Fear on the Road to Art

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Fear on the Road to Art

In 2014, I publicly requested from the organizers of the T-HT Award to take into consideration the financial incapacities of a large number of artists in Croatia, especially those living farther away from Zagreb and to cover the necessary costs of their participation in the competition, which would give these artists, at least to some extent, the same starting point as other artists. I resent my request in 2015, offering a proposal of how to gather funds from internal reserves. I suggested the elimination the so-called awards for the invited artists, a reduction in the number of foreign jury members, and even a reduction in the award sums. The objective of this was to raise the standards in the attitudes towards artists, which at the same time means to raise the standards in culture in general – which the MSU, as the “umbrella” art institution in Croatia, should do in the first place.
Since my request was not granted, I publicly renounced my right to participate in this competition.
I received in-principle support for my effort from many artists; however, only few decided to publicly support this initiative by renouncing their own rights to participate in the competition. If they had done so, this might have exerted more pressure on the organizers.

A statement published on Facebook, which I performatively read on the Croatian Radio, resulted from the analysis of this situation:
Fear on the road to art
fear of risk, fear of expression, fear of criticism, fear of ending in a curator’s bad book, fear of not being invited, fear of not being understood, fear of society, fear of the Museum, fear of the Supreme Court of Art, fear of failure, fear of aging (in artistic terms), fear of death (of the artist), fear of oblivion, fear of starvation…

These are some of the fears standing as an obstacle to artists in their free creation of ideas – ideas aimed at breaking through the historical wall and promoting values in art, society and the world.

The Museum is the institution whose primary task is to eliminate such fears and provide support and sanctuary to artists, and not to promote institutional generation and maintenance of fear that serves as a filter in its defensive wall, which, in the end, eliminates art itself and by this, it eliminates the very need for the existence of Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you are reading this text at the HT Awards exhibition, it means that the Museum gathered strength to publicly face the artistic criticism and that there is still hope that the wall standing as the obstacle between the institution and art (life) might be brought down.
Of course, there is also the possibility that you will not be reading this text, which accompanies my application to the competition. Perhaps my work will not meet the jury’s criteria and therefore will be part of the exhibition, and perhaps the organizers will not want the public to read this text within the walls of the Museum.

Zagreb, 31 December 2016
Tomislav Brajnović

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Strah na putu do umjetnosti

2014. godine javno sam tražio od organizatora Nagrade T-HT da uzmu u obzir financijsku nemogućnost velikog dijela umjetnika u Hrvatskoj, pogotovo onih udaljenijih od Zagreba i da im pokriju nužne troškove sudjelovanja u natječaju i izložbi kako bi ih se donekle izjednačilo s drugima. To sam traženje ponovio 2015. godine uz prijedlog kako doći do tih sredstava iz unutarnjih rezervi. Predlagao sam ukidanje pozivnih nagrada, smanjenje broja članova žirija iz inozemstva i eventualno smanjenje nagrada, a sve u cilju podizanja standarda odnosa prema umjetnicima što je istovremeno podizanje standarda u području kulture općenito što je MSU kao ‘krovna’ umjetnička institucija u HR dužna činiti.
S obzirom da tim zahtjevima nije udovoljeno javno sam se odrekao sudjelovanja u natječaju.
U toj inicijativi dobio sam načelnu podršku velikog broja umjetnika i umjetnica, ali vrlo malo ih se odlučilo javno podržati tu inicijativu odricanjem od vlastitog sudjelovanja u natječaju čime bi se izvršio snažniji pritisak na organizatore.

Iz analize razloga takvog ishoda proizašla je objava na Facebooku koju sam performativno pročitao i na HR radiju:
Strah na putu do umjetnosti
strah od rizika, strah od izraza, strah of kritike, strah od zamjeranja kustosu/ici, strah od nepozivanja, strah od neizlaganja, strah od nerazumijevanja, strah od društva, strah od Muzeja, strah od Vrhovnog umjetničkog suda, strah od neuspjeha, strah od starosti (umjetničke), strah od smrti (umjetnika), strah od zaborava, strah od gladi…

To su neki od strahova koji stoje kao prepreka umjetniku u slobodnom formuliranju umjetničkih ideja usmjerenih probijanju povijesnog zida i pomicanju vrijednosti u umjetnosti, društvu i svijetu.
Muzej je institucija čija je primarna zadaća razbijanje tih strahova i pružanje podrške i utočišta u tom nastojanju umjetniku kao osobi, a ne institucionalnog generiranja i održavanja straha kao filtra u svojem predziđu koji u konačnici ukida umjetnost samu, a time i potrebu postojanja Muzeja suvremene umjetnosti.

Ako čitate ovaj tekst na izložbi Nagrada HT znači da je Muzej pronašao unutrašnju snagu javnog suočavanja s umjetničkom kritikom i da još uvijek ima nade za probojem zida koji stoji kao prepreka između institucije i umjetnosti (života).
Postoji naravno mogućnost da ovaj tekst ne čitate iz razloga što rad kojeg prijavljujem na Natječaj, a kojeg prati ovaj tekst, nije zadovoljio kriterije žirija i nije uvršten u izložbu ili da organizatori izložbe ne žele da javnost čita ovaj tekst unutar Muzeja.

Zagreb, 31.12.2016.
Tomislav Brajnović

 

 

 

 

 


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