Written by Martin Zet   
Friday, 10 April 2009 19:40




An attempt to name some painful points dancing in my head when contemplating the role of an artist in the society while writing the ATU constitution in the form of a theatre play written for Redas, Mihnea, few more friends and undefined unplanned casual witnesses:



Features: A, B, Chorus


Suggested (but flexible) division of characters:


A: – What is the position of individual in the society from the point of view of employment rate?


B: – What is the contribution of particular job to the general situation?


A: – What occupations are creating the essential groundwork for enjoyable meaningful existence of the others and which are on the other hand making others’ life more miserable?


B: – What jobs have different content than making good their-own existence?


A+B: – What is the role of artists – both employed and also unemployed ones in this subdivided playground?


Chorus: – Employed people respect and sustain other employed people.


A: – not regarding if they are useful or harmful


Chorus: –Who is part of team in any position – is secured.


B: – not regarding if they have something to do or not.


A+B (scream): – The society cares more about individual being incorporated than about working!


Chorus: – Unemployed people do not respect nor sustain other unemployed people.


A+B (scream): – Looking at the situation from the point of view of unemployed people it’s possible to speak about employment mafia.

A: – What is the position of artist in the world ruled by this employment mafia?

Chorus: – Artists are present in all layers of society. They do not identify with one class, one situation, one group of interest. Some collaborate with, profit from, and use this configuration, some stand aside.


A+B (scream): – Freelance artists are suspicious even to other freelance artists.  

Chorus: – Artists


B: – understand: visual/plastic/fine/conceptual…etc. artists


Chorus: – Artists are not a homogenous entity.


A+B (scream): – From this reason each reaction from an artist is different – mirroring thus that each concrete situation of an artist is different.


Chorus: – Some of them play role of an artist and in the same time represent


A: – and/or profit from


Chorus: – the artist humiliating institutions, artists misusing programmes. It’s impossible to find the common language even for two (or little more) friends, it’s impossible to formulate not even one sentence which would express a common standpoint sharing the common consent.


A: – “Art”


B: – in the sense: visual/plastic/fine/ conceptual…etc. art


A: – which till recently spread the wings so broadly that covered very diverse activities is now being quartered into smaller disciplines which are pulled to the fields already fully incorporated in the employment mafia system: video to film, live art (performance) to theatre, sound art to music, textual works to literature…etc.


B: – almost everything is becoming a cheaper part of show business.


A: – “Artist” – expression formerly used for a servant with some skill related to the idea of beauty which position in the society varied from being a craftsman to being a philosopher


B: – from being anonymous to being celebrated


A: – from being a monk to being the one whose asocial or amoral or anti-ethical (or all) behaviour is tolerated


Chorus: – mostly for amusement of the ones who rule his/her life or just as bad example


A: – changed into relatively new category formed by romantic need to balance the unbearable situation during the industrial revolution: 


A+B (scream): –  somebody who is trying to fight for different aims than directly for the profit


B: –  the idol of bourgeoisie –


A:–  or the basic needs (salary) of slaves


Chorus: – renamed into proletariat.


B: – The art apparatus still likes to play on the romantic note and treat artists differently.


Chorus: – Especially when making budgets and not even considering the item: artist’s fee.


B: – Here also origins the – for nowadays society so important – “artist” clown – as the one who helps to pacify the people


A:–  the one who animates and by animation blunts the sensitive points


A+B (scream): –  it doesn’t matter if supportive, constructive way, if s/he is revolting, agreeing or opposing – working for or against. Whatever s/he makes at the end works for the system – this is why “art” is often accepted as excuse for the things which are on the edge or behind the law.  


Chorus: – Transformation of rising slave/servant into somebody who doesn’t know where to belong to has been always present.


A: – Socrates


Chorus: – a son of sculptor


A: – eventually experienced that being a free citizen requires being servile.


B: – Diogenes


A: – the first truly romantic indisciplinable example


B: – discovered that if your honest effort obtains some entertaining elements you can do what ever


A+B (scream): – but anyway it was much more comfortable to die as a slave.


Chorus: – Then people like Spartacus, Michelangelo, Villon or Goya brought us to the crossroad where all options lead to some new “lord”.


A: – Being on the crossroad – out of exact role – is very painful


B: – and very difficult because it is not easy to know who from the companions is cheating and who not and if the one who is cheating is not the one who is right at the end, and actually even more complicated because, if to judge really strictly – everybody is a little bit cheating.


Chorus: – Now – still the last ones are standing on that crossroad


B (screams): – one toe is a success!


Chorus: – the territory outside the system which is actually in the very centre of the system.


A: – Oh Mihnea , Mihnea – how much you influenced me!


Chorus: – To stay motionless is impossible and every step to any direction means new bondage.


A: – The ones who already lost the contact – and found their role in the chain of mutual advantages, these ones then immeasurably hate the ones who are trying to extend their dwelling on the undefined territory – which is getting smaller and smaller.


B: – Is there any other way then to forget the crossroad if the surroundings stay unchanged, untransformed,undestroyed?


A+B: – Should the artists and philosophers finish the small detour


B: – which anyway wasn’t real escape


Chorus: – light, brave moments if they happened were miracles


A+B: – back under the sway of existing:




A (screams): – FROM SLAVE TO SLAVE


Chorus: – Art history is rarely more than the history of the art market – its source, approval and aim. Rarely it’s more than sophisticated and structured comb to align and cage to appropriate, adjust and store the wild feathers along with ideally prefabricated items. 


A(screams even louder): – THERE IS NO POETRY LEFT FOR BIRDS!


Chorus: – Trying to put on artists different responsibility than on the others presumes their exceptionality.


B: – This expectation makes the artists privileged.


A+B: – Romantic cliché which likes artist to be “special, eccentric, go as you please, gifted asocial who gives the best when hungry” belongs to past.


B: – Lets leave artists to be measured the same measure as other people.


A(screams breaking the voice): – LET ARTISTS BE NORMAL!


A+B (scream breaking their voices): – LET US BE NORMAL!


A+B+Chorus (whispering): – AND LET US STAY NORMAL WHEN WE DIE!




Martin Zet, March 4 – March 9, 2009 in Libusin