3e Biennale de Paris 1963
Paris, October 1963. The 3rd Paris Biennale Has Opened the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel repeats Enough Mystifications The Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel would like to express its profound concern, its distress, its questioning, its fatigue somewhat, and its disgust. Disgust at a situation that, although it changes its appearance, continues to live on (its latest incarnation: Le cri d'un art vital (The Outcry of an Art that is Vital). A situation that continues to maintain a self-satisfied respect towards the work of art, the unique artist, the myth of creation, and towards what seems to be all the rage currently: groups, which are seen as super-individuals. A situation to which we feel connected with all of the contradictions that this implies. It's all very well to talk about integrating the arts. It's all very well to talk about poetic places. It's all very well to talk about a new formula of art. It's all very well to shout things that others do not shout. The art circuit continues to be a closed circle. One can embellish it around the edges with aesthetics, sensitivity, cybernetics, brutality, witness, survival of the species, et cetera. But we are still at the same level. We need an OPENING, to break out of the vicious circle in which art finds itself. Art today is nothing but a tremendous bluff. A mystification with various interests centered around a simple thing that is called "artistic creation." The divorce between this "artistic creation" and the public is an obvious reality. The public is a million miles away from artistic events, even so-called avant-garde ones. If there is any social concern in art today, it must take one very social reality into account: the viewer, Within the limits of our possibilities, we wish to lead viewers out of their apathetic dependency that makes them passively accept, not just what is forced on them as art, but an entire way of life. This apathetic dependency is carefully maintained by a wealth of published work, in which art specialists—in order to justify their role as intermediaries between the work of art and the public—act like initiates, weaving out of whole cloth an inferiority complex in the viewer. This literature finds willing (or unwilling) accomplices in most artists, who feel that, by creating unique and permanent works of art, they are in a privileged, prophetic position. On one hand, abandoning the closed and permanent aspect of traditional works of art (with or without outcry) is a challenge to the overrated creative act, and on the other, it is a first step towards enhancing the status of the viewer, who always submits to a contemplation conditioned by his or her level of culture, information, aesthetic appreciation, et cetera. We think of the viewer as a being who is capable of reacting. Capable of reacting with normal faculties of perception. This is our path. We propose to engage the viewer in an action that sparks his or her positive qualities in a climate of communication and interaction. Our labyrinth is only a first experiment, deliberately aimed at eliminating the distance that exists between the viewer and the work of art. The more this distance disappears, the more the interest in the object itself will disappear, and with it the importance of the personality of its creator. The same will be true of the entire superstructure around "creation" that is the reigning principle in the art world today. We want to interest viewers, to lead them out of their inhibitions, to help them relax. We want them to participate. We want to place them in a situation that they activate and transform. We want them to be aware of their participation. We want them to move towards interacting with other viewers. We want to develop in the viewer a strong capacity for perception and for action. Viewers who are aware of their ability to act, and who are tired of so much abuse and mystification can make their own real "revolution in art." They will obey the following regulations: IT IS PROHIBITED NOT TO PARTICIPATE IT IS PROHIBITED NOT TO TOUCH IT IS PROHIBITED NOT TO BREAK Paris, October 1963 Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel (The Visual Art Research Group is part of the international movement N.T. Continous Research.