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#1 What is to be done?

The ESCAPE Program // Against the Wind

Prehistory
The pretext for the creation of the project “Where the wind blows” was the actual situation where we found ourselves during the preparation of the festival “Art-Kliazma 2003” – all our lyrical projects were rejected with a request to make “something more spectacular”. First, we wanted to refuse participating at all, but then realized that this situation was symptomatic, and decided to make a special critical project dedicated to the present condition of the artist who has to serve the Big Client and his capital. Surprisingly, the project was accepted.

Prehistory
The pretext for the creation of the project “Where the wind blows” was the actual situation where we found ourselves during the preparation of the festival “Art-Kliazma 2003” – all our lyrical projects were rejected with a request to make “something more spectacular”. First, we wanted to refuse participating at all, but then realized that this situation was symptomatic, and decided to make a special critical project dedicated to the present condition of the artist who has to serve the Big Client and his capital. Surprisingly, the project was accepted.

Project description
The project “Where the wind blows” criticizes the situation where art has to sell itself. It presents a real striptease  performed by a professional at the festival “Art-Kliazma”. The post that is used by the performer serves at the same time as a windvane showing the direction of wind. The striptease performance takes place at the special floor where a portrait of the president Cleveland (taken from the largest and rarest bill of thousand dollars) is drawn.

What is to be done?
We, the program “Escape”, are the windvane that provides a diagnosis and a reflection of a situation, being necessarily a part of it. As J.Baudrillard notes in his book “The Seduction”, “any movement that believes in the possibility of subverting the system through its basis, is naive”. We would add: naive or… hypocrite? Because the critique of the system is one of the most successful strategies to obtain a place within it. This ambivalence is probably the main problem of the new avant-garde art. How not to lose the capacity of self-criticism? Are compromises possible? These are the questions to which the general question “What is to be done?” leads today.

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