Our present time is marked by crises and conflicts to a degree hitherto unknown. All areas are affected: society, economics, politics, religion and lastly the freedom and self-determination of the individual. Modern times are not good times (anymore).
Many questions arise and seem to be unresolved. This faces us with a dilemma. We rely on innovation to make progress. But: the innovative is considered as “the modern” – but is not the same thing as “the new”. As the innovative is not the same as the new that we need to make progress, how does the new come into the world? How do we analyse and evaluate whether we are making progress or going backward? Is our thinking and action still directed towards meaningfulness at all? Are our value systems still fit for purpose?
I am therefore primarily interested in this question: Does present day man whose existence is being eaten away by the new, whose life is always concerned with awakening, zeitgeist, progress, renewal still have significance? Or has the understanding of people and their culture as it was so decisive for the avant-gardists of the early 20th century collapsed, in other words fallen in on itself? What do “modern people” of the present time actually feel? What guides them in their work?
#JeSuisAndreas — we must take a position for ourselves to share specific thoughts and ideas with us all. It is not the common goal to simply decry individual facts unilaterally and in a pointless dispute but to produce the cultural and communicative context to break down barriers and create common understanding. We must establish points of reference that enable us to resolve the dilemma of the present time. For this it is important to enable us to take stock guided by meaningfulness in order to evaluate whether striving for the new as we knew it exists and is still valid. Or, if it no longer exists, can be revived! This can be done neither by politics, religion, ideology or economics. But only through art in its purest form!
—Picasso. We miss you!
Picasso’s work was not consistently political, but in 1945 he said the following:
What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes if he’s a painter, or ears if he’s a musician, or a lyre at every level of his heart if he’s a poet, or even, if he’s a boxer, just his muscles? On the contrary, he’s at the same time a political being, constantly alive to heartrending, fiery, or happy events, to which he responds in every way[. . . .] No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy. [Pablo Picasso, Statement, in Chipp, Theories of Modern Art, 487.]