Артеология – сайт издательской программы Новая история искусства. Здесь публикуется информация об изданных книгах и материалы, которые открываются в процессе работы над книгами.


The cultural policy of the 20th century, which members of certain avant-garde groups tried unsuccessfully to disregard, persistently demanded an affirmation of the author’s creative identity. The artist is obliged to have his own character. In the production called the Story of Art, he appears in order to recite his monologue, to deliver his text. That is, he should be published in the program, registered in the catalogue with samples of his work, where one can find a “precise” answer to the question of who the author of these works is. First introduce yourself, offer a program of your work, and then get down to making your art. Abstractionist, surrealist, urbanist, portraitist, avant-gardist, conceptualist. An artist must be recognisable; what is more, he must be easily recognisable. If not by his plasticity, then by colour; if not by colour, then by his own unique appearance.

Leonid Zusman Concert Late 1930s (?)

Within the context of cultural policy, little attention is devoted to the idea that art is the only realm for seeking an identity or, to be more precise, that art is only a realm for seeking identity. There is an essential difference between two attitudes towards artistic practices, between two questions about the world in the practice of art. How do I see the world, and how is the world seen now? How do I depict the world, and how does the world depict itself to me? The first question approaches the language of art as an attraction and beckons us to harmless entertainment.

The second question does not call anyone anywhere or to anything; it is an endless magnification of the quantity of the artist’s areas of common interest with the world. It is a question that always remains a question. The observer poses the question to the artist; he poses it already on his own, for earlier he did not know to ask – he did not know what to ask about and had no experience, because he received nothing except for information about the lack of an answer to the question about art and the world beyond individual experience. Now he realises that there is no one version of art for everyone. Zusman’s art is very personal and very honest. It is what is taking place with him alone, and he never attempts to imbue this happening with the significance of a historical event. For him there simply is nothing else – no other world, apart from the one revealed to the artist in his personal experience, but not as a torrent of meaningless events, nor as the incoherent disjoined chatter of the world. It is always answers to questions. They seem accidental, but in fact there is nothing accidental about them. It is very important to learn to question and no less important to learn to hear the answers and to trust this language which still has remained art.

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