The end of man on the stage of the Biennale

Humanity is finally about to stop. Finally, the planet will be able to survive without its polluter and disruptor, which is on the brink of extinction. The man ends up overwhelmed by the Transhuman, the Fluid gender, the Animal, the Machine and the Artificial Intelligence. The liberation comes in the final stage, the liberation of man. This was announced with undisguised satisfaction by the Venice Biennale, which opened in the lagoon yesterday; his ambassador is a Elephant which stands out in natural size in the central pavilion, to give the good news to humans (I assume no other pachyderms or other zoological species will come to visit the exhibit, only humans). Man is no longer at the center of the world. If that were the case, the Biennale would, of course, have to be entrusted directly and set up by a team of beasts; artists should also be animals, I know, hippos, monkeys, jackals, mosquitoes, octopuses. But with striking contradiction and glaring masochism, it is still man who heralds and staged the end of man…

For a long time, the Biennale was the barometer of time ago, Western and global times, clearly gone back to the pan of the mainstream and politically correct† The Biennale is the catalog of the new prejudices, obligations and trends of the time and is the apotheosis of a new determinism; the way is that, without alternatives, we move in that direction. The Biennale represents, and often mars, the ideology of the present and heralds the future according to current canons.

The thematic course of this exhibition is perfect: the human disappears between the animal and the artificial; anthropocentrism disappears to make way for ecocentrism, the absolute protagonist of the planet, the environment and animalism; the difference between male and female disappears, overwhelmed by transgenic, androgynous and militant feminism; the human body disappears between metamorphosis and cyborg; our civilization disappears to make way for the third world, in its uprooted and stateless version; history disappears to make way for the descendants of the ‘victims’ of colonialism. This creates a new pyramid or hierarchy, such as Angelo Branduardi’s East Fair. The artificial beats the natural, the animal beats the human, the black beats the white, Africa beats Europe, the primitive beats the citizen, the trans beats both sexes, the feminine beats the masculine. Hooray, we are finally destroyed. What a relief.

The death of art you could say, but here too the world that we have known and visited by art until now is dying; our status as men, our sexual difference, our civic and cultural identity ends. The stranger wins, the local dies.

In the exhibition, art turns into spectacle: the gimmick is staged, not the “artifact”, a bit like it happened in circuses with freak phenomena (the gun woman, the flying dwarf, the quick-change artist, the fire breather). Everything is set-up, performance, installation; no artwork.

The artists chosen to tell this joyous catastrophe of humanity are, of course, women, blacks, Africans, preferably expatriates, even better if they belong to those protected minorities that we know well by now.

To complete the work of cross-border fake conformism, there is the heroic act of civic engagement: Russia has been evicted from its pavilion at the Biennale, as if Russian artists have responsibility in the war, thereby assuming ethnic discrimination – nationally; in its place is the Ukraine, which in the city of the Common Place has its own central square, with a stack of bags as a set.

But what is art, what remains of art according to the Biennale? It is a question that we do not ask ourselves from today, not even with regard to the Biennale itself, the best criticism of which in the field is that of Alberto Sordic and Lady in a 1978 film devoted to Smart Holidays. In a crude but amusing way, the pair of Roman fruit growers visiting the Biennale reveal its most basic weakness: not distinguishing what is art from what is not, to the point that visitors mistake the overweight woman for an installation of pop art. On the other hand, the same “works” on display can be mistaken for ordinary objects, childish scribbles, scenes for the theater. So much so that an anti-Russian protester, half-naked with Nazi salutes, was mistaken for a work on display yesterday.

Aside from the film’s naive impressionism, which is not only highly effective from a comedy point of view, what is the focal point of contemporary art expressed through the Biennale? It is the replacement of the artwork with the intention of the author; the ability to reach souls through the eyes does not matter, the work and skill of the artist does not count, but the intentions of the subject that produced it (what the author wanted to say and denounce). Not the objective value of the work, but the subjective intention of the author, which I as an artist have difficulty defining. The message counts, preferably in the form of indictment and militant adhesion, not the beauty of the work. A legacy of the old ideological commitment.

The line between art and non-art has fallen, Peter Burger is right. Fruit of the conviction expressed in ’68 that creativity is universal: everyone is an artist, there are no longer any boundaries between good and bad, between value and unvalue, between genius and banality. Narcissism and psychoanalysis rape reality; art loses its radiance, myth and beauty. There remain the author’s vanity and unconsciousness and the predictable bewilderment caused by his performance. Art loses its language and its motivation; it is confused with society, with non-art, with advertising. Art actually undermines the world, but then succumbs to the wishes of the sponsors. And this says a lot about the false transgression and the true conformism of contemporary art, subject to the market, the industry and the companies that support it, even in Venice. Humanity is disappearing, but now we have to get into advertising; stay with us.

The truthApr 24, 2022

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