Is Art Necessary? Why?

Year: 2002-2005
Type: installation
Material: prints, texts; various dimensions

Is Art Necessary? Why?

I was interested in communication problems between the world of contemporary art and the wider public. Contemporary art often blames the public for its conservatism, but it is maybe contemporary art with its different strategies that is inaccessible and incomprehensible.

The title was selected from a list of questions that I asked my friends and acquaintances. In a questionnaire I asked people how much they follow contemporary art and what they think of it. The answers that I used are from the people who don’t follow contemporary art, but have some general opinion about art and what it should be about.

I used works of well-known contemporary artists as an illustration of the statements (people who wrote these statements didn’t actually see these works – their statements are not directly about the work).

– Is art important and why?
– It is necessary as long as it aims at promoting the idea of good instead of creating controversies.

This short exchange between Vesna Bukovec, a member of Slovenia’s younger generation artists, and an anonymous respondent replying to a questionnaire prepared by the artist was illustrated with Zbigniew Libera’s work Final Liberation 2. The 22-year-old woman’s response to the artist’s question, however, was in no way evoked in response to Libera’s photograph. Final Liberation 2 was added by Bukovec later as a form of authorial commentary. It would be hard to find a statement that more literally questions the reasoning behind the creation and existence of Libera’s work than this response. After all, Final Liberation is not only a commentary on the use of information as a mean of manipulation and on apriori acceptance of the images of reality provided by the media, but it is also a negation of the Platonic triad, which continues to guide the public’s assessment of art works.

Zbigniew Libera and Vesna Bukovec share little in common. They are not products of the same generation, they express themselves on different issues, using different media, and they have different artistic credos. The one thing they do share is their origins – their geographic (and therefore political, economic, and cultural) affiliation: both represent countries that are part of a greater whole known as Central Europe. This context infuses the issues they address with new meanings.

Excerpt from the text Geography of Identity, Geography of Art by Izabela Kopania

Is Art Necessary? Why? is part of the art Collection II / Kolekcja II of Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok and Podlaskie Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts, PL.

Description of work in the collection by Izabela Kopania
Geography of Identity, Geography of Art by Izabela Kopania, catalogue of group exhibtion Minimal Differences, 2010

Slovensko | English

Vesna Bukovec deluje na področju sodobne vizualne umetnosti.

Je članica umetniške skupine KOLEKTIVA.