extending a hand to the future...
28th November 2012 - 20th December 2012
MSFAC take their name from the Margaret Street school of art, an institution founded by the Fabian Society, a group of utopian Christian socialists.
Free Arts Council describes our belief in free accessible art, and the validity of the artist-as-worker. It describes the need for solidarity and consolidation of a new support network for these workers, in respect to Dialectics. These principles are at the core of our practice.
MSFAC propose an open sketchbook - an accumulation of contextual influences - current and historical. The supporting framework for this investigation consists of Hito Steyerl’s In Defence of the Poor Image, a critique and appraisal of the compromised aesthetic of new technology - surrendering the ‘contemporary hierarchy of images’ in exchange for the importance of socio-political content.
“The poor image is a rag or a rip; an AVI or a JPEG, a lumpen proletarian in the class society of appearances, ranked and valued according to its resolution. The poor image has been uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. It transforms quality into accessibility, exhibition value into cult value, films into clips, contemplation into distraction.”1
A precursor to this text is The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin, in which he explains that the ‘aura’ of the original has been sacrificed for ideological potential of mass produced imagery.
“…the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced.” 2
Therefore !FORWARD DIALECTICS! will favour processes such as printmaking, photocopy collage, found/sourced/stolen film footage and low res abstraction.
We will also mediate existing influential artworks by re-representing them as photocopied reproductions.
The supporting texts will be available from the Art & Dialogue booth, for others to take away, read and disseminate.
A video projection will broadcast the thoughts of current theorists Naomi Klein and Slavoj Žižek to communicate a contemporary understanding of Marxist values and the effects of neo-liberal ‘democratic’ capitalism. In addition to this will be the ‘simple dialectics booth’ featuring Mark Steel’s ‘public house’ explanation of Hegel’s dialectics.
Art cannot be divorced from the society in which it exists.
1 Hito Steyerl, In Defence of the Poor Image
2 Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Pt. II