What is culture made of? Whom is it meant for? What is its audience? Two years have passed since we started our work, but all our activities still stand closely beside the banal non-question of what is art and whether it is art, what are its functions, and how, precisely, should usefulness be measured?
These questions are like old symptoms, because criticism regarding art exhibits has always been associated with the negative tendency to neutralize everything found on its walls (or to encumber with something that can’t be understood by anybody, doesn’t interest anybody, and is not actual for anybody.) But we’re happy that today this problem no longer affects only museums, centers, platforms, and laboratories… The traditional priorities of art institutions, such as “embalming,” on the one hand,” and “teaching,” on the other, already serve as a general tendency in the cultural space. That’s why we can be totally sure that, if all of these art places were destroyed, then they would in some way or another grow back anew.
On the eve of the celebration at kim?, the criteria of our combined presence before art require (to show) more than there actually is right now. We look around and consider whether an exhibition space is old enough to look back on its own history, or when it can offer its retrospective as a publication. Yet the answer we receive neither surprises nor delights. This makes us cautious, but it doesn’t stop up. On May 14 of this year, we will unveil The Art is All that is the Case: Dialogues with Vassily in the Context of kim? Exhibitions 2009-2010.
In general, kim?is an event in an almost Lacanian spirit. During one of his first seminars, in 1953, Lacan announced that “the fun is over!” With this we understand that, if you don’t plan on inquiring about everything you do, then the meaning is lost, as are the reasons for why you are here at all.
Perhaps that is why our final chord will always be a question about a question.
Where is art? Is it communication? In the openness of the processes? You must know this game! Its instigator is always in front of you, yet the respondent always has more power. You must ask! We won’t go on playing the game, if you don’t act the same way.