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Written by Martin Zet   
Sunday, 21 December 2008 16:13

Martin Zets reaction to official documents relating to art strike 2009 Alytus initiative – mainly to the Second Resolution Concerning an Art Strike in Opposition to the Declaration of Vilnius as the 2009 EU City of Culture

I – hereby mentioned participant of the meeting of international artists at the Art School in Alytus, Lithuania from June 27-29 therefore possibly member of shortly existing Art Strike Action Committee, Alytus Chapter  (ASAC-Alytus) and self appointed member of Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee – Alytus Chapter (STASAC-Alytus) –  I must confess that in the sense of point 10 of Second Resolution Concerning an Art Strike in Opposition to the Declaration of Vilnius as the 2009 EU City of Culture from July 3, 2008 (Self criticism is to be one of the crucial points of the self organization. No pity to traitors! Eternal blame on them!) I found serious imperfections in my approach to the subject and I want – in an effort to make the whole initiative/movement stronger – to denounce myself and let upon you my future – if there is for me any future in the movement when I question the very base/dogma of the art strike: always I have had a feeling that it is only me who wants keep doing something – that I must fight for that – that the “outer world” tries to silence me. Now such suggestion comes even from inner – closest circle of my friends – should I follow now? Should I really give up? 

 

 

Here are my doubts and a suggestion:    

1)      LOW ART STRIKABILITY 

a) Living over twenty years as free lance artist I got to the pervert point that any art institution can be misused by artist for making an honest work (HOW NAIVE!!!)I know that this is exactly what most of the institutional constructions are based on – the belief in personal message of artist – who when meeting any reaction/opportunity (no matter if real or false) would then serve the satan and devil till the last breath.

b) This moment has also other side – many artists found “money job” in institutions around art. That means – looking on the situation from the personal level –those artists themselves work for the institutions as administrators seducing their colleagues to activities usually under circumstances bellow any standard of dignity usually for very questionable purposes (unless we consider working on bureaucratic art projects to be an act of solidarity of artists in roles of artists with artists in roles of administrators – helpers of building politically self comfortable image of the hypocritical society )

c) Here is also one very personal level – with growing age its more difficult for me to concentrate and also body shows me the limitations – at certain age to go to strike could equal stopping to work at all (I do not want to evaluate what this would mean regarding the problem through the categories good and bad – good contribution, bad contribution). Here I must say if I get into precious mode of working – I am sure I will search for arguments to work. I must also confess that everybody in my family is scared if I start striking that I find pleasure in it which they think could even lower our already very modest living standard (I am not so sure about this – I think if I start art striking I would on the other hand save some money.)  

2)      STRIKE WITH A HUMAN FACEI

would like to incorporate into our statement a paragraph dealing with the age aspects of the problem. Lets see the human activities as activities belonging to certain age. Lets make a parallel between revolutionary and sexual behaviour in relation of the age of one who behaves that way (slightly shifted from Vassya’s aspect of role of love in events like revolutions and strikes). This could lead to softer treatment of people outside the age group which is involved. Because the experience of last century shows that applying the same pattern to individual beings is very misleading –it would be good first to ask the individual to what “age group” he/she feels to belong: revolutionary active or revolutionary passive and then fully respect the answer and also respect the deviations (unless they harm the others). We shouldn’t disregard horny crawlers, young conservatives or old revolutionaries. The suggested formulation of this paragraph: The art strike requires participation of people who belong to the revolutionary active age group (which depends on their own decision). Please consider above written to be my internal confession and in this sense I ask you to change or broaden (in case you find that I deserve it ) the last exclamation of point 10 from “Eternal blame on them!” to “Internal blame on them!” In this moment we are getting to a question – what to do with a traitor – or – and this is as I feel my case – to a double agent. Should he/she be expelled from the committee (and if yes what is the mechanism of expelling) or can he/she stay under slightly changed status – I suggest – “a blamed member”. 

With a comrade crying: 

INTERNAL BLAME ON ME!   

Martin Zet in Libusin and doubts, July 7, 2008 

P.S.  I WANTED TO WRITE A VERY SERIOUS TEXT – BUT IF I WAIT IF THIS HAPPENS OR NOT I WOULD NEVER SENT ANYTHING. THIS WAS ITS BEGINNING WRITTEN JUST AFTER MY RETURN:

Eight hours – about eight – eight and half hours it takes to get from the doors of Alytus art school to the doors of my Libušín asylum. When using a plane. It needs good sequence of travel means – but not so tight that in Vilnius one might not take a bus with slightly different name (1A in place of 1) and go for certain part of time originally appointed for changing bus to plane to completely different direction. It will cost little more – because to catch the plane the planned bus must be replaced by taxi, but it doesn’t extend the whole duration of the journey. Eight and half hours – one shift. Looking at relations from this point of view we already are getting to some leftish position – to some working class structured prism. From here just one step to strike...