la staiune). Obsesiile lui igieniste se traduc
printr-un spaiu gol, lipsit de orice altceva n afar de aer curat. Aer cald
i luminos de la soare, oxigenat de la vegetaie, silenios i nepoluat de
la ndeprtarea circulaiei, totui nimic altceva dect aer Aer liber. i
nimic nu este distribuit mai omogen dect aerul. Spaiul public al moder-
nismului este gol, dar fundamental democratic. Nimicul se poate dis-
tribui generos tuturor.

Spectacolul (spaiul circului vicios)
ntre drog i sntate obligat, ntre totul i nimic, oraul modernitii pure
i dure nc nu se confrunta totui cu timpul liber de mas. Nu perioada
industrializrii, a primei moderniti, a dezlnuit de fapt masa. Mutaia
este mult mai recent. Apariia week-end-ului n rile industrializate, de
exemplu, are mai puin de jumtate de secol, iar prosperitatea la scar de
mas nc i mai puin. Concentrat ntr-un timp recent relativ scurt, mass
leisure este de-a dreptul exploziv i poate fi foarte distructiv se poate
vorbi pur i simplu de o leisure corrosion, observ Peter Davey.
3
Epoca
noastr, a doua modernitate sau modernitatea lichid cum o numete
Zygmunt Bauman
4
, nseamn fluidizarea rapid a societii, adic explozia
unei lumi relativ statice i transformarea ei ntr-una a micrii i curgerii con-
tinue. Cci timpul liber este n primul rnd generator de micare. Deci i
devorator de spaiu.
Spaiul urban nu a fost ns n defensiv fa de aceast lichefiere frenetic,
ci din contr, a participat la ea, devenind ispititor i manipulant. Spaiul nchide
ntre diguri apele dezlnuite ale mulimilor, dar nu numai pentru a evita ero-
ziunea determinat de timpul lor liber, ci mai ales pentru c ele dein i o
mare energie potenial. Energia plcerii, garania societii fericite.
was an antisocial act but for a reason that sounds foretelling today coming
from Huxley: because if you spend your time reading you dont have enough
time left to consume, and to consume is compulsory in the industrys best inter-
est. Art was also excluded happiness should always be preferred to art, Huxley
1
points out. Modern society was imagined as a society of generalized happiness.
On one condition though: not to be different. For as precise as in vitro technolo-
gy may be, by mistake, alas, people different from the mass would be born.
Unfortunately there was no place for them in the brave new world (conse-
quently they were deported on an island in the ocean). The space of perfect
modernity was exclusively reserved to mass-people, a space wherein individual
time simply didnt take place.

Radiant city (empty space)
However, in the implemented utopia of modernist urbanism, the free space
appears as an obsession. Le Corbusier and his colleagues at CIAM provided in
their scientific and functionalist organization of the city enough space expressly
for free time. In the Charter of modern urbanism, alias the Charter
of Athens (defined at the beginning of the 30s, exactly like Huxleys new
world), the chapter about Loisir states from the very first sentence the defi-
nite need for free surfaces. As the modern city is by definition hygienic, the
space is first and foremost a matter of public health. The spare time that
the machinism will surely increase will be spent in a comforting stay in the mid-
dle of natural elements.
2
Free time must mean walking in the green and a lot of
sport. It is the reliable means to keep healthy, that is, for the moderns, auto-
matically happy too (although I dont think that back then it was known that
physical work out produces the endorphin, the hormone of happiness).
What Le Corbusier was about to call the radiant city is a kind of resort (a walk
in Gheorgheni neighborhood in Cluj, for instance, excluding the horrible rows
of metal garages, still makes you feel as in a resort...). Its hygienic obsessions
translate into an empty space, lacking everything but clean air. Warm and
sunny air, oxygenated by vegetation, quiet and unpolluted as there is no traffic,
yet nothing else but air... Free air. And nothing is more homogenously distrib-
uted than air. The modernist public space is empty but fundamentally demo-
cratic. Nothingness can generously be distributed to everybody.

The spectacle (space of the vicious circus)
Between drugs and imposed health, between all and nothing, the modernist city
had not yet confronted however the mass leisure. It is not the industrial-
ization age, the one of the first modernity, that has in fact unleashed the mass-
es. The mutation is much more recent. The introduction of weekend in the
industrialized countries, for instance, is less than half a century old and mass
prosperity even less. Concentrated in a relatively short period of recent time,
mass leisure is plainly explosive and can be very destructive one can speak
of leisure corrosion, as Peter Davey puts it.
3
Our times, the second moderni-
ty, or the liquid modernity as Zygmunt Bauman
4
calls it, means rapid flu-
idization of the society, that is the explosion of a relatively static world and its
transformation in a world of continuous movement and flow. Because free time
is firstly a movement generator. Hence a space devourer.
The urban space hasnt been on the defense in front of this liquid frenzy but, on
the contrary, it has been part of it as a tempter and manipulator. Space closes
up, like piers do, the reckless waters of the crowd, but not only in order to avoid
136


Dac n minunata lume nou a lui Huxley timpul liber era de fapt pur i
simplu omort prin drog ntr-un spaiu indiferent, acum el este din contr
stimulat ca potenial de plcere. Oraul s-a nchipuit postmodern (o alt
etichet a modernitii lichide) atunci cnd societatea nsi a depit aus-
teritatea calculului funcionalist pentru a se transforma ntr-o societate a
plcerii. Tendina (nceput n anii 80) de a trata tot mai mult centrele urbane
ca locuri de divertisment este consecina ei direct. Ceea ce s-a produs n
ultimul sfert de secol este perceput ca o teatralizare a oraului, adic spaiile
urbane snt remodelate ca nite adevrate puneri n scen: anumite soluii
de design urban n marile metropole, ca s nu mai vorbim de locuri ale ispitei
prin definiie, cum ar fi Las Vegas, in mai mult de scenografii fabuloase dect
de urbanism propriu-zis.
5
Mass leisure se traduce azi cam ca pe vremea
romanilor, prin faptul c circuri tot mai extravagante i suplimenteaz masei
pinea zilnic cum spune Catherine Slessor.
6
Spaiul public urban este
azi scenografie pentru spectacolul de circ.
Societatea spectacolului pe care o definea Debord acum aproape patru-
zeci de ani, n plin criz a primei moderniti, se mai referea nc la o no-
iune mai abstract de spectacol ( este viaa concret a tuturor, care s-a
degradat n univers speculativ, tot ceea ce era trit direct s-a ndeprtat n-
tr-o reprezentare). Spectacolul presupunea atunci o reprezentare/
reprezentaie ntr-un singur sens (spectacolul este o activitate specializa-
t care vorbete pentru ansamblul celorlali). Masa era doar receptorul pasiv
era societatea modern nlnuit, mulumit s doarm linitit n timp
ce spectacolul i era chiar paznicul acestui somn.
7

ntre timp reprezentrile/reprezentaiile de circ au devenit interactive i
s-au nchis n cerc. Masa i-a asumat chiar ea un rol activ n spectacol. Spaiul
liber omogen, indiferent i gol al modernismului a fost treptat invadat de
circul vicios al mulimii hedoniste nsei. Rolul ei e acela de a-i evalua spa-
iului potenialul de fericire.
Valoarea spaiilor e dat de capacitatea lor de a fi dorite, iar una dintre surse-
le perverse ale dorinei este inaccesibilitatea. Nu snt cele mai dorite spaii
cele n care e greu de ptruns? Nu este mai mare satisfacia atunci cnd i
petreci timpul ntr-un loc n care nu are acces oricine? Nu devine uneori
chiar dreptul de acces o plcere n sine? Toate dotrile urbane publice snt
astzi un fel de capcane paradoxale. Menite s ispiteasc mulimea doritoare
de plcere, ele o atrag pn la punctul n care li se atest suficient de mult
valoare ca s o poat respinge. Capcanele snt astfel selective fcute s
momeasc masa, dar nu i s-o captureze. Ca un fel de reminiscen a
surselor sale nobiliare, timpul liber trte dup el fantasma elitismului, n
forma inaccesibilitii, sau a accesibilitii limitate, a spaiului. Iniial nediferen-
iat public, spaiul i vede acum atestat ca surs de fericire chiar diferen-
ierea n sine. Acesta este circul vicios: spectacolul evalurii paradoxale a
spaiului, prin care masa i legitimeaz chiar propria excludere. Aa se face
c accesibilitatea spaiului public al oraului a urmat o evoluie invers celei
a timpului liber. Ceea ce masa a ctigat n libertatea timpului, a pierdut nen-
doielnic n libertatea spaiului.

Enclavele (spaiul ocupat)
Nimic nu ilustreaz mai bine circul vicios al capcanei selective ca parcurile
de distracii (cu prototipul Disneyland), n care diveri teoreticieni de la post-
modernism ncoace, precum Diane Ghirardo, s-au obinuit deja s vad
paradigma spaiului urban contemporan. Satisfcnd o dorin profund i
strveche, aceea de a locui un univers al fanteziei, parcurile tematice au fost
the erosion that their spare time inflicts on it, but mostly because of their
great potential energy. The energy of pleasure, the guarantee for a happy
society.
If in Huxleys brave new world spare time was in fact killed with drugs in an
indifferent space, now, on the contrary, it is stimulated as pleasure potential. The
city imagined itself postmodern (another label for the liquid modernity)
when society itself overcame the austerity of the functionalism in order to
change into a society of pleasure. The tendency (starting in the 80s) to think
more and more of the urban center as an entertaining area is its direct conse-
quence. What happened in the past quarter of century is perceived as making
the city theatrical, meaning that the urban spaces are reshaped as true stage
settings: certain urban design solutions in the main metropolises, not to speak
of temptation spaces by deffinition, such as Las Vegas, remind more of fabulous
stage settings than of urban design proper.
5
Mass leisure translates today,
almost like in ancient Romans time, in the fact that everywhere extravagant
circuses supplement the masss daily bread according to Catherine
Slessor.
6
Urban public space is today the setting of circus shows.
The Society of the Spectacle that Debord defined almost forty years ago,
in full crisis of the first modernity, still referred to an abstract notion of show (
it is everyones concrete life that has degraded in a speculative universe,
everything that had been lived directly has transformed into a representa-
tion). Back then, the spectacle supposed a one way representation (the spec-
tacle is a specialized activity that speaks for all the others). The mass was the
mere passive receiver the chained modern society, only too content to sleep
well while the spectacle was the very guardian of its sleep.
7

Meanwhile the circus representations have become interactive and have been
closed up in a circle. The mass even took an active role in the show. The free,
homogenous, indifferent and empty space of modernism has been progressive-
ly invaded by the vicious circus of the hedonist crowd itself. Its role is that
of assessing the happiness potential of the space.
The value of spaces is given by their ability to be desired and one of the perverse
sources of desire is inaccessibility. Arent the most wanted those spaces that are
impenetrable? Isnt satisfaction greater when one spends time in a place that is
not accessible to everyone? Isnt sometimes the right to access a pleasure in
itself? All the public urban facilities are today some kind of paradoxical traps.
Meant to tempt the crowd craving for pleasure, they attract it as far as they are
granted enough value in order to reject it. Thus the traps are selective made
to lure the mass but not to capture it. Like a kind of reminiscence of its noble
sources, free time drags behind it the elitism phantasm in the form of inacces-
sibility or limited accessibility of space. Initially undifferentiatedly public,
the space is now attested as source of happiness in its very difference. This is the
vicious circus: the show of paradoxical assessment of space, through which the
mass legitimates its own exclusion. So that the accessibility of city public space
has undergone a reverse evolution as compared to that of spare time. What the
mass gained in free time, it has undoubtedly lost in free space.

Enclaves (occupied space)
Nothing illustrates better the vicious circus of the selective trap than the
Disneyland-like parks that are perceived by various theorists of postmodernism,
such as Diane Ghirardo, as the paradigm of contemporary urban space.
Satisfying a deep-rooted and ancient desire, that of inhabiting a universe
of fantasia, the thematic parks have always been the refuge spaces of the elite
+ (timpul liber)
137



dintotdeauna spaiile de refugiu ale elitei (adesea spaii ale unor plceri per-
verse: de exemplu parcul Micului Trianon de la Versailles, n care Maria An-
toaneta i oferea plcerile vieii de ranc).
Disneylandurile se adreseaz i ele elitei lor elitei de mas. Iar aceast
elit nu dorete nicidecum un spaiu liber. Cnd Charles Moore i ali
arhiteci-cercettori interesai de fenomen s-au aplecat asupra Disneyland-
ului, ca s neleag mai bine n ce const fora sa de atracie, au descope-
rit c tocmai atributele sale restrictive (taxa de intrare, accesul restrns, limitele
definite, codurile de conduit pentru angajai i codurile implicite pentru vizi-
tatori, nregimentarea, eficacitatea serviciilor de ntreinere) erau surse de con-
fort pentru vizitatorii claselor de mijloc.
8
n plus, n mod paradoxal, toate aceste
restricii trebuie s fie i suficient de evidente, dar i cumva disimulate n ochii
acestor beneficiari cam ipocrii, pentru c ei vor s poat afirma n continua-
re linitii, fr s se confrunte pe fa cu procesul de excludere, c aceste
enclave de fericire snt totui spaii publice. Prin aceasta Disneylandurile
snt chiar alter egouri ale spaiului public urban nsui. Ele nu fac dect s enune
mai explicit tipurile de control social care au definit i spaiile publice din
orae, rezervndu-le pentru clasele de mijloc cum spune Ghirardo.
9

Clasele de mijloc, adic elitele de mas, nu snt, aadar, deloc purttoare
ale valorilor libertii spaiului urban, ci protagonistele circului vicios al diferen-
ierii spaiului prin consum.
Gert Khler observa c visul secolului al XX-lea pentru un ora democratic
este definitiv mort i ngropat. Pentru moderni, oraul democratic ex-
prima idealul unei societi n care fiecare putea s participe n mod egal la
viaa oraului. Astzi, spune Khler, spaiul urban aparine de fapt investi-
torului privat (acesta este regizorul spectacolului, constructorul de capcane
selective, cel care transform valoarea de fericire a spaiului n pre). n mod
logic, investitorul privat se strduiete s-i satisfac doar pe aceia care i pot
da n schimb ce vrea el. i e clar ce vrea el, el vrea bani. Iar cei care au i
pot s-i dea bani nu i doresc la rndul lor nimic mai mult dect s se nchid
ct mai ermetic fa de cei care nu au.
10

Noiunea modern de spaiu public urban a fost, aadar, radical revizuit.
Cu toate c, teoretic, mai snt nc deschise oricui, spaiile publice ale
oraului mascheaz n realitate acum o serie ntreag de practici de exclu-
dere, care restrng serios definiia a ceea ce este public. Spaiile publice
snt de fapt deja foarte selective, fie pentru c pretind resurse pentru con-
sum, fie chiar prin sisteme propriu-zise de control, uneori de-a dreptul exce-
sive. Iar motivul acestei diferenieri, observ Ghirardo, este faptul c n realitate
nu mai exist o singur mas, un public, ci mai multe publicuri concurente.
11

Masa nsi se difereniaz prin performana concurenial n circul vicios,
prin care i cenzureaz chiar ea accesul n insulele de spaiu ocupat.

Izolarea (spaiul intim)
Inaccesibilitatea relativ a spaiului public tinde s canalizeze oamenii implacabil
spre spaiul interior. Timpul liber s-a polarizat acum ntre scara domestic
i scara urban (ntre sofa i stadion) cum spune Slessor.
12
Prin urmare,
la polul opus societii circului public nflorete acum societatea intim.
Tehnologia comunicaiilor a ntrit, evident, aceast tendin. ntr-adevr, la
ce ar mai trebui individul s ias din cas, dac dispune de terminalele tehno-
logice care i pot aduce acolo lumea ntreag, fr ca el s mai trebuiasc
s se deplaseze? Exagernd puin, dar nu foarte tare, Paul Virilio nfia omul
viitorului ca pe un cocon tehnologic un fel de freak, mbrcat ntr-un cos-
tum de date, un fel de polihandicapat, intrat ntr-o form tehnic de com.
(often space of perverse pleasures: like the Little Trianon in Versailles where
Marie Antoinette was offered the pleasures of a country girl).
Disneylands are also meant for their elite the mass elite. And this elite
doesnt want at all a free space. When Charles Moore and other architects-
researchers interested in the phenomenon tackled Disneyland in order to better
grasp the essence of its attractive force, they discovered that precisely its
restrictive attributes (entrance fee, restricted access, defined limits, conduct
codes for the employees and the implicit codes for the visitors, enlisting, effi-
ciency of the maintenance services) were sources of comfort for the middle class
visitors.
8
Besides, paradoxically, all these restrictions must be obvious enough
but also somewhat hidden in the eyes of the rather hypocrite cus- tomers
because they want to keep affirming calmly, without confronting the exclusion
process, that these enclaves of happiness are still public spaces.
As such, Disneylands are really alter egos of the public urban space itself.
They do nothing but state more explicitly the types of social control that have
also defined the city public spaces, reserving them for the middle classes
as Ghirardo
9
puts it. The middle classes, that is the mass elites, are not at all
the bearers of the urban free space values but the protagonists of the vicious
circus of space differentiation through consumption.
Gert Khler noticed that the 20th century dream for a democratic city is defini-
tively dead and buried. For the moderns, the democratic city expressed the
ideal of a society wherein everyone could participate equally in the city life.
Today, Khler says, the urban space belongs in fact to the private investor
(he is the director of the show, the planner of selective traps, the one who
transforms the happiness value of the space into price). Logically, the private
investor makes an effort to satisfy only those who can give him in exchange
what he wants. And, obviously, what he wants is money. And those who have
and can give him the money dont want in their turn anything else than to be
closed as hermetically as possible far from those who have not.
10

The modern notion of public urban space has been radically revisited. Although,
theoretically, they are still wide open to everyone, the city public spaces hide
now a series of exclusion practices that seriously restrict the defini- tion of what
is public. The public spaces are already very selective, either because they
require resources for consumption, or because of the control sys- tems proper,
sometimes obviously excessive. And the reason for this differenti- ation,
Ghirardo notes, is the fact that in reality there is no longer just one mass, a
public, but several publics in competition.
11
The mass itself is differentiated
through competitive performance in the vicious circus and thus it self-censors
its access to the isles of occupied space.

Isolation (intimate space)
The relative inaccessibility of public space tends to guide people implacably
towards inner space. Free time has been polarized now between the domestic
scale and the urban scale (between the sofa and the stadium) as Slessor
12

puts it. Consequently, at the opposite of the public circus society now an inti-
mate society is blooming. The communication technology strengthened, obvi-
ously, this tendency. Indeed, why would a person need to go out from home
having at hand all the technological devices that can bring the whole world
right there, with no need for movement? Exaggerating a little but not too much,
Paul Virilio portrayed the man of the future as a technological cocoon
some kind of freak dressed in a costume of data, a kind of poly-handi-
capped, gone into a technical form of coma. Our Civilization never knew
138


Civilizaia noastr n-a tiut niciodat s realizeze altceva dect o perpetu
prelungire a sedentarizrii urbane primare spune el. Inversiunea ncepe.
Involuia care conduce la inerie se accelereaz. Timpul liber, adic tim-
pul plcerii, i regsete astfel cu ajutorul tehnologiei sensul originar indivi-
dual. Toate plcerile vor putea fi de-acum simulate n spaiul privat interior,
prin prelungirile tehnologice ale percepiei corporale. (Poi convinge
oamenii de orice intensificnd detaliile l citeaz Virilio pe Ray Bradbury.)
Chiar i binefacerile igieniste ale spaiului sntos al oraului modernist pot
fi reproduse n interior. De exemplu, sportul poate fi foarte bine simulat
n slile de fitness, alergtorul pe band rulant, care se antreneaz stnd
pe loc, este un maestru al simulrii. Virilio d un exemplu i mai simpatic:
n Japonia, exist bazine n care apa curge i nottorul nu trebuie dect s
se zbat ca s-i pstreze poziia. Cel ce exerseaz devine un fel de pol
de inerie
13
, o entitate izolat i imobil. n spaiul interior, individul i este
perfect autosuficient.
Dar mai presus de orice, aici el poate fi invizibil. (Viitorul aparine mare-
lui black-out, mai spunea altundeva Virilio.
14
) Spaiul intim are un succes
sigur n absorbirea timpului liber n primul rnd pentru c este un spaiu
ferit de orice control social. Modul de petrecere a timpului societii in-
time este secret, posibil pervers i vicios; cu att mai bine, cci personali-
zarea total a secretului singurtii este mplinirea ideal a timpului
ntr-adevr liber.

Oraul generic (spaiul rezidual)
Totui, mai exist n mod evident i moduri de petrecere a timpului liber
care ar necesita spaiul mprtit, deschis i nedifereniat al oraului demo-
cratic. Ghirardo d ca exemplu adolescenii n cutare de aventuri galante.
Ea comenteaz c pentru reuita acestui gen de activiti nu e deloc nevoie
de spaii precis concepute i excesiv de controlate. i c adesea chiar din
contr, mediul cel mai inospitalier e cel mai favorabil evenimentelor efemere
to make anything else than prolong perpetually the primitive urban settling
process he says. The inversion begins. The involution that leads to inertia is
accelerating. Leisure time, that is the time of pleasure, finds again by the
means of technology its primary individual meaning. All the pleasures can be
now simulated in the interior private space, through the technological
extensions of the corporal perception. (You can convince people of everything
by intensifying the details Virilio quotes Ray Bradbury.) Even the hygienic
positive influences of the healthy space of the modernist city can be repro-
duced indoors. For example, sports can be easily simulated in the fitness cen-
ters the runner working out on the same spot is a master of simulation.
Virilio gives a funnier example: in Japan, there are swimming pools where the
water is flowing and the swimmer has only to paddle a little to keep the bal-
ance. The person working out becomes a kind of inertia pole
13
, an isolated
stationary entity. In the indoor space, the individual is perfectly self-
sufficient.
But most of all, here the person can be invisible. (The future belongs to the
great black-out, Virilio used to say.
14
) The intimate space is certainly successful
in absorbing free time because it is a space devoid of any social control.
The way of spending time in the intimate society is secret, maybe perverse and
vicious, better off as the total personalization of the solitude secret is the ideal
fulfillment of the really free time.

Generic city (junk space)
However, there are ways left to spend leisure time that would need the open,
shared and undifferentiated space of the democratic city. Ghirardo gives
the adolescents looking for gallant affairs as an instance. She comments that
for the success of this kind of activities there is no need for specially designed
spaces and excessive control. And that often, on the contrary, the most inhos-
pitable environment is the most favorable one for the successful ephemeral
reuite.
15
Aadar, potenialul de fericire al spaiului liber al modernitii a

events.
15
Thus, the potential of happiness of the modern free space has still
rmas totui nc valabil. Ce se va ntmpla dac circul vicios al enclavizrii
l va consuma definitiv?
Nu avem deloc de ce s ne ngrijorm: n ceea ce Rem Koolhaas definete
ca oraul generic (cu siguran oraul viitorului), acest spaiu este oricum
imbatabil. Spaiul modern gol i indiferent este etern. Este un spaiu de nen-
vins tocmai pentru c e un spaiu de tip negativ spaiu rezidual, junk-
space.
16
El este pnza de fond. El este ceea ce va rmne mereu ntre
capcanele selective, ntre arenele de circ, ntre insule, ntre enclave. El este
spaiul fr diferen n sine n sensul lui Deleuze
17
: cci spaiile nchise
ale capcanelor snt cele care se definesc prin diferen fa de el, dar el nu
se definete nicicum fa de nimic altceva. El pur i simplu este. Faptul c
acest spaiu e lipsit de caliti precum frumusee, identitate, calitate i sin-
gularitate nu conteaz, pentru c, aa cum spune Koolhaas, oamenii pot
fi fericii n orice sau se pot extazia din orice, iar ceea ce ar putea face arhitecii
sau urbanitii nu are nici o legtur cu asta.
18
Spaiul rezidual e de fapt per-
fect pentru paradoxalul timp liber de mas, pentru c e un spaiu al feri-
cirii paradoxale. Fericirea n spaiul urban nu st de fapt neaprat n regia
spectacolului, n etalarea diferenierii, n plusvaloarea excluderii, n respin-
gerea ieftintii a ceea ce pot avea toi. (Ca s vezi: nu banii aduc fericirea.)
Spaiul urban liber mai poate oferi nc destul plcere i nu e nici mcar
ieftin: e gratis.
remained viable. What will happen if the vicious circus of the enclave process
will consume it once and for all? There is no reason to worry: in what Rem
Koolhaas defines as generic city (surely the city of the future), this kind
of space is unbeatable anyway. The modern empty and indifferent space is def-
initely eternal. It is an unbreakable space precisely because it is a negative,
residual space junkspace.
16
It is the very background. It is what will always
remain between the selective traps, the circus arenas, the isles, and the enclaves.
It is the space without difference in itself in Deleuzes meaning
17
: for the
closed spaces of the traps are those that can be defined through the dif- ference
as compared to it, but it is not defined in any way in comparison to anything
else. It just is. Moreover, the fact that this space lacks qualities such as beauty,
identity, feature and singularity doesnt matter because, as Koolhaas says,
people can be happy in anything or can get ecstatic over anything, and what
the architects or the urban planners might do has nothing to do with it.
18

The junkspace is in fact perfect for the paradoxical mass leisure time,
because it is a space of the paradoxical pleasure. Happiness in the urban space
doesnt reside necessarily in the mise en scne, in the show off of the differ-
ences, in the added value of exclusion, in the rejection of cheapness of some-
thing which is available for everybody. The free urban space can still provide
enough pleasure and it is not even cheap: its free (of charge).
+ (timpul liber)
139



Societatea timpului liber (spaiul viciilor plcute)
Cine poate ns ti cum va fi oraul viitorului? Virilio, de exemplu, vorbete
despre ceea ce consider el a fi viitorul, despre oraul-lume (la ville-
monde), c va fi o cetate teletopic al crei aspect nimeni nu-l poate nc
ghici i al crei destin nimeni nu-l poate ntrevedea.
19
Oraul a devenit azi
imposibil de prins i prezis, la fel ca societatea curgtoare a modernitii
lichide. Cci mutaiile spaiului urban snt chiar mutaiile societii.
Acum vreo zece ani de exemplu, societatea se contractase ntr-un fel de
minimum. La nceputul anilor 90, cnd domina nc mirosul greu al climatului
politic ultra-conservator dup cum spune Davey, spaiul urban trebuia s
fie dirijat exclusiv de piaa liber, pentru c, se pretindea, doar astfel se poate
oferi oricui maximum de libertate. Asta fiind, desigur, adevrat pentru cei
bogai, dar pentru puini alii, mai observ Davey. De vreo zece ani ncoace
totui, constat el, criticile mpotriva acestui tip de mediu urban s-au nmulit
i, mai recent, dup toate atacurile slbatice asupra ei, societatea a devenit
din nou un concept respectabil.
20
Dar despre ce fel de societate vorbim?
Spaiul urban refuz de mult s mai fac alegeri exclusive. Societatea uto-
pic a drogului programat? Societatea igienist a spaiului gol? Societatea spec-
tacolului, societatea de consum? Societatea plcerii, a teatralizrii oraului?
Societatea circului vicios al evalurii perverse? Societatea intim, a singurt-
ii i ineriei? Societatea generic, a spaiului fr caliti? necat n timp liber,
societatea este fluid i are o mie de fee.
Exist ns n toate aceste metamorfoze un loc comun, o constant, i anume
aceea intuit de la bun nceput de Huxley: fora irezistibil a plcerii. Nu prea
inocent, mai degrab vicioas, plcerea este nu doar cea care d sens tim-
pului liber i determin evoluia suportului su spaial. Ea este chiar un prin-
cipiu fundamental, o for conductoare n societate. Orice societate
civilizat i va cultiva neaprat o mulime de vicii plcute.





Note:

1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World [1932], Londra, Triad Grafton, 1977 (v. n special pp. 62, 219,
226; citatul din moto: p. 234).

2. Le Corbusier, La Charte dAthnes, ditions de Minuit, 1957, p. 32. Carta de la Atena a fost elabo-
rata la Congresul din 1933 (CIAM = Congresele Internaionale de Arhitectur Modern,
19281956).

3. Peter Davey, Destroying All the Things We Love, in The Architectural Review, nr. 1260/2002,
p. 30.

4. V. Zygmunt Bauman, Modernitatea lichid, Ed. Antet, 2000.

5. Eric Holding, Mark Fisher. Staged Architecture, Architectural Monographs, nr. 52, Wiley-
Academy, 2000, p. 49.

6. Catherine Slessor, Enriching Entertainment, in The Architectural Review, nr. 1275/2003, p. 40.

7. Guy Debord, La Societ du spectacle [1967], Paris, ditions Grard Lebovici, 1989, pp. 910, 1617.

8. Diane Ghirardo, Les Architectures postmodernes [Architecture after Modernism, 1996], Paris,
Thames & Hudson, 1997, p. 42.

9. Ibid., p. 42.

10. Khler se referea la Olanda, dar ceea ce spune e de fapt valabil n general; cf. Gert Khler, Holland
Goes to Hollywood, in Archis, nr. 4/2002, p. 70.

11. Ghirardo, pp. 4344.
Free time society (space of the pleasant vices)
But who can know for sure what the city of the future will look like? Virilio, for
instance, talks about what he considers to be the future, about the world-city
(la ville-monde), that would be a teletopic city whose aspect no one can yet guess
and whose destiny no one can predict.
19
The city has become impossible to catch
and predict just like the flowing society of the liquid modernity. Because the
mutations in the urban space are the very mutations of the society itself.
Ten years ago, for instance, society had compressed to the minimum in a way.
At the beginning of the 90s, when the heavy smell of the ultra-conservative
political climate as Davey puts it was still dominating, the urban space was
supposed to be lead exclusively by the free market, because there was the pre-
tense that only in this way everyone could get maximum freedom. That being
of course, valid for the rich and few others, Davey also noted. For some ten
years, however, the criticism against this kind of urban environment increased
and, more recently, after all the savage attacks against it, society has become
again a respectable concept.
20
But what kind of society are we talking about?
The urban space has been refusing for a long time to stick to exclusive choices.
The utopian society of planned drug use? The hygienic society of the empty
space? The society of the spectacle, the consumer society? The society of pleas-
ure, of theatrical city? The society of the vicious circus of the perverse assess-
ment? The intimate society of loneliness and inertia? The generic society of
the space without qualities? Drown in free time, the society is fluid and has
a thousand faces.
There is, nonetheless, a common place in all these metamorphoses, a constant,
namely the one that Huxley initially intuited: the irresistible power of pleasure.
Not very innocent, rather vicious, pleasure is not just the one to give sense
to the free time and to determine the evolution of its spatial support. It really is
a fundamental principle, a driving force in society. Any civilized society will
necessarily cultivate plenty of pleasant vices.
Translated by Izabella Badiu


Notes:

1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World [1932], Triad Grafton, London, 1977 (see especially
pp. 62, 219, 226; the quotation in motto: p. 234).

2. Le Corbusier, La Charte dAthnes, ditions de Minuit, 1957, p. 32. The Charter
of Athens has been elaborated at the 1933 CIAM (International Congress of Modern
Architecture).

3. Peter Davey, Destroying All the Things We Love, in The Architectural Review
no. 1260/2002, p. 30.

4. See Zygmunt Bauman, Modernitatea lichid, Ed. Antet, 2000.

5. Eric Holding, Mark Fisher. Staged Architecture, Architectural Monographs, no. 52,
Wiley-Academy, 2000, p. 49.

6. Catherine Slessor, Enriching Entertainment, in The Architectural Review,
nr. 1275/2003, p. 40.

7. Guy Debord, La Societ du spectacle [1967], ditions Grard Lebovici, Paris, 1989,
pp. 910, 1617.

8. Diane Ghirardo, Les Architectures postmodernes [Architecture after Modernism,
1996], Thames & Hudson, Paris, 1997, p. 42.

9. Ibid., p. 42.

10. Khler refers to the Netherlands, but what he says is in fact generally valid;
cf. Gert Khler, Holland Goes to Hollywood, in Archis, no. 4/2002, p. 70.

11. Ghirardo, pp. 4344.
140


12. Slessor, p. 40.

13. Paul Virilio, LInertie polaire, Christian Bourgois diteur, 1990, pp. 39, 46, 51, 128, 133, 150, 163;
id., La machine de vision, Galile, 1988, p. 137.

14. Paul Virilio, Lcran du dsert. Chroniques de guerre, Galile, 1991, p. 135.

15. Ghirardo, pp. 4344.

16. V. Oma, Rem Koolhaas i Bruce Mau, S, M, L, XL Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large, ed. Jennifer
Sigler, Taschen, 1997 (cap. The Generic City, pp. 12391264).

17. Gilles Deleuze, Diffrence et rptition, Paris, PUF, 1968, p. 43.

18. Katrina Heron, From Bauhaus to Koolhaas, interviu (1996), in http://www.wired.com/wired/
archive/4.07/ koolhaas.html.

19. Virilio, Lcran du dsert, p. 192.

20. Peter Davey, Bigness, in The Architectural Review, nr. 1266/2002, p. 33.
12. Slessor, p. 40.

13. Paul Virilio, LInertie polaire, Christian Bourgois diteur, 1990, pp. 39, 46, 51, 128,
133, 150, 163; id., La machine de vision, Galile, 1988, p. 137.

14. Paul Virilio, Lcran du dsert. Chroniques de guerre, Galile, 1991, p. 135.

15. Ghirardo, pp. 4344.

16. V. Oma, Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau, S, M, L, XL Small, Medium, Large,
Extra-Large, edited by Jennifer Sigler, Taschen, 1997 (chap. The Generic City,
pp. 12391264).

17. Gilles Deleuze, Diffrence et rptition, Paris, PUF, 1968, p. 43.

18. Katrina Heron, From Bauhaus to Koolhaas, interview (1996), at:
http://www.vired.com/wired/archive/4.07/koolhass.html.

19. Virilio, Lcran du dsert, p. 192.

20. Peter Davey, Bigness, in The Architectural Review, no. 1266/2002, p. 33.
+ (timpul liber)
141



Fericirea impus
sau stilul brazilian al dominaiei
Fabio Akcelrud Duro



Dac ar trebui aleas o singur opoziie binar pentru a caracteriza nu numai
producia strict intelectual, ci i producia cultural n general din Brazilia,
candidatul cel mai vdit ar fi n mod cert opoziia indigen versus strin.
Spre deosebire de ceea ce se ntmpl la centrul sistemului mondial, unde
Teoria a devenit un gen cu drepturi proprii, la periferie modurile de abor-
dare par s fie ct se poate de net circumscrise de ctre acea dilem inevitabil,
peren i fatidic dintre cosmopolitismul turbat i regionalismul resentimentar.
Din dorina de a fi la zi, primul oglindete, fr s-i dea seama, burghezia
naional: import tehnologie intelectual (adic teorie) i o aplic materii-
lor prime autohtone (literaturi naionale, particulariti culturale). Produsul
finit poart marca exoticului, ceea ce din punct de vedere conceptual nu
este altceva dect confirmarea regulii prin excepia ei cu caracter de divertis-
ment. Regionalitii, pe de alt parte, lupt pentru o pia de rezerv n cadrul
creia nu doar obiectele supradeterminate de teorie ntr-o msur mai
mic sau mai mare , ci chiar i problemele nsele i-ar putea gsi formulri
indigene. Cum ns capitalismul global este un ntreg legat prin concuren
(adic prin deconectare), elanul regionalist i are propria istorie universal
de ncercri euate i de realizri mediocre. Cosmopoliii sfresc ca provin-
ciali, regionalitii ca internaionaliti. Desigur, o atare situaie reprezint doar
o soluie nefericit la o dialectic tipic Lumii a Treia; n unele cazuri (mai
rare), universalul i particularul se dizolv ntr-o ntreptrundere i ntr-o
autorectificare reciproce cnd evenimentul cel mai luntric i aparent mai
nereglementat dovedete c i are rdcinile n logica ntregului, pe care
astfel l modific, sau, invers, cnd, printr-o proast funcionare sistematic,
universalul nu apare ca atotcuprinztor, ci doar ca o parte a unei totaliti
inexistente.
1

n Brazilia, un loc deosebit de rodnic pentru analizarea unei asemenea situaii
este de gsit n teoriile legate de carnaval i de carnavalizare, principalele
manifestri ale ceea ce poate fi numit hedonismul brazilian. Cosmo-
politismul turbat ncearc s interpreteze carnavalul n aa fel nct s fac
din el un respectabil obiect de interogaie, cel mai probabil cu ajutorul semi-
oticii sau cu al binecunoscutei teorii a lui Bahtin; pe de alt parte, regiona-
litii resentimentari vor ncerca s demonstreze ce lucru fr seamn este
carnavalul brazilian, ceva unic pentru ar, servindu-se aproape invariabil
de toposul secular al melting-pot-ului brazilian, miscibilitatea sui-generis a
culturilor african, european i indigen, care i-ar gsi n carnaval supre-
ma reconciliere festiv. Fr ndoial, cele dou poziii pot ajunge la o fals
sintez, prin care tehnologiile interpretative vor fi mobilizate pentru a ates-
ta singularitatea proprie carnavalului brazilian, un exemplu de coexisten
panic, o ilustrare a amestecului interrasial i intercultural neproblemat-
ic n contradicie flagrant cu o rutin a violenei i a srciei pe care nici
un participant la carnaval nu poate s nu o remarce. Cu toate astea, nu
trebuie s ne pripim respingnd exaltrile carnavalului pe motivul c, ideo-
ENFORCED HAPPINESS; OR, DOMINATION BRAZILIAN STYLE
Fabio Akcelrud Duro

If one had to choose one single overarching binary opposition to characterize
not only strictly intellectual but also cultural production at large in Brazil, the
most obvious candidate would certainly be that of native versus foreign.
Unlike at the center of the world system, where Theory has become a genre in its
own right, in the periphery approaches seem to be most sharply limited by that
seemingly inevitable, perennial and fateful dilemma between wrathful cos-
mopolitanism and resentful regionalism. In its desire for being up-to-date, the
former unwittingly mirrors the national bourgeoisie: it imports intellectual tech-
nology (i.e. theory) and applies it to indigenous raw materials (national litera-
tures, cultural singularities). The finished product bears the mark of the exotic,
which conceptually is nothing more than the confirmation of the rule through
its entertaining exception. The regionalists, on the other hand, strive for
a reserve market in which not only the objects to a greater or lesser extent
overdetermined by the theory but also the problems themselves could find
native formulations. But since global capitalism is a whole connected through
competition (i.e. disconnection), the regionalist impetus has its own universal
history of failed attempts and mediocre achievements. The cosmopolitans end
up as parochial, the regionalists as internationalists. To be sure, this represents
only one unhappy solution to a typically Third-World dialectic; in some (rarer)
cases, universal and particular dissolve in mutual penetration and self-correc-
tion when the most intestine, seemingly unregulated event proves to have its
roots in the logic of the whole, thus modifying it, or, conversely, when through
systematic malfunctioning the universal does not appear as all-embracing but
only as a part of an unexisting totality.
1

In Brazil, a particularly fruitful place to investigate this can be found in theo-
ries of carnival and carnivalization, the main manifestations of what one might
term Brazilian hedonism. Wrathful cosmopolitanism attempts to so construe
carnival as to make it a respectful object of inquiry, most likely by means
of semiotics or Bakhtins well-known theory; resentful regionalists, on the
other hand, will try to prove that Brazilian carnival is nonpareil, something
unique to the country, almost invariable by making use that hundreds-year-
old topos of the Brazilian melting-pot, the sui generis miscegenation of
African, European and indigenous cultures, which would find in carnival its
final festive reconciliation. Without a doubt, these two stances could come
to a false synthesis, whereby interpretative technologies would be mobilized
to attest the singularity pertaining to Brazilian carnival, an example of peace-
ful coexistence, an enactment of unproblematic inter-racial and inter-culture
mingling a blatant contradiction to a routine of violence and need no car-
navalist can fail to notice.


FABIO AKCELRUD DURO este doctor n literatur comparat (Universitatea Duke, SUA) i pred
literatur britanic i american la Universitatea Federal din Rio de Janeiro.
FABIO AKCELRUD DURO has earned a PhD in Comparative Literature at Duke University, USA,
and teaches American and English Literature at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
142


logic, snt pur i simplu prost orientate. ntr-adevr, dac am compara
ceea ce se ntmpl n timpul carnavalului cu una dintre cele mai cunoscute
scrieri n materie, Contribuie la critica hedonismului a lui Marcuse, vom
constata c discrepanele abund. Luai n considerare urmtorul pasaj:

Limitarea plcerii se exercit direct asupra productorilor nemijlocii, f-
r intermediar moral, prin ziua de lucru care nu las pentru plcere dect
scurte rgazuri i care hrzete aceste rgazuri destinderii i refacerii
energiei i a forei de munc. Beneficiarii de pe urma procesului muncii
in de acelai sistem de valori. Faptul c activitatea lor n momentele de
plcere nu este creatoare de valoare provoac un soi de sentiment de cul-
pabilitate social care conduce la o raionalizare a plcerii. Pentru pturile
sociale superioare, crora le revin responsabilitile cele mai grele, senti-
mentul de vinovie ia forma unei necesiti de reprezentare, de tihn sau
de etalare a propriei splendori, ajungndu-se la a-l socoti drept o sarcin
sau o ndatorire.
2


Punei fa-n fa ideea fragmentului citat cu ceea ce constituie cea mai banal
scen din Brazilia n timpul carnavalului: mii de oameni dansnd pe strzi,
toi la fel de mbrcai pe o cldur de 40 C, diferitele clase sociale par-
ticipnd ntr-o fericit interaciune la ceea ce pare s fie realmente un timp
liber. Critica responsabil este chemat s in seama de o atare aparen
i s porneasc de la imaginea fericirii astfel proiectate. Calea de urmat aici
ar trebui s conduc nu la confirmarea caracterului excepional datorat plcerii
(noi, brazilienii, sntem altfel, pentru c sntem fericii), ci, tocmai, la inte-
rogarea temeiurilor de existen ale hedonismului, la punerea ntrebrii de
ce nu poate fi el ceea ce proclam c este. Pe scurt, ipoteza subiacent care
va fi dezvoltat n continuare susine c formele braziliene de srbtori au
devenit o roti eficace, poate chiar primordial, ntr-un sistem de domina-
ie i de supunere unul care ar putea aspira la originalitate, dar care, firete,
nu poate reprezenta n nici un caz o surs de fervoare patriotic.
nainte de a aborda ns diversele determinaii ale conceptului de petrecere
brazilian, e important s subliniem c acest sistem de dominaie, care, aa
cum vom vedea, coordoneaz att temporal, ct i spaial un numr de ele-
mente disparate, n-a fost creat ex nihilo de-un presupus geniu malefic, nici
de ctre o clic despotic. Ceea ce nu nseamn c n-a fost examinat i ncu-
rajat de clasele conductoare, ci mai curnd c n-a fost rezultatul unei deli-
berri contiente i raionale. Naterea hedonismului brazilian ne oblig astfel
s investigm apariia unui sistem, fr ndoial autoreproductiv, dar care,
spre deosebire de varianta sa structuralist, a avut un nceput i se va con-
frunta n mod categoric cu un sfrit.
Pentru a vedea sistemul funcionnd n cea mai pur form a sa, putem lua
drept exemplu cazul Salvadorului, capitala statului Bahia. n mod interesant,
oraul acesta cu o populaie de trei milioane de locuitori ar prezenta alt-
minteri toate premisele ca o politic progresist s se bucure de succes:
este o metropol n care formele de dominaie tradiionale, cele bazate pe
relaii personale sau pe influen direct, nu mai snt n uz, este locul celei
mai puternice micri a populaiei de culoare din Brazilia i este un spaiu
care freamt de diversitate cultural ceea ce ar sugera un sol fertil pen-
tru o rezisten organizat n faa opresiunii i a subordonrii. i totui, se
petrece exact contrariul. Familia Magalhes conduce att oraul Salvador,
ct i statul Bahia de cel puin dou decenii, ceea ce constituie un caz tipic
de supremaie electoral. Supoziia mea este c, ntr-o mare msur, rs-
However, one should not overhastily dismiss celebrations of carnival as simply
ideologically misguided. Indeed, if one compares what happens during it to
one of the most canonical essays on the subject, Marcuses Contribution to
the Critique of Hedonism, discrepancies will abound. Think about the
following passage:

La limitation du plaisir sexerce directement sur les producteurs immdiats,
sans intermdiaire moral, par la journe de travail qui ne laisse pour la jouis-
sance que de brefs loisirs et qui destine ces loisirs la dtente et la recon-
stitution de lnergie et de la force de travail. Les bnficiaires du processus
de travail participent du mme systme de valeurs. Que leur activit dans
la jouissance ne soit pas crtrice de valeur, provoque une sorte de sentiment
de culpabilit sociale qui conduit une rationalisation du plaisir. Il prend, pour
les couches suprieures qui choient les responsbilits les plus lourdes,
la forme dune ncessit de reprsentation, de repos ou dtalage de leur
gloire et on en vient le considrer comme une charge ou un devoir.
2


Contrast this to what is the most routinely scene in Brazil during carnival: some
thousands on the streets, dancing, all similarly (un)dressed in a 40 C heat, dif-
ferent social classes in happy interaction at what seems to be a really free time.
Responsible critique has to take this appearance into account and start from
the image of happiness thereby projected. The tracks to be followed here should
lead to precisely this: not the endorsement of exceptionality through pleasure
(we, Brazilians, are different because were happy), but the questioning of
hedonisms grounds of existence, why it cannot be what it proclaims to. In sum,
the underlying hypothesis to de developed below argues that Brazilian forms of
celebration have become an effective, perhaps even primordial, cog in
a system of domination and subjection one that may aspire to originality but
which, of course, could by no means be a source of patriotic bigotry.
But before approaching the various determinations of the concept of Brazilian
party-making it is important to emphasize that this system of domination,
which, as we will see, coordinates a number of disparate elements, both spa-
tially and temporally, was not created ex nihilo by a supposedly evil master-
mind, or even by a domineering clique. This does not mean that it was not
explored and encouraged by the ruling classes, but rather that it was not the
result of conscious or rational deliberation. The coming into being of Brazilian
hedonism thus forces us to investigate the emergence of a system, no doubt
a self-reproducing one, but that, unlike in its structuralist version, had a begin-
ning and will definitely face an end.
In order to see it working at its purest, the case of Salvador, the capital of the
State of Bahia, may be taken as example. Interestingly enough, this city, with a
population of three million, would otherwise exhibit all the prerequisites
for progressive politics to be successful. It is a metropolis where traditional
forms of domination, those relying on personal contact or direct influence,
no longer obtain, and it is the site of the strongest black movement in Brazil,
and a place swarming with cultural diversity all of this would suggest a fertile
ground to organized resistance to oppression and subordination. And yet,
the precise opposite takes place. The Magalhes family has been ruling both
Salvador and the Bahia, for at least the last two decades, in what constitutes a
typical case electoral supremacy. My contention is that a politics
of happiness is to great extent responsible for the perpetuation of this state
of things.
+ (timpul liber)
143



punztoare de perpetuarea unei astfel de stri de lucruri este o politic a
fericirii.
Din punct de vedere sociologic, condiiile preliminare ale hedonismului brazi-
lian au fost create de recenta slbire a pieei locurilor de munc, produs
ca urmare a schimbrilor de ultim or din cadrul sistemului capitalist,
care au inclus, pe de o parte, flexibilizarea i deregularizarea legislaiei
muncii i, pe de alt parte, dezindustrializarea i retragerea guvernului din
sectorul productiv ca parte a unei agende neoliberale. Rata cronic ridicat
a omajului a dat natere unei mase de for de munc precare i flotante:
surse guvernamentale locale estimeaz c n prezent nu mai puin de
26% din populaia economic activ a Salvadorului nu are o ocupaie legal
(rata cea mai sczut din 2001).
3
Contururile Geist-ului festiv al oraului vor
ncepe s ias la iveal o dat ce vom atrage atenia asupra unei alte com-
ponente structurale, i anume c turismul reprezint cea mai important
surs de venit pentru ora. Srbtoarea este ncurajat oficial: de la festivit-
ile autohtone tradiionale, ndeosebi rituri afro-braziliene, la spectacole rock
i la omniprezenta samba, este dificil s gseti o sptmn n calendar lipsi-
t de vreo manifestare de mas important.
Aici pot fi ridicate dou obiecii. Cci pe lng faptul c toate lucrurile astea
snt ntr-adevr de dat foarte veche, ca strategie politic ce se ntinde n
urm cel puin pn la panem et circenses roman, se poate remarca de ase-
menea, aa cum s-a amintit mai sus, c o critic a petrecerii nentrerupte
l plaseaz numaidect pe critic de partea austeritii, a muncii struitoare i
a disciplinei. La fel ca fotbalul, carnavalul, cel mai nsemnat exemplu de he-
donism, n-ar fi criticabil din exterior; ambele ar fi obiecte ale plcerii (jouis-
sance) i, aa cum Barthes a caracterizat odat conceptul, nu se poate vorbi
despre plcere, ci dinuntrul ei. Prin urmare, carnavalul i fotbalul ar recla-
ma un anumit grad de participare, un lucru cu care criticul reinut, tocilarul
adult, n-ar fi dispus s se confrunte. Replica la astfel de reprouri nu este
dificil de formulat. n primul rnd, specificul srbtorii de stil brazilian poate
iei la lumin doar ca rezultat al propriei micri a textului; ct privete poziia
criticului, paradoxala sa situare deopotriv nuntru i n afar, proprie lui
ca observator i ca participant, corespunde ntocmai principiului de baz al
gndirii dialectice, care, pentru a demonstra c un concept nu este identic
cu sine, trebuie s-l locuiasc. Probabil c este ntr-adevr necesar s iei parte
la carnaval sau la o alt petrecere de strad pentru a sesiza tensiunea exis-
tent n snul hedonismului brazilian, i anume faptul c el nu este agreabil.
Ceea ce se ateapt de la participani este o cheltuial att de intens, con-
sumul ntregii energii personale, nct amintete n mare msur de exce-
sul bataillean, fr a reprezenta ns ctui de puin o practic a transgresiunii
sau o ameninare la adresa sistemului. Mai mult dect att, aceast enorm
descrcare de energie i de afecte, care n lipsa ei de finalitate ar putea
deschide o fereastr nspre fericire, i pierde tot potenialul utopic din mo-
mentul n care este remarcat natura ei cuprinztoare: srbtoarea este obli-
gatorie. Caracterul ei silit o face s se asemene cu serviciul militar.
4

Imperativul de-a te distra, fericirea ca obligaie, inverseaz poziia tradiio-
nal de stnga, al crei obiectiv nu mai este de-a strnge laolalt i a uni, ci
de a apra dreptul individual la tristee.
Vom reveni la aceast form de interpelare, la captul discuiei. Deocamdat,
e interesant s cntrim implicaiile pe care toate aceste lucruri le au pen-
tru chestiunea timpului liber. Cu mult vreme n urm, Adorno
5
atrgea
atenia asupra dizolvrii, n urma consolidrii industriei culturii, a opoziiei
dintre munc i timp liber, o sciziune inextricabil legat de industrializare.
From a sociological point of view, the preconditions of Brazilian hedonism were
the recent weakening of the job market following the latest systemic changes in
capitalism, which included the flexibilization and deregulation of labor legisla-
ture, on the one hand, and, on the other, deindustrialization and withdrawal
of the government from the productive sector as part of a neo-liberal agenda.
Endemically soaring rates of unemployment gave rise to a mass of a floating,
precarious workforce: State government sources estimate that no less than 26%
of the economically active population of Salvador are now without any official
occupation (the lowest rate since 2001).
3
The contours of the festive Geist of the
city will start to appear once we call attention to another structural component,
namely that tourism is the most important source of income for the city.
Celebrating is officially fostered: from indigenous traditional festivities, mainly
Afro-Brazilian rites, to rock shows and ubiquitous samba it is difficult to find
a week in the calendar without some major mass celebration of some sort.
At this point, two objections could be raised. For it is not only the case that all
this is very ancient indeed, as a political strategy stretching back at least to the
Roman panem et circenses; one could also remark, as was mentioned above,
that the critique of continuous partying immediately places the critic on the side
of austerity, hard work and discipline. Just like soccer, carnival, and the
hedonism it is the greatest example of, would not be criticizable from the out-
side; both of them would be objects of jouissance and as Barthes once charac-
terized the concept, one could not talk about it, but in it. Carnival and soccer,
then, would require some degree of participation, something the repressed
critic, a grown-up nerd, would not be willing to face. The reply to these rebukes
is not difficult to formulate. In the first place, the specificity of Brazilian-style
celebration can only emerge as the result of the texts own movement; as for
the critics position, her paradoxical situation both inside and outside, this
belonging as observer and participant, corresponds to nothing less than the
main tenet of dialectical thought, which, in order to show that a concept is not
identical to itself, must inhabit it. Perhaps you really need to take part in carni-
val or other mass street party, to note the tension within Brazilian hedonism,
namely the fact that it is not pleasurable. What is expected of participants
is such an intensive expenditure, the exertion of ones total energies, that it
reminds one of nothing so much as Bataillean excess, but without in the least
representing a practice of transgression or a threat to the system.
What is more, this enormous discharge of energy and affect, which in its pur-
poselessness could open a window to happiness, loses all Utopic potential once
one notes its comprehensiveness: celebrating is mandatory. Its compulsive
character makes it resemble nothing so much as the military service.
4

This imperative to have pleasure, happiness as an obligation, reverses the
traditional leftist stance: not the incentive to conglomerate and unite, but
the defense of the individual right to be sad.
We will come back to this form of interpellation at the end. Meanwhile, it is
interesting to ponder the implications of all this to the question of free time.
A long time ago, Adorno
5
had called attention to the dissolution of the opposi-
tion, after the consolidation of the culture industry, between work and free
time, a split inextricably linked to industrialization. Free time no longer stood
for the partial realm of freedom in opposition to the drudgery of daily labor;
instead, it had been incorporated into an expanding capitalist system. All the
free-timer did, in fact, was to temporarily occupy the other side of the chain,
becoming the consumer of pre-arranged occupations in what Adorno called
pseudo-activity. However, recent developments of in the logic of capitalism
144


Timpul liber nu mai simboliza sfera parial a libertii, n opoziie cu cor-
voada muncii zilnice; el a fost integrat, n schimb, n cadrul unui sistem capi-
talist n expansiune. Tot ceea ce fcea de fapt deintorul de timp liber era
s ocupe temporar cealalt parte a lanului, devenind consumator de ocu-
paii pregtite dinainte, prins n ceea ce Adorno numea pseudoactivitate.
ns recentele evoluii n logica capitalismului au fcut parial desuet criti-
ca lui Adorno, cci, n multe privine, diviziunea, care nc exista ca ideologie
i care, astfel, mai coninea nc adevrul propriei sale falsiti ca aparen,
a disprut cu desvrire. Disponibilitatea total pe care cea de-a treia re-
voluie industrial a fcut-o posibil prin intermediul internetului, al telefoniei
mobile i al celorlalte dispozitive de acelai gen, a fcut cu putin un tip de
angajament care nesocotete timpul liber. Dac depirea sciziunii era un
lucru de dorit, dovada c individul face ceva plcut n via, aa cum se descrie
Adorno pe sine nsui, ea a devenit acum regula pentru profesioniti supra-
ocupai, de obicei foarte bine pltii. Timpul liber dispare ntr-o beie a
muncii [workaholism] travestit. Srbtoarea brazilian n varianta ei de tip
Salvador reprezint demontarea din cealalt parte, probabil ca o a patra
poziie ntr-un ptrat greimasian: disoluia perechii munc/distracie nu
prin latura muncii, ci prin lipsa continu a unei ocupaii regulate. Prins n
munca ocazional, o parte considerabil a populaiei triete nu numai din
festiviti, ci i n cadrul lor. Slujbe ocazionale se suprapun cu participarea
la spectacole i la dans; nu este un lucru neobinuit ca o persoan s vnd
sucuri rcoritoare astzi, s terpeleasc din buzunare mine i s se mbete
n timpul unui spectacol poimine.
Cnd furnizarea distraciei reprezint o chestiune de via i de moarte pen-
tru economie, srbtoarea nceteaz s se refere la ceva anume (la acel ceva
a crui srbtorire este) i devine sistemic, intranzitiv. n mod tradiional,
festivitile au fost legate ntotdeauna de experiena unui eveniment impor-
tant; ele marcau i modelau ntr-o singur micare evenimentul de srb-
torit, ca venirea primverii, izbnda ntr-o btlie sau, n epoca modern,
o zi de natere. La Salvador trebuie gsite scuze pentru a justifica petrece-
rea endemic. Fericirea ncepe s fie reglementat dup calendar i un soi
curios de hedonism i face apariia. Spre deosebire de ceea ce se ntm-
pla n tradiia filosofic, unde subiectul juca, ntr-un fel sau ntr-altul, un rol
fundamental n dobndirea plcerii, chiar dac asta putea duce la disoluia
sa, n Brazilia ea urmeaz o desfurare care se afl mai presus i dincolo
de orice alegere subiectiv. Oricine viziteaz Brazilia nu poate s nu remarce
abundena semnelor de nemulumire din snul populaiei, de la necontenitele
plngeri, absoluta lips de ncredere n politicieni i n politica privit n an-
samblu, traficul incredibil de agresiv, la capitularea n faa splrii pe creier
operate de ctre biserici evanghelice impostoare i fundamentaliste i pn
la rate ale criminalitii fr precedent n ar. i totui, cnd snt ntrebai dac
snt fericii, brazilienii rspund invariabil da!. Brazilienii nu pot face fa ideii
c nu ar fi fericii.
6
Fericirea devine o obligaie, o porunc venit din partea
Celuilalt, creia individul trebuie s i se conformeze de team s nu-i piard
propria identitate. A srbtori nu mai este un act compensator, nu mai con-
stituie un mijloc provizoriu de a uita n faa unei viei cotidiene aspre; sr-
btoarea a devenit acum o parte important a procesului de formare a
subiectului colectiv. Ciocnirea dintre mizeria material i aceast inter-
pelare social, n sensul dat expresiei de Althusser
7
, d natere unei ciudate
logici sufleteti: Nu pot fi fericit, deci snt (fericit). Iat un lucru vehement
afirmat care explic natura violent a petrecerilor braziliene, semnalat
mai devreme. n plus, formula este una adecvat, ntruct parantezele
have made Adornos critique partially obsolete, for the division that still existed
as ideology, and thus still contained the truth of its own falsity as appearance,
has in many quarters altogether disappeared. The total availability made possi-
ble by the third industrial revolution, through the internet, cellular phones and
the like, made possible a kind of commitment that spurns free time. If over-
coming the split was something to be desired, the proof that one was doing
something pleasurable for a living, as Adorno describes himself, it has now
become the rule for over-employed, normally quite well-paid, professionals.
Free time disappears in transvestited workaholism. Brazilian celebrating in its
Salvador version represents the dismantling from the other side, perhaps as a
fourth position in a Greimasian square: not the dissolution of the pair labor/
entertainment through the side of labor, but by continuous lack of a regular
occupation. Plunged into informal labor, a considerable part of the population
lives not only off festivities, but also in them. Odd jobs get mixed with partici-
pation in shows and dance; it is not uncommon for someone to sell soda today,
pickpocket tomorrow and get drunk during a show the day after.
When providing amusement is a matter of life and death for the economy, cele-
bration ceases to refer to something (what it is a celebration of) and becomes
systemic, intransitive. Traditionally, festivities were always connected to the
experience of an important occasion; they registered and shaped in the same
movement the event to be celebrated, such as the coming of spring, victory in
battle, or, in modern times, ones birthday. In Salvador, excuses have to be
found to justify endemic partying. Happiness starts to be regulated by the cal-
endar, and a curious sort of hedonism emerges. Unlike in the philosophical tra-
dition, where in one way or another the subject played a fundamental role in
obtaining pleasure, even if this would lead to its dissolution, in Brazil it follows
a course above and beyond any subjective choice. Anyone visiting Brazil cannot
fail to perceive the abundant signs of discontent in the population, ranging
from incessant complaining, absolute lack of faith in politicians and politics as
whole, incredibly aggressive traffic, through surrender to brainwashing by
charlatan, fundamentalist Evangelic churches, to historically exorbitant murder
rates in the country. And yet, when asked if they are happy, Brazilians invari-
ably say yes! Brazilians cannot cope with the idea that theyre not happy.
6

Happiness becomes an obligation, an injunction of the Other, one must comply
with for fear of losing ones identity. Celebrating is not compensatoray any-
more, not a temporary means of forgetfulness in face of a rough everyday life; it
is now an important part in the process of collective subject formation.
The shock between material misery and this social interpellation, in Althussers
sense
7
, gives rise to a singular psychic logic: I cannot be happy, therefore I am
(happy). This is vehemently asserted it explains the violent nature, mentioned
above, of Brazilian partying. Furthermore, the formula is an adequate one,
because the parenthesis points to the double character of this injunction, which
accounts for both the imperative to happy and the formation of a certain kind of
subjectivity. Judith Butler has recently theorized this
8
, and even if her position
seems at times to share what is worst in postmodernism, the insistence on
claims of abstract infinity, her framework remains a useful one. The central idea,
following Lacans thread, is that subjectivization happens always as a response
to call from the Other, that forces the subject to turn to itself a logic impossi-
bility whereby what is to be created has to turn to itself in order to emerge.
My hypothesis, a highly speculative one indeed, is that Brazilian happiness, now
mostly manifested in partying, has undergone a dynamics of change from an
ideologeme to an injunction. The former was thus defined by Fredric Jameson:
+ (timpul liber)
145



atest dublul caracter al presiunii, care d seama att de imperativul de a fi
fericit, ct i de formarea unui anumit tip de subiectivitate. Chestiunea a fost
teoretizat recent de ctre Judith Butler
8
i chiar dac poziia ei pare pe alocuri
s pstreze ceea ce este mai ru n postmodernism, insistena pe preteniile
unei infiniti abstracte, schema ei de lucru rmne util. Ideea central,
mergnd pe firul lui Lacan, este c subiectivarea se produce ntotdeauna ca
rspuns la un apel venit dinspre Cellalt, care constrnge subiectul s revin
la sine o imposibilitate logic n care ceea ce are a se crea trebuie s se
ntoarc spre sine pentru a aprea.
Ipoteza mea, una profund speculativ n fond, este c fericirea brazilian,
manifestat actualmente mai cu seam n petreceri, a suferit o dinamic a
transformrii de la ideologem la injonciune. Primul a fost astfel definit de
ctre Fredric Jameson: Ideologemul este o formaiune amfibie a crui esen-
ial caracteristic structural poate fi descris ca posibilitatea lui de a se mani-
festa fie ca pseudoidee sistem conceptual sau de credine, valoare
abstract, opinie sau prejudecat , fie ca protonaraiune, un fel de suprem
afabulaie de clas despre personajele colective care snt clasele aflate n
opoziie. O astfel de dualitate nseamn c cerina de baz pentru o com-
plet descriere a ideologemului este deja dinainte dat; n calitatea lui de
construct, ideologemul trebuie s fie susceptibil deopotriv de o descriere
conceptual i de o manifestare narativ, n acelai timp.
9
n acest caz, ideo-
logemul n cauz este cel al insului clduros.
10
El i-a avut momentul de
adevr n procesul imperfect de raionalizare (n sens weberian) din Brazilia
colonial, cnd liniile care separau sfera public de cea privat nu erau clar
marcate. Unei familii extinse, n care, alturi de membrii propriu-zii (agre-
gados), sub acelai acoperi erau cuprinse i rudele rudelor, i corespundea
o pronunat bunvoin fa de strini n sfera public, o manifest absen
a acelui tip de rceal burghez asociat cu calculul. Toui, latura distopic
a acestei situaii era dubl: pe de o parte, relaiile aa-zis profesionale erau
viciate de personalizare i erau prinse nc de la nceput n mrejele unui sis-
tem de schimb de favoruri. Pe de alt parte, reversul cldurii conviviale l
constituia profunda lips de recunoatere, invizibilitatea absolut a sclavilor
i a claselor inferioare n general, care rmneau n afara sferei publice. O
atare configuraie sociologic a fost folosit, nc de foarte devreme n is-
toria rii, ca arm ideologic de dominaie. n tentativa sa de a-i nfia pe
brazilieni ca oameni panici, pentru c veseli, istoriografia oficial a omis n
mod sistematic s consemneze nenumratele revolte care au scldat n snge
viaa social brazilian nc de la nceputul epocii coloniale. n prezent, i iat
supoziia mea, acest ideologem a fost asimilat i a devenit parte a procesu-
lui nsui de subiectivare brazilian, mai limpede acum ca niciodat.
Cum de s-a ntmplat aa, care a fost resortul decisiv, nu putem stabili. Tot
ce putem face este s oferim un set de trsturi descriptive care, alturi de
cele menionate mai sus, s alctuiasc un tablou credibil. Prima trstur
privete, desigur, extrem de rapidul proces de modernizare a Braziliei i
ubrezirea corespunztoare a moralitii religioase, n special a celei catoli-
ce. Catolicismul n-a disprut, ci s-a erodat din interior; i-a pierdut capacita-
tea de a impune, fr probleme, tipare de comportament pe scar larg
un lucru pe care, oricum, n-a izbutit s-l realizeze niciodat n ce-i pri-
vete pe membrii albi de sex masculin ai clasei conductoare. n al doilea
rnd, ncepnd cu anii aizeci, manifestrile culturale care puneau accentul
pe fericire au luat un nou avnt. Micri ca Tropiclia care nu ntmpltor
a aprut n Bahia cu figuri precum Caetano Veloso i Gilberto Gil au ple-
dat cauza bucuriilor vieii mpotriva unui regim militar moralist, dnd ast-
The ideologeme is an amphibious formation, whose essential structural
characteristic may be described as its possibility to manifest itself either as
a pseudoidea a conceptual or belief system, an abstract value, an opinion or
prejudice or as a protonarrative, a kind of ultimate class fantasy about the
collective characters which are the classes in opposition. This duality means
that the basic requirement for the full description of the ideologeme is already
given in advance: as a construct it must be susceptible to both a conceptual
description and a narrative manifestation all at once.
9
In this case, the ideolo-
geme in question is that of cordial man.
10
It had its moment of truth in the
imperfect process of rationalization (in Webers sense) in colonial Brazil, when
the lines separating the public from the private were not clearly marked.
To an extended family, comprising relatives relatives as well as aggregates
(agregados) living under the same roof, corresponded an intensified affability
to strangers in the public sphere, a positive absence of that kind of bourgeois
coldness associated to calculation. The distopic side of this, however, was
twofold: on the one hand, supposedly professional relations were tainted by
personalism and from the outset were entangled into a system of exchanging
favors. On the other, the underside of convivial warmth was the complete lack
of recognition, the utter invisibility, of slaves and the lower classes in general,
who remained outside the public sphere. This sociological configuration was
used, very early on in the history of the country, as an ideological weapon of
domination. In its attempt to picture Brazilians as peaceful, because merry, offi-
cial historiography systematically erased the innumerous insurgencies that
since the very beginning of colonial times have bathed Brazilian social life in
blood. Now, and here is my claim, this ideologeme was internalized and
became part of the very process of Brazilian subjectivization, more clearly now
than ever before.
How this actually happened, what was the decisive trigger, cannot be deter-
mined. All we can do is provide a set of enabling features that, together with the
ones mentioned above, may compose a convincing picture. The first one relates,
of course, to Brazils unbelievably fast process of modernization and the
corresponding weakening of religious morality, mainly Catholic. Catholicism
did not disappear, but was corroded from the inside; it lost any capacity to
unproblematically impose patterns of behavior on a large scale something it
never managed to do in relation to white male member of the ruling class any-
way. In the second place, from the sixties on cultural manifestations stressing
happiness gained renewed momentum. Movements such as Tropiclia which
not by chance originated in Bahia with figures like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto
Gil defended joy against a moralist military regime; they thus seemed in and
by themselves to be progressive, while the future proved just the opposite,
when happiness was transformed into an imposition to be happy.
A fruitful instance to investigate this can be found in popular songs of the
I-am-happy kind. When closely scrutinized, they reveal a curious illocutionary
force. At first, they may seem just to describe the emotional state of the singer,
but from the way they are received it becomes clear that they are not listened to,
not even merely sung: they are performed. In Brazil, this is most clear: one does
not decode a song, one enters it; one does not listen to it, but enacts it in what
could very well be termed a parallel world. The linguistic trait responsible for
this melting away of sender and recipient is the I. A long time ago, Emile
Benveniste described the I as a subject marker whose referent could only
emerge through the act of enunciation; in pop songs the subject adopts this
most collective I and in Brazil this momentary interiorization becomes part
146


fel impresia c snt, n i prin ele nsele, progresiste, n vreme ce viitorul a
dovedit tocmai contrariul, cnd fericirea a fost preschimbat ntr-o impunere
a strii de fericire.
Un caz productiv pentru investigarea acestei stri de lucruri poate fi aflat
n cntecele populare de tipul Snt fericit. Cercetate cu atenie, ele dezv-
luie o curioas for ilocuionar. La prima vedere, ele pot prea c doar
descriu starea sufleteasc a cntreului, ns din felul n care snt receptate
devine limpede c nu snt ascultate, nici mcar pur i simplu fredonate: cn-
tecele snt asumate. n Brazilia, lucrul acesta e ct se poate de clar: individul
nu decodeaz un cntec, ci ptrunde n el; nu ascult un cntec, ci l traduce
n fapt, n ceea ce s-ar putea numi foarte bine o lume paralel. Trstura
lingvistic rspunztoare de o asemenea dizolvare a emitorului i a desti-
natarului este deicticul Eu. Cu mult timp n urm, Emile Benveniste de-
scria [particula lingvistic] Eu ca pe un indice deictic de subiect, al crui
referent poate iei la iveal numai prin actul enunrii; n cntecele pop, subiec-
tul adopt acest Eu ct se poate de colectiv, iar n Brazilia o atare interiori-
zare momentan devine parte a unei injonciuni sociale de a fi fericit. Inutil
s mai spunem, un asemenea proces de apropriere ar fi de neconceput
fr puternica expansiune a tehnologiei media n Brazilia i fr lipsa total
de mecanisme care s poat aciona ca un tampon n calea lui, din nou ca
parte a motenirii unei culturi pronunat gregare.
11

Este vorba, ntr-adevr, de un tip de subiectivare/supunere [subjectiviza-
tion/subjection] cu totul aparte. Obedien i conformism exist, ce-i drept,
aici, ca urmare a unui imperativ social, ns ele i fac apariia printr-un act
ambiios de autoafirmare. Subiectul este mndru de fericirea sa autoimpus
ntr-un context dezolant de srcie i lips. A critica o asemenea stare i
a atrage atenia asupra mizeriei reale n care se triete, ale crei efecte pot
fi resimite pretutindeni, nu este suficient. Sarcina teoriei nu este s denune
ntreaga stare de fapt pe calea unui angajament farnic n favoarea disci-
plinei i a subordonrii pulsiunilor unui el mai nalt (Cauza), ci s-o trans-
forme (n german umfunktionrieren) n ceva diferit: s pstreze energia i
descrcarea libidinal s pstreze sexul i dansul i butura , sigurana
de sine i sentimentul de mndrie, dar s le fac totodat tranzitive n
raport cu ceea ce se caut prin ele cu adevrat.

1. Deosebirea major n raport cu hedonismul tradiional: posibilitatea de
a te bucura pur i simplu prin intermediul simurilor este redus la un minim
ceea ce constituie atunci i o asemnare: o reinterpretare a acestuia, cu
o turnur de revan (mpotriva propriei persoane: Nu pot face lucrul sta,
aa c am s-l fac chiar mai aprig).
2. Lucrul cel mai important, probabil chiar concluzia: aproprierea ideolo-
giei fericirii i a interpelrii care-i corespunde.
3. De la ideologie la injonciune: eti fericit: de la descriere la interiorizarea
performativ. Surse: stagnarea economic + modernizarea i erodarea
relaiilor tradiionale (de asemenea, ubrezirea catolicismului) + impactul
micrilor culturale, ca Tropiclia, care au pledat pentru eliberare i au fcut
apologia hedonismului (rolul principal jucat de cntece de tipul Snt att de
fericit).
4. Logica subiacent: Nu pot fi fericit, deci snt. De unde agresivitatea.

Traducere de Claudiu Vere
of a social injunction to be happy. Needless to say, such process of inhabiting
would be unthinkable without the powerful expansion of media technology
in Brazil and the utter lack of mechanisms that could act as a buffer to it, again
as part of the heritage of a strong gregarious culture.
11

This is indeed a very special kind of subjectivization/subjection. There is, true, as
the result of a social imperative, obedience and conformity, but this occurs
through a self-assertive act of self-positing. The subject is proud of his self-
imposed happiness in a desolate context of poverty and need. To criticize this
and call ones attention to the objective misery one lives in, whose effects can be
felt just everywhere, is not enough. Theorys task is not to denounce all this in a
self-righteous pledge for discipline and the subsumption of ones drives
to higher aim (the Cause), but to work it out (in German umfunktionrieren) into
something different: keep the energy and the libidinal discharge keep sex
and dance and drink the self-assurance and pride, but make them also transi-
tive to what they really desire.

1. Main difference in relation to traditional hedonism: the possibility of simply
enjoying oneself through the senses is reduced to a minimum but then thats
a similarity: a reinterpretation with a vengeance (against oneself: I cannot do
it, so Ill do it more ferociously).
2. Most important point, perhaps even conclusion: internalization of the ideolo-
gy of happiness and its corresponding interpellation.
3. From ideology to injunction: you are happy: from description to performa-
tive interiorization. Sources: economic stagnation + modernization and corro-
sion of traditional ties (also weakening up of Catholicism) + impact of cultural
movements, such as Tropiclia, which made the plea for liberation and advo-
cated hedonism (central role played out by songs of the type Im so happy).
4. Underlying logic: I cannot be happy, therefore I am. Hence aggression.


Notes:

1. To my knowledge the best example of this dialectic is to be found
in Roberto Schwarzs work, as for instance in his A Master on the Periphery
of Capitalism: Machado De Assis (Duke U.P., 2002) and Misplaced ideas: essays
on Brazilian culture (Verso, 1992).

2. Contribution la critique de lhdonisme (1938), in Culture et Socit
(Paris: Minuit, 1970), p. 200.

3. http://www.sei.ba.gov.br/conjuntura/ped.index.htm.

4. Anthropologically, this is confirmed by the role of partying in the Brazilian system
of politeness. As we know, its object is always related to a culturally sensitive spot.
If in Brazil cursing has totally ceased to be a breach of good manners (a positive
development in the desacralization of language), refusing to join in completely
in conviviality is a serious affront. Leaving a party before, say, two in the morning is
seen as an offense against ones guest.

5. Freizeit, in Gesammelte Schriften, 10.2, pp. 64555.

6. See http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/brasil/ult96u47997.shtml.

7. See the famous essay Ideology and State Apparatuses, in Lenin and Philosophy
(New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971).

8. Psyche der Macht (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 2001) translated by Reiner Ansn.

9. The Political Unconscious (Ithaca: Cornell U.P., 1981), p. 87.

10. The best description of the homem cordial can be found in Aurlio Buarque
de Hollandas canonical Razes do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Jos Olympio, 1936).

11. Two examples: it becomes ever harder to find a middle-class restaurant without
a TV and interstate buses are following the same path.
+ (timpul liber)
147



Note:

1. Exemplul cel mai bun al acestui tip de dialectic este de gsit, dup cunotina mea, n opera lui
Roberto Schwarz, de pild n lucrrile sale A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism: Machado De
Assis (Duke U.P., 2002) i Misplaced ideas: essays on Brazilian culture (Verso, 1992).

2. Contribution la critique de lhdonisme (1938), in Culture et Socit (Paris: Minuit, 1970),
p. 200.

3. http://www.sei.ba.gov.br/conjuntura/ped.index.htm.

4. Lucru confirmat, din punct de vedere antropologic, de rolul jucat de petrecere n sistemul de politee
brazilian. Dup cum se tie, obiectul acestuia privete ntotdeauna un punct nevralgic sub aspect
cultural. Dac n Brazilia njurtura a ncetat cu desvrire s mai constituie o nclcare a bunelor
maniere (o evoluie incontestabil n procesul de desacralizare a limbajului), refuzul de a lua parte
pe deplin la petrecere reprezint un grav afront. Gestul de a pleca de la un chef nainte de, s
spunem, ora dou dimineaa este privit ca o ofens adus gazdei.

5. Freizeit, in Gesammelte Schriften, 10.2, pp. 64555.

6. Vezi http://www1.folha.uol.com.br./folha/brasil/ult96u47997.shtml.

7. Vezi celebrul eseu Ideology and State Apparatuses, in Lenin and Philosophy (New York: Monthly
Review Press, 1971).

8. Psyche der Macht (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 2001), traducere de Reiner Ansn.

9. The Political Unconscious (Ithaca: Cornell U.P., 1981), p. 87.

10. Cea mai bun descriere a lui homen cordial poate fi gsit n scrierea consacrat a lui Aurlio Buarque
de Hollanda, Raizes do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Jos Olympio, 1936).

11. Dou exemple: devine tot mai dificil de gsit un restaurant middle-class fr televizor, iar auto-
carele care fac curse pe autostrad urmeaz acelai fga.
148


Despre rezistena fa de munc
Gabriel Chindea




1.
Rezerva burghezului atunci cnd vine vorba de viaa lui sexual este bine cunos-
cut, iar psihanaliza a ncercat s-l vindece de aceast fals pudoare. n schimb,
reticena anumitor primitivi care ezit s vorbeasc despre propria lor munc
poate strni curiozitate. ntrebai de antropologi cum lucreaz, n ce fel i asi-
gur subzistena, ce unelte folosesc sau cum i conserv hrana, care nu este
permanent abundent, unii aborigeni din Papua s-au artat de-a dreptul
ocai i, evitnd rspunsul, s-au ntrebat la rndul lor de ce li se cere s vor-
beasc despre munca lor mai degrab dect despre celelalte preocupri.
Nu trebuie s mergem ns la antipozi pentru a afla c munca este ceva peni-
bil, n dublu sens, adic ruinoas i mpovrtoare. Un aristocrat din ve-
chea Europ s-ar fi simit la fel de umilit dac, deczut din rang, ar fi trebuit
s mrturiseasc despre sine c lucreaz. Ct despre tradiiile din care a luat
natere cultura occidental clasic, ele reflect acelai spirit. Pentru Vechiul
Testament, a lucra este un blestem aruncat asupra omului de ctre Dumne-
zeu, pedeaps a pcatului originar i prefigurare a morii. Dei mai puin teo-
centric, mitologia greac i refuz i ea muncii orice demnitate uman.
Obligaia de a munci, creia eroul, Herakles de pild, trebuie s i se supun,
era pentru antici un spectacol nfricotor. Iar dac fantoma lui Ahile declar
c prefer s revin ca argat pe pmnt dect s domneasc n Hades, efec-
tul poetic e garantat: doar existena larvar subpmntean poate ntrece
grozvia muncii terestre.
n fine, viaa politic i social greac a oferit filosofilor terenul primelor reflecii
teoretice despre munc, care nu cuprind nici un element apologetic: ea este
o aciune imperfect deoarece nu are cum s fie un scop un sine; ntr-ade-
vr, nimeni nu muncete de dragul muncii, ci, la limit, tocmai pentru a nu
mai fi nevoit s munceasc. De aceea munca nu poate fi dect o regretabil,
chiar dac fatal, pierdere de vreme, care trebuie transferat pe umerii alto-
ra, dac individul vrea cu adevrat s se ocupe de activiti cu valoare intrin-
sec: politica, desigur, dar mai ales contemplaia. Aceasta din urm, cea mai
nalt ocupaie uman, ntruct angajeaz o gndire aplecat asupra ei nsei,
a fost i prima form de timp liber (schole) recunoscut n istorie: un timp
desvrit, i totui n desfurare, care curge stnd pe loc, ntruct finalitatea
lui imanent l scutete s se mai precipite spre un el exterior.
Se poate spune, aadar, c n majoritatea spaiilor sau a epocilor istorice,
umanitatea omului nu a fost de gsit dect n afara muncii i c emanciparea
social trebuia s corespund, din aceast cauz, unei emancipri fa de
munc. Cu att mai singular apare atunci schimbarea care se produce o
dat cu nceputul modernitii i al capitalismului i care, n ultimele secole,
s-a generalizat la scar planetar.
ntr-adevr, proiectele politice, sociale ori economice moderne vor urmri
tot mai mult nu s elibereze omul de munc, ci s elibereze munca din om.
n acest proces, emanciparea din sclavia imemorial a muncii nu va nsem-


ON RESISTANCE TO WORK
Gabriel Chindea

1.
The reserve of the bourgeois in matters pertaining to his sex-life is quite famous,
and psychoanalysis tried to cure him of this prudery. The reticence of certain
primitive natives when it comes to speak of their own work on the other hand
might well be a matter of considerate interest. When asked by anthropol- ogists
about the way they worked and secured their subsistence, about what kind of
tools they used or how they conserved their food which was not con- stantly
abundant, some Papua aborigines were rather shocked and wondered, avoiding
to answer the question, why were they demanded to talk about their work
instead of describing other activities.
We nevertheless need not explore the antipodes in order to discover: work is
doubly an awkward thing, being both shameful and encumbering.
The declassed aristocrats of old Europe would have equally felt humiliated had
they been asked to confess they were working for a living. Not to mention cer-
tain traditions at the origins of the classical western culture, which reflect the
same spirit. The Old Testament considers work to be Gods curse upon man,
a punishment for the original sin and the prefiguration of death. Less theocen-
tric though, Greek mythology still refuses to invest work with human dignity. The
obligation to work which the hero, Heracles for instance, had to obey, used to be
a terrifying show for the ancients. When the ghost of Achilles reveals his
intention to return to this world as a hind rather than ruling in Hades, the poet-
ic effect is guaranteed: only the subterranean larval existence can exceed the
frightfulness of terrestrial work.
Greek political and social life gave philosophers the opportunity to express their
first theoretic reflections on work, thoughts that bore no apologetic ele- ments:
very far from being an end in itself, work is an imperfect activity, as no one works
for the sake of working, people work hard exactly in order to be released from
under the obligation to work. Work may thus be nothing but an unfortunate,
even fatal waste of time and should at all costs be transferred onto the shoulders
of others if the individual wishes to engage in activities of
an inherent value, such as politics, and above all, contemplation. The latter,
the highest of all human preoccupations as it employs a self-reflective action of
thought, simultaneously passed for the first approved form of free time (schole)
in history: a time complete and in process at the same instance, simultaneously
flowing and fixed, as its immanent finality exonerates it from pursuing any
exterior aim.
One might well say that in the great majority of historic spaces or eras the
humanity of man was to be found exclusively outside the realms of work and

GABRIEL CHINDEA este asistent la Facultatea de Filosofie a UBB din Cluj, unde pred istoria filosofiei
antice i medievale. Traductor n limba romn al unor texte din Porfir i Plotin, n prezent pregtete
un doctorat la Universitatea Paris 1 despre problema transcendenei n gndirea greac.
GABRIEL CHINDEA is assistant lecturer at Faculty of Philosophy, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj. He
teaches History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Translator into Romanian of Plotinus and
Porphyrys works, he is currently doing the PhD at the University Paris 1 upon the question of transcen-
dence in Greeks thinking.
+ (timpul liber)
149



na altceva dect emanciparea muncii dintr-o condiie servil i reafirmarea
ei ntr-o stare liber. Libertatea muncii, care pentru cei vechi ar fi fost de
neneles, dar care, n calitate de for de lucru disponibil pentru angajare,
este o necesitate legat de pia, se ntemeiaz pe o convingere etic
nou, dup care munca este unul, dac nu cumva ultimul avatar al libertii.
n practica antic i medieval, n care munca era echivalentul servituii, eman-
ciparea, de cele mai multe ori individual, nsemna asigurarea privilegiului
de a nu munci. De aceea, trecerea de la un statut de lucrtor la unul de
nelucrtor se fcea fr ca nsi condiia de muncitor s se modifice. Lu-
mea modern, n schimb, i va propune s schimbe condiia ca atare a mun-
citorului. Depirea strii de muncitor, care trebuie s se realizeze acum
colectiv, i nu doar individual, nu mai nseamn renegarea acestei condiii,
ci emanciparea n interiorul ei i o dat cu ea. Negat pentru a fi reafirmat,
transformat, dar totodat conservat, muncitorul nu trebuie s devin dect
ceea ce, ntr-o oarecare msur, este deja. Ambiguitatea sa l recomand
astfel drept o figur profetic, ce ajunge elementul predilect al proiectelor
i experimentelor sociale.
Pe de alt parte, se poate, desigur, susine c munca nu a fost complet depre-
ciat nici n timpurile premoderne, doar c majoritatea mrturiilor ajunse
pn la noi provin, prin fatalitatea istoriei, tocmai din acele medii care, n-
deprtate de munc, i-au putut edifica o ideologie convenabil i au dis-
pus, n plus, de capacitatea de-a o transmite. Mediile populare, n schimb,
ar fi tiut dintotdeauna i din propria lor existen c umanitatea supravieuiete
chiar i la periferia sferelor nalte ale vieii. i totui, chiar i n asemenea cazuri,
munca era privit doar ca preambulul necesar, biologic i moral, pentru activi-
tile propriu-zis libere de trud. Este imaginea pe care o regsim la Hesiod
i, n general, n societile rneti tradiionale, n care individul se bucur
n tihn i cu o contiin mpcat de roadele lucrului su. Dar nu munca
nsi este o plcere, ci fructul ei, ceea ce se poate realiza prin ea. n
aceast lume nc premodern, opera confer, fr ndoial, trudei o sem-
nificaie moral, dar una extrinsec, aa cum un copil poate conferi un sens
durerilor naterii.

2.
Eliberarea modern a muncii a dus la un fenomen nou: hiperproducia. Nu
m refer doar la bine cunoscuta supraproducie, despre care se spune c
genereaz periodic crizele de sistem ale capitalismului. E vorba, dimpotriv,
de o logic mai profund a produciei de dragul produciei, care poate ajunge
uneori la o mas critic, dar care n general mobilizeaz cu succes energii-
le naturale i umane.
Avansul modernitii va coincide cu amplificarea acestei producii intensifi-
cate prin eliberare: ea crete desigur n volum, dar mai ales n importan.
n felul acesta, moduri ale existenei care odinioar nu fceau parte din sfera
productiv i snt anexate, iar munca, luptnd pentru a-i dobndi o legitimi-
tate, tinde apoi s o monopolizeze. Religia, politica i tiina, pentru a numi
principalele activiti care erau lipsite iniial de caracter productiv, i pierd,
nainte de toate formal, ceea ce altdat le conferea superioritatea. Pretenia
lor de a constitui un scop n sine le este contestat sau pur i simplu uitat,
devenind n cele din urm de neneles. Astfel, pentru a supravieui, ele tre-
buie s obin o nou recunoatere, de instrument folositor la ceva, i s
ia forma muncii.
Dar instrumentalizarea acestor valori tradiionale nu trebuia s le condam-
ne la un statut servil, ci s le asocieze la noua form eliberat de producie.
that consequently social emancipation in those times and places had to corre-
spond to an emancipation from work. The change which emerged at the
threshold of modernity and capitalism, and which has become universal on a
planetary scale during the past few centuries appears then in a singular light.
Indeed, modern political, social or economic projects tend to pursue not mans
liberation from work but the liberation of work from man. The immemorial
emancipation and slavery of work will most certainly signify in this process the
emancipation of work from a subservient condition and its reassertion in a free
status. The freedom of work, something the ancients could never have under-
stood, which yet is needed on the market under the form of available work
force, relies upon a new ethical conviction which regards work as an avatar,
perhaps the last, of freedom.
For ancient and medieval use, epochs when work equaled subservience, emanci-
pation, individual in most of the cases, meant the security of the privilege not to
work. Consequently the switch from the status of the worker to that of the person
not working was made without modifying the condition of the worker. The mod-
ern world will try in exchange to alter the condition of the worker as it is. The fact
that the worker condition needs to be exceeded, already on a collective and not
only on individual level, implies instead of the disavowal of the condition itself,
the emancipation with and within it. Negated to be reasserted, transformed but
preserved at the same time, the worker needs to become something he to a cer-
tain extent already is. His ambiguity recommends him as a prophetic figure
becoming the favored element of social projects and experiments.
It is possible to assert on the other hand that work had probably not complete- ly
been denigrated in premodern times, only that the majority of testimonies that
succeeded in reaching us were rooted, through a fatal move of history, exactly in
environments that, at a secure distance from the sphere of work, could conceive
of a comely ideology and possessed at the same time the capac- ity of
transmitting it. Popular media on the contrary knew it well owing to its own
existence how humanity could survive even at the periphery of the high spheres
of life. Even in these cases work was nevertheless considered to be merely the
biologically and morally indispensable preamble for activities prop- erly free of
toil. This is the image we discover in Hessiod and in traditional rural societies,
where the individual enjoys the results of his work peacefully and with a clear
conscience. The source for pleasure is yet not the work done but its
fruit, all that might be realized through it. In this premodern world the result
doubtlessly lends a moral significance to the labor spent in achieving it, this
significance being nevertheless extrinsic, the way a child might give signifi-
cance to the labors of birth.

2.
The modern liberation of work led to a new phenomenon: hyper production.
I do not merely refer to overproduction accused of periodically generating the
crises of the capitalist system. The issue is on the contrary related to a more
profound logic of production for the sake of production, which might some-
times reach a critical amount but which usually employs human and natural
energies with great success.
The advance of modernity will coincide with the development of this produc-
tion intensified through liberation: it will certainly increase in volume while it
will gain a lot more in significance. This way modes of existence that never
belonged to the productive sphere will be attached to it, while work, fighting to
obtain legitimacy will have a tendency to monopolize this sphere. Religion, poli-
150


ntr-un proces istoric ntins pe mai multe secole, formele superioare ale vieii,
dei deposedate de vechea lor importan, ar fi trebuit, asemeni muncii pe
care erau chemate s o imite, s fie la rndul lor emancipate, tocmai n cali-
tate de forme de producie. Aparent deczute la nivelul muncii, lor li se
promite s se elibereze o dat cu ea, aa cum suprimarea vechii suverani-
ti urma s conduc inevitabil la dispariia vechii servitui. Idealul modern
este astfel animat de un optimism consecvent. Dac din punct de vedere
social el sper s i elibereze nu doar pe sclavi, dar i pe stpni (de propria
lor stpnire i violen, de propria lor nedreptate i minciun), n cazul spiri-
tului, el militeaz pentru eliberarea religiei, a tiinei i a politicii de drogul,
intolerana, falsul dezinteres i parialitatea care le domin.
Faptul c optimismul productiv modern urmrete s emancipeze, pe
seama muncii, att munca, ct i vechile forme privilegiate de activitate se
vede cel mai bine n cazul artei. ntr-adevr, creaia artistic, pe care moder-
nitatea ajunge s o aprecieze naintea operei nsei, pare s fie forma cu-
tat de munc liber, respectiv de libertate creatoare. Neglijat n lumea
premodern, pentru care nu era dect un simplu artizan, artistul se emanci-
peaz mai repede dect celelalte categorii de lucrtori, iar arta ajunge,
chiar de la nceputurile epocii moderne, o parte a culturii egal n valoare
celorlalte moduri superioare de existen. Dar tocmai pentru c devine o
form privilegiat de munc, arta risc s i piard originea productiv, dez-
interesndu-se, de pild, de realitate, de privitor sau de comanditar, i s se
transforme ntr-un ideal n sine. Ajuns n aceast postur neproductiv, ei
i se va impune atunci s se mai emancipeze o dat, de data aceasta ase-
meni activitilor superioare cu care ajunsese s se confunde. Sub diverse
forme, ca art militant sau comercial, ea este reeducat pentru a fi recu-
perat de circuitul productiv. n felul acesta, arta devine un caz exemplar
al emanciprii prin munc pe de o parte, ca producie ce se elibereaz,
pe de alt parte, ca instan a culturii ce scap de falsele privilegii pentru a
deveni productiv , ncercnd s concilieze n sine o dubl micare ce tre-
buia de fiecare dat s conduc la un rezultat pozitiv.

3.
E inutil s amintim acum n ce msur optimismul modern a fost infirmat
de evoluia evenimentelor i care au fost efectele secundare i perverse
ale acestei ample micri de emancipare. E suficient doar s constatm c,
fr a fi neaprat nsufleite de nostalgii premoderne, cu att mai mult cu
ct modernitatea este ireversibil, nct pn i revenirea nu se poate face
dect ca un salt nainte, sensul schimbrilor epocii moderne a devenit tot
mai dificil de decriptat, iar criticile tot mai numeroase i consecvente. Ori-
cum, faptul c organizarea modern a muncii a generat sau a exacerbat
forme neateptate de servitute sau nihilism este bine cunoscut: fie prin ex-
ploatarea anumitor grupuri sociale sau naionale, impus de nevoile
produciei i contrar idealurilor moderne de egalitate politic, fie prin
epuizarea resurselor, a ideilor i n cele din urm a umanitii prin consum.
Fie c viza modernitatea n esena ei, fie c denuna doar acele aspecte
care, dimpotriv, mpiedicau lumea modern s-i regseasc esena,
critica pornea de fiecare dat de la constatarea c munca s-a emancipat
nstrinndu-se de om i nstrinnd prin ea toate activitile i lumea nsi
organizat n jurul ei.
Pe de alt parte, tocmai pentru c producia modern este un fenomen istoric
singular, nici apologia, dar nici critica ei nu mai pot corespunde unei atitu-
dini consemnate n tradiia clasic. Dei ideologia modern a muncii, bur-
tics or science, to name only the most important activities that were initially void
of productive character, lose, first of all on a formal level, the quality that used
to motivate their superiority. Their pretence of constituting an end in themselves
is questioned or simply forgotten, becoming abstruse in the end. They need to
obtain a new recognition in order to survive, to be acknowledged as
instruments of some use and to acquire the form of work.
The instrumentalization of these traditional values should nevertheless not have
condemned them to a subservient status, associating them to the new, liberat-
ed form of production instead. Just as the work they were meant to imitate did,
the superior forms of life, even if bereft of their old importance, should have, in a
several centuries long historical process reached an emancipated state as forms
of production themselves. Apparently declassed to the level of work,
these values are promised to be liberated with it, the same way the suppression
of old sovereignty was meant to unavoidably lead to the disappearance of old
subservience. The modern ideal is thus animated by a consistent optimist spirit.
If from a social point of view modernity hopes to liberate not only slaves but
masters as well (from under their own dominance and violence, from under
their own injustice and lies), in matters of the spirit modernity militates for the
liberation of religion, of science or of politics from under the drug, intolerance,
false disinterest and partisanship dominating them.
The fact that modern productive optimism pursues the emancipation, to the
disadvantage of work, not only of work but of the old privileged forms of activi-
ty as well, is most apparent in the case of art. Artistic creation, which modernity
values above the work of art itself, seems indeed to be a from of free work and
one of creative freedom. Neglected in the premodern world, which viewed him
as a simple craftsman, the artist reaches emancipation sooner than any other
category of workers, and art becomes, beginning with the earliest phases of
modernity, a part of culture similar in value to the other superior modes of exis-
tence. Yet due to its becoming a privileged form of work, art risks to lose its
productive origins, to lose touch with reality, with the spectator or procurer,
and to become an ideal in itself. Having reached this unproductive position, art
will be forced to emancipate once more, following the example of those superi-
or activities it succeeded in confounding itself with. Art is re-educated under
various forms, such as militant or commercial, in order to be reintegrated in the
productive circuit. This is how art becomes an exemplary case of emancipation
through work as liberated production on one hand, and as an instance
of culture on the other, which escapes false privileges to become productive
trying to conciliate a double movement which should at each instance have
lead to a positive result.

3.
It is pointless for us to consider now the extent modern optimism was subdued
by the evolution of events or the secondary and perverted effects of this ample
movement of emancipation. It will suffice to observe that, without being neces-
sarily animated by premodern nostalgia, as modernity is furthermore irrever-
sible to the extent where the return can only be performed as a leap forward,
the meaning of changes in the modern era has become increasingly difficult to
decipher, whereas critical notes are frequent and consistent. The fact that the
modern organization of work has generated or exacerbated a number of unex-
pected forms of subservience and nihilism is well known: it happened either
through the exploitation, imposed by the needs of production and contrary
to the modern ideals of political equality, of certain social or national groups or
+ (timpul liber)
151



ghez sau socialist, a cutat s-i gseasc modele clasice, ea se poate reco-
manda de la versurile lui Hesiod, de exemplu, la fel de puin pe ct s-a regsit
Revoluia Francez n haina ei roman sau comunismul n presupusa
comun primitiv. Iar dac afirmarea de sine a muncii moderne este lip-
sit de precedent, la fel trebuie socotit i alienarea pe care aceast munc
o provoac. Cci nstrinarea modern a produciei fa de om i a omu-
lui prin producie nu corespunde strii imemoriale de promiscuitate i
servitute la care munca condamnase umanitatea n societile clasice sau
tradiionale. Ea nu decurge dintr-o condiie natural a omului, dup cum
nu este urmarea unui blestem divin. Or, dac alienarea modern prin munc
nu este altceva dect rezultatul procesului de emancipare a muncii i cores-
punde unei situaii istorice care are o genealogie i o cauz, atunci ea nu
poate fi acceptat ca o fatalitate cosmic sau mitologic.
Nu mi propun s discut aici dac aceast nstrinare decurge n mod ne-
cesar din faptul c producia este instituit la rang de sistem, aa cum pare
s cread ultimul Heidegger, sau dac ar exista posibilitatea real a unei munci
nu doar eliberate, dar i libere i deci creatoare, aa cum crede Marx. De
asemenea, e greu de spus dac nstrinarea rezult din faptul c libertatea
muncii care nsoete naterea proletariatului modern nu a fost nsoit
de posesia mijloacelor de producie, aa cum susine marxismul, sau
dac simpla organizare a muncii creeaz automat, indiferent de proprietate,
un sistem ierarhic i de comand. Oricum, putem constata n cele din urm
c producia pur duce la instrumentalizarea societii ntr-un proces n care
nu mai exist un beneficiar autentic al muncii, ci o alienare generalizat.
Dar indiferent cum interpretm cauzele nstrinrii moderne prin munc
i dincolo de simpla ei descriere fenomenologic, aceast alienare trebuie
neleas i supus criticii pornind de la specificul ei modern, care o deose-
bete de degradarea umanitii din epocile precedente. Cred, prin urmare,
c ntrebrile privitoare la semnificaia actual a muncii snt la fel de ndrep-
tite, fie c snt inspirate de umanismul clasic, care mai militeaz nc pen-
tru o emancipare autentic a omului, fie de un spirit postumanist, care dorete
numai s elibereze lumea, neleas ca orizont ontologico-istoric, de insu-
portabilul circuit totalitar al produciei.
n fine, ntr-un asemenea context, nu pot dect s deplng modul precipi-
tat n care societile periferice, cum este i cea romneasc, se orienteaz
spre stilul modern de via, n care vd o soluie istoric miraculoas.
Aceste societi par s ignore cu o naiv speran c motenirea modern
nu este o certitudine i c, la limit, tocmai modernitatea este aceea care
se pune actualmente pe sine n cauz.

4.
Pentru muli politicieni sau analiti obsedai de specificul naional, rezistena
fa de munc pare s fie una dintre problemele societii romneti con-
temporane: nu tim s muncim ori nu ne place s muncim snt afirmaii
repetate ntr-o autoreprezentare social mediatic, conform creia la
noi se lucreaz prost i puin, superficial i repede, iar srcia colectiv de-
curge din neseriozitatea i inconsecvena cu care e preluat un spirit pro-
ductiv ce i-ar fi demonstrat virtuile n rile avansate. Ar exista, astfel, dou
stadii ale muncii, cel local i cel occidental, cel premodern i cel modern,
ntre care diferena recunoscut ar fi nu doar de grad, ci i de substan.
Conform acestui tipar, avem, pe de-o parte, o societate romneasc nc
nedezvoltat, n care nencrederea arhaic fa de munc ar face idealul pro-
ductiv problematic n chiar idealitatea sa, iar, pe de alt parte, o lume mo-
through the exhaustion by consumption of resources, of ideas and finally of
humanity. Irrespective of whether it attacked the very essence of modernity, or
it denounced aspects which, on the contrary, hindered the modern world from
finding its essence, criticism set out in all cases with the observation that
work had emancipated and became alien to man, alienating implicitly all activi-
ties as well as the world organized around it.
On the other hand, owing to the fact that modern production is a singular his-
toric phenomenon, neither its apology, nor its critique can correspond to an
attitude registered in classical tradition, by now. Although the modern ideology
of work, bourgeois or socialist, tried to find classical models to follow, it has
grounds to relate to the verses of Hessiod just as the French revolution is enti-
tled to refer to Rome or socialism to ancestral primitive societies. And if the
self-assertion of modern work has no precedent whatsoever, the situation is the
same with the sense of alienation provoked by this work. Or else the modern
alienation of production from man and of man through production does not
correspond to the immemorial condition of promiscuity and subservience to
which work had condemned humanity in classical or traditional societies.
This alienation originates in no natural human condition, as it neither is the out-
come of a divine curse. Yet if the modern alienation through work is nothing
but a result of the process of emancipation of work and corresponds to a histor-
ical situation with a genealogy and a cause, then it can be accepted neither as
a cosmic, nor as a mythological fatality.
I do not intend to discuss whether this alienation is the imperative outcome
of production being established at the rank of a system, as the late Heidegger
seems to believe, or if there is a real possibility for a work not merely liberated
but also free, meaning creative, the way Marx believes. It is also difficult to
decide whether alienation results from the fact that the freedom of work
present at the birth of modern proletariat was not accompanied by the pos-
session of the tools of production, as Marxism declares, or if the very organ-
ization of work creates automatically, irrespective of property, a system of
hierarchy and command. We can assess in the end that pure production leads
to the instrumentalization of society through a process in which no authentic
beneficiary of work exists anymore but a universal alienation instead.
No matter how we interpret the clauses of modern alienation through work, past
any simple phenomenological description of it, this alienation should be
conceived and criticized on the bases of its modern character, which differenti-
ates it from the degradation of humanity characteristic of previous eras. I con-
sequently believe that investigations of the present significance of work are
equally valid irrespective whether they are inspired by classic humanism, which
still militates for a genuine emancipation of man, or by a post-humanist spirit
driven only by an intention to liberate the world, understood as an ontological-
historical horizon, from under the unbearable totalitarian circuit of production.
Given this context, I can but deplore the precipitant way in which peripheral
societies, the Romanian for instance, orientate towards the modern life-style
considering it a miraculous historical solution. These societies seem to ignore
with a nave hope the fact that the modern inheritance is not a certainty and that
it eventually ends up questioning itself.

4.
For many politicians and analysts obsessed with national peculiarities the resist-
ance to work seems to be one of the problems of contemporary Romanian
society: we cannot work, or we do not like to work are the statements
152


dern, a crei productivitate superioar decurge din transformarea muncii
n instrument al realizrii de sine.
Conteaz prea puin, n acest caz, dac performanele cuantificabile obiec-
tiv ori calitatea muncii locale snt ntr-adevr inferioare sau, dimpotriv, supe-
rioare ori echivalente celor din rile luate drept model. Problema este, se
pare, n primul rnd subiectiv i, real sau inventat, ia aspectul unei indis-
poziii persistente ce i nstrineaz pe lucrtori de munca lor.
Faptul c munca nu ar fi ceva propriu individului din societatea postcomu-
nist, nvat cu chiulul i simularea, creeaz evident, n condiiile unei lumi
a muncii, o stare de alienare care conduce n mod necesar la rezisten.
Or, mpotriva acestei rezistene pasive fa de munc, pedagorii politici i
mediatici, dar mai ales timpul par chemai s lupte, vindecndu-ne concete-
nii de nstrinare i pregtindu-i astfel s lucreze la nivelul de organizare i
eficien al produciei din Occident. Dup acest scenariu terapeutic i opti-
mist, rezistena actual fa de munc ar trebui i ar putea fi substituit prin
identificarea total cu aceasta. Muncitorul romn s-ar elibera astfel de
complexe i ar atinge totodat bunstarea mult visat a colegilor si din rile
Lumii nti.
O asemenea previziune, naiv sau cinic, e greu de spus, pare s ignore
ns c asumarea veritabil modern a muncii nu este neproblematic.
Chiar dac o anumit stare de nemulumire, ce corespunde n bun m-
sur unei lumi nc tradiionale, ar disprea, dilemele arhaice legate de munc,
ce se presupune c mai supravieuiesc nc n societatea romneasc, ar fi
nlocuite de interogaii la fel de serioase pe ct de serios ar fi noul spirit
productiv ce ar viza sensul produciei nsei. Altfel spus, nstrinrii actuale,
mai degrab premoderne, fa de munc i-ar lua locul o alienare modern,
cu nimic mai linititoare, chiar dac ea ar nsoi o munc eficient, profitabil
i bine, poate prea bine organizat.
Munca modern va sosi, prin urmare, nu doar cu beneficiile, ci i cu an-
goasele ei. Echivoc, ea nseamn n egal msur eliberare i supunere,
emancipare i nstrinare. Ba se poate bnui c performana productiv pe
care ne-o dorim att de mult nu va veni dect n ziua n care vom nelege
deplin caracterul insuportabil al acestei performane. De aceea, n mod para-
doxal, semnul c am nvat s producem ntr-un stil modern ar fi tocmai
apariia unei forme moderne de rezisten fa de producie. ntr-adevr,
munca modern provine din punerea n cauz a muncii nsei: n bine i n
ru. Iar dac numai cei care tiu s protesteze fa de producie produc bine,
atunci pedagorii politici ar trebui, dac vor s ne pun la lucru, nu doar s
prevad, ci chiar s ncurajeze apariia acestei rezistene noi, contiente de
sine i active, fa de munc.
continuously repeated in a medial social self-representation, according to which
work in our court is performed badly and insufficiently, in a superficial and
hasty manner, whereas collective poverty is a direct outcome of the unreliable
and inconsistent way in which the country assumes the productive spirit sup-
posedly victorious in western countries. Consequently two stages of work could
be differentiated: the local and western, the premodern and modern ones,
the difference being not merely one in degree but one in substance as well.
According to this model, we have got on one hand a rather undeveloped
Romanian society the archaic mistrust for work of which renders the productive
ideal problematic through its very ideal quality, and a modern world on
the other, the superior productivity of which originates in the transformation
of work into an instrument of self-realization.
It is of little significance, in this situation, whether the objectively quantifiable
performances or the quality of local work are really inferior, or, on the contrary,
superior or equivalent to those obtained in model countries. The problem
apparently is of a subjective nature in the first place, and be it real or merely
invented, it assumes the aspect of a persistent indisposition which alienates
workers from their work.
The fact that work might not be something specific to the individual of post
communist societies, used to truancy and simulation, obviously creates, among
the circumstances of a world of work, a state of alienation the requisite of which
is resistance. Political and media leaders and, above all, time, seem to be des-
tined to fight this passive resistance to work healing our fellow citizens of alien-
ation and thus preparing them to work on the organizational level and with
the efficacy of western production. According to this therapeutic and optimistic
scenario, the present resistance to work should and could be substituted through
a complete identification with it. The Romanian worker would thus be liberated
from complexes and would reach the much coveted prosperity of
his colleagues from developed countries.
This nave or cynical, hard to tell, prognostic seems to ignore the fact that the
truly modern assumption of work is not entirely unproblematic. Even if a cer-
tain state of discontent, which corresponds at large to a still traditional world,
disappeared, the archaic dilemmas related to work that are supposedly still
active in Romanian society would be replaced by interrogations, serious, as the
new productive spirit would certainly be, questioning the very sense of produc-
tion itself. The present rather premodern alienation from work, to put it other-
wise, would certainly be replaced by a modern alienation all the more
distressing, despite its accompanying an efficient, profitable and perhaps too
pretentiously organized work.
Modern work will consequently arrive bringing besides its benefits its anxieties
as well. Of an equivocal nature, work equally means liberation and submission,
emancipation and alienation. One may even guess the productive performance
we desire so will only arrive the day we understand the unbearable character
of this performance to its deepest. This is why, in a paradoxical way, the sign of
us having learned how to produce in a modern style would be the appearance of
a modern form of resistance to production. Modern work emanates indeed from
the questioning of work: both for good and for bad. And if only the ones who
know how to protest against production are good producers, then political
leaders should, in case they wish to prompt us to work, not only foresee but even
encourage the emergence of this new kind of self-conscious and active
resistance to work.
Translated by Nomi Lszl
+ (timpul liber)
153



Labirint cu minotaur
O incursiune filosofic n istoria recent a timpului liber
Ovidiu ichindeleanu



in the midst of this horror and turbulence,
I nonetheless carried on my work as a secretary
Camilla Griggers, suRGe (suppressor), cultronix


Ornamentul maselor: cultivnd floricele i monumente
Chestiunea timpului liber este o modalitate delicat fie de a protubera pro-
bleme ca lupta de clas i inechitatea social, fie de a slvi beneficiile libertare
ale proprietii private i are anse cu att mai mari s permit tranziia de
la cinarea contemplativ la micarea n peisaj, cu ct demersul nostru se
ndeprteaz mai mult de presupoziii morale, n aceeai msur ca i de
exerciii perspectiviste de interpretare.
Ca toate rile periferiei capitaliste, i Romnia ncearc s gseasc echili-
brul propice ntre importul material i cultural occidental i propria producie
de valori. Relaiile dintre penetrarea capitalului ntr-o pia pn mai ieri inacce-
sibil i convoluiile cmpului discursiv romnesc snt decisive pentru nele-
gerea istoricitii prezentului. Consideraiile de mai jos se atern mnate fiind
de dorina de a asuma realitatea statutului de periferie al Romniei, corobo-
rat cu nelegerea necesitii de a dezvolta o critic pragmatic a imaginarului
supracodant, care mi pare c domin att domeniul economicului, ct i do-
meniul produciei culturale de cel mai nalt nivel. Produce Romnia n curs
de integrare o cultur care s nsemne mai mult dect hran instant pen-
tru minile obosite dup zece ore de lucru? Presupoziia de la care pornesc,
nsmnat de observaii personale, ct se poate de subiective, e c dup
atia ani de libertate, critica e sublim, ns lipsete cu desvrire din peisajul
cultural romnesc. Clasa mijlocie se dezvolt, ns producia cultural este
destinat umplerii timpilor mori de producie. n timp ce elitismul sau pre-
iozitatea in loc de autoevaluare, lurile de poziie manifest o lips de sensi-
bilitate dezolant fa de brutalitatea propriilor judeci. Autoritatea genului
literar al memoriilor interpelare regresiv a celor ieii din circuitul pro-
duciei , producia de literatur neutr (tiri culturale) care trece drept
profesionalism cultural i popularea sezoanelor de vacane cu festiviti
n care se acord premii naionale n diversele ramuri de producie cultu-
ral snt forme culturale care nu contribuie deloc la consolidarea impactu-
lui social al produciei intelectuale. Florile i monumentele culturii nu snt
suficiente. Nici unul dintre aceste fenomene nu ajunge s aib pretenie la
realitate i este ca atare nregimentat n cmpul social ca divertisment. Pare
c, ntr-adevr, mijloacele de producie snt mereu n alt parte, iar producia
cultural, n loc s-i dezvolte propriile capaciti de a-i afirma existena,
se mulumete s se adapteze unei situaii n care realitatea nsi e n alt
parte i s viseze.

Iar dimensiunile imaginarului i ale viselor snt departe de a fi infinite ori impre-
vizibile. Spre deosebire de realitate, care poate cpta dimensiuni radical
LABYRINTH WITH MINOTAUR
A Philosophical Journey in the Recent History of Leisure Time
Ovidiu ichindeleanu

in the midst of this horror and turbulence,
I nonetheless carried on my work as a secretary
Camilla Griggers, suRGe (suppressor), cultronix

The mass ornament: cultivating flowers and monuments
The issue of leisure time is a delicate manner either to profile problems such as
class struggle and social inequity, or to praise the libertarian benefits of private
property. Like all the countries situated at the periphery of capitalism, Romania
tries as well to find the balance between the imports, cultural and material,
and its own production of values. In order to understand the historicity of its
present, one needs to ponder the consequences driven by the penetration of
capital in a formerly closed market, including the once reverberated on its dis-
cursive field. In what follows, I try to assume the reality of the marginal status
of Romania, and to contribute to the critique of the overcoding structures of
imaginary, which seem to dominate not only the representations of the economi-
cal, but also the expressions coming from the domain of cultural production.
Does the wannabe-integrated Romania produce a culture that offers more than
instant scoff for weary after-working minds? My subjective assumption is that
after all these years of liberty, the critique is sublime, but has yet to take being.
The middle class grows, but the cultural production does not cease to fill the
unproductive moments. Elitism and highbrow are standing for self- assertion,
and one is often amazed by the dismal brutality of judgments.
The authority of the literary genre of memoirs regressive interpellation of those
out of the circuit of production, the crop of neutral literature (cultural news),
passing for intellectual professionalism, as well as the seasonal festivities in
which national prizes are given and a national intellectual scene is erected all
these are cultural forms that are not improving the social impact of cultural
production. The flowers and the monuments are not enough. None of these
phenomena addresses the reality, and all are recruited in the social field
as forms of entertainment. As if the means of production are always elsewhere.
Instead of increasing its potentia agendi, the cultural production seems to be
happy to adapt to a situation where reality is elsewhere, and to dream.
The realm of the imaginary is however far from being infinite or for that matter
unpredictable. Whereas reality can change radically in the aftermath of


OVIDIU ICHINDELEANU este doctorand n filosofie la SUNY Binghamton, Statele Unite. OVIDIU ICHINDELEANU is PhD student in philosophy at SUNY Binghamton, USA.
154


diferite n urma survenirii unui eveniment, imaginarul este n esen un
mecanism iterativ. Pierre Clastres numise societile primitive societi ale
luxului, pentru c membrii lor se ndeletnicesc cu munca abia cte dou-
trei ore pe zi. n comparaie cu acestea, societile civilizate ntrein o retoric a
muncii ca virtute n sine, cu care trebuie s te identifici pentru a avea
succes. La rndul su, succesul e adesea msurat n termenii timpului
liber ct timp liber poi s-i permii i unde anume ct de departe de
vuietul activitii laborioase. Or, imaginarul timpului liber, att cel al claselor
inferioare, ct i cel al antreprenorilor, mprtete aceleai imagini, luate
direct din peisajul societilor primitive. Un hamac, natur exotic, obiecte
sexuale n apropiere, o linie a orizontului continu, nentrerupt de unghiu-
rile drepte ale construciilor civilizaiei occidentale. Un hamac Comunita-
tea imaginar a claselor inferioare cu cele dominante primete poate cea
mai exact msur i cea mai repetitiv n produciile industriei media.
Dup cum au insistat, la momente diferite, n contexte diferite, att Siegfried
Kracauer, ct i Flix Guattari, filmele (ca i crile ori albumele muzicale de
succes) exprim dorinele ascunse ale societii snt canapeaua psihanaliti-
c a sracului. Msura n care aceste dorine ajung s fie supracodate,
anticipate, nregistrate i transmise de industria cultural de mas, din nou
i din nou, este cea n care dorinele rmn ancorate n domeniul imaginarului,
private de pretenia la realitate, ornamente destinate acoperirii gurilor realit-
ii. Pentru a iei din acest cerc vicios, e necesar dezvoltarea capacitilor
proprii de producie a criticii.
Experiena arat ns c fiecare tentativ de dezvrjire e o funcie a mpreju-
rrilor istorice n care a aprut. De aceea, n loc de a purcede la a explica
ce i cum st treaba cu timpul liber n Romnia, voi schia dou direcii majore
n care s-a desfurat deja critica ideologiei timpului liber, suplimentate de
cteva comentarii. Vom ntreprinde nti o imersiune subiectiv n cteva aven-
turi istorice ale noiunii de timp liber, n cmpuri discursive occidentale
care par a furniza referine critice obligatorii pentru intinerarul pe care se
angajeaz Romnia, pentru a prilejui evenimentul unei comparaii ntemeiate,
i pentru a intercepta poteniale traiectorii autodistructive.

O istorie pozitiv a criticii ideologiei timpului liber
n genealogia pe care o urmm, conceptul timpului liber e nscris n proble-
ma mai larg a dinamicii clasei sociale i e legat de noduri precum consumis-
mul, ideologia i industria cultural i de distincii precum cea dintre public
i privat. Cu un asemenea bagaj, nu e de mirare c aceast problematic
a constituit principala ocupaie a dou mari coli occidentale de analiz criti-
c aplicat din a doua jumtate a secolului douzeci coala de la Frankfurt
i Centrul de Studii Culturale de la Birmingham. Dup cum ni se amintete
n mod constant dup 1989 i cu oarece exasperare de-a lungul anilor, amn-
dou aceste centre snt ntr-un evident declin sau chiar defuncte aido-
ma luptei de clas. n ce anume const ns realitatea acestui declin rmne
ns de vzut.
Se impun aici cteva remarci legate de ntemeierea acestor teorii critice.

Un principiu fundamental din Grundrisse este opoziia dintre munc i ca-
pital: muncitorul nu concepe munca sa ca fiind putere (ceea ce nseamn
aici: productoare de bogie vezi n special carnetele 67). Muncitorul
i pune la dispoziie munca n cmpul social ca valoare de schimb contra
capitalului, ns ceea ce primete snt bani. Banii i revin n salarii periodice,
distribuii segmentat astfel nct s nu ajung la sinteza capitalului. tim restul
an event, the imaginary is essentially an iterative mechanism. Pierre Clastres
has named the primitive societies abundance societies, because their mem-
bers need to work only two-three hours per day. In comparison, civilized soci-
eties are upkeeping the rhetoric of labor as virtue; one has to identify with
its own work in order to be successful. At its turn, the success is often meas-
ured in terms of leisure time: how much leisure time can you afford, and where
far and away from the hum and drum of the industrious life. And it just so
happens that the imaginary of leisure time of the inferior classes as well as
of the businessmen shares the same images, borrowed from the landscape of
the aforementioned primitive societies. Exotic nature, sexual objects, a con-
tinuous line of horizon, uninterrupted by the right angles of Western civiliza-
tion. Exotic nature... The imaginary community between inferior and dominant
classes gets what is perhaps its most precise and repetitive measure in the pro-
ducts of media industry. Movies as both Siegfried Kracauer and Flix Guattari
have noticed at different moments in history are expressing the hidden
desires of society, they are the psychoanalytical couch of the poor. The measure
in which these desires are being overcoded, anticipated and reproduced by the
mass culture industry, time and again, is the measure in which the desires are
confined to address the imaginary, deprived of any claim to reality; ornaments
over the holes of the Real. In order to break this circle, it is necessary to devel-
op the capacities for the production of criticism.
However, every disenchantment is a function of its historical contingency.
For this reason, instead of trying to clear up the problem of leisure time
in Romania, I will sketch two major directions of the critique of ideology,
supplemented by a few personal comments. First, a subjective journey in
the historical adventures of the concept of leisure time in Western discursive
fields, which seem to be mandatory references for the allied Romania.

A positive history of the critique of leisure time
We are following the genealogy in which the concept of leisure time is part
of larger problems having to do with the dynamics of social class, and related to
notions like consume, cultural ideology, culture industry, as well as to dis-
tinctions as the one between public and private. No wonder that this problem-
atic has constituted the main occupation of two major Occidental schools
of applied critical analysis the Frankfurt School and the Birmingham Centre
for Cultural Studies.
A few words about the foundation of these critical theories are in order.


A fundamental principle from Grundrisse is the opposition between labour
and capital: the worker does not conceive its work as power (which means here:
something that produces wealth see esp. Notebooks 67). The worker offers its
labour in the social field as exchange-value against capital, and receives money
for it. Money is distributed periodically to the workers, in the form
of wages so they cannot reach the synthesis in the form of capital. We know
the rest of the refrain: labour dehumanizes, it reifies the human being (Dasein
in Marxs text), transforms subjects into objects, externalizes (or alienates) them
into the product of their labour. In a free capitalist society, one would suppose
then that the worker as well as the small businessman, even if alienated by
their own labour, they fully enjoy in their free time the leisure of their private
property. However, in Marxs text, leisure time proves to be more than the lib-
ertarian reverse of exploited labour, it is the frame in which cultural forms are
reflecting the historicity of consciousness whether revolutionary or submis-
+ (timpul liber)
155



refrenului: munca dezumanizeaz, reific fiina uman (Dasein n textul lui
Marx), transform subiecii n obiecte, i externalizeaz (sau alieneaz) n pro-
dusul obiectual al lucrului lor. ntr-o societate capitalist liber, e de presupus
c muncitorul sau chiar micul ntreprinztor, chiar dac alienai de propria
munc, se bucur cu toat fiina lor, n timpul liber, de proprietatea privat.
Timpul liber se dovedete a fi ns n analizele lui Marx mult mai mult dect
reversul libertar al muncii, e cadrul n care formele culturale vin s dea msura
istorialitii contiinei revoluionar sau submisiv. Capitolul referitor la
acumularea primitiv din Capitalul I surprinde acest proces n detaliu. n Anglia
secolelor XIVXV, n care acumularea primitiv de capital tocmai ncepea,
ranii (majoritatea populaiei, proprietari liberi) se foloseau de timpul liber
pentru a lucra pe marile proprieti, primind n schimb salarii n bani. Trep-
tat, prin expropriere, dezrdcinare i crim, ranii au fost transformai n
lucrtori salariai de iure, analfabei care s-au trezit legai prin contract de o
munc n care nu se regseau. n secolele XVIIIXIX, cele n care marile
puteri europene Spania, Portugalia, Frana, Anglia, Olanda i-au format
puterea productiv industrial, secole ale progreselor nentrerupte ale ti-
inei i tehnologiei, folosirea deschis a forei, jaful i sclavia au devenit norma
prin care potenialii muncitori erau vnai, rpii, rupi de familie i plasai n
centrele industriale sau miniere: aceste fenomene au marcat naterea
proletariatului, aici ca i n alte pri. Revoltele proletare, ca i revoluiile popu-
lare ce dau msura democraiei umaniste de astzi, au fost precedate
de revoluiile nonumane ale capitalului. Ceea ce l-a fcut pe Marx s con-
chid: Orice progres al civilizaiei, ori n alte cuvinte orice sporire a pute-
rilor productive ale societii, a puterilor productive ale muncii nsei cum
ar fi rezultatele tiinei, inveniile, diviziunea muncii, cooperarea ntre dome-
nii, mijloacele mbuntite de comunicare, crearea pieei mondiale, mai-
nile industriale nu mbogesc muncitorul, ci capitalul, i ca atare doar
mresc puterea acestuia de dominare a muncii; toate acestea sporesc doar
puterea productiv a capitalului (Grundrisse, Carnetul 3, cap. despre capi-
tal). Altfel spus: cu ct snt mai avansate mainile ce intervin n procesul pro-
duciei, cu att ele solicit mai mult munc uman. O dat cu dezvoltarea
tiinifico-tehnologic, timpul liber nu este ns eliminat gradual, n concepia
lui Marx, ci intr n ecuaia logicii capitalului ca o categorie substanial, mo-
ment dedicat dezvoltrii libere (Bildung) a individului i mririi consecvente
a capacitii de producie. Substanializarea timpului liber e o parte integrant a
acestei logici a capitalului. Ca atare, alienat de propria sa munc, proleta-
rul va considera timpul liber drept cea mai preioas investiie personal,
capitalul su, presupus a fi n afara procesului exterior de capitalizare. La fel
i mic-burghezii. n aceast faz istoric, timpul liber va constitui astfel un
catalizator de contiin protestatar i obiectul primelor revolte legate
de micorarea orarului de lucru, ce a antrenat alte drepturi care au g-
sit, nu ntmpltor, simpatie n burghezia intelectual.

Muli factori noi au intervenit ns din vremea n care Marx i tocea coatele
n bibliotecile londoneze. Standardizarea orarului de lucru, evenimentele
politice, tehnologice i tiinifice de la rscrucea de veacuri i mai ales Pri-
mul Rzboi Mondial au propulsat industria cultural pe culmi ce au schim-
bat radical orizonturile de posibiliti. Dinamica dintre munc i capital a prut
s se schimbe o dat cu proliferarea n Occident a unei clase mijlocii rela-
tiv nstrite, scutite de angoasele legate de ctigarea existenei.
Timpul liber a renceput a fi cultivat cu stoicism, i nu numai n mediile protes-
tante, ca exerciiu al libertii interioare, scutit de constrngerile sociale i cul-
sive. The chapter on primitive accumulation from Capital I presents this process
too. In England of the fourteenth to the fifteenth centuries, as the primitive
accumulation of capital was developing, the peasants (the majority of popula-
tion, free owners of land) used their free time to work on the big properties,
in the exchange of wages. Slowly, through expropriation, abduction, and crime,
peasants have been transformed de iure into workers; illiterates bound by writ-
ten contracts in an alienating labour. During the eighteenth to the nineteenth
centuries, as the great European powers Spain, Portugal, France, England,
and the Netherlands were building their industrial power of production, cen-
turies of seemingly continuous progress of science and technology, the open
usage of force, rapt and slavery has become the usual method for converting
the potential workers, by hunting, kidnapping and separating them from their
families, and placing them in industrial or mining centers. This feature marked
the birth of proletariat, here and elsewhere. The proletarian insurgencies, alike
to the popular revolutions which are defining today the sense horizon of
democracy, have been preceded by the non-human revolutions of the capital. So
that Marx concludes: all the progress of civilization, or in other words every
increase in the powers of social production, if you like, in the productive powers
of labour itself such as results from science, inventions, division and combina-
tion of labour, improved means of communication, creation of the world
market, machinery etc. enriches not the worker but rather capital; hence it
only magnifies again the power dominating over labour; increases only the pro-
ductive power of capital (Grundrisse, Notebook 3, The Chapter on Capital).
In other words: the more advanced the machines in the process of production,
the more human labour they demand. However, free time does not decrease
gradually with the scientific and technological progress; free time is a substan-
tial category in the logic of capital: a momentum dedicated to the free devel-
opment (Bildung) of individuals and the consequent augmentation of
the capacity of production. Hence the proletarians as well as the small
bourgeoisie will conceive free time as their most precious, personal invest-
ment, their own (interior) capital, outside the (exterior) process of capitaliza- tion.
In this historical stage, leisure time will be thus a catalyst of protestatory
consciousness, and object of the first uprisings, related to the length of working
day and other rights which found so much sympathy with the intellectual
bourgeoisie.

Many new factors have come to scene since Marxs laborious studies in the
British libraries. The standard length of the working day, political, technological
and scientifical events at the turn of centuries, and especially World War One
have broadcasted culture industry at levels that changed radically the horizon
of possibilities. The dynamics of labour and capital seemed to change as a rela-
tively well-off middle class grew in numbers in the Occident.
Leisure time was cultivated with stoicism, and not only in protestant circles,
in the sense of training the interior freedom, unchained by exterior social and
cultural restrictions and norms. A noble act of philosophical, religious and aes-
thetical self-contemplation, in the quest for truth and self-awareness. Out of the
deepest introspections, the most abyssal revolts were to be communicated to the
others in the form of philosophical, religious and aesthetical meditations,
separated de facto from the social and political sphere. One could also argue
that the institutional development of psychoanalysis and the scientific discovery
of the unexplored continent of the Unconscious have contributed as well to the
establishment of the substantial nature of private existence, which was to
156


turale exterioare, un act nobil de autocontemplare filosofic, religioas i
estetic, n cutarea adevrului i a nelegerii de sine. Revoltele rezultate
n urma introspeciilor profunde nu aveau dect s fie comunicate sub for-
m de meditaii filosofice, religioase i estetice separate de facto de dimen-
siunea social-politic. Dezvoltarea instituional a psihanalizei i descoperirea
continentului neexplorat al subcontientului au contribuit, de asemenea,
n mod fundamental, la afirmarea substanei dimensiunii private a existenei,
capitalizat n consultaii regulate private. Un gentilom trebuie s-i cultive
n timpul liber propriul subcontient, ntr-o relaie profesional de lung
durat cu un specialist; e o marc de distincie, de preuire i de afirmare
a calitii propriei viei private, n sensul su cel mai profund.

n ciuda substanializrii pozitive a bogiei interioare, clasa mijlocie nu a
ntrziat s parvin la exprimarea unor nedumeriri legate de tipul contiinei
sale colective. Acestea s-au concentrat asupra consecinei imediate a sub-
stanializrii eului reificarea contiinei n contextul tulburtor furnizat
de paradigma reproductibilitii mecanice a produciei. Inspirndu-se din
Georg Lukcs, Siegfried Kracauer a purces din anii 20 la un studiu sistematic
al fundamentelor ideologice ale clasei mijlocii urbane, alctuit din funcionari,
contabili, secretare, diveri salariai, i a pus bazele pentru nelegerea con-
sumismului i a industriei media de amuzament ca piloni fundamentali ai eafo-
dajului ideologic al noii clase majoritare. Concomitent, Walter Benjamin a
oferit poate cea mai profund analiz a structurilor discursive ale acestui eafo-
daj, demonstrnd relaiile izomorfe dintre arhitectura figurilor de expresie
care determin formarea sensului ntr-un anumit cmp discursiv i structurarea
relaiilor sociale n cmpul social respectiv. Parte infim din motenirea lui
Benjamin este analiza formaiunilor de sens simbolice ntr-un cmp social,
ca uniti de expresie ce solicit o modalitate a nelegerii imediate, instanta-
nee, totale, n dauna altor formaiuni, ca alegoria, ce propun sensuri paria-
le, atinse n urma unui travaliu de reflecie i interpretare. Totalitarismul n
sens i n economia discursiv este nsoit negreit, sau prevestete, violena
fizic cea mai concret. Interveniile lui Benjamin i Kracauer au fost ns ntre-
rupte sau deturnate n mod dramatic de explozia fascismului, iar instituional,
Adorno i Horkheimer au fost cei care au preluat cuvntul public n Ger-
mania, dup Cel de-al Doilea Rzboi Mondial.
Adorno i Horkheimer au ntreprins vreme de decenii o critic minuioas
a formelor contemporane a ceea ce ei au numit nc din 1947, n Dialectica
iluminismului, industria cultural, observnd felul n care consumatorii snt
integrai vertical, de sus, i astfel reificai prin cultura de mas. Clientul nu
este regele aa cum ar vrea industria cultural s ne fac s credem. Nu
este subiectul, ci obiectul su. inta principal a criticilor lui Adorno i Hork-
heimer era, aadar, coninutul ideologic al formelor culturale ale societii
capitaliste, vocea stpnului, ce poate fi decriptat printr-o analiz critic
a produselor industriei culturale filme, nregistrri audio, best-seller-uri.
Masele nu snt msura, ci ideologia industriei culturale, chiar dac indus-
tria cultural nsi nu ar exista fr s se adapteze maselor. Per ansamblu,
studiul furnizeaz argumente solide tezei c societatea capitalist nu permi-
te o cultur neutr, eliberat de ncrctur ideologic, ci manifest o pute-
re politic al crei interes e observat n efectul total al industriei culturale:
antiiluminismul, adic diluarea contiinei i nlocuirea sa cu conformismul.
Aceast putere nu are un scop determinat nu e vorba de o conspiraie
totalitar, ci de mecanismul nsui al dialecticii vide puse la cale de indus-
tria cultural produs pentru marea majoritate a populaiei. O voce a
be capitalized in regular sances. In his free time, a gentleman had to work his
own Unconscious, thanks to a professional and long fetched relation with
an acknowledged specialist; it is a statement of distinction, of cherishing and
cashing on the quality of ones own private life, in its most profound sense.

In spite of the positive substantialization of the individual interior wealth
of Western nations, the middle class quickly expressed some concerns related
to the form of its collective consciousness. The troubling paradigm of
the mechanical reproduction of production brought by questions on the conse-
quences of this substantialization the reification of consciousness. Taking after
Georg Lukcs, Siegfried Kracauer begun in the 1920s to work on a systematical
study of the ideological fundaments of urban middle class the employees.
He was the one to lay the foundation for the understanding of consumism and of
entertainment industry as pillars of the ideological overhead of the new class
majority. In the same time, Walter Benjamin offered perhaps the most pro-
found analysis of the discursive structures of this overhead and of the media
system of the day, showing the isomorphism between the architecture of
expressions which determines formations of meaning in a particular discursive
field, and the structure of social relations in the corresponding social field.
A small part of his legacy is the analysis of the function of symbolic formations
of meaning in a social field, their demand for an instantaneous and total type
of comprehension at the expense of other types of thinking and expressive for-
mations such as allegory, which operates with partial meanings, attained
through time-consuming efforts of reflection and interpretation. Totalitarianism
in meaning and in the discursive economy is followed or forewarns the most
concrete physical violence. Benjamin and Kracauers marginal interventions were
however interrupted or veered dramatically by the explosion of fascism, and
after World War Two, Adorno and Horkheimer took over the public space
in Germany.
Adorno and Horkheimer imposed for decades a scrupulous critique of what they
coined as early as 1947, in their Dialectic of Enlightenment, culture indus- try,
monitoring the way in which consumers are being integrated from
above and reified through mass culture. The customer is not king, as the cul-
ture industry would have us believe, not its subject but its object. The main
target of Adorno and Horkheimers critique was thus the ideological content
of capitalist cultural formations, the voice of the master. A critical analysis
of the products of culture industry movies, recordings, bestsellers would be
able to decipher the frame in which this content is poured. The masses are not
the measure but the ideology of the culture industry, even though the culture
industry itself could scarcely exist without adapting to the masses. The study
offers solid arguments to the thesis that capitalist society does not allow a neu-
tral culture, liberated from ideological weight, but, on the contrary, manifests a
political power whose interest is observed in the total effect of culture indus-
try: the anti-enlightenment, a means for fettering the individual conscious-
ness and replacing it with conformism. This power does not have a designed
purpose there is no totalitarian conspiracy but a mechanism of negative
dialectics wheeled by the mass-consumed culture industry. A voice of the mas-
ter without a master. Enlightenment, that is the progressive technical domina-
tion of nature, becomes mass deception and is turned into a means for
fettering consciousness. It impedes the development of autonomous, inde-
pendent individuals who judge and decide consciously for themselves.
Our philosophers have thus considered changing the course set by Marx
+ (timpul liber)
157



stpnului fr de stpn. Iluminismul, adic dominarea tehnic progresiv
a naturii, devine manipulare n mas i e folosit la nctuarea contiinei. El
mpiedic dezvoltarea autonom i independent a indivizilor, care ar fi n
stare s judece i s decid n mod contient pentru ei nii. n viziunea
celor doi filosofi, i spre deosebire de Marx, exploatarea se rspndete din
sfera muncii n cea a timpului liber, direct proporional cu dimensiunile indus-
triei culturale. Agentul exploatrii nu este doar capitalul concret, ci i ideo-
logia cultural, ce se ntrete i se verticalizeaz pe msura slbirii exerciiului
critic. Lupta de clas, a angajailor mpotriva patronilor, purtat n scopul unei
finaliti reprezentate de o societate lipsit de discriminri de clas, se
transform n rezistena continu, teoretic i oarecum practic, fr o finali-
tate declarat ori obiectivat, mpotriva structurilor verticale de putere.

De o manier chiar mai angajat dect Adorno i Horkheimer, i poate fr
prejudecile elitiste ale acestora, membrii grupului de la Birmingham i
menionez aici doar pe Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige
s-au dedicat i ei din anii 60 analizei culturii de mas, purtnd campanii intense,
de inspiraie gramscian i althusserian, ce vizau coninutul ideologic do-
minant al culturii populare i tematizau fenomenele culturale marginale, rezis-
tente la curentul principal. Altfel spus, analizele studiilor culturale britanice
adresau formele culturale hegemonice ale societii capitaliste, contrapro-
punndu-le valoarea fenomenelor protestatare marginale. Rezonana aces-
tor contribuii este pn astzi, n ciuda capturrii graduale a Cultural Studies
n malaxorul academic, cea care pune n micare de maniera cea mai per-
cutant lumea academic a umanioarelor, favoriznd sau iniiind dialogul an-
gajat de-a lungul continentelor, nu doar n interiorul lumii omului alb, i
implicnd teoria n arena protestului politic direct. (Se poate argumenta c
declinul sau concret: desfiinarea centrului de la Birmingham este tocmai
msura direct a dorinei i a capacitii de sufocare a minoratului de ctre
puterea politico-cultural.) Obiectul analizei studiilor culturale era, aadar,
cultura popular, neleas ca grupaj de artefacte aflate la dispoziia ma-
selor filme, discuri, haine, programe TV, mijloace de transport etc. care
au aprut n aceste forme, n general, dup Cel de-al Doilea Rzboi Mon-
dial. Studiile culturale britanice i americane, grupate sau nu n centre aca-
demice unitare, au putut observa astfel n detaliu iar detaliile snt cele
care ofer consistena istoric declinul sau epuizarea contiinei revo-
luionare de-a lungul secolului douzeci, defimarea alteritii protestata-
re i rolul culturii de mas n procesul de integrare a claselor dominate n
societile capitaliste, care se petrece fr a schimba faptul dominaiei, via
consumism i cultur media.

O nelegere critic a criticii
Dac ar fi s rezumm, amndou aceste direcii academice au subliniat
aceeai funcie politic a culturii de mas, care a crescut pe msura extinde-
rii timpului liber al clasei mijlocii: reproducerea relaiilor de producie (he-
gemonice) existente, prin modelarea formelor de gndire i comportament
care reduc apetena protestatar a indivizilor, ntrerup procesul de atingere
a contiinei (de clas) protestatare i induc adaptarea supus a subiecilor
la condiiile sociale ale capitalismului modern. Cu alte cuvinte, timpul liber
nu e un templu al libertii, ci un labirint cu minotaur.
coala de la Frankfurt, prin vocile lui Adorno i Horkheimer, a impus ast-
fel n Germania postbelic, vreme de decenii, un discurs n care timpul liber
era abordat prin prisma manipulrii realizate de media, agent principal al
that exploitation furthers from labour to leisure time, proportionally with the
outburst of culture industry. The exploitation is perpetrated not only by the
capital, but also by cultural ideology, which solidifies and gets erected while
undermining critical judgment. The class struggle of the workers against own-
ers is transformed in a continuous resistance against vertical structures
of power. This intellectual resistance is theoretical and somewhat practical too,
and is deprived of any objectified purpose.

The members of the Birmingham Centre for Cultural Studies, perhaps less elit-
ists and more militant than the people from Frankfurt, engaged in the 60s
in the analysis of British popular culture. Spuring on Gramsci and Althusser, they
campaigned intensively against the dominant ideological content of popu- lar
culture and offered conceptual visibility to marginal cultural phenomena,
resilient to mainstream. In other words, British cultural studies were addressing
the hegemonic cultural forms of capitalist society, counterclaiming the value
of protestatory marginal phenomena. The resonance of these studies, in spite
of the gradual trapping of Cultural Studies in the academical vortex, puts
in motion up to our present the humanities, across the continents not only in
the world of the white man, and manages to push theory in the arena of direct
political protest. (One could argue that the decline or the dismantling of the
Birmingham Centre shows the range of the desire and capacity for smothering
minorities by the political-cultural power.) The cultural studies were analyzing
thus popular culture, taken on as a collection of artifacts used by the masses
movies, LPs, clothes, TV Programs, means of transportation etc which have
appeared in this form, generally, in the aftermath of World War Two. British
and American cultural studies, grouped or not in academic centers, monitored
thus in detail and the details are constituting the historical substance the
decline or the exhaustion of revolutionary consciousness along the twentieth
century, which was accompanied by the vilification of protestatory otherness
and the process of integrating the dominated classes without changing the fact
of domination, through mass culture, consumism and media culture.

A critical assessment of ideology critique
Shortly put, both these academic directions have underlined the same political
function of mass culture, whose efficiency has grown together with the leisure
time of middle class: the reproduction of (hegemonic) relations of production,
by means of shaping mentality and behavior so as to reduce the propensity for
protest, to interrupt the process of achieving class consciousness, and to induce
the submissive adaptation of the subjects to the social conditions of modern
capitalism. In other words, leisure time is not a temple of freedom, but
a labyrinth with minotaur.
The Frankfurt School, with Adorno and Horkheimers voices, has imposed thus in
postwar Germany a discourse that approached leisure time through the lens- es
of the deceit perpetrated by media the main agent of consumer reifica- tion
and of the production of serial subjectivities. Like any moralizing discourse, this
has become a purpose in itself, bedimming the original problematic, the social
inequity, whose classical expression is class struggle. In the new fashion,
intellectuals are keeping the light shining via the critique of ideology, but only in
order to enlighten the private inner self of each individual. The problem is not
as much the dismantling of social consciousness and of solidarity, but the poor
development of every singular individual. As it has been said before,
this is a discourse about, but not for or with the dominant classes.
158


reificrii consumatorilor i al produciei de subiectiviti seriale. Ca orice dis-
curs esenialmente moralizator, i acesta a sfrit prin a deveni un scop n
sine, pn la ocultarea total a problematicii originare, cea a inegalitii so-
ciale, a crei expresie clasic e lupta de clas. Prin critica ideologiei, intelec-
tualii snt cei care in fclia aprins, ns doar pentru a lumina n interiorul
privat al fiecrui individ. Problema nu e att destrmarea contiinei comu-
nitare i a solidaritii sociale, ct dezvoltarea insuficient a fiecrui individ,
n singularitatea sa. Or, dup cum s-a mai spus, acesta e un discurs despre,
dar nu i pentru ori cu clasele dominate. Concomitent cu proiectul frank-
furtian, grupul de la Birmingham a abordat noiunea de leisure time n di-
mensiunile istoricitii sale culturale, ce ar fi reflectat dinamica structurii de
clas n societatea britanic. Stuart Hall, de exemplu, a trecut de la critica
culturii de mas ca purttoare a unei ideologii verticale (menit s adape
imaginarul clasei dominate, astfel nct s treac, visnd, peste mizeria reali-
tii) la analiza culturii, ca aren de confruntare a discursivitilor plurale, ori-
zontale ale unei epoci (n care fiecare fenomen cultural aparine unei
comuniti ce-i reclam dreptul de suveranitate n cmpul social gene-
ral, care e dominat de anumite structuri hegemonice). n fine, Dick Hebdige
a evideniat, n cmpul discursiv occidental, dominat de economia semnifi-
cantului cea a unui etern flux de succesiuni, nlocuiri i transpoziii ale semni-
ficanilor , apariia unor moduri de protest diferite, purtate prin mijlocul
obiectului i al mrfii mai degrab dect prin contiina ajuns la expresie,
proteste care articulau un limbaj ce venea tocmai din zona produciei
i nu dintr-un interior iluminat. Discursurile marginale au devenit imediat
i mai constituie i astzi rezervorul speranelor legate de noiunea de conti-
in protestatar, ns multiplicitatea devenit valoare per se nu a putut fi mp-
cat defel cu aciunea unitar de clas, iar supradeterminarea moral a avut
darul de a submina posibilitile de aciune prin orientarea specific, regresi-
v, a demersului teoretic.
Dincoace de bunele intenii moralizatoare, ceea ce s-a omis n mod siste-
matic de ctre ambele coli de gndire i practic teoretic a fost nsui statu-
tul facticitii, n afara interdependenelor reciproce ale structurii dialectice.
Chiar n orizontul politico-teoretic al stngii, o insurmontabil tendin de
simplificare (i apoplexie concomitent a sensului), dublat de asumarea criti-
cii materialismului dialectic, a fcut ca ecuaia timp liber timp de lucru s
fie tradus n corespondena ideologie cultural exploatare direct. Fr a
fi nevoit s fie confruntat cu realitatea neagr a visurilor comuniste, criti-
ca ideologiei societii capitaliste a trecut singur printr-un proces de auto-
dezvrjire, care a intit propriile elemente ideologice, ce reduceau istoria
la semnificaia logicii materialismului dialectic. Astfel, au fost aduse critici, nti,
noiunii de baz economic, renunndu-se la determinismul substanialist,
prin care se considera c lupta de clas i relaiile de producie determin
n mod sincronic arhitectura societii, n toate straturile sale sociale i n toate
domeniile sale de expresie; ori c lupta de clas provoac evenimentul istoric
(revoluionar) al schimbrii. n al doilea rnd, au fost aduse critici teleologiei
materialismului dialectic, teoriei finalitii diacronice, ce e nscris n fiecare
moment al istoriei. Istoria reprezentrii acestei finaliti constituie o poveste
aparte, ns a avut mereu de a face cu proiecia unei societi lipsite de inega-
litate social structural. Pe scurt: finalitatea ceea ce e scris logicii capitalu-
lui (oricare ar fi aceast logic), dar o transcende n acelai timp; de unde,
printre altele, figura lui Lenin ca Mesia care nelege s i plaseze propria
aciune la limita dintre imanen i transcenden. Criticile aduse noiunii de
baz economic i teleologiei materialismului dialectic, chiar dac au renun-
Parallel to the Frankfurtian project, the Birmingham group approached the
notion of leisure time in the vein of its cultural historicity, which was sup- posed
to reflect the dynamics of class structure in British society. Stuart Hall, for
example, has overcome the critique of mass culture as support for a vertical
ideology (which would nourish the imaginary of the dominated class, enabling
the underlings to get over the desolating reality). He has offered a conception
of culture as a confrontational site of horizontal plural discursivities. Hereon,
each phenomena belongs to a community that claims its right to (cultural)
sovereignty in the social field, the latter being nevertheless dominated by cer-
tain structural hegemons. For his part, Dick Hebdige has considered the
Western discursive field as one dominated by the economy of the signifier
an eternal flux of successions, substitutions and transpositions of signifiers. He
has documented the emergence of different types of protest in this field, carried
by means of commodities and objects rather than through self-trans- parent
consciousness. These protests were articulating a language coming directly
from the domain of production and not from an enlightened interior. Marginal
discourses have become and constitute to the present the reservoir for hopes
related to protestatory consciousness, but as soon as multitude
has become a value per se, it cannot be married with class action; likewise,
the moral overdetermination managed to undermine to possibilities of action
thanks to the regressive direction given to the theoretical approach.
Beyond the good-willing, morally imbued intentions, what was systematically
omitted by both schools of thought was the very status of facticity, apart from
the reciprocal interdependencies of the dialectical structure. In the sense hori-
zon of the left, a relentless tendency to simplification (and the consequent
apoplexy of meaning), shadowed by the necessity to assume a critical position
from the dialectical materialism, made possible the translation of the equation
free time working time into the relation cultural ideology direct exploitation.
Without having to be confronted with the somber reality of the communist
dreams, the critique of capitalist ideology endured a self-disenchanting
process, addressing its own ideological constituents, which were reducing
history to the signification of dialectical materialism. Thus, critiques have been
brought to the notion of economical basis, giving up the substantialist determi-
nism, the idea that class struggle and the relations of production are determin-
ing synchronically the whole architecture of society, across all its social strata
and all its domains of expression; critiques have been addressed to the very
notion that class struggle determines the historical event, the (revolutionary)
rupture. Secondly, critiques have been brought to the teleology of dialectical
materialism, to the idea of a diachronical finality which is inscribed in any
moment of history. The history of the representation of this finality is a whole
other story, but we can say here that it had always something to do with the
projection of a society with no structural social inequity. Shortly put: the finality
destiny of the logic of the capital (whatever that logic may be), written in its
expressions but nevertheless transcending them; wherefrom, for example,
the figure of Lenin as Messiah who understands to situate its own actions at the
frontier between immanence and transcendence. The critiques brought to the
notion of economical basis and to the teleology of the dialectical material- ism,
while giving up both the substantialist determinism (synchronic historicity of
class struggle) and the teleological metaphysics (diachronical transcen- dence),
have kept the form of dialectics, purged however of any representation of its
content. Thus, owing to the products of culture industry, and being disseminated
through systems of distribution which are themselves clusters
+ (timpul liber)
159



at att la determinismul substanialist (istorialitatea sincronic a luptei de clas),
ct i la metafizica teleologic (inevitabilitatea diacronic), au conservat for-
ma logicii dialectice, privat ns de orice coninut reprezentativ. Astfel, s-a
considerat c pe msura exploziei industriei timpului liber, produsele de larg
consum ridic un acoperi ideologic (expresia lui Lukcs), ce acioneaz
ca un capac aezat pe oala de presiune social, reprimnd energiile protesta-
tare i rezistenele social-culturale. Ideologia, prin intermediul produselor
industriei culturale, difuzate prin sisteme de distribuie ce snt ele nsele mrci
ale puterii, consumate n masa social, furnizeaz elementul negativ nece-
sar dialecticii vide o dialectic independent de coninut i fr de finalita-
te, scutit de imaginarul unei teleologii. Procesualitatea acestei dialectici
nou modalitate de nelegere i de rezisten mpotriva logicii capitalului
nu poate fi dect amendat prin intervenii critice constante, aplicate pro-
duciilor culturale contemporane, printr-o supraveghere conceptual con-
tinu, al crei nume estetizat este participarea activ a intelectualilor la viaa
societii. Aceasta, la rndul su, ca instituie cultural critico-productiv, nu
poate fi fundamentat ori legitimat conceptual, din pricina vidului reprezenta-
tiv i teleologic al dialecticii vide, ci doar prin intervenii specifice i n mod
general prin garanii morale absolute. n Germania postbelic, persoanele
lui Adorno i Horkheimer furnizau gajul etic ei nii erau dincolo de orice
bnuial, buni poliiti moraliti, i aveau tot dreptul s reclame o fundaie
etic solid, ca msur imunitar mpotriva rului absolut pe care l cunoscu-
ser. Dincolo de Adorno i Horkheimer, membrii trzii ai colii de la Frank-
furt, n frunte cu Habermas, au continuat s lumineze girofarul moralitii,
dezvoltnd concepte din ce n ce mai abstracte (constante antropologice
universale ale comunicrii) i constituind n realitatea cultural german, dup
expresia bine cunoscut a lui Sloterdijk, o adevrat dictatur a virtuii, ce
a fost neateptat de util carierismului jurnalistic i universitar.
n ceea ce privete studiile culturale, reprezentanii acestora nu au bene-
ficiat de avantajele unei fondri pe valori morale absolute. Cu toate aces-
tea, moralitatea (i nu constatarea istoric) a fost cea care a impus preceptul
c orice minoritate este o clas dominat, iar de la o vreme descoperirea
i susinerea moral i teoretic a oricrei minoriti au devenit un criteriu
obligatoriu pentru avansarea n carier. n ciuda carierismului fulminant, studii-
le culturale nu s-au constituit niciodat, nici chiar n culmea succesului lor,
n coal doctrinar nchis care s graviteze maiestuos deasupra unui
cmp social traumatizat. Mulumit unui francez, nimeni altul dect Louis
Althusser, chiar dac tocmai prin delimitarea de teoriile acestuia, cercet-
torii britanici au reuit s evite chingile dialecticii autosuficiente, (re)introducnd
un element decisiv n ecuaia dintre cultura de mas i conflictul de clas.
Aceast resituare conceptual era necesar pentru a redefini opoziia abso-
lut dintre ideologia cultural i contiina autonom sedimentare a opozi-
iei absolute dintre timpul liber i timpul de munc, care era la rndul ei un
reziduu al opoziiei absolute dintre capital i munc. Chiar dac exploatarea
rmsese o realitate de necontestat, rolul luptei de clas n propulsarea
nainte a istoriei devenise oarecum o jen pentru criticii de stnga, att din
punct de vedere teoretic, ct