Anita Sieff
Rethinking art practises: What is the new in new?
      John Peter Nilsson
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ESSAYS

Apsyche
Apsyche
Giulio Alessandri

Feeling is the Parameter of Contemporarity
Il Sentire è il Parametro del Contemporaneo
Marco Ferraris

Psychic Perception
La percezione psichica
Anita Sieff

A.A.A. (aderire all'aperto [adhering to the open]) - In search of Anita Sieff
A.A.A. (aderire all'aperto) - Cercasi Anita Sieff
Pierluigi Basso Fossali

Anita Sieff - La coscienza del vivere
Chiara Bertola

Situazioni della vita quotidiana: riconciliarsi con il presente
John Peter Nilsson

Prove di una "drammatica"
Stefano Coletto

Anita Sieff: Forms of Celebration
Anita Sieff: Forme di Celebrazione
Carlos Basualdo

The Art work as a place for relation
Opera come luogo della relazione
Chiara Bertola

The 21st Century Odalisque
Diane Lewis

Rethinking art practises: What is the new in new?
Riconsiderando le pratiche artistiche: Cosa c'è di nuovo nel nuovo?
John Peter Nilsson

Scultura sociale
Maria Paola Sutto

Anita Sieff
Carlo Montanaro

La sperimentazione artistica in Guggenheim Public
Sandra Caroldi

Anita Sieff
Patricia A. Simpson


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  Today we are living in a world that is changing dramatically . Yes, I know, this has always been said, no matter if it was a hundred or ten years ago, when one is confronting contemporary life. It is a cliché. But isn't the new that we are living in a world that has become a cliché of itself?

In 1987, Umberto Eco wrote in "Sette Anni di Desiderio": "Disneyland can permit itself to market its reconstructions as masterpieces of fakery, since the goods that are being marketed are not really reproductions but genuine goods. What is faked is our urge to buy, which we see as real, and in that sense Disneyland is really the quintessence of consumer ideology."

Okay, still, that is not really new, I agree. But let's try another quote, this time Andy Warhol in his diaries June 27th in 1983: ""But then, since the sixties, after years and years and more 'people' in the news, you still don't know anything more about people. Maybe you know more, but you don't know better. Like you live with someone and not have any idea, either. So what good does all this information do you?" Well Andy, sometimes I don't know either!

Another quote, this time Rafael Argullol and Eugenio Trías in "El cansancio de Occidente" from 1992: "Passivity is the hallmark of humans today. And it's clear: if people are turned into spectators and robbed of any possibility of influence, this gives rise to a passive being. But all this, of course, takes place under the guise of its opposite. All manner of pseudo-events go on amid a stream of constant activity; activity that reinforces the passive, an uninterrupted motion that fades into immobility. We speak of all the stress and hecticness in our society, but the final impression is of a pursuit of emptiness."

Alright, enough with quotes. What might be new in the new today is that many of us, at least in the middle-class West, have a possibility as never before to be inside of the world. If we have access to information technology, or if we have a reasonable amount of money, but not necessarily being rich, the world has shrunk and we can virtually and for real travel and be part of the world beyond its geography. It is a utopia of universality that seems to have come true.

On the other hand, though, there seems to be a feeling of being outside in this new world. It is a paradox, the more information about the world the less knowledge we get. We are not only consuming goods, but also media, and what media represents. Sure, Marshall McLuhan was right. In many cases it is the media that is the message itself.

But how should we face this? How can an artist practise something without it becoming a meaningless activity that only refers to itself? This a postmodern cul de sac. Is there any way out?

The subject today has to map itself. We have to learn to understand that we always are global - somewhere. The geography is broken and we have to start to navigate from our own experiences. The vehicle for such a journey is not "Who I am", but rather - "When am I?" In a global world we have to navigate with a global language, otherwise we get lost. But our experiences are not only global, it is as much my private experiences, rooted in my own private context, as it is collective experiences from a world that many of us share and live in together. Therefore we have to rethink what an experience can be in relation to language, especially to the fact that language is not separated from either our body or the place in which we act. Language is in constant flux and interacts with every context and situation we enter.

This ongoing friction between experience and language creates untranslatable distances. And since the Self can only have a partial understanding of itself, and needs the Other to fill in the gaps, a true dialogue between experience and language can't happen by a simple "understanding" between the two.
If I want to map myself, if I want to position myself in the broken geography, I have to tell a story - my story. If that story is true, it's nobody else's but mine. Of course, this creates a certain misunderstanding, an untranslatable distance between myself and others. What is new in the new today is to fight for a space in the world to tell this story.
It's not cyberspace. And it's not ethnospace. It is a mental space, within myself, within my fellow being.


Symposium on Love, Venice, Italy, 2000