You are on page 1of 13

What is modern? (Translated by Nader Vossoughian) [Lecture by Professor Josef Frank, held on 25.

June 1930 at the public rally of the meeting of the German Werkbund in Vienna.] We publish the lecture by Professor Frank in order to point out that the discussion of this entire constellation of questions will take place in the second half of October in Stuttgart. It is increasingly necessary for the Werkbund to confront the diverse phenomena and concerns of modern life on a renewed basis, and to offer an interpretation and assessment. Ladies and gentlemen, we want to speak today about a question that has concerned us for a long time. Over the course of the last years – for about forty years now – we have heard and read intermittently what it means to be modern and non-modern, what one is allowed to do and what one is not allowed to do, what is intended for our times and what opposes our times, and other similar such things. All these notions have repeatedly changed their meaning over the course of these forty years. There are countless things that we once considered exemplary and now regard as repulsive. This sort of thing is indeed not new. We know from history that every period despises and finds fault with the achievements of those that come earlier. The biggest error of our time has to do with the fact that many of us construe this new age as analogous to an earlier one, as we have come to know it through history, even if they have the consciousness to live in a new era. They think in archaic terms. Now the most essential feature of our times is not technical ability, for technical ability every age has possessed. But our time has historical knowledge in addition; that is what distinguishes us from earlier times. This is seen by many as unnecessary or even as harmful; but it rests within the scope of our efforts to exploit completely everything we have, every bit of knowledge without qualification, to utilize and leave nothing unnoticed. Thus every struggle against historical knowledge is also unnecessary and hopeless. The men and women of our times stand in a much closer relationship with the past than those of former times. Those who knew nothing of what once came before had it easy as far as being modern; nothing else remained for them. It is considered only proper nowadays to speak about the 19 th century in disparaging terms: we see incomprehensible imitations of styles that are almost entirely outmoded. We must, however, not think of these things in such contemptuous terms; they also represent a period of new development that is not inferior in power to that which came before. Every age is a transitional age. We know that bourgeois culture spread itself throughout the world in the 19 th century. In the name of this bourgeois culture forms that were not accessible before were utilized,

What is not mentioned. it must be reformed. feudalism. whether it is decorated or not is irrelevant. were appropriated by the bourgeoisie as symbols of their own power and thus also stripped of their original meaning. handicraft has become a decorative art. That actually gave us first the possibility of starting anew from the beginning. I do not want to get myself bogged down with definitions here: it is senseless to define concepts like art. and one can follows this development of the new decorative arts for the past forty years. Transforming the world with the decorative arts is relatively simple because it follows a unified system that can be applied to the whole world and all objects. pseudo-scientific way of thinking is only ever used to obscure the real meaning of things and to establish virtually any system as the one and only correct one. Our times differentiate themselves from earlier ones. because it is not actually modern. The development of this new art form emerged out of the decorative arts [Kunstgewerbe] and belongs still today to the decorative arts. it always remains a decorative art. artists. And that gives us a feeling today for the entire world that cannot bring itself easily into a unified system. and we have knowledge of the entire world . and that we have been for the last forty years. in that distances have become shorter. trade. as is always claimed. but also temporally can look far further back and in reality have far greater knowledge of the world than those who would like to stretch themselves out over space alone. monarchism. etc.and by that means later made banal in such a way that that have become meaningless. however. however. It always attaches itself anew to momentary needs. This setting up of one correct system is. but actually fashionable and thus subject to rapid change. and thus these experiments are always being undertaken. industry. This has not declined in its reach in recent years. But the principle of spreading a unified system throughout the world exists today still and is often seen as modern. . decorative art. the symbols of the church. In earlier times one drew an ornament over everything or utilized similar types of materials. is that we not only overlook the entire world spatially. This is just the opposite of what I could characterize today as but on the contrary has grown to include everything that comes close to this material . as we need shorter traveling times. for this so beloved. It is one of the distinguishing features of the decorative arts to change quickly. today one utilizes similar types and colors and much more. and in particular in such a way that it can be brought into a closed system.we read newspapers namely. Its foundation principle is as follows – all that exists is bad. but that is not important. to a large extent the very essence of decorative art. All the symbols of power. it assumes forms different from those of before 1914. Whether ornament is used or not. as we read in any issue of any newspaper.. ideas and symbols of its times.

to want to organize everything so that all human beings are forced into a giant. whether it is through one of the countless “workshops” [ Werkstätten] that exist today or whether it is built with tubular steel furnishings. It is senseless to. The house with a steep gale holds secrets and unknown places. for example “purposeful art” [Zweckkunst] or “taste industry” [Geschmacksindustrie] or “new formation” [Neue Gestaltung] or something along those lines. Every simple thing that is not outdone is pathetic. many of us (myself included) use the flat roof. and. and our time encompasses so much so completely that we cannot bring it into a nearly unified form. and its contents are known. A form must serve no lowly or practical purpose to be modern. The flat room is an expression of the non-metaphysical world view that wants clarity everywhere: the house stands there. however. . For in everything that is modern everything has to fit that our time has. and there is something that gives people a pleasant sense of something mysterious and unknown. never were demands of such a clear nature asserted. It was from the beginning not thought of as such. One always hears that the earlier times were pathetic. to replace them with something incomprehensible. that today we are sober [sachlich]. it is pathetic to want everything to be the same so that variation is no longer possible. however. faster to manufacture. We need these symbols like any other time in order to make ourselves comprehensible. There was hardly ever a time. Despite this. which the observer cannot otherwise quite recognize so easily. cheaper. They want to be attractive or practical or hygienic – one quality they share in common: modern they are not. because there is something wrong with the definition. A well-known example for this from modern architecture is the flat roof. This is the real reason why the flat roof was introduced into housing. replace the word decorative art with another. How has it become a symbol in modern architecture? It is the clearest expression of clarity. then there exists between these three furnishings no significant difference.We want to define none of these words today. Why? Because it is a modern symbol of our times. easier to repair and so forth. for example. This flat roof is doubtless modern. but it must not be the case. Circumstances can come about that are appropriate to these reasonings. healthier. that was more pathetic than our own. Earlier one said: the house stands out. homogeneous mass. It is basically always the same principle – to unify everything that exists formally and to press them together in similar forms if the forms also change. you will find false statements about it. it is this and that inside and so it is ready. We utilize symbols as we always have. If someone furnishes his room in the historical style. for example. become a symbol and is also today seen from the opposition (friends do not understand it or dare not mention it) as a symbol. That would not warrant turning the flat roof into a polemical object. it has. One writes: it is more practical. Why? When you read over the literature. they are simply different.

the following is being conducted: the new movement was begun with the decorative arts as handicraft. Nonetheless. as we euphemistically describe our canons. In this way. whether they have a culture or not. wouldn’t you like to try it?” The gardener got himself up. basically as a protest against industry. but it makes possible new forms. One says: in earlier times. In truth. one can get water that flows as though from a spring. and we. One calls this a draw-well. Other peoples do not have this possibility unless they tie themselves to European culture. “And what would that be?” Dsi-Gung replied: “one takes a wooden lever that is weighted to the back and is light up front.e. I want to quote a famous story from parables of Chuang Tzu [please check English spelling: Chuang Tzu saw an old man who worked in his vegetable garden. one does all his business in a mechanical fashion. which is now taking place slowly. when one uses a machine. cannot assert themselves against the Europeans. usefulness. whoever runs his business like a machine also receives a mechanical heart. irrespective of whether this culture is replaced by a different one in the distant future or not. If we say machines.” As the old man’s anger rose in his face. With a little effort. we find ourselves confronting totally different tendencies. all these forms are being delegated to the machine and are being transmitted according to the same principles using new methods of production.] If we take Chinese culture. and it leads to new forms. they give us the possibility to spread our culture throughout the entire world. at least we Europeans who hold ourselves to be the modern people. i. there emerged at the time all the slogans that we use today. for we have something that matters for the pride of our culture and civilization: these are the machines. he by whom pure innocence is lost will be unsure of the . we must say: at first the European standpoint is the future of all other peoples. The reason for this is that all other peoples. economy. we mean in particular cannons because through their power. This is the modern standpoint that the Europeans and Americans. Chuang Tzu said: “There is an invention with which one can irrigate a hundred ditches in a single day. saw him.A second characteristic that is often posited today as a departure from earlier times is industrialization. have had forever. If we now look at the modern feature of our time. He stepped in the well and held up in his arms a container full of water and poured it himself into the ditches. cannot decline the opportunity that is being offered to us. when one carries a mechanical heart in one’s chest. they must absolutely go in our direction. and other similar such expressions. it will soon be achieved. He dug irrigation ditches. [complicated translation. there one hangs a bucket. The machine does not require a new form. one loses all of one’s innocence. handicraft worked. and asked. He tried as hard as he could and accomplished very little still.. and he said: “I can hear may teacher say. in contrast to all the other peoples. please check for accuracy. industry works. simplicity. in our time. But with the death of handicraft. for example. making canons that also accept European culture.

militarism. where he senses a new power. That stopped in the last century. but rather excludes something for some reason.have had the desire to ingratiate himself with every ruling power: earlier it was the nobility and royality. This striving belongs among the most significant mistakes of our entire modern expressive culture. the principles according to which the new house is built are neither steel nor iron nor reinforced concrete but rather its model is the Japanese house.movements of his spirit: uncertainty in the movements of the spirit is something that does not get along with the true sense. It is itself not a spiritual foundation that urges itself to something or makes something. the leading principle of the new age. they nonetheless remained sycophantic as before. From the beginning. We cannot start anything with this standpoint because our destiny is predetermined. Progress is always technical progress. not everything. And. It goes without saying for us European that nothing is modern that is not in a position to utilize technical progress. For the modern architect wants to build like the engeneer. The essence of our modern art was most clearly . Not that I would not get to know such a machine. flexible and light. The foundations of our modern architecture. but rather technical progress serves us by executing our plans and thoughts. Our modern house is also the progression of the urge for freedom that first expressed itself in the 19th century under Japanese influence. before which many are ashamed. with which sliding walls. which is made out of wood. The manifestation that we believe to have found for ourselves can be divided into two components. And he saw in war the immense power of the machine and entered into its service.” This is a Chinese standpoint. That was the longing before we got to know the new material. A shifting of capacities created a new mass spectacle [Amüsiergesindel]. had they not remained noble as at the time where courts and princes consecrate so remains. architects and artists – I use that word without describing who deserves this title and who does not . The longing for the primitive forms of the orient came through because during the war many were forced to question the happy-making characteristics of the machine. does not deny himself. The one component is the decorative arts. the age-old longing of the Northern Europeans for the south and for sun receives through technology a few new possibilities. to execute things as they are often otherwise only possible in a happier climate. are made mobile and transparent. however. and calls this new service the Zeitgeist. the other. which today is deflected into other areas. a spiritual foundation of architecture. and the artist offers it that which pleases it. to associate himself with this very fast. That is. Art served at the time in the service of the merchant: that was a slogan that to us alone is familiar. The artist seeks. but I would be ashamed to utilize it.

Our informant writes the following about new music: “Day dreaming is the only thing that we can take offense to from an artist today. One should definitely not overestimate the machine. he asks why it is actually there. In the 20 th. It was the standpoint that tried to suppress everything unncessary – unnecessary from the standpoint of the most basic practical ends – and made material value into a fetish. Werner. And I completely do not understand why art should bring us up to day dream. it has blinders and sees nothing else.” Under the circumstances. he does not want to think further about why it is there. The entire thought process limits itself to a goal.expressed during the war. then I won’t give even five cents for your life. One identifies the invention of the printing press and the discovery of . And in addition to that. To that extent – and only to that extent – should artists learn from engineers. The name of the author is irrelevant. the engineer was still an artist. This attitude lives still today and has been transformed into an ideal. found its expression [this translation is probably wrong. we read about the explanations of why this is so and in what ways our age is categorically different from the one that preceded it. Whoever makes music or writes books or paints pictures nowadays needs a damn clear head. namely that the individual is more important to us than stone. Despite all efforts to do away with the border between the two. that nothing must be held on to when the life of men and women is at issue. In the 19 th century. the artist needs to be an engineer. But when you doze through the Potsdamer Platz. to the painter Anton v.] Certainly. the authority of this statement cannot be denied. This statement shows the complete and utter contempt for the kind of spirit who was honored during the war and who in the handling of that spirituality. If he does not understand the practical purpose that expresses itself in dollars and cents. In printed works of all kind that propagate the modern times. please check. for he is a typical representative of a similarly oriented generation of writers who have dealt with this issue. Still. the phrasing is very difficult. we often read of a domination of our times that rests on the firm persuasion that in recent years a new historical age has begun. as modern intellectuals do. there hides in this very sound statement. which was not involved in the war industry. as he offered his judgment about the bombardments of the Rheims Cathedral: “The bones of a single German soldier are more valuable as the entire cathedral. even if one were to add that many more bones were gladly sacrificed for machine guns than for art. I would like to read aloud such a text. they are still as clearly drawn as possible. If any individual who seeks unity find something that he doesn’t immediately understand. this statement was intended as an attempt at assassinating culture [ Geist] and has exercised its effect. But modern it is not.

it is just worthless. Art is there for it.the drawing board. which our decorative artists also try in vain to match. and needs a compensation for his activities in totally other forms. A second manifesto should now show how they have changed due to the new artistic expressions of the new era.” This is often stressed by people who know nothing about engineering. “Our basic transformation in sensibility with regard to the shaping of our world affects the shifts in our means of expression. dance). I must say from my own experience that the engineer is one of the least imaginative figures of our times.the Americas with the end of the Middle Ages. This all previous results have also shown. very impersonal types. the light organ. these are always questionable opportunities about which one can be of differing opinions.” This is a characteristic sample of a kind of modern journalism that wants to associate itself with everything successful. and which. when one abandons it. People hold too much onto abstract ideals. But to that belongs a little courage. and you should get rid of it or raise it to a level that influences traffic. play of reflective light. Instead of the easel .the . He works with all hismeans against the new forms and must do things according to his own disposition. Instead of the French horn . Instead of poetry . form. Instead of a plastic replica of a movement . more serious tasks. If it cannot accomplish this. and tools: instead of the random blow of the ax . to release the officer for other. art is not necessary. Instead of the dim line of charcoal . pictorial photography).the precise line of the rail travelers. as though one could convince them of useful things. eurhythmy. gymnastics. Traffic is necessary.the saxophone. “The artist must be an engineer. Today impacts yesterday in terms of materials. That is why industry succeeds in making some very good. One is accustomed to look at the time around 1900 as the beginning of a completely changed collective world picture [Weltbild]. But precisely that is what I wish for the new musicians. as a traffic officer on the Potsdamer Platz. A formal thinker is simply not an engineer. And if both are not regulated the same way. for the two think differently and the architect will never find a form that is inclined toward typification: his essence is to think individually.the movement itself (as a simultaneous movie. [check] The cited passage shows to us the foundations of the new age and proves how it is different from earlier times. while the absolute principle is something that one one can believe in and must. there is no doubt what we will dispose of first. He calculates new technical values. A collaboration of the engineer and the architect is thus also futile. takes a full stop.the chain saw. neon signs. just as a calculator is no architect. He calculates new values and needs. Rather than copy the reflections – the design of light itself (as a light image.

(The “painting without a brush” requires already a manual for the construction of images. as our author had construed it.the photo sculpture. He does not at all recognize if that really is true or not. Instead of opera .” This sentence. The only thing that remains. Instead of drama . One of the biases of our time is that we construct an image of time that allows us to determine that “Modern man has no time. Instead of opera . has been advocating for. that in place of the ax the chain saw has indeed emerged in many cases. blurred and mixed. Instead of colored material – the materiality of color itself. that the short story has not replaced the novel. namely so.). We all know that it does not look this way. But the artist. The boundaries between art. that the short story (a term that is better referred to as “novella” in German) belongs in the impressionistic age.the advertising poster.sound poem. mathematics. and thus they are offered that which our author. Instead of color . Instead of caricature . developed logically from the character of our times. because they service different ends and different people. Instead the fresco . and between sound and color there is emerging only the gradual difference in the vibration speed. Instead genre . Reflection would give one to recognize that modern man has more time than his predecessors. That is easy to realize if one considers how many work hours he earlier had and how many today and the amount of time it took to get to work earlier and the amount of time necessary today. Instead of spirit [Geist] – amusement. cornerstone of the unified world picture. Their lands are expropriated. and has since virtually disappeared. Instead of sculpture .short story. Men and women should not think. as all holders of power.the lux value of color.” That is the art of today.the revue. for example the light organ and the sound poem are things that do not exist. had reached its true golden age at that time. and music are no longer to be delineated. but rather that the most successful novels of our time are the longest ones. That these forms do not replace one another. Only we (probably) have many more possibilities to exploit this extra time. that. who has designed the image of contemporary art. left behind in his fear of missing out of being . Instead the fresco .the revue. The rest of the day is left as our own.the construction.the sketch. practical and homespun from the high pedestal back to life. but on the basis of the precondition of our first citation. For a long time now the new muse has been kidnapped by practical men.the advertising poster. and it is the most important goal as well of the state. we know. our world must according to logical thinking look this way. derives from the undeniable fact that the automobile moves faster than the horse-drawn carriage. to offer us all what is necessary to keep all of us busy and safe during this free time. but from that one cannot draw other conclusions in other cases if one does not assume a unified world picture.

which. closes his eyes before real life. Over the course of time. This is also the only possibility for maintaining unity. however. It is also unnecessary to try and prophesize much. which alone should exist. and that misleads many to regard it as the very essence of the modern. were retained by the remaining unmodern people. We also cannot answer it. even when it is uncertain in what way.” Modern thoughts are likely from our point of view ideals. but modern this is not. confuse ”modern” and “ideal. that their development will unify themselves. so that his square is not disturbed. Otherwise we do not know how the future will appear. we have seen that both thoughts can get along completely. A person of that era who wanted to speak of the spirit of the age would have had to have spoken of the necessity of choosing between one principle or the other. The artist facilitates war like a war-monger and worships the power of the machine.connected to the power to throw these things at your feet and wanting to become a member of the mob. this is basically a useless question. If we ask ourselves where the modern is being developed or which country is modern. there were two different modern principles in the world. One should rather limit oneself to shaping the present as comfortably as possible. In Imperial Roman times. self-deception is the characteristic of the new age. He claims to be for universality but in fact thinks only in terms of his closed system. namely America. as the concept “modern” is a thoroughly unclear one and has various strains that frequently appear opposed to one another. that there are today two countries that stand opposite one another as modern cultures that play a major role in shaping our fate. It is quite possible that although these countries represent opposing principles. and it would be dangerous to try and predict. What may be different from the basic ideas we cannot predict. particularly when both in general have similar tendencies.” And we must ask what that might mean. and Russia on the other. on the one hand. If we think about the word “modern” in terms of its everyday linguistic usage. . We cannot. A unification of opposing principles of this kind is about absolutely not new. Strangely. for his principles are the correct ones for the modern age. Such a person will probably say to himself that he is completely modern. to find forms that can assimilate us all. We must on the contrary aspired toward that which today is and need to be able to engage that which surrounds us. he idealizes mass taste and makes it popular. that they unify themselves and exist further and remain modern to the point where they are separated from new axioms and new principles. I want to mention here an historical example. which however are pushed in a new direction by other powers. however. particularly in the long-term. we often here: “this person is radically modern. The one was Roman imperialism and the other was Christianity – so two ideals that were completely opposed two one another. One of the few things that we can assume with certainty will spread in the near future is mechanization. however. Many have the feeling.

but modern it is not. That is an abstract goal which is always maintained and according to which people can always orient themselves. but calls for business. This is a tangible situation. The radical modernist derives the idea from man as a manufacturer of mass goods. but without making rationalization a religion. for it rests on irrational assumptions. A man who is today radically modern must have a goal that does not relate to daily life and its needs. What still causes us concern is the complete separation of everyday commerce from metaphysical needs. Both ideas are unified in every person. They are not concerned with making him comfortable but rather pose ideal demands. in many way also typified. despite the fact that these are two things that actually have nothing to do with one another. It is now clear that a determination of that kind must make a milieu of a clear kind. They follow an idea that they hold to be modern. which becomes cannon fodder for the idea. and is seen as our future. Exaggeration on one end must be balanced by exaggeration on the other. . This is for us today still in its thickly retained sentimentality not entirely native. They have a religion. business. at which time it must reach other means. so far as possible. mechanized. Entertainment is a replacement for everything. but rather even accepts it.If we now think as objectively as possible about our times and with it the man who characterizes us as radically modern. but we are getting ourselves accustomed. so far as possible. Russia seeks to unify the two concepts. assuming that a drafting machine even exists. as a medium that services a higher goal. as the two ideas were in the Roman Empire. but according to other principles. Life in America is. The abstract goal that the person who professes to know the present establishes do not think about whether what they do is good or bad. They imagine man in the sense of ancient times. for we have felt its enormous influence into the smallest details of our lives. use a drafting machine in lieu of an easel. which can unite nothing. And that is justified. to which people should sacrifice themselves. Because many people believe rightfully that these principles are becoming more powerful. A radical modernism can only be accepted if it is directed in a particular direction. for example. rationalized. The rationalization of art is an absurdity. Life in America is in many respects taken as our model. according to an abstract ideal and according to a clear goal. for the mass good will be produced until the market overflows. so a goal that always moves straight ahead. they seek to force everything into this system to the extent that. which is not a religion. which should not be a religion. People also have their entertainment. That is the abstract ideal of today’s economy. It must in concentrated form compensate for the overflow of rationalization and real thinking. Mechanization and rationalization are certainly goals of the immediate future. for example. it is radical. because each of these two serves a different purpose. so one means in general he who not only strives to mechanize the entire world. as is the case for religion.

The worship of the machine is in our times not popular. It interests him not. how it is organized. We have come out of the war without rules. something that often pleases me. They quickly become obsolete and are not ideals. And what is happening now? Do people seek now to be freed from the limiting rules? Are they happy that they are no longer bound to certain old rules. He probably forgets that the engineer also lives outside his labor time. We have seen that nothing has to be as it is.. citizen and worker.This should be different for us when we observe the plans of the radically modern. Mechanical labor is no fun since it is not in a position to allow even the slightest pleasure in work during working hours. The entire uncertainty and inferiority complex of those who hold onto them. they seek new ideals that are constructed according to abstract ideals. which nevertheless still has a development behind them? That they can now build freely? No. He sees how the factory is furnished. Every memory of one of the other raises feelings of aversion. It says to itself: The factory is for practical reasons well-furnished. Whoever wants to shape life according to abstract theories today gets further along. Essential are the results. The average man. The average person who does not live according to theories. Many of our radical modernists seek the most kitschy stuff they can find . it wants to rationalize entertainment in the same sense and mechanize it as is done in the acquisitions business. I will thus handle my apartment and leisure time in exactly the same manner. but rather dues what is comfortable to him can have nothing to do with such a rationalization of the home. has nothing to do with it. Whoever feels of lesser value has not the walk out of . no longer does it let in two systems. that they in fact represent nothing holy and that most rules are refutable. “means to an end” thinking does not interest people. and specifically rules in a proportion and mass as we never knew before. all of that it needs to suppress to make a comfortable impression on the receiver. that all can be different. A factory is a place where one stays not a minute longer as one absolutely must. however. I would like to draw attention to something that is of no consequence in and of itself. Our views on everything are unsettled through war and are partly also destroyed. when they want to send a postcard to a like-minded person. retires home in an environment of the reverse kind. We cannot always believe that the principal interest of the public rests on the manufacturing techniques of mass-produced objects. for one goes out. irrespective how they were made. that in the case where the mind must speak (as is the case with the sending of a postcard). that sacred concepts from earlier times have disappeared at once. for the ideal man of the 20th century is an engineer. Human life begins afterwards and is the opposite. Such small characteristics show best how the Gesinnungskomplex is actually obtained. That this occurs with self-irony is a sign of intense inferiority. So meaningless this fact also is. It shows. he wants the opposite.

because often not once a modern thought to have excited them. For he establishes here an ideal a pathetic ideal which develops according to logical laws. one cannot say to someone. it does not offer the world at large a general framework within which individuals can live. which stand still outside every reality. iron construction for a third.” says modern man. his rules and dictums. light values and everything more for a fourth. more rigid. each seeks to return to the beginning of time in order to isolate himself from foreign influence. I have already noted that our modern architecture is far more pathetic than any previous. . arches. and much more according to some direction. We have the “radical modernism” only as an example put forward. Our pathos is. Each one sets up any system which he now protects as his personality. For the artisans want to have their unified world view that founds itself on military principles. the stronger. but rather the world at large [ Allgemeinheit]. which now serve to make results irrespective of what the quality is. He has a crutch that he himself built. Earlier pathos found expression through columns. he does not see and wants not to see. so it's a perfect work. This one is accepted as primordial and will continue. what left and right goes before. a system according to which the now works. We seek therefore to come back to a primordial state.oneself. “modern art is not there to serve an individual. The weaker the creator. Our unbridled individualism does not tolerate any expression of a foreign person next to us. "I do this. if he does not consider that there are things that he can get in the way that would be observed. depending on his attitude. which is of course of value to the world at large. “Because. it is larger than other things. You know all the consequences that has had and that everyone. he has his rules and his closed system. even if it is also graspable by others. a so-called Urpathos to which many want to return. For something that is not pathetic can always be augmented. it despises all the little details that would make things human and goes directly to the great abstract goal. that.” That is doubtless a modern idea. while the pathetic speaks in poster form to t he people. as one that utilizes rationality decoratively as others set up historical or modern styles. If anyone has responded to an ideal that cannot be surpassed. however. In his view. Such rules do not only exist in just one direction. But by its own strange way. from a particular perspective can be defended. forms and color systems. symbols of power. a system that uses the decorative arts to manufacture the world. can treat anything as primitive or primordial: negro art for one. relentless will be the system that he needs. also that he will not see it." he has done the best he could do. Ideals of that kind lead to great pathos in all things. That does not interest the maker. yes the majority still much further than that. rustic lifestyles for another. but rather feels secure when it can lean against something. for only then can it be advocated for. next to which classical art forms always appear tied to their own times.

they are not what they appear. but those for whom it is actually intended. but forms do change. The character of the individual person does not change. however. it would continue into eternity the same system – the one that man takes pleasure in and enjoys . Emerging peoples represent formal problems. For what it offers today is the ultimate refinement of a time that has grown beyond the objective. For the system is as such outdated.And the people of the world [Allgemeinheit] knows not what to do with these creations and rejects them. The emerging class is seeking something else. People do not hold themselves back from things they can have and the small differentiations are the ones that offer them joy. It would also be totally unmodern for us to offer an answer here and set rules when in fact rulelessness. but they have taken up so much from the traditions of centuries that the abstractions of primitive times have nothing to offer them. or randomness. . they represent differently. The naive man has his European tradition. A world structured as a unity will always have its fashionable effect. it actually says nothing. which today can abstract. which can only serve those who participated in the culture of ancient times. Much of what it shows is also taken from the real world and can be used in its name. It was already mentioend that the 19 th century wanted first and foremost to conquer symbols of power. Puritanical spite is foreign to us. those who are tired and need exotic sensations. they may still be disguised. even if those who think archaically – here also belong those who are radically modern – cannot get away from. It would come back to the same system that restricts us. It is thus of little use to differentiate between individual systems. If we ask ourselves what direction our times should go to attain unity and what its unified expressions are. although it is not modern to offer people aesthetic ideals. is the expression of the times. we need our measure of sentimentality and the ennoblement of kitsch to push ourselves into the new. Let them be based on any abstract presupposition that restricts us and gives us freedom: they all have one thing in common – they belong to the spirit of a past age – modern they are not. problems of power. You want to take advantage of everything and realize what is in their power. Modern art says nothing to those who seek to rise up. I cannot offer an answer. who want to have meaning.of decorative art that shuts out many facts and possibilities. whether short or long depends on many circumstances. It is not true that our times do not represent. Uniformity has its pathos and its success can be assured. And so today.