I came across a statement by the artist and curator Magda Guruli which starts off with the quote by Leonardo da Vinci : Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence, and it got me thinking. Guruli is one of the organisers of Artisterium V, the 5th International Contemporary Art Exhibition and Forum which takes place in Tbilisi, Georgia next month.
‘Artisterium’ is an ongoing series of workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions which explores themes of social, political and aesthetic concern. The name ‘Artisterium’ was chosen to reflect the modernist, cultural dynamics of Tbilisi in the early years of the 20th century, recalling a particular art club that was connected to the “ARS” magazine during those years. The club was famous for its intense artistic environment, its avant-garde exhibitions, its many wild parties and passion-filled poetry evenings.
The theme for Artisterium V is : “The Protest that Never Ends” and according to Guruli, this theme offers an opportunity to research and showcase artistic and theoretical reflections on a wide range of protest forms that we are currently experiencing around the world. Furthermore, the events aim to provide a platform for exploring how a creative work might again become a “catalyst for change”.
I find this notion refreshing, I must say. I attended some talks about Painting in Dublin recently and… well, let’s just say that there wasn’t much passion to be experienced. I know that I should’ve asked: “but what is art for? – Is it for the exclusive investigations of the masters of fine art, or might it possibly engage with a wider audience?” But I stayed silent, and as Leonardo wrote: Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence. Was there more that I could’ve said? Should I have jumped up on the chair and shouted “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” ? Should I have torn up a photograph of Peter Doig, or Luc Tuymans, or Martin Kippenberger? Ah, don’t mind me, but what do you think?
More information at: www.artisterium.org/home.html