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Critical Fetishes. Residues of General Economy is the first installment of The Red Specter’s projects. The collection of interventions presented here are argued as an interpellation and a reply to the logic of the market, which has managed to assimilate the neo-avant-garde project of the dematerialization of the art work and the consequent formalization and reduction of Conceptual practices. We have taken it upon ourselves to excavate an alternative archive of poetic, theoretical and political strategies that recuperate, in a double movement, the ambivalence and complexity of the category of the fetish as the center of critical theorization of market society, and at the same time emphasize the fact that the notion itself emerges as a key concept of the relationship between Enlightenment thought and colonialism. Given that the problem of the fetish occupies the intersection of a colonial imaginary with the production of different discourses and repertoires of analysis where a dislocated, spectral image of the economy is situated, we advance the premise that its displacement and radical inversion will conduct us to its theoretical nucleus and the possibility of undrawing the limits—both real and poetic—of its phenomenology; that is, of its experience with regards to theoretical and aesthetic fictions within art and capitalism. The show Critical Fetishes. Residues of General Economy brings together works and projects by more than twenty artists who pointedly, diversely and tentatively elaborate poetic investigations of economies founded in heterogeneity, both of exchange and of productive Page 3

Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo. From May 26 to August 29

Pastures of the Underground
Francesco Pellizzi Page 4

Bataille, Documents and the Notion of Sacrifice
Dawn Ades Cuauhtémoc Medina and Mariana Botey Georges Bataille Page 5

From the Eighteen Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

In Defense of the Fetish
Page 8 Page 80

Vanished America Georges Bataille and Documents

Karl Marx (1852) If any section of history has Dawn Ades been painted gray on gray, it is and Fiona Bradley Page 82 this. Men and events appear as reverse Schlemihls, as shadows Key texts on that have lost their bodies. The Fetishism revolution itself paralyzes its Page 86 own bearers and endows only Karl Marx its adversaries with passionate forcefulness. When the “red Communication: specter,” continually conjured Toward an up and exercised by the counterrevolutionaries finally ap- Architecture. pears, it appears not with the Post-Industrial Phrygian cap of anarchy on its head, but in the uniform of or- Anamorphosis. der, in red breeches. Après Salvador Dalí Page 96

THE RED SPECtER This exhibition was organized by the Vice Ministry, Regional Ministry of Culture and Sports and Government Spokespersonship, General Office of Archives, Museums and Libraries of the Community of Madrid. Vice-President, Regional Minister of Culture and Sports, and Spokesperson for the Government Ignacio González González Regional Deputy Minister of Culture Concha Guerra Martínez Managing Director of Archives, Museums and Libraries Isabel Rosell Volart Deputy Managing Director of Museums Andrés Carretero Pérez Fine Arts Adviser Carlos Urroz Arancibia Head of Press for the Regional Ministry of Culture Pablo Muñoz Press Office for the Regional Ministry of Culture Lara Sánchez Milagros Gosálvez Timanfaya Custodio CA2M CENTRO DE ARTE DOS DE MAYO Director Ferran Barenblit Collection Asunción Lizarazu de Mesa María Eugenia Arias Estévez Carmen Fernández Fernández María Eugenia Blázquez Rodríguez Production Ignacio Macua Roy Casilda Ybarra Satrústegui Laura Arroyo Fernández Diffusion Mara Canela Fraile Laura Hurtado Isabel García Gil Education and Outreach Pablo Martínez Carlos Granados del Valle Victoria Gil-Delgado Armada María Eguizabal Elías

MAY 2010 EXHIBITION Supervision and Production S consultores en diseño S.C.

2 “Pastures of the Underground” Copyright © 2008 by Francesco Pellizzi. Originally published in: The Bruce High Quality Foundation & Other Ideas, Brooklyn, NY. The Bruce High Quality Foundation University Press.

THE RED SPECtER From Page 1 processes established within a logic of loss, expenditure or dilapidation. These works, which appeal to an apparent economic “irrationality,” form the spinal cord of an interrogation of the relationships between desire and production as well established notions of “development,” “underdevelopment,” and “efficiency.” As opposed to a reading of a capitalism in crisis, the artists and reflections in this anthology present and mount a mise-en-scène of the allegory of a savage, primitive capitalism that implodes and goes mad in its effort to commensurate desire with object: following the allegorical reading, desire’s inevitable overflowing of the object would escape all calculation and all symbolic transposition. The operations traced out here diagram a residual zone of disturbance wherein an “other economy” would seem to be transformed and to manifest itself as emergent and potentially dangerous to the system. In an open discrepancy with the melancholy character of contemporary reflection, Critical Fetishes seeks to exhibit the means by which a variety of recent artistic interventions have invoked a constant political and aesthetic transgression, wherein the notion of the fetish manipulates and rearranges the fictions of utility, equivalent exchange and the rationality of investment. All the interventions and works compiled in Critical Fetishes explore the complex, variegated economic system of capitalism, in the North as well as the South, as a system open to fractures and paradoxes, which art exploits in its poetic search for forms of practical and intellectual dissidence. Inspired in large part by Georges Bataille’s intuitions about a “general economy,” as this was inaugurated in “The Notion of Expenditure” (1933) and later developed in The Accursed Share (1950), as well as by reflections on the notion of the fetish by authors like William Pietz and Marx himself, Critical Fetishes seeks to overcome the abjectionist description of the effects of capitalism’s crisis, and to expose the way in which artistic work invokes moments of anti-production, de-activates the myths of development and puts the art object into operation as an object of desire and subversion. In this sense, the show takes a position against the identification of dematerialization with de-fetishization, as the dominant critical operation, in favor

MAY 2010 of rescuing the power of contagion and dissemination of the contemporary art fetish-object. The exhibition thus creates a constellation of art objects that displaces and de-centers reason and calculation as the dominant way of thinking about the economy, in the hope of generating an as yet unknown political experience. We have pursued the intuition that a critical fetishism would be one that understands its compulsion as a perversion of heterogeneity that becomes metastasized as it aims to interrupt the circuits of symbolic transposition and that this activity would highjack and hamper their functioning Sincerely,
du faubourg Saint-Antoine et la Scylla du faubourg du Temple»: «A un quart de lieue de là, de l’angle de la rue Vieille-du-Temple […] se dressait ce barrage qui faisait de la rue un cul-de-sac; mur immobile et tranquille; on n’y voyait personne, on n’y entendait rien; pas un cri, pas un bruit, pas un souffle. Un sépulcre. […] On sentait que le chef de cette barricade était un géomètre ou un spectre. […] La barricade Saint-Antoine était le tumulte des tonnerres; la barricade du Temple était le silence. Il y avait entre ces deux redoutes la différence du formidable au sinistre. L’une semblait une gueule; l’autre un masque.»

Flyer handed out in Mexico City, 2009

Critical Fetishes. Residues of Printer General Economy Cobrhi S.L. Grupo Arvato CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo Print Ibérica May 26 - August 29, 2010 Curated by: The Red Specter (Through its Commissariat of Public Enlightenment: Mariana Botey, Helena Chávez Mac Gregor and Cuauhtémoc Medina) Curatorial Assistant Ángela Cuahutle Navarro Graphic Design and Exhibition Image S consultores en diseño S.C., Mexico · Editorial Coordinator Ekaterina Álvarez Romero Participating Artists A Kassen, Maria Thereza Alves, Francis Alÿs, Martí Anson, Karmelo Bermejo, Mariana Botey-Cuauhtémoc Medina, Miguel Calderón, Duncan Campbell, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Andrea Fraser, Fran Ilich, Fritzia Irizar, Jota Izquierdo (in collaboration with Abel Carranza), Roberto Jacoby-Fernanda Laguna, Alfredo Jaar, Magdalena Jitrik, Teresa Margolles, M & X, Raqs Media Collective, Vicente Razo, Gustavo Romano, Bea Schlingelhoff, Guillermo Santamarina, Santiago Sierra, Judi Werthein and Federico Zukerfeld THE RED SPECTER Journal of Agitation and Enlightenment Editors of this issue 1 of The Red Specter Ekaterina Álvarez Romero Cuauhtémoc Medina Editorial Design S consultores en diseño S.C., Mexico ·

This publication was made in conjunction with the exhibition Critical Fetishes. Residues All texts are Copyright © of General Economy at the their authors CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in the Region of Madrid. The images of the works published in this number are Compilation (including the courtesy of the artists except selection, positioning and order of the texts and images) otherwise indicated First edition, 2010 Copyright © 2010 by CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Community of Madrid. Copyright © 2010 by The Red Specter [El Espectro Rojo]. Documents [Documentos] Copyright © 2006 by Dawn Ades and Fiona Bradley. Originally published as the Introduction to Dawn Ades and Simon Baker (eds.), Undercover Surrealism , Cambridge-London, The MIT Press and Hayward Gallery. “L’Amerique disparue” [“Vanished America”] Copyright ©2010 by Julie Bataille. All images are Copyright © their authors

All texts by Karl Marx and their respective translations are shared through a creative commons license. cc by-sa Legal deposit: All rights reserved. This publication may not be photocopied nor reproduced in any medium or by any method, in whole or in part, without the written authorization of the authors.

Isabel Rosell Volart

Managing Director of Archives, Museums and Libraries Region of Madrid

different art projects featured in the show, Critical Fetishes reinforces the lines of research pursued by the CA2M. The project has come to fruition thanks to the intense efforts of the three curators from the El Espectro Rojo collective: Mariana Botey, Helena Chávez and Cuauhtémoc Medina. The exceptional quality of their proposal and its development in the subsequent phases of the project, which will take place in Mexico, are a source of enormous satisfaction for all of us, and I am deeply grateful for all their work. Another notable aspect of this exhibition is the large number of new works that have been produced specifically for the show. Here at the Regional Government of Madrid, we believe that the construction of contemporary culture requires collaboration between creators and institutions, and encouraging the production of new works is one of our top priorities. I would also like to thank everyone who has made this exhibition possible and the participating artists in particular. Their extraordinary involvement and dedication to the project have greatly enriched the Centre and, naturally, all those who visit it.

Critical fetishes

The Red Specter Curator of Public Enlightenment Mexico City
Statement: The Red Specter quotes and retrieves a figure from Karl Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire (1852) that appeals to the phantasmal condition of revolution, which would seem to prevail from that moment on as an apparatus central to capital’s operations of hegemonic terror. But also—although somewhat more opaquely—The Red Specter recites Hugo and reminds us of the evidently continuous phantasmal condition of justice and violence: “A mile from there, at the corner of Rue du Temple […] rose this obstruction, which made of the street a cul-de-sac; an immovable and quiet wall, nobody could be seen, nothing could be heard, not a cry, not a sound, not a breath. A sepulchre […] the chief of the barricade was a geometer or a spectre […] The barricade St. Antoine was a tumult of thunders, the barricade du Temple was silence. There was between these two redoubts the difference between the terrible and the ominous. The one seemed a gapping mouth, the other a mask.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, «Partie 5. Jean Valjean. Livre 1. La Guerre entre quatre murs. V, 1, 1. La Charybde

The Red Specter wishes to express its gratitude to the people and institutions that, in one way or another, have made the many phases and incarnations of this project possible. To all the artists who have participated in this exhibition. To all those who, in many ways, contributed to the advancement of this project: Dawn Ades; Julie Bataille; Bruce High Quality Foundation; Irene Bradbury, White Cube; Jorge Camacho; Víctor Hugo Chacón Ferrey; Manuel Calvo Rojas; Claire Fontaine; Pilar García, CURARE, México; Jan Hendrix; Helena Hernández, former director of the Tlaxcala Museum of Art; Cristina Faesler, Mexico City Museum; Christiane Hajj, Mexico City’s Historic Down­ town Foundation and Casa Vecina; Gabriel Hörner, Querétaro City Museum; Brian Jungen; Juan Pablo Macías; Inti Muñoz, Mexico City’s Historic Downtown Trust; Francesco Pellizzi, Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, Harvard University Press; Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia; Pablo Torre de Alba; Yassir Zárate Méndez, former head of Outreach at the Tlaxcala Museum of Art; Laura de la Colina, Danish Embassy Madrid. Biblioteca Social Reconstruir; Preiswert; des-bordes journal, Red de Conceptualismos del Sur; Patronato de Arte Contemporáneo, PAC México; Maisterravalbuena Galería, Madrid; Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milán; Galería Oliva Arauna, Madrid; Kasey Kaplan, New York; HOTEL, London; Toni Tàpies Gallery, Barcelona; IT (Imprenta de los Trópicos), Peter Kilchmann Galerie, Zürich; Sales del Centro. To the institutions that employ the curators, for authorizing their participation: CENIDIAPINBA (Mariana Botey); University Museum of Contemporary Art, MUAC, UNAM (Helena Chávez Mac Gregor); and Institute of Aesthetic Research, UNAM (Cuauhtémoc Medina). To the participants in the Zones of Disturbance group, and to the Holy Blind Child of the Capuchins, Puebla, patron saint of critics, curators and historians of radical art.

The Teatro Sincrético-Esotérico [Esoteric-Syncretic Theater], which serves as the masthead of this publication, Management and Administration is a work of multiple plagiaMar Gómez Hervás rism by S, based on the effigy Olvido Martín López of The Red Specter, originally Sonsoles Rubíes designed by Vicente Razo Media Collection Spanish Translations Beatriz García Rodríguez Manuel Hernández Jaime Soler Frost Av. Constitución 23 28931 Móstoles, Madrid English Translations +34 91 276 02 13 Christopher Fraga Lorna Scott Fox Revision and Correction of Texts Ekaterina Álvarez Jaime Soler Frost

The Regional Government of Madrid is delighted to present the exhibition Critical Fetishes. Residues of General Economy, which will be on display at the CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo this summer. On its second anniversary, the Centre continues to programme events that explore the ways in which art interacts with other phenomena of modern society. While on previous occasions the narrative threads of exhibitions have invited us to reflect on the role of cars in contemporary culture or the relationship between the music and art of counterculture, the central theme of this new show is the economy. The current economic recession has affected our country’s entire productive and social structure, and it is against this backdrop that the exhibition curators invite us to engage in a profound reflection on the very meaning of our economic system. Through the work of approximately 20 artists from around the world, the exhibition analyses the operation and validity of the concept of rationality applied to economic exchanges. The work of many of these artists is somewhat surprising in that their strategies defy the most fundamental rules of utilitarian logic, offering instead proposals which, expressed in the language of art, confront us with unexpected realities. With its solid discourse shaped by a meticulous analysis of the


MAY 2010

4 lemons, no matter how energetic and enlightening)—quite unlike those extravagantly monstrous dancing masks, astonishingly earth-shaking these, whose harmlessness was only discovered, learned and conquered, by the trial of fright endured. We have come full circle, from the spirit-infested (and spirittransforming) claustrophobia of the primitive initiation hut to the desolate agoraphobia of busy urban installations and the aphasia of graffiti walls. It is again a medieval time of concepts and illustration (neoenluminures), transitions and transmutations, clerici vagantes (or ‘jet-proletariat,’ as one of them labeled himself) and corporate (globally) wandering knights, lime-lights and witch hunts, comforting terror and museo-graphic horror, crusades and letters-of-credit, unfathomable debts and invisible wealth, regionalism and universality. Can we now expect, from all this, the rise of a new (postpastoral) Renaissance? It would be the third for us, in the West— after the cave-dwelling Paleolithic one, that of the templebound smiling marbles of the 5th Century B.C., and the one we have invented to ennoble the pedigree of our modernity. But

THE RED SPECtER first, it would seem, the author— the one who once went into the cave, the temple, the chapel, or the palace, and then retreated into the squalor of the atelier (this counterpart of the asphyxiating parlor and salon)— is bound to vanish once more, this time in a flurry of collectivity of play, and un-sheepish pastoral anonymity. • In 1975, in Sesto San Giovanni (Milan), Gordon Matta-Clark, right after talking to a group of Lotta Continua sympathizers who had squatted in an abandoned factory, drew hammerand-sickles in his notebooks, as matrices for some future anarchi-tectural interventions. Shortly thereafter, Andy Warhol produced his own hammer-andsickle series, where sometimes the bond between the symbols of ‘work-that-sets-you-free’ is loosened and they become almost unrecognizable—like flow­ ers beyond fading. He then met with Joseph Beuys in Europe, and made a diamond-dust portrait of him. Half a decade later—as his fortunes reached the sky and not long before he left for greener pastures—Warhol pictured himself with his wighair standing on end, as if he had just seen the ghost of the Earth Lord himself while looking into his own mirror. Then, the year after Warhol’s demise, and shortly before his own, a distraught Jean-Michel Basquiat represented himself as some avatar of Rembrandt’s Polish Rider, crossing the wastelands of a uniform silver (plata) field as a transparent red Cyclops on a white skeletal horse (he called the painting, Riding with Death). At the other end of this transatlantic tale—sometime before Titian excruciatingly alluded to his old-artist condition, and tragic pride, in Prague’s Flaying of Marsyas— Michelangelo Buonarroti, also quite wealthy (as well as notoriously parsimonious) for an artist of his time, had already looked into the empty eye of the Underworld when he hung his own bodiless hide, in the guise of the martyr, St. Bartholomew, smack in the middle of the richest of his papal commissions, the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgment.

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5 meaning of sacrifice was a preoccupation that Bataille later explored in texts such as ‘Sacrifices’ and ‘The Notion of Expenditure’, and in his review Acéphale, as a basic human need, like fetishism, that was irreducible to notions of productive utility. Documents presented not only the ancient or distant examples studied by anthropologists but contemporary expressions in popular art and culture that witness its survival and distortions in modernity, whether as regressive superstition, as in Eisenstein’s The General Line, or in disguise, as in the offerings to the tinsel deities of Hollywood that Bataille described in ‘Les lieux de pèlerinage: Hollywood’ (Places of pilgrimage, Documents 5, 1929). ‘L’Amérique disparue’, (Extinct America), the first essay in which Bataille’s deep personal involvement in what he later called ‘the insubordinate function of full expenditure’ coloured his analysis of
Documents, 1930, nr. 4

Francesco Pellizzi

Dawn Ades

This text, written for the installation Beyond Pastoral (in Exit Art, New York, 2008) of the artistic collective Bruce High Quality Foundation, was originally published under the pseudonym Z.L., in the book accompanying the retrospective exhibition of BHQF at the Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, May 2008 ( The Bruce High Quality Foundation & Other Ideas, Brooklyn, NY: The Bruce High Quality Foundation University Press, 2008, pp. 149-151). It is published here for the first time revealing the authorship of Francesco Pellizzi.

The journey to Him was dangerous, and neither a safe return nor the double-edged daytime consequences of the hypogeal visit were guaranteed by the gifts. In the present age of wholesale import of homogenized maize, he may still be there down below (nobody knows for certain), and if so, feeling rather lonely atop a heap of now worthless riches. The people, seeking wealth or survival, these days travel far to the North where the sun rises lower on the horizon half of the year, sometimes also never to return. A world of ups and downs, of ascent and descent between the peaks above and the abysses below, of trance and daring plunges into the depths of the mountains (and of the heart), has shifted for them to one of flatness, wandering and exile, of temporary closeness and unlimited horizontal remoteness, and to the world of virtual long-distance communication. But it is a world, though well Beyond Pastoral, still fueled from below by minerals (at astronomical human and natural cost), and the old hypogeal Mother/ Father of Wealth is now prodded to reveal and release them by sensitive instruments gauging electrical waves (like little bolts of lightning turned upside down) and intrusive drills, so that the wealth of the earth

There was once, in the mountains of Chiapas, the earth lord. People would sometimes dare to go visit him in the bowels of the earth, entering the darkness through remote caves and making offerings and sacrifices to him there. He was immensely rich, the owner of precious metals and the dispenser of agricultural bounty (water, as clouds, rain and springs—as well as thunder and lightning—did come from the mountains). Double-hearted people seeking extra-human powers would go so far as to sell him the souls of others— sometimes even close relatives—in exchange for his favor. Even in post-Colonial times, he was still, after all, the Yahval Balamil, once Lord of the Underworld, and one of the arbiters of life and death.

has acquired a new mechanical (though no longer metaphysical) remoteness—foreshadowed by Jules Verne—and is only accessible through the control and manipulation of technical and privileged information (a parody of archaic esoteric knowledge) in which things-from-below have been stripped of their intrinsic value and have acquired instead a virtual and abstract (monetary) one. This surplus of abstraction is also attached to the nature and status of the modern art object—not a fetish any longer because it is devoid of any intrinsic power, i.e., of the capacity to scare—pace all the avant-gardes and their supposedly épatants exploits (all

Identifying and explaining a general ‘theory of sacrifice’ had been one of the goals of anthropology, ethnography and sociology since the late 19th century. In the pages of the magazine Documents (1929-30), Georges Bataille, together with writers and intellectuals such as Michel Leiris and Robert Desnos, assembled an extraordinary range of materials, art and artefacts from every continent, from many cultures and from every epoch from the Neolithic to the present day and wrote about them in terms that violently disrupted the sober discourse of these relatively new social sciences. The nature and

The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Beyond Pastoral, 2007

THE RED SPECtER sacrifice, was published a year before Documents began, in L’art précolombien, a special issue of the Cahiers de la republique des lettres, des sciences et des arts. His contention that sacrifice in Aztec society was accompanied with expressions of joy and that death was a source of black humour was based on the vivid conjunction of flowery celebration and violence in Aztec descriptions and depictions of heart sacrifice, which resonated with his own perception of the combination of liberation and horror in the act of sacrifice, however mediated or truncated in a contemporary godless world. Bataille’s essay is strikingly out of key with the contribution to the Cahiers by the young ethnographer Alfred Métraux, ‘Ce qui

MAY 2010 reste des grandes civilisations de l’Amérique’. Métraux eschews discussion of the spectacular and sensational practices of a ‘lost civilisation’ in favour of a more modern investigation of their material and literary remains, a discussion of the intellectual achievements of the codices and an assessment of the contemporary survival of independent languages and beliefs (‘Les vieilles races ne sont pas mortes…’). In ethnographic terms Bataille’s obsession with sacrifice seems outdated, but it evidently had more to do with his ongoing interest in the human impulses expressed by sacrificial acts than in an interest in Pre-Columbian civilisations per se. The real successor to ‘L’Amérique disparue’ is his essay in the last issue of Documents, ‘Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent van Gogh’, rather than Roger Hervé’s ‘Sacrifices humains du Centre-Amérique’ (Documents 4, 1930). The latter dismisses the exaggerated descriptions of human sacrifice by the 16th century Spaniards, and relates it, in line with contemporary theories of sacrifice in ‘archaic’ societies, to the widespread idea of reciprocal exchange between gods and man, the gift of blood in return for fertility and the continuation of the seasons. For Bataille the interest of sacrifice and ‘sacrificial mutilation’ such as van Gogh’s severing of an ear and other examples, across the centuries, of automutilation, lies in their searing evidence, even if now pathological, of

6 psychological needs that precede such accepted religious mechanisms as propitiation and exchange. In fact, seen from this perspective, the radical juxtapositions in Documents of popular culture, crime magazines, primitive masks and so on are concerned less with exposing the loss of a religious dimension to modern life, with the emptiness of heaven, than reciprocally with the evidence that apparently god-ridden societies fearful of the sacred were fundamentally powered by actions that emphasised the conundrum of human existence and its inescapable bodily frailty.


MAY 2010


Documents, 1930, nr. 4

Documents, 1930, nr. 4

” the Portuguese word feitiço went from referring to the facticius or “artifact” of Medieval witchcraft to constructing a new materialist theory of primitive religion based on the assumption that Africans were afflicted by a capricious. irreducible codes. The radical aspect of this interpretation was in its economic and colonial womb: he was interpreting territories of exchange that —with all violence and pillaging—connected notions of value and desire to incomparable social systems surrounding the transaction of objects. “The Problem of the Fetish.” Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics 9. THE RED SPECtER Beginning with its origin in the paradoxical interactions between the merchants.14 De Brosses projected the idea of a primitive religion resulting from the mere correlation of material to desire. p. Only by way of such a detour would it become possible to activate its power as an obstacle to the illusion of grounding transactions and desires in natural needs and universal rationalities.THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 8 In each of its motley materializations and theorizations. the notion of the fetish appears as soon as (and every time that) Enlightenment thought needs to overcome the thematic of the “idol”—understood as a perversion of “representation” and “the religious”—to elaborate a psychology of primitive economy. at the beginning of the eighteenth century. p. 2003). (See Boris Izaguirre. a joint project of the Graduate Program in Art History at the Department of Philosophy and Letters. Thus. 4 “Paradigm in the etymological sense: it is what is ‘shown beside’…” Giorgio Agamben. the fetish would bear a crucial meaning for the construction of a theoretical materialism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.” Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics 16. which grew out of singular personal experiences and which resulted in a sacred order lacking any logic whatsoever. when these are always populated by partial overlaps between incommensurable poles. Doubtless this majority has let itself be reduced to the order of things. 1993. Cuauhtémoc Medina and Mariana Botey IN DEFENSE OF THE FETiSH The authors would like to point out that a large part of the development of this work emerged while leading the “Zones of disturbance” seminar in 2009. marxists. Only in a world where the thing has reduced everything. trans. 13 Sigmund Freud. covertly. The majority of mankind has given its consent to the industrial enterprise. CA: Basic Books. It designates (on a commercial level as well as a sexual and aesthetic one) the site of a transaction where two or more codes of value intertwine without there being a true equivalence between them. although it is originally protected by the proto-ethnology of colonial commerce. in that he explored the figure of the devil in reactions among the South American peasantry. 1980. circa 1760. 21. 2000 [1905]. when the French philosophe Charles De Brosses coined the term “fetishism. the perverse and the incommensurable are found. Then. When the idol becomes obsolete The naturalness. Madrid: Espasa. in good measure. this is because it is possible for the subject to fall prey to a whole range of lures and interventions that André Breton designated as “solidified works/1842/07/10. trans. trans. when indigenous communities found themselves wrapped up in the apparition of salaried relationships and.” the category emerges clearly formed to distinguish the cult of the “African negroes” toward animals and inanimate objects such as amulets. “The Leading Article in No. sensual fixation with objects. kind of cultic or doctrinal apparatus that could have been submitted to procedures of “universal” interpretation of a mythological or allegorical order. IIIa. where what was once opposed to it reveals the poverty of equivocal positions—and inevitable shifts—can intimacy affirm itself without any more compromises than the thing. D. pp. 120. rationality and value. 3 Karl Marx. the mercantile space 7 MAY 2010 of transvaluation and cultural crossing that resulted from the “abrupt encounter of radically heterogeneous worlds”8 in West Africa under the constraints of colonial commerce. oracles and talismans. Fetiche. It is the junction that sutures the absence of a general code. 9 See Serge Gruzinski and Carmen Bernand. vagueness and unstoppable abuse6 that the concept of the fetish suffers in the most diverse fields all bear a direct relationship to the form on which the mythology of Western rationality always depends —even if only residually.htm We are indebted to William Pietz for bringing this passage to our attention. De la idolatría: Una arqueología de las ciencias religiosas. July 10 1842].” Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics 16. we must regard the concept-metaphor of the fetish as a transcultural concept. Spring 1985. “Surrealist situation of the object” in Manifestoes of Surrealism. this is one of the categories of colonial thought that is inscribed. “in all their dialectical turmoil of truth and being. hundred-year-old theology. New York: Zone Books. The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America. who (more so than the savage) are those who operate as if “an ‘inanimate object’ will give up its natural character in order to comply with his desires. 6 Venezuelan novelist and television host Boris Izaguirre offered a recent example of the laziness that the term has acquired when he employed it in his exploration of his own media indulgences and superficial obsessions. 6-7. pp. designating a singular power that contains the repetition of a synthesizing and ordering event of desire for a thing. since “the magic of production and the production of magic are inseparable in these circumstances. who supposedly exerted total control over their subjects by manipulating credulity in those deified ornamental objects. “Fetishism and Materialism: The Limits of Theory in Marx. “The Problem of the Fetish. CA: Stanford University Press. 1995. 10.”3 Michael Taussig. of object to whim. in the discourses of European “Enlightenment. Hurley. In the first instance. the notion of the operation of a material object as the power that establishes the actions of subjects as personified bodies. 20. “The Problem of the Fetish. who entered into economic and cultural transactions with societies that had previously been so illegible to Christians and Arabs alike as to seem to lack legal. 5 André ark:/12148/bpt6k106440f. and which. The heterogeneous elements involved in these exchanges were not.10 When. and of the “Expanded campus” program at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC).” a product of their accession to the logic of mercantile economy.” were required elaborate the profound changes of their living conditions. traced in the space of transactions and desires that operate in relation to material objects. if “art” (or what occupies its place) resorts to the fetish as a critical apparatus. Fondo de Cultura Económica. W. 12 For a detailed archaeology of the concept of the fetish in transcultural interactions in West Africa—from Portuguese theologians’ arguments imbued with sixteenth-century Augustinian notions of idolatry and witchcraft (facticio-fetiço) to the emergence of the modern concept of the fetish among eighteenth-century French and Dutch merchants and theorists— see: William Pietz. Mexico City. 1988. on being reproduced in the representation of the “irrationality” of any heterogeneity: the savage. beyond the obsession with the good and bad “representations” of Platonism and Christianity. and finally. and not as a category internal to any institutional. trans. economic and aesthetic value. II: The origin of the fetish. despite its ethnographically bastardized origin. is the necessary condition for the conscious and fully developed posing of the problem of man’s reduction to thinghood. regardless of the fact that this capricious market was also the origin of their great profits. 133-134. then the sexual. 1757. “mystic interpretations” of those societies were exacerbated. from every other 11 Wiliam Pietz. We could even assert that the fetish is. II. pp. and which has continued to act decisively in each and every one of the phases of the capitalist world-economy for the past five centuries. “The Problem of the Fetish. based on 1 Georges Bataille.”5 2. in a way not entirely dissimilar to Sigmund Freud’s explanation of fetishism as “unsuitable substitutes for the Sexual Object” selected by “some sexual impression received as a rule in the early childhood. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. Michael Taussig’s use of the concept of fetishism is even more remarkable. [Rheinische Zeitung. in the first instance. Seeking the gold found in African power objects. as much in the everyday vocabulary as in the “scientific” one that constitutes the West. and what presumes to go on existing it gives the impression of a dethroned sovereign.” A certain archaeology of the fetish as a colonial. with perfectly identifiable traits. 1972 [1935].”13 At the moment. with words like zombie. and nevertheless it refers 14 Charles De Brosses. I. apartheid. . A facsimile of this book is available online through the French National Library’s “Gallica” resource: http://gallica. and finally the practitioner and activator of “the poetic. If the modern concept of the fetish differs from a concept of idolatry as religion deformed by the Devil (such as was applied above all in the colonization of the New World9) this is because it is a category derived from the tales of seventeenth and eighteenth century merchants in Africa. sense and material. 22.” See The fetish is a conceptual hinge that becomes apparent each time there is a need to refer simultaneously to the impossibility and the obligation to equilibrate need and production. religious and governmental institutions. The originary denomination of this whole complex of the concept-word fetish depends on an extremely complex social interstice: namely. Stanford. theologians and “enlightened” philosophers of the colonial European metropolis with the traffickers and sovereigns of West Africa in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. unconsciously— that is. taboo. the fantastic. In that sense. enciphered in a subverted. the rest is insignificant. they resorted to the idea of the fetish as a transactional object. Concept-reflection Few concepts stalk modern thought as tirelessly as the fetish.11 It Pietz. But this generalized reduction.2 2 1. the term fetish is the shadow that both shelters and expels the self-representation of “the modern. 1989 [1973]. 8 9 is thus that. Diana Sánchez. which range from Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz’s moustache to the simulation of nostalgia for the communist enemy.7 To put it more eloquently. the site of an imperfect and spurious cognition. “The Problem of the Fetish. 93-94. as well as for many of the points we make in this article. cited in William Pietz. 23-45.1 heterogeneous. p. Richard Seaver and Helen R. however. 17.H. Lane. We are indebted to William Pietz’s multiple and at the same time fragmentary critical studies for having drawn out the basic recurring themes in the broad semantic swath of the fetish: always emerging in relation to an irreducible materiality. Du culte des dieux fétiches ou parallèle de l‘ancienne religion de l’Egypte avec la religion actuelle de la Nigritie. both part of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. continually unfolds in the everyday cult of the moderns and the modernized. Autumn 1988. accompanying the instability of the concepts of sexual. ties together the relationships between critical thought. It is the name of the supposed generality that establishes equivalence and of the trans-valued object that subverts it.” pp. travelers like Bosman attributed the “irrational” behavior of their counterparts to superstition. modern economies of desire and the network of the post-colonial condition as tightly as this concept-metaphor-story. And not without reason: no other concept. utility and demand. R. and for his contribution to our perspective more generally. James Strachey. 18. Bosman’s Guinea and the Enlightenment theory of fetishism. As William Pietz has painstakingly demonstrated. 10-11. Oriental or Indian. capricious priests and kings. p. consumerist pervert.bnf. Consequently. Berkeley. instigated by covetous. 10 See for instance the concurrence of the descriptions of Africans by tenth-century Arab traveler Ibn Hawqual with those of sixteenth-century British captain Lok.D. Wellbey. cultural or autochthonous subjective order. trans. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. as “neophyte proletarians. merchants such as the Dutchman Willem Bosman attempted to explain the lack of a principle of equivalence in their transactions with the societies of equatorial Guinea. this perfect fulfillment of the thing. we aim here to defend the fetish in all its opacity as a necessary blind spot wherein “the religion of sensuous desire” (as Karl Marx precisely designated it as early as 1842) is played out. the fetish is the excessive conceptobject and the hyperbolic fragment that characterizes (in the constitutive exceptionality of “the paradigmatic”4) the desiring epistemology of the contemporary subject. ed. Theory of Religion. E. pp. institutionalizing the social value of objects within consciousness. Heller-Roazen. p. I. Thus.” pp. The Red Specter informs its friends and collaborators of the lamentable dematerialization of HÉLIO OITICICA William Pietz. perhaps. pp. and concerned by the adulteration of this precious metal by materials that Europeans considered to be garbage. It is clear that the majority of mankind is right: compared to the industrial rise.” available online at: http://www. Spring 1987. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. as Taussig would say. 191. capitalist category is necessary to make palpable its condition as a theoretical fiction that traverses the zone of disturbance wherein the economies of the heterogeneous. of a strictly material order: they were the construction of an economy over and above any contract economy.” in: Emily Apter and William Pietz. See: William Pietz. which brought about the violent confrontation of unequal economies and epistemologies. which they practically deified whenever these crossed their paths12. nr. 261. 179 of the Kölnische Zeitung” (1842). 36 and 42. Fetishism as Cultural Discourse.

And indeed. Adorno. Through this substitution. If it is essential to artworks that they be things. the paradoxical norm of the process of globalization. consciousness and experience. it is likely that only contemporary readers of the Spanish language edition. Livingstone.”20 b) Without dismissing the way this analysis formulated the field of operation of the entire history of Leftist cultural criticism (from the whole Frankfurt School21 to the Situationist THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 c) Beyond the evolution of the book 26—which is ultimately a scholarly problematic—the movement from mysticism to fetishism in Marx’s text involves precisely the problematic of the burden of the Enlightenment in the Marxist project. note 25. The totally objectivated artwork would congeal into a mere thing. Marx’s formulation resorted to the notion that this attribution to things deserved to be designated as a fetishism for modern people: It is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here. and— following Weber—progressively submitted to a structure of calculation and abstraction. that the only later refined for the second social relationships of proedition of his book. op. the conditions of possibility of experience—are progressively fragmented and submitted to a rational order that results in a correlation between an “objectivity” and a series of “forms of subjectivity” of capitalist society. in the way that project of de-alienation. p. p. Lukács argues: “the attitude of the subject then becomes purely contemplative in the philosophical sense. 3. 16 Susan Buck-Morss. the use of the concept of “fetishism” in this arena is limited in asserting that the doctrines of classical economists suffer from a primitivist mentality: “a fetishism. Thus the fetish proposes. in History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxists Dialectics. even today. without unfolding a clear distinction between these theorists’ “fetishism” and the “mysticism” that. therefore. We are not attempting 18 Ibid. “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat” [1919]. Capital.” in Capital (first edition). will. p. pp. There the products of the human brain appear as autonomous figures endowed with a life of their own. Capitalism in the Age of Globalization.marxists. in the attempt to elaborate a formulation of this effect of ideological 17 Karl Marx. but as a cognitive model and the basis of a sensibility. that is. and trans. perhaps. 23 Marx refers not to “commodity fetishism. made before the recognition that his initial text was not easily comprehensible and entitled “The value form” (available online at: http://www. 90.17 projection (which is none other than the terrain of projection of economic transactions in lived culture). for them. 2009. one might perthe “mysticism” of Catholic con. Submitted to a structure of reified. and the tension between that legacy and the interference from the postcolonial category of the concept of the fetish. or social relationof everyday life by philosoships of objects. 16. Marx retains this moment in his 1872-73 edition: Karl Marx.15 and where the collisions and paradoxes of incomparable economies and systems of value are articulated around an apparatus of falsely shared needs and desires. until 1867. 89. a critical exteriority to this oppressive totality of to capitalism’s apparent conceptual transparency. Haiti and Universal History. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. “Fetishism and Materialism. This line of Marxist thought brings the first edition. which argues that Marx flatly reintroduces the discussion of the fetish in his reading of capitalism circa 1857 (Pietz. polemical 15 Samir Amin. the synergy of an “unequal and combined” development in which poverty. such as ourselves. but as a “representation” in fact as objectified relationships harbours the residues of Christian theology. ed. “The Commodity. Vol. The Management of Contemporary Society. 21 It is crucial to works/1867-c1/appendix. 1867 elaboration. In fact. Aesthetic Theory [1970]. his argument reiterates the Hegelian Left’s thematic of a “reappropriation” in consciousness of what had previously appeared as alienated modes of activity in an object that produces—like divinity in Christian mysticism— the affection of a permanent distance that nevertheless holds the promise of contemplative reunification: “The religious reflection of the real world can only disappear as soon as the relationships of practical work-a-day life represent for men daily transparently reasonable relationships to one another and to nature..htm. the occurrence of the word “fetishism” in The Grundrisse refers strictly to the critique of David Ricardo’s oeuvre. this thing that Marx postulates as an everyday metaphysics appears in the text of Capital under the ironic. Martin Nicolaus. in Lukács’ analysis.htm) We have included the relevant passages of this text in the English edition of this first issue of The Red Specter. It is this nucleus that has given rise to the central debates about a subjectivity derived from the progressive commercialization of social relations. It will be sufficient here to suggest a few critical points: a) Beginning above all with Georg Lukács’ intervention. MAY 2010 10 perform an excessive unpacking of these all too well-known passages. Cambridge. even in passing. As in Lukács’ project. p. 26 In fact. Marx postulates how the “mystical” relationship between the subject and the commodity might be turned around. by another post-colonial detour (referring to the mimesis of the magical object). MA: The MIT Press. and thus art turns against art. Hegel. although it is cism of the commodity arises. I. which imagines liberation from “reified consciousness” through the understanding of the dialectics of historical Marx a “crude materialism” and an “idealism” that makes him “regard as the natural properties of things what are social relations of production among people and qualities which things obtain because they are subsumed under these relations. The mystiration. humanist complaint against the Private producers only enmediation (or rather. frequently omitted (in part betherefore. and is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities. are converted into “the universal category of society as a whole. one very specific regard. “The Commodity”.. 130. Ben Fowkes. Indeed. have been able to take note of this detail. 28 Karl Marx. whereas if it altogether evaded objectivation it would regress to an impotently powerless subjective impulse and flounder in the empirical world. London: The Athlone Press. Contrary to the expectations of those who would attempt to trace a line of simple oppositions (instead of a grid of tensions.” Karl Marx. p. Volume One [1867]. I call this the fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities. ity.18 As is well-known. Nevertheless. in a line that does not hide its eagerness to draw the set of critical Kantian elaborations to itself: The mysterious character of the commodity-form consists therefore simply in the fact that the commodity reflects the social characteristics of men’s own labour as objective characteristics of the products of labour themselves. Hence it also reflects the social relation of the producers to the sum total of labour as a social relation between producers. cit.” art. which. as the socio-natural properties of these things. 143). the products of labour become commodities. Adorno’s vision approaches Bataille by understanding the need to defend art as a thing made against the reign of things: “The perennial revolt of art against art has its fundamentum in re. cit. even though this is done in the opposing code left by an anti-fetishist fetish on Adorno’s aesthetics is to be of the Hegelian/Enlightenment found. intercession) of things and first time through their pripeople. polarization and socalled underdevelopment are not “negative effects produced by specific circumstances or mistaken policies” but rather the logical. Marx’s text on “commodity-fetishism and its secret” is the most important epicenter in the theorization of the epistemological and aesthetic conditions of capitalism. and not as an operator of the practical epistemology of the social system. p. 687).” and the world is transformed into a uniform field of alienated domination of things over human beings. 22 In fact.24 (with just one exception23) to another analogical body: that of Reading closely. which enter into relations both with each other and with the human race.” as artifacts that are nevertheless beyond the grasp of sensible “intuition. needs to make capitalism out to be a system that details. The “other secret” of commodity-fetishism In the classical sense. sensuous things which are at the same time suprasensible or social. counter to the propaganda that would understand it as the generalization of a social and cultural uniformity. 164. 20 Ibid. trans.” Theodor W. and ed. founding a reign of total administration that would come to be confused with emancipation. it is no less essential that they negate their own status as things. to find an analogy we must take flight into the misty realm of religion. to one another and to the perMarx systematically resorts sons involved. The mark The Red Specter informs its friends and collaborators of the still more lamentable rematerialization of HÉLIO OITICICA “Render to God the things that are Caesar’s” Hélio Oiticica . 1993. 94-95. the first formulation of “commodity fetishism” appears in an appendix added by Marx to 27 11 “process” when. as if this were a matter of the (proletarian) subject acquiring total dominion over nature. the passage in question clarifies the same restriction into which Marx introduces the thematic of fetishism in the first edition of Capital. in of the object as a social thing. most universal manifestation it is interesting to note that. Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough draft ).” That is. is the metamorphounconsciously undid the metasis of the product of labour phorical game in Marx’s elabointo a commodity. and to the condition of the commodity no longer just as an object central to economic transactions. permanent and immanent product of the system of the world-economy. the private labours of the privafigure of commodity fetishism te producers appear to them was not Marx’s first elaboration as social natural determinaon the theology of the commodtions of products of labour. Robert Hullot-Kentor. where he used it with respect to classical economic theory. Lukács defined an entire current of critical Western thought when he derived from this analysis the idea that capitalist economy produces a “reified consciousness” where the Kantian categories of time and space—that is to say. p.” but to the “fetishism of classical economics. Albert Dragstedt. complementarities and debates) in the heart of the vanguard’s thought. in social determinations of the modern editions of Capital). The ing a social system where intersocial relationships of their actions among “agent-things” labours are and appear conestablish the territory of powsequently not as immediaer. trans. from the fact that the cause of its inaccessibility. that the conjunction of Theodor Adorno’s critique of the “fetishism” of “industrial culture” and his recovery of the modernist work of art as a sort of heterogeneity folded into industrial society—as a “windowless monad”—is the attempt to accommodate. the fantastic form of a relation between things. and thus mystifies them” (Karl Marx. the lineage of Marxist fetishism has tended to take this “analogy” as an epistemological description. p. and the task of describvate products: objects. 164. published duction of persons appear as between 1872 and 1873..THE RED SPECtER to an extremely wide range of transactions. and later in the synthesis of Kantian critique and Weberian sociology that Georg Lukács mobilized with his theory of reification in History and Class Consciousness (1919). See below. we should ter into social contact for the say. New York: Zed Books Ltd. since the ambition of the editors at the publishing house Siglo XXI of annotating a “critical edition” of Capital compelled them to include in their publication both the definitive and the original versions of the first chapter of the book. In sum. trans. We have included the relevant passages of this text in this issue of The Red Specter. the narrative of fetishism has its nodal construction in the chapter on the commodity in Marx’s Capital (1867.ceive in this passage an oscillation between the residues of a templation. 25 On this point—a detail that seems to us to be crucial—we disagree with Pietz’s reading. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of the men’s hands. pp. with increasing speed. That the interaction among tely social relationships of things should occur in the text persons in their labours. 173. 1971. cit. In order. Commodities. org/archive/marx/works/1867c1/commodity. p. 1997. 27 Lukács. Taking Marx’s irony of “the suprasensible thing” seriously. p. Lukács however. London: Penguin Books. International. 175. The first and phers such as Henri Lefebvre). With the exception of Hegel’s disquisition on the master-slave dialectic (which Susan Buck-Morss has also recently revealed as a figure to be approached in relation to the problem of the emancipation of modern slaves of African origin in the Haitian revolution of 180816).22 In the social relationships of objects first edition of Capital. 19 Georg Lukács. marxists. Capital. 24 Ibid. and the critique of persons. This conception was carried through Marx’s text beginning with the so-called Grundrisse of 1857. which seems to figure of emerging as a sort of a priori of contemporary experience. 165. 1997. London: Penguin Classics. 86. op. trans. serves Marx himself as a metaphor-category of his critique of the operation of money as a general equivalent in capitalist circulation. but rather a formula that he from the fact. fragmented experience.25 the expression of works of art as “second-order things.”28 In this point it is possible to detect an attempt—in retrospect unsuccessful—to prophesy the statute of society and of future epistemology. Available online at: http://www. 1990. whose principal subjective modality is the “contemplation”19 of a world alien to the relationship between desire.” is an echo of the “suprasensible thing” in Marx. R. in his first. in 1867. since it imputes social relations to things as inherent characteristics. 1872-73). A Critique of Political Economy.

 J. who judges civil society from outside all civilization. according to Pietz. should appear in the person of a the originality of “offer[ing] an blonde. the very emsurprise of relating its own catbodiment of desire. And For Making lations—“situated” in the pure Them Beneficial To The Public. 143. for the Rockefeller Center in in direct opposition to the 34 but rather the very power-object William Pietz. lent and. p. is believed as. 2009 The discussion. It is worth noting that the but exist rather as material obcode in the work of Brian figuration of this idea is present. which reveals. “The savages of Cuba regarded gold as a fetish of the Spaniards. is much more than a problem of mere names. the product of taking note of a “primitivist” description of capital in its totalizing immanence—however opaque its colonial structure might be—that makes the fetish into a necessary montage of fragments in which untranslatable codes of value and the residue of another. the concept of the fetish also poses 40 Antedated. which has guided a projected the horror of cannibal. expropriated through the capitalist accumulation process proper. 138. 1. that our study of fetishism in Marx differs from Dussel’s on important points. “Socialism: as the study of something that the French. 27-38. a cultural other for whom material conditions are themselves spiritual values.p. Cambridge. and they would have thrown the hares into the sea in order to save the human beings. ed. therefore.”37 Following this logic. have to shelter a limit to theorization and to the linguistic turn. In that displacement. p. is truly an Enlightenguage.” without recognizing that these formuOr Country. Pietz emphasized that Marx was attempting to restore the primitivist formula of the fetish to the true fetishist: the subject of capitalist modernity. and which. Bogotá: Editorial Nueva América. image. 1988). works/1880/soc-utop/ch01. Praxis latinoamericana y filosofía de la liberación. green-eyed Soviet atheological explanation of the technician. The emblematic example of the articulation of this perspective as a key operation in the deciphering of the production of art and literature in modernity has been elaborated precisely and descriptively by James Clifford (see: The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth Century Ethnography. 2006. at the spectator himself might bring to of organized social systems. 5. that also follows the Marxian consideration of the experience of a reaction temporality that proscribes a fall into disillusioned melancholy. Ibid. relating it to a Native American 30 Publishers. en: Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe. but which is recognized by the savage. placed at the center origin of religion. idea that reifies consciousness. exclusive power for to the Enlightened West. Enrique Dussel rightly identifies the history of Taino chief Hatuey’s resistance.. Dematerialization and its limits It is this dimension. he framed it in terms of a generalized critique of the semiotic-symbolic hegemony of the era.30 The reign of total Enlightenment ended with just over sixty in Marx was directed at completing a “critique of the territorial” in which the irreducibly material character of the religion of sensual desire would orient the materialist critique of contemporary society. Brian Jungen. That this ry of fetishism contained. The hinges are hidden by the works they hold in place. Literature and Art.THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 12 THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 to himself. 147.“High Curios. 33 One of us has explored the available online at: http://www. 39 The figure of an inverted ethnography has become central to this discussion and we could even argue that it has given form to contemporary academic discourse by defining the protocols of much of the work in Cultural Studies.” in: The Portable Swift. oil on canvas. Eurocentric model of ethnicity and epistemology is an art is counter to practical values. Nevertheless. such as The Red Specter. London: Penguin. Work Leisure Art. Pietz indicated that the ment labyrinth.htm wick and London: Transaction neither metaphors nor signs.” p.ifil. Marx’s fetishism would seek to Art is an invitation to expend reveal capital’s categories.42 that produces and sustains the concept of fetishism as a “sensual religion” in his reading of social order: capitalism circa the 1840s. hombre en la encrucijada [Man Bataille’s The Accursed Share Toronto and Berkeley: Vancouver is not a representation or an at the crossroads]. in this volume. irony of post-colonial knowledge. “Fetishism and 1931. in that he used the representation of the savage to illuminate the discussion of the modern subject by reflexively applying his own Eurocentric categories40 Christian contribution to Latin American liberation. If the Cuban savages had been present at the sitting of the Rhine Province Assembly. the unrepresentable place of the Other)—to the promise of undoing “false consciousness” or “reified illusion” with the promise that the abolition of commodities would open the subject to the unmediated pleasure of a cognition and a control of production founded in pure transparency? This was in fact the explicit project of modern communism: the postulation in the social and economic order of the culmination of the Enlightenment. 186. seeking to roost in the exteriority necessary to all criticism by means of the mirror of the fiction of fetishism: Human experience of material poverty and social oppression is here viewed as the source of a spiritually powerful moral authority that is the concrete subjective ground of a radically democratic emancipatory politics.” Rheinische Zeitung 307. . 147 x 88. 1. once its critical potential as a primitivist category of and about modern society is re-established. the social history of the world. pp. In its eagerness to make relevant the image should be described under non-transcendental elements of a white.” p. Karmelo Bermejo.5 cm. history and nature.4 cm. 35 4. That is. jects whose power is to estabperhaps better than in any other articulated during his Situation. Placing an emphasis on at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in the way in which the categoMexico City in 1934. “Exzerpte sur Geschichte der Kunst und der Religion”. the fetish would. 4.36 And it is from the perspective (as evoked in Marx’s writing) that the bourgeois capitalist is perceived as himself. 38 William Pietz. localized and paradoxical instances of economic “irrationality.8 x 5. William Pietz revealed a Marx who operated as a surrealist or a Bataillean avant la lettre: as the performer of one of the first inverted ethnographies39. p.]” Asger In that sense. p. is. it is a derstanding modern economy socially constructed. since it would impose a need to return to a conception of the interactions among sensual. sang in a circle around it and then threw it into the sea.. [My translation from 29 diametric opposite. Rummel.html] discourse with which critiand Jonathan Swift.. 2005. as a means embodied the possibility of unthat has become an end. as having no real power outside its social power to command the labor activity of real individuals. however. June therefore recoiled) from its and money must be understood 1960.] 31 Utopian and Scientific” (1880). “La Fin de L’Économie et la suggests that Marx’s investigaRéalisation de l’Art. Carl Van Doren.” Essays [on-line contemporary art and culture. edition: http://oregonstate.” attributed to gold the function of being “the fetish of the Spaniards. 1990. Marx evoked the “savage” subject of religious fetishism as a (potentially theoretical) viewpoint outside capitalism capable of recognizing proletarians in their objective social identity as the economic class owning no marketable private property other than their own embodied being […]41 13 The logical result of this is that the possibilities of escaping the apparatus of the magic of production would require some kind of operation at the heart of material interaction. Reactivating the fetish. again.32 Could it not be that the opacity of Marx’s construction of “fetishism” harbors the potential for another kind of critical operation? Pietz’s interpretation harbors a subversive gesture that underlines the operativity of a certain primitivism in Marx’s text that is not at all the affirmation of colonial hopes.marxists. with the absolute deferral of enjoyment and pleasurable expenditure. 549-559). heterogeneous economy are framed as a constant subversion of the Western logic of rationalization and its politics. 32 As Asger John brilliantly Jungen. and is measured as their inverse. as utopian communist superhero early as De Brosses himself. 1986. as a total control of scientific consciousness over material. living beings. Solid gold hinges to hang artworks. instruct/phl302/texts/monto the eminently unreflexive taigne/montaigne-essays-2. whose value judgments express the most fundamental needs of human life […] But after he had absorbed the lessons of the political events of 1848-1850. Lethal Politics. Murder since 1917. related in the chronicles of Bartolomé de las Casas. clearly. T. 41 Pietz. clearly informed by In this reading. 322). and the egories about the savage back effective. Here we are referring. William Pietz hegemonic modernism. by its deluded cultist to embody (super) natural causal powers of value formation. Wi­ lliam Pietz finally came to explore the problem of the fetish in its Marxist version. bodily. the gratifying it. Third Article. And that this use of the concept of the fetish million deaths31 uselessly committed to obtaining. pp. Available online at: http://www. “Fetishism and Materialism. the solvency of an economic system in which “productive consumption” attempted to drive development. is the basis for a diagram that allows for a whole range of intransigent operations that situate themselves in open opposition to the expectation of the dematerialization and transparency of social relations. culturally as a structure of domination real power-object: it is the incentered on the operation of strumentalized power of commoney-capital as the contempomand over concrete humans in rary power-object: the form of control over their labor activity through investment decisions. in Diego Rivera’s mural El ist phase. 42 See the fragment from Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire that gave rise to the image of The Red Specter. New Brunsalize that modern “fetishes” are concise. which is marked constantly by a claim for the 36 37 us to Friedrich Engels’ famous passage about the communist idea of the abolition of the State: “the future conversion of political rule over men into an administration of things and a direction of processes of production. In other words. in the early 1990s. In his 1842 studies of the history of religion. by incorporating the Ibid. Berlin: Dietz. forced to the physical margin of subsistence. “On lurks phantasmagorically in Cannibals.”35 margin and in opposition to it. Beyond de-alienation. November 3rd 1842. of course. bourgeois society’s internal other. instead of attending to the conditions of the interference of colonial categories in the same texts. is evidence of the (subterranean and mostly unconscious) continuity of that project of the savage categorization of a critique from out of the fold of heterogeneity. the infiltration of the project of total John. that It constitutes the failed attempt energy without any precise end. beyond the problematic of “ideology” and the criticism of thought. The human truth movement of fetishism in Marx of capital is that. “Fetishism and Materialism..” p. htm#p5.38 Magdalena Jitrik. Debates on the Lawon Thefts of Wood. operates as a general equivaR. The materialist subject of this radically human ground is twice located by Marx: in the maximally alien perspective of the primitive fetishist.” which archive/marx/works/1842/10/25. but rather its ironical application as a mirror of production.. We must point out. that we reSoviet Genocide and Mass thematic of this section in a marxists..” in: Diana Augatis lish control over human beings. after its destruction. The continuous seduction of the notion of the fetish and the form in which contemporary art seems to point at mobilizing the production of particular. was newly installed “socialist development” of the communist project: “The value of Materialism. Pietz compares the citation to notes that Marx took from De Brosses’ book (Karl Marx. They celebrated a feast in its honour. and in the maximally degraded viewpoint of the proletarian.N. 141. p. Friedrich Engels. Marx The object that had been an had adopted a similar position accidental means to achieving for the project of a study of the some desired end becomes a proletariat: beginning with the fixed necessity. by means of coercion. Marx had cited a passage from De Brosses that referred to “indigenous Cubans. commissioned and raising artistic development Art Gallery. In other words. Marx returned to the discourse about fetishism in 1857 in order to articulate not so much the dis-illusioned class consciousness of the proletarian (its members’ self-conception as workers within the categories of civil society) as a communist imaginary that sees the fantastically inhuman anamorphosis of liberal political economy’s vision of human life as civil society.html).” in the form of post-industrial anamorphoses. 18 carat gold.” Karl Marx. dussel/html/17. as the ultimate source of the passage to which Marx alludes (Enrique Dussel. See Cuauhtémoc Medina. “Proceedings of the Sixth Rhine Province Assembly. 145. beyond theory33 When. would they not have regarded wood as the Rhinelanders’ fetish? But a subsequent sitting would have taught them that the worship of animals is connected with this fetishism. by Michel an obstacle to the temptation de Montaigne’s essay “On to challenge capitalism with Cannibals” y Jonathan Swift’s “A a program of total EnlightModest Proposal. and in particular as a warning against conceiving the social field as an infinite space of post-structuralism’s homologies and analogies. “A Modest cal art has repeatedly come to Proposal For Preventing The imagine itself under the figure Children Of Poor People From Being A Burthen To Their Parents of “defetishization. available online at: http://www. perhaps. money-capital et al. 2:1. MA: Harvard University Press.”29 Might it be possible to reduce the diagram of the activation of the fetish—by conjoining the double formulation of the Western/primitivist epistemology (and excluding. “emerging universal forms of the post-colonial artistic apart from that which the as the material ‘power objects’ project. one that would exceed the frame of that epistemology— especially from the perspective of a project.fundamental part of the postism onto the Western subject revolutionary automatism that (see: Michel de Montaigne. It is prodigality [. one whose fetish. initial treatment. Vancouver.” InternaEnlightenment seen (and tion into the notions of capital tional Situationniste nr. 1983.”34 alien to the of the operations of material and logic of representation and lanhistory.

without first understanding its confluence with the Marxist tradition. that the feis devoid of any intrinsic power. to use Gayatri Spivak’s felicitous expression. 209.48 15 of a perverse or un-hinged subject. and the founding of an effective moments of lucidity and ironic base materialism that would clarity in the classroom. by way of a material and bodily intervention. and overrun relationship of fetishism as a horizon unreachable in (and at the same time indispensable to) the artistic game.e. Michel Leiris reflected on Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures from the period of inverted ethnography. It was then that the semantic field of the fetish exploded. we need to determine the point at which the excess production will flow like a river to the outside. 50. 45 Georges Bataille.” everything is dematerialized except the price. Leslie Jr. impelling its critical impulse toward an anti-colonial and anti-modernist reading by framing the bodily. nr. where violence and the failure to modernize the state have nothing whatsoever to do with any criterion of morality on the part of leaders and politicians. Massachusetts & London. localized. tish should be turned inside i. 1985.e. animal-body) and only discovered. the fetishist operation is reification carried to its limit. It is thus only by arriving at the limit of the process of reification that ideological critique is dislocated to give way to truth of the dictionary of the ideas received from colonialism. an opaque fold and not as the memory of an incomplete or crippled Enlightenment. a movable property] which we can use in that strange. . miming capitalism. The Writings of Georges Bataille. We are certainly in a moment at which categories. If we are to preserve the movement of the economy.”47 In a radical turn. 4 in this volume. the place where any reference to the “Other”—beyond being the language attached to genocide—is the distorted dictionary of a critical residue. to the point of discovering the desire 47 Georges Bataille. trans.”46 also attached to the nature and It is possible. 47. trans. “The Problem of the Fetish. as in some of Tino Sehgal’s actions or “constructed situations. p. capable of pillaging the practical rationality stowed away in the hegemony of marginalism. non-theologized) materiality.” Documents. as ploits (all lemons. It is. sensibly architectural and without any cultural substrate.43 Re-establishing the genealogy and practice of the fetish may consist. trans. where desire and consumption are ordered around the arousal of capital’s utility. 4. 3. ble and perfectly illegitimate Spring 2005). 1929. William Brand. It is a matter of endlessly consuming—or destroying—the objects that are produced. 50-51. to arrive at its power of non-dialecticized (non-idealized.” purely messianic politics of the religious-activist expectation is crucial for The Red Specter. not to be the emancipation of consciousness. in which. pp. tr. "Communication: visage paranoique". 44 the project of inversion of the The citation from Gayatri Spivak refers to one of her many Hegelian dialectical game. a failure. the materialist-artistic operation would seek to overturn the fetish. in a way that could also be translated to the effective political field. England: The MIT Press. of re-establishing some sort of relationship in which theory is anchored in the problematic of an egg.” p. of the capacity to scare— out by framing the exaltation pace all the avant-gardes and and celebration of the mistheir supposedly épatants exmatch of object and desire.. Theory of Religion. and not its containment. are capable of responding to him in terms of “a piece of furniture [meuble. no matter how well as the game of the death energetic and enlightening)— drives (destruction-negation) quite unlike those extravagantly which are the logical itinermonstrous dancing masks. 1930. 1992. This reinscribing of the primitivist moment of theory and the avant-garde requires the activation of the circulation of quasi-modernity of the work of art as a prosthesis of desire. but rather the excess of the economic object: It is a return to the situation of the animal that eats another animal. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Against Architecture. 8. with Carl R. since it sounds the warning. This description of the fascination with “non-hegemonic.”45 When. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings. 112-113). of which Spivak constantly reminds us. an instance of that enlightening catastrophe of failed modernity that Ryszard Kapus ´cin ´ski named “the terrible material resistance. ary of consciousness in its beastonishingly earth-shaking coming like an alienated body these. acter of art. J. R. 48 Georges Bataille. I. In the seek explanations in a “horri“Theory of translation” seminar (University of California . 1. 19271939. 112. the idea of restriction and calculation. “Base Materialism and Gnosticism. pp.” “horizontal. in the journal Documents. as Bataille proposed with his radical a-theology. 103. (Translation taken from: Denis Hollier. 1990. learned and which are suspended and/or conquered. Betsy Wing. This means Translated by Christopher Fraga rescuing the “primitivist” moment of modernism as the excess that allows the intensification of the notion of artistic practice as an immanent critique of the work of art as fetish—that is to say. December. at most. nr. The real reduction of the reduction of the real order brings a fundamental reversal into the economic order. Cambridge. a transaction. 46 Michel Leiris. whose harmlessness was (thing-body. Salvador Dalí. See Hollier’s relevant commentary on this passage in ibid.” Documents. 1931 To come out today in defense of the fetish consists of carrying to its limit the resistance to any Franciscan criticism of the economic system that would reiterate the form in which socialism deepened. Surréalisme au service de la Révolution.”49 As we understand it. a deceit. 11. Allan Stoekl.” Francesco Pellizzi.” to pursue the completion of see p. “Alberto Giacometti. nr. pp..” and those works of art which. Lovitt and Donald M. have come to pervert themselves in an omelette of theory and practice. not to assume the post-structuralist legacy innocently. London: Granta Books. 49 Ryzard Kapus ´cin ´ski. Cited in Pietz.Irvine. by the trial of fright congealed in the useless charendured. Indeed.THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 14 THE RED SPECtER “institutional critique” of minimal displacements—already lack the motor force to take into consideration any economy other than that which is proper to the luxury market’s limpid dematerialized gestures. he was suggesting a search for a distinction between the “true fetishism which remains at the base of our human existence. as an irreducible materiality in which the subject bears the axis of sensuous desires without taking cover in rationalism. material. p. Spivak provoked a principle” in which “being and memorable explosion of laughter its reason can in fact only subwhen she answered a student’s mit to what is lower. The Soccer War. p. 1989.44 It is no coincidence that the fetish should explicitly recuperate the sharp edge of antiWestern primitivism in the MAY 2010 can never serve in any case to ape a given authority. p. vast room 43 “This surplus of abstraction is called space. “L’Espirit moderne et le jeu des transpositions. like worthy examples of an innocuous post-Enlightenment. it is a negation of the difference between the objects and myself or the general destruction of objects as such in the field of consciousness if I did not give my destruction its consequences in the real order. Hurley. The excavation that we unpack here (the opening of the fetish’s crypt) conducts us to a multiple operation of territorialization by which the historical field is imagined as an experience. 106. in the murky territory of a study of “the sacred” by Bataille and his circle. its role is “Pastures of the Underground. vol. field of theorization parallel to the activation of the surrealist object and sacrificial subversion —i. Like an operation whose central framework presumes. within the zone status of the modern art object— of confusion and disturbance of not a fetish any longer because it contemporary art. which are not even conscious of their condition of objects and subjects of exploitation. The passage in question is in fact one of the most brilliant theorizations of the devilish dialectic of power in the so-called Third World.. New York: Zone Books. to what question (about the notion of “the multitude” elaborated in Hardt and Negri’s famous volume Empire) with the joke that theory on the contemporary Left was like an “omelette made after the eggs were broken”.” in Georges Bataille.. non-sublimated. That is what Bataille’s oft-cited aphorism entails: “I defy any amateur of paintings to love a canvas as much as a fetishist loves a shoe.

Published by Space Poetry in 2008. financed by insurance. Morten Steen Hebsgaard (1977). 2008 Damaged by water. Waterdamaged book by art collective A Kassen containing four projects. financed by insurance.A Kassen 16 17 Damaged by water. 32 pages. Søren Petersen (1977) and Tommy Petersen (1975). A Kassen is an artist collective established in Copenhagen in 2004 by Christian Bretton-Meyer (1976). .

The zealand) tattooed heads.html) mummified heads of Maori warriors to New Zealand.(Source: http://www.Maria Thereza Alves 18 19 Fair Trade Head.maori-heads-france-newing the heads on Tuesday. 2008 BREAKING NEWS! France to return Maori heads Aljazeera. ending Note of The Red Specter: Close years of debate over the human to 200 heads remain in other remains acquired long ago by collections around the world. Wednesday. Only eight leg. net/news/asia-pacific/2010/05/ France has decided to return 16 20105574721701652. which have been . French museums.aljazeera. (Source: http://english. will be returned within the coming Assembly voted against return. May 05. islators in the 577-seat National 2010 13:56 Mecca Time 10:56 GMT stored in several French museums.

And the moment of the rehearsal seems interesting to me because one could probably say metaphorically that it’s processing this aesthetic of labor. it’s like an exercise in mere arousal. which is in some way what the stripper seeks to do. incredibly exciting. What we have instead is a constant reproduction. a multitude of phenomena.Francis Alÿs 20 21 Politics of Rehearsal. the piece is a constant postponement. It also seems important to me to pose the question of why labor is connected here with inefficiency. that it’s very involved in much of the work that you’ve done. what the experience of labor formulates is a structure of temporality. Voice-over fragments Rethinking the implication of the rehearsal as a comment on modernity. In the everyday life of society what you have is a combination of falling for the illusion of development and discovering its falsity every so often. Whether it’s possible to reduce the effort. That is. than you have to go back to the original starting point. its interruptions. it’s impossible to appropriate it. . And that distinction has a lot to do with the distinction between work and labor that Hannah Arendt formulated in The Human Condition. its prolongation. not of coupling or encounter. One is that the rehearsals deal with the territory that isn’t altogether intended. its achievement. where time has kind of been diluted and extended. In collaboration with Performa. But in general terms. There are two considerations on the temporality of the rehearsals that I think are interesting to touch on. video (30 minutes). Because basically the difference between labor and work is that sometimes well-finished work makes one forget whether it was efficient or not. But in effect one of the characteristics of this situation—in which everything is labor. Somehow. in a product. And what that produces. not really to arrive anywhere but to keep oneself aroused. You advance through the game and suddenly instead of the little ladder they promised you there’s a snake that sends you back to the starting square. Politics of Rehearsal. That provokes an experience notion of history as a Sisyphean punishment. is the notion of a sort of time that—even though there are a multitude of historical moments. that is. in effect. no sooner has there been some type of effort. no sooner do you start a task. Namely that one of the characteristics of the modern world is that we probably no longer know what work is. or the sacrifices called for by the elite to be carried out over years. a work that sees production in relation not to the achievement of a result but rather to the question of what is taking place and what intervenes and what establishes the form and the time of “to be making. there’s this sort of representation of something that looks incredibly appealing. Rafael Ortega and Cuauhtémoc Medina. That is. a sort of schema of temporality.” of the organic relation of being}. what becomes immediately obvious is the notion that modernity is pornographic. whether it’s feasible to shorten the time in order to lower the price and increase the production. that is. but even as it displays itself. a multitude of changes—is crossed with the notion that history is not advancing. they place emphasis on the task more than on the result. as opposed to the time of the product. and more so in this case. the rehearsals have a sort of role in clarifying that what we call labor is the definition of how temporality is experienced. 2004 Francis Alÿs. basically the phases of work. which is the constant daily labor to maintain the economic system that is always discarding the product so that nothing ever remains. what it does is to show that what the spectator wants is precisely to maintain this arousal. So there’s a constant exhaustion. It always makes me think of a game of snakes and ladders. 2004. In other words. so to speak. work as production related to the creation of a definitive and permanent object. what they create is time. it seems to be contained. While work can be like accumulated time. I mean. as Arendt thinks that it’s the modern world in which there’s no longer any authentic work—is that the only question that comes up is whether the process was efficient or not. the time of production. that history is always repeating itself and getting lost.

Furniture for Museums. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Toni Tàpies Martí Anson Modelo 036. 2010 . Ministry of Economy and Estate. Furniture for Museums. The bench is a part of the equipment of the Museum.Modelo 036. professionals. The company: Pinturas Jiménez. 2010 Beep-Beep-Splot. 2009 22 23 Beep-Beep-Splot. Discharge in the census of businessmen. 2009.

120 x 160 cm. 8 x 120 x 120 cm. Color photograph of the ashes taken the following morning of the night in which the action was realized. 2009 Tickets of books by Bakunin. 120 x 160 cm. Madrid Vitrine with ashes. Courtesy of MAISTERRAVALBUENA Galería and the artist . Las Vistillas. Color photograph.Karmelo Bermejo 24 25 3000 Euro of Public Money Spent Buying Books by Bakunin in Order to Burn Them in a Public Square.

piece for its gold replica are: there should be no limitations. Karmelo Bermejo *** Dear Karmelo Bermejo. April 9. • It is already several years old and functions impeccably. Regards. example. In the event that the piece is exhibited. closed appliance shall be exhibited. which will take place in the I am able to carry out a photographic report of Art Center next May. At first glance the piece deals Indeed. 2010 will participate in the exhibition Critical Fetishes. with the proper maintenance. commissioned by "The Red Specter".ing strictly prohibited. will be able to continue utilizing it as an use• Place the solid gold part in the original’s ful object or. March 5. under atory. Our reasons are: We can live without it for the three months of the exhibition. Following a long reflection with my family. The appli. let’s start opening up appliances and we’ll find the solution. Karmelo Bermejo Mexico City. The artist shall propose this title to ponent be exhibited or images of it distributed. As we understand it. I implore you to clarify equivalent part cast in 18-carat solid gold. Once the exhibition has finto be your property. axels. I find the motives you expose in your letter about using your vacuum cleaner completely appropriate. • Close the casing of the appliance. gold part shall return to occupy the domestic The price at which the piece shall be offered. the appliance will be my property. April 7. be sold commercially. 2010 In regards to the selection of the internal component I shall impose only two conditions: Dear Karmelo Bermejo: the part must be functional and not. I believe. gain access to its circumstance may the internal solid gold comous work. I would also like to supervise its selection.) • Its mechanics should not be too complicated. In this way I gold. in space proper to it in the home of the Art Centthe event that you so desire. "The Red Specter". 2010 be performed by a jeweler.will be able to use it as a piece of art and even sell it on the secondary market. as well as the gold part. Cuauhtémoc Meinstructions to carry out this exchange of the dina. commissioned by exhibit said object in the CA2M—seems feasible. the appliance will at all times continue with the ready-made. It is an object I find attractive in itself. Nor should the part wherein you proposed the piece with which you require a ridiculous quantity of gold. if my family and I so decide. (The same cannot be said of other appliances: in my experience they are designed to break down after five years. etc. Regards. meant for fastening. for example. we believe that the most suitable appliance is the vacuum cleaner.). March 10. That is. property of the director of the Art Center. ment of both the artist and the director of the Nor may the piece be donated to any institution Art Center. • It is neither too big nor too small. the director of the Art Center during the produc. the appliance along with the incorporated which shall remain inseparably attached to it. for Thank you very much for your February 23 letter. 2010 FB *** Mexico City. or by a technician. Therefore I would ask you to give me the perti• Select the part to be replaced. In regards to the use of the appliance. as shall the exact title of the to such ends. what you mean by this. • It appears more like a fetish than a cleaner. Madrid. As my conclusion. a priori. who shall create its replica in solid through your gallery in Madrid. in accordance with the titles of my previ. *** In regards to the choice of the internal component. with its casing Allow me to clarify first of all that the limitaclosed. Cordially. I can do so following your instructions and send you photos of all visible moving parts (fan blades. February 23. Following your intervention and your exhibition at the CA2M. Residues of General Economy. The both to me and to the organizer. I place. The gold part shall therefore be hidden tions of real and commercial use of the appliance to which I referred are the following: from the viewer. and my intervention shall remain inseparably attached Likewise. Karmelo Bermejo the entire. FB These actions may be performed either by the di*** rector of the Art Center himself. It would continue to function for decades more. The appliance shall be selected by mutual agree. In any event. work in the home of the Art Center’s director. Dear Director of the May 2nd Art Center: The idea you propose—to substitute a part from an I write to present to you my proposed project for electrical appliance for its facsimile in gold and the exhibition Critical Fetishes. It should not be difficult to open it and find a suitable piece for replacement. As you can see in the attached images. it shall become valid. I send you the title of the piece and the technical information: “Internal Component of the Vacuum Cleaner of an Art Center Director Replaced by a Solid Gold Replica with the Funds of the Center he directs” Technique: 18-carat gold Size: Secret I take this opportunity to inform you my express waiver to receive any type of fee for the work done. a screw. The appliance shall at all times continue to be cumstance be less than the gallery’s public price of similar pieces. ance shall continue to function as normal. Madrid. 2010 Dear Ferran Barenblit. shall be entirely explan. piece. the appliances that my family and I see as reason My project consists of completing a site-specific able for this objective and send it to you so you can decide which is best suited to your ideas. would not be valid.It is the responsibility of its owner to keep the tion process and once it has the approval of both image of the solid gold part hidden under these parties. this sale may not have any Both parties shall establish the limitations of other purpose than the enrichment of yourself and your family. ished. nent documentation—a certificate of authentic• Disassemble this part and send it to a jewity—which I imagine you will want to coordinate eler. Cordially. the motor . in the event that this piece should to the appliance. both as an appli• Disassemble the casing of the appliance to ance and as a piece of art by Karmelo Bermejo. The piece to be exhibited in the halls of the Dear Director of the Art Center: Art Center during the exhibition Critical Fetishes shall be the appliance from the house of the director of the Art Center. terms. any and all charitable purposes bethe appliance’s real and commercial uses. The proposed operation will be to replace a In your note you said that both parties shall part from inside one of the electric appliances establish the limitations of the appliance’s real at the home of the Art Center’s director with an and commercial uses. The production of the solid gold part must Mexico City. which.Karmelo Bermejo 26 27 Internal Component of the Vacuum Cleaner of an Art Center Director Replaced by a Solid Gold Replica with the Funds of the Center he directs. shall under no cirer’s director. 2010 mechanism can be extracted for maintenance.

2009 .Miguel Calderón 28 29 Testamet.

173. 2009 On the 13th of December 2007 the artist Miguel Calderón made his testamet before the notary No. and revoke any other before this one. Courtesy kurimanzutto . as it reads. his only and universal heir. Slim has been designate by Forbes the world’s richest person in 2010 with 53. With this open public will the artist legatee Carlos Slim. Second: Institution of Executor. presents and futures to: Carlos Slim Helú. Lic. Telecom tycoon who pounced on privatization of Mexico’s national telephone company in the 1990s. Miguel Calderón institute as his sole and universal heir of all his patrimony. by a “self-made” fortune. In the deed Number 44900 Miguel Calderón assigns: First: Institution of Heir.5 billions of dollars made. assignment of rights and obligations.Miguel Calderón 30 31 Testamet. Miguel Calderón affirms that his desire is that this will is obey as his last and delivered will. Francisco Xavier Arredondo Galván. Miguel Calderón institute as executor of his succession to: Carlos Slim Helú Third: Revocation.

2009 Courtesy of HOTEL. London .Duncan Campbell 32 33 Make it New John.

In terms of the genealogy of our own contemporary culture. The primitive naive artist. 2002 Black and white etching 58 1/2 x 50 5/8 in. With the exception of a very few isolated works generously exhibited in Africa: The Art of a Continent at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. In its bountiful breadth the Chapman Family Collection is capable of showing art forms crystallised into Jake & Dinos Chapman CFC76249559. Photo: Stephen White. (inc. 2002 Black and white etching 58 1/2 x 50 5/8 in. like us. wind. 2002 © The artists. its beauty remains both intact and contagious. We know that political and economic power organises. the Chapman Family Collection traces the latent influences impressing upon it—those mute voices found simmering in the ritualistic embers of a primordial dawn. 2002 Black and white etching 58 1/2 x 50 5/8 in. In fact. Courtesy White Cube their purest and simplest intensity and sensuality—where the voices of the deceased and living crave. frame) Jake & Dinos Chapman Drawing VI from the Chapman Family Collection.  To this unfathomable end The Chapman Family Collection enables the viewer a palpable and clear-sighted passage to appreciate their inner and outer experience—to witness the core emotive force shared by primitive analogue and technological artist alike. Highlights of the Chapman Family Collection include virtually unknown primitive trophies and initiation masks from the former colonial regions of Camgib. Photo: Gareth Winters. (inc. our safety and disaster. and runs the societies in which we live.3. wood. (inc.  . the collection has never before been displayed in its shameless entirety. frame) Presented at White Cube the exhibition Works from the Chapman Family Collection comprised an extraordinary assemblage of rare ethnographic and reliquary fetish objects that subsequent generations of the Chapman family have diligently added to over a period of seventy years. knows fully well that the world runs on power. for the divine while fearing the powerful riddle of infinity. like the modern.Jake & Dinos Chapman 34 35 Works from the Chapman Family Collection. The Chapman Family Collection is an embodiment of skillful control that demonstrates that the divine manipulation of spiritual power is one of the principle functions of ethnographic art. frame) Jake & Dinos Chapman Drawing IV from the Chapman Family Collection. whose interest in ethnographic art began to dissipate the long shadow cast over it by Western culture. motivates. creating timeless forms and enabling Global culture to harmonise in a singular poetic language. Power from water. 2002 Painted bronze 36 1/4 x 16 1/8 x 3 9/16 in. The Chapman Family Collection shows how fruitful economic endeavour ignited the artistic passions of Picasso. ever since twentieth-century colonialism began to rake virgin soil for essential minerals and discovered in the objects of primitive art a seam of rich and untouched treasures. petroleum. but spiritual power is perhaps the most potent of all. and nuclear power heats our homes and carries us from one place to another. © The artists. because it provides humankind with the ability to order our world and to understand Nature in the fateful elaboration of our wellbeing and our disease. and as such are recognised by accredited experts as being the most noteworthy in the whole wide world. its own lineage was irrevocably altered by the unwitting destructive interruption of paradise. Through the visionary sight of these untimely artists ethnographic art was both reconciled and fused with Modernism. In its monolithic stoicism it reverberates with the history of a culture pillaged by industrial colonialism. Courtesy White Cube Jake & Dinos Chapman Drawing V from the Chapman Family Collection. Seirf and Ekoc. It cooks the village food and takes the philanthropist to distant lands and helps him carry back the elegant artifacts that enrich our understanding and appreciation of beauty. However. Matisse and Braque.

. A concurrent solo exhibition of new work by Fraser will be on view at American Fine Arts.680. 2004 OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY. sixty-minute document shot in a hotel room with a stationary camera and existing lighting. a mid-career retrospective organized by the Kunstverein in Hamburg. This exhibition is the United States premiere of Untitled. in the fall of 2003. 2003 was initiated in 2002 when Andrea Fraser approached Friedrich Petzel Gallery to arrange a commission with a private collector on her behalf. and private collectors. 6-8 PM Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Untitled. 530 West 22nd Street. JUNE 10. and Don’t Postpone Joy. Untitled shifts the focus of this investigation from the social and economic conditions of art to a much more personal terrain. The exhibition will be comprised of two works. a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Andrea Fraser.8 p. please contact Friedrich Petzel Gallery at 212. It was first presented publicly in Andrea Fraser. 1993. Untitled. or Collecting Can Be Fun. The exhibition will open on June 10. with a reception from 6 .com. Co. Known for her performances in the form of gallery tours and analyses of collecting by museums. Untitled is a continuation of Fraser's twenty-year examination of the relationships between artists and their patrons. 2003. with the first exemplar of the edition going to the participating collector. ….Andrea Fraser 36 37 Untitled. The work raises issues regarding the ethical and consensual terms of interpersonal relationships as well as the contractual terms of economic exchange. Untitled. The requirements for the commission were to include a sexual encounter between Fraser and a collector.9467 or info@petzel. and will remain on view through July 9. JUNE 10 . which would be recorded on videotape. unedited. corporate art institutions. For further information. the Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg Sweden. It is currently on view at the second venue of Fraser's retrospective. Works: 1984-2003.m. 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ANDREA FRASER Untitled – JULY 23. The resulting videotape is a silent.

In any case. In any debtor (Luis Humberto Rosales) again. gave Diego de la Vega Corp.Fran Ilich 38 39 Fragments. despite the climate. we forge onward. we make revolution a part of our everyday practice. this service will still be in suspension. In spite of everything. We considered the possibility that some of the projects might disappear. Said project. surely after obtaining the money again. Cuban cigars and Zapatista coffee. caused by the economic crisis. as well as in Cuban cigars. As a first step we began with the urgent and necessary liquidation of available hardware. The first of these two was like a territory. or move to cheaper commercial servers) and the internet radio signal Radio Latina AM. Basically. 2009 Righteous Rage The CEO of Diego de la Vega Corp. We have reached the point of considering the painful decision of dismantling the Tijuana Media Lab. Has the collectivity been betrayed once again by the individual needs of a person to whom nothing matters besides his own benefit? For the moment SpaceBank announces that the loan department will be closed until further notice. since. making it possible that it may cease to exist. Annual Report. which made a note of buying infrastructure for PossibleWorlds. 2009 Crisis of solidarity May is the month in which the famous economic crisis finally hits Diego de la Vega Corp. future projects depend almost 100% on the punctual delivery of weekly payments for the next 44 weeks. SpaceBank is virtually without funding and since we are unable to communicate with him (since he does not return any of our calls). the guy to whom we loaned money from the fund so that he could finish medical school and get out of call center hell. and we decided that for the wellbeing of the executive and the shareholders. the funds necessary for rescuing and maintaining Diego de la Vega Corp. who has committed to resuming payment in weekly amounts of $100 Mexican pesos ($7. decided not to continue his payments and is basically partying. continues to lose subscribers who abandon their projects. since it demanded . to generate sufficient resources for a server for the Radio Latina AM project. with Tijuana Media Lab. after 4 or 5 payments of less than 15 dollars. The second one was. these were liquidated to invest the money in the Commodities Market of Zapatista coffee as well as in the money market PW. Because Gaia matters to us. even though it may appear to function as a gift cooperative. On one hand the Tijuana Media Lab continues to focus above all on the R&D projects in narrative media that are their bread and butter. If anyone would like to write him so we all might recoup our money. Unfortunately the money from the Sabotage Fund is still frozen as a result of the loan that was given to Luis Humberto Rosales. but he does have a very active social life on his MySpace page. All that said. on February 14 (Valentine’s Day) we resorted to acquiring and privatizing the whole project with the objective of re-structuring it and thus advancing the cause of digital Maoism to its next level. since everything has been invested. encouraging us to generate content (podcasts. 2010 ilich@sabotage. April 26. February 26. are that it would take at least two years to settle his Even if the money could be recuperated. where he shared the table with various commanders of the Zapatista National Liberation Army. Thus. or point toward the secret agenda that ‘another world is possible. even though this might imply crossing a desert that seems interminable.Inf. The implications of this. and “external economy” (what can be consumed or downloaded online). He no longer answers our letters or telephone calls. after a fortuitous accident in a first meeting with the ex-director and founder of the Chiapas-EZLN Concord and Pacification Commission. We asked ourselves which would prevail over the other. 2009 Spacebank’s survival in trouble SpaceBank is basically at a standstill and without access to money. other cultures. the decision was to continue the long march toward the—specifically. thereby maintaining programs like Cinema P2P afloat.” in which exchange occurs between investing partners (who construct and control their own infrastructure and institutions). the investments have occurred within the virtual community itself.50 USD) to move forward in the short term. poor administration and debt) in an act of human warmth and kindness. might be obtained. through the advisement of a cultural into orbit online. although it requires a considerable amount of logistics and no small risk. I can supply his email address. the bank finds itself without liquid capital. clearly. For the moment. and which we soon learned to control in ways that taught us not only to administer or multiply. Insurgent Sub-commander Marcos. I recall one of the first arguments with my support base was because one of these projects was a political body and the other an economic body. which itself became a reality with the help of various parties (another important part was the 33% from a loan from SpaceBank. 2009 Advisement & externalization The month of July could be reduced to an alchemical equation.” at the First Global Festival of Righteous Rage. We also considered focusing on a rebel sea bass commercialization project in the Sea of Cortéz. at first. the doubt remains whether it is possible to provide loans without collateral. allowing the collective involved in these operations to come closer to their objectives without damaging others. which. but we could not miss the opportunity to publicly invite the attendees to participate in the production cooperative Radio Latina AM. In other words. little by little. it is in this month that the crisis of solidarity. March 6. as a result of the crisis. principally the continuity of projects like the cooperative server PossibleWorlds (which. including Commander Zebedeo (who moderated the table) and his official spokesman. An important point is that the loan department was renegotiated. it is surviving principally thanks to the Cooperative Store and its sale of ideologically correct products like Chinese beer. since immediately before it could have affected the Sabotage Fund owing to its stocks in the Mexican Stock Market. collectives. whose production cost is too high. What follows are some excerpts from the operational reports of Diego de la Vega Corp. with all our hope resting on the nascent project Collective Intelligence Agency. I created a corporation that would accompany it from the outset: SpaceBank. July 31. a small collection box in which we deposited coins and withdrew bills. Nevertheless. Diego de la Vega Corp. any initiative that is not economically sustainable will have to disappear. to ease debts. As a sign of hope. which was then liquidated). a severe beating. animation series and texts) directed at those who had settled on the server. as well as the Friday functions of Cinema P2P. or have debts—the largest being nearly $1500 USD—or ask for credit. or if it were possible for there to be a functional balance in which each of the two would play its proper role without interfering in the competencies of the other: for economy to be political and for this not to become a business like all others that carry in their DNA the profit motive above all else. until three years later.’ A small amount has also been invested in precious metal reserves and in foreign currency. we approached the SpaceBank. Otherwise. associations and businesses. such that even if it is not necessarily at risk of bankruptcy. both projects continued growing and generating other initiatives. as well as projects such as the relationship with the Procomún Mexico Lab. 2009 Painful change We are facing a severe liquidity problem. This created an economy that allowed us to maintain a kind of solvency. could also offer important dividends for the shareholders at SpaceBank. Such was the case for Diego de la Vega Corp. soap operas. which is putting the continued existence of the project in danger. growing to a point at which it literally became overpopulated. the money of all accountholders is in his hands. in order to forestall its imminent bankruptcy (the result of organizational problems. unexpectedly participated in the panel of a magisterial conference on “Other communications. And thus. a tiny island on the Web occupied by Almost as soon as I put the autonomous cooperative server PossibleWorlds. 2009 SpaceBank at 100% The current economic crisis did not hit SpaceBank directly. January 5. since Luis Humberto Rosales Lara (aka cybercholito). with all the force of the word impetuousness. but to create an economic model that has to a certain degree allowed us to abandon the traditional confines of the virtual economy of the gift—a form in which the majority of cultural projects on the Internet are structured—to go deep into a hybrid economic system that oscillates between what we will call “internal economy. to support the indigenous Cucapah community from El Mayor in Baja California. these in turn were consolidated in the paradigmatic body of our times: a corporation. giving us enough time at least to consider a Plan B. there appeared a possibility to such a degree that the majority of its operations were put in a state of emergency. one possible option to recuperate the money would be to proceed with a lawsuit. June 30. May 31. generates sufficient wealth to allow us collectively to promote connections in global markets like the Mexican Stock Market as well as marginal markets of ideologically correct commodities. As a first step. 2009 Our business is cooperation The saying goes that in every crisis there is an opportunity. our participation involved an analysis of the proposed other culture.

at which point it will be put up for auction on eBay. What’s done is done. tortured. we also began the newspaper El Zorro de la Mesa (The Table Zorro). since the idea of a media lab as such is not the best suited to the projects on which Diego de la Vega Corp. brutally murdered and later beheaded. tries to focus. 2009 Saturation At Diego de la Vega Corp. and even in an absolute state of insolvency it refused to go bankrupt and took on a completely unreal debt. • Diego de la Vega Corp. Annual Report. which was then constituted as a CDO (collateralized debt obligation) with the aim of continuing to invest in the market. D. even savings and surpluses in the petty cash box that will allow new phases of the project to be negotiated. there were also important stumbling blocks and even an emotional and economic bankruptcy. 2009 Our first CDO We had a good sale on eBay. for the moment we decided to focus on other formats of production. Diego de la Vega Corp. August 31. which is an initiative of the bicentenary of the independence of Spanish America. a Hart Communicator that we put on sale for $200 USD sold. which had been broken down into 500 IOUs with a unit value of $20 Mexican pesos. The project began with $50 Mexican pesos and even though things grew and achieved a certain level of development. Many of the other projects we were hosting (not all of them Zapatista) have abandoned the server or disappeared from the Web completely. so we won’t focus on the idea of retreat. beginning with the wave of independences in 1810 and from which today. 2009 The burgeoning relationship between CIA and Diego de la Vega Corp. Corp. which stars residents of the Zapatista Autonomous Rebel Community and members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. And as a result of these debts and a lack of sustainability. if I’m not mistaken. November 30. Colorado. 2009 by Jennifer Flores Sternad and Fran Ilich. a victim of the wave of violence from the war between President Calderón. is a coin-operated cooperative media conglomerate that works with the secret agenda that ‘another world is possible.C. who had furthermore been one of the people to solicit the Hope protocol of social and clinical security on SpaceBank. The storm passed and the ship is still afloat. Before the close of the year. soldiers and drug traffickers who are mixed up with each other as if they were all the same thing. but it has also grown and shown signs of development. At the same time the World Bank reiterated its invitation for SpaceBank to work on a project at its offices in Washington. September 29. the cooperative server PossibleWorlds was set aside to pawn its future. In the middle of all this. there exists neither the capacity nor the human or material resources to move ahead with the project. since from now on the CEO will be dedicated full time to advising the management of literature at a cultural institution within the flowchart of the Mexican Federal Government. We also promoted the Bi-national Meeting of Dramaturgy at the Centro Cultural Tijuana with the idea of generating all sorts of cultural exchanges. for upwards of $1095 USD. A new process is beginning. We made the decision that the Tijuana Media Lab should disappear. recently independent from the Kingdom of Denmark. in the middle of the era of the reality show war against drug trafficking and neoliberal privatization. In the middle of the year. Even when there was an interest that this might be one of two American projects to join a European network of media labs. which generated chains of dependence and external debt. and had a profit of 550%. With the CIA project. Thus those who hold an investment in the Sabotage Fund and who do not liquidate their shares will be able to benefit from this. First. It remains to be seen what kinds of projects recommended by a digital Maoist who supports the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle might be concocted and negotiated within a semipublic cultural enterprise focused on the public administration of cultural goods and services for the benefit of the population in the Tijuana-San Diego region (Baja California and California). 2010 the rapid formation of the operatives of Diego de la Viega.’ with the goal of functionalizing and creating common goods. The first line of research that has been pursued since that time is called “America: 200 years in dependence” and is in the charge of Nuuk Commission Directorate 2010. But this is nothing compared to what was about to happen. . we began the month of August by trying to recover from the crisis. we had to make the emergency decision to enter into a process of externalization: the CEO had to accept employment so as to subsidize through his work a series of expenses that were then unsustainable. in November we found a way to project the film Corazón del tiempo by Alberto Cortés and Hermann Bellinghausen at the VII Northeast Literature Festival. so that this new nation of Greenland. Despite everything—above all the global financial crisis—we have been able to consolidate determined processes within this coinoperated cooperative media conglomerate. Bataclán. seeks to encourage control over access to confidential information and share it with its partners around the globe to conceive and nourish initiatives related to the Sixth Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle. to share with the Greenland House of Representatives information referring to the post-colonial experience of Latin America. nearly the year 2010. with the threat of an imminent bankruptcy that would have definitively ended the PossibleWorlds server. October 30. it has been impossible to free themselves. since it has been carrying a debt for over a year. During the final phase of the month almost all stocks in SpaceBank were liquidated on the Mexican Stock Market and the Fiction Department finished the text of a mise-en-scène called Mujeres y bombas (Women and Bombs). we discovered that a great friend and collaborator. the company that produced it. And to close out the month. 2009 Intra-institutional To reaffirm our commitment.. among others. but focusing now on full time advising with a Federal Government semipublic cultural enterprise. In October we publicly announced the existence of the Collective Intelligence in the 1990s broke. which was no doubt good news for those who were supporting this sale as an investment in Diego de la Vega Corp. The collection consists of a total of 500 comic books and includes issues that are highly soughtafter by collectors. In addition we have great news for all who have invested in SpaceBank’s Sabotage Fund: we were finally able to confiscate from our debtor an asset worth the total value of his debt ($10 000 Mexican pesos). through which we carried out a workshop on networks and open communication infrastructures with Efraín Foglia of guifi. December 31. in the unincorporated community of Greenland. Not only that. at least one of its essential projects can no longer occupy space in online orbit. beginning this month. the police. as well as thinking about a bi-national market focused on the production of dramatic texts. will not commit the same errors as Latin American nations. The agency was founded on April 15. even concentrating on the liquidation of certain investments in the Treasury. The first which. A few days later we organized a book swap along with a conversation about informal economy and networks of exchange that do not use money with the Colombian artist Carolina Caycedo. had been kidnapped. the hard drive storing all of the project’s foundational information from the period prior to Delete. Thus the decision has been made that the CEO will end his current work relationship—as had originally been planned and communicated to the board of directors of said cultural enterprise at the beginning of October—to re-focus on the activities of Diego de la Vega Corp. nevertheless. 2009 Self-critique A year of this exercise has gone by. and at the moment. with the crisis. Diego de la Vega Corp. 2010. full time. with the Tijuana Media Lab. will place greater emphasis on immaterial work (if not in immaterial economy). will donate the total sum from the rent of the DVCam to an autonomous community. a collaborative information initiative in which Diego de la Vega Corp. The deadline for this is January 1. participates 50% as conspirator and co-founder. 2010 at midnight.. beginning January 15.Fran Ilich 40 41 Fragments.

disguised a bit as science. conceding to a reflection in the shape of figures from reports about its daily activity. or just to transform that insignificant imperfection into a meaningful gesture. demonstrated even in subtle domestic rituals. This situation has unleashed futuristic ideas about its eventual disappearance and sees the human side of labor vanishing between words. In the midst of this epidemic of the ephemeral and at the same rate with which objects are substituted. but also as an ingredient to achieve and maintain the collective psychological balance. 2010 About deterioration Currently. to give them the appearance of truth. performing an imaginary recovery of the energy that laborers from different areas invest in what is about to be thrown away. honoring and celebrating the capacities of those that carry out the daily work that will economically support the group. a culture of substitution of objects of common use has been imposed. to find tributes. correspond not so much to personal needs as to the impositions of market systems and their traps.Fritzia Irizar 42 43 Deterioration. their story seen through what is already invisible. where most people still seem to interpret great technological advances as distant events from out of science fiction. the use of new technologies also causes many other activities to be replaced. speed constitutes a very important factor in the development and efficacy of any activity. Fritzia Irizar . but also mandates that some products that would otherwise endure be discarded at the slightest indication given by advertisers. about the symbolic significance of work. Therefore. activities in which the physical aspect of the human being takes part directly. trying to recover with space the constitutive material that has been worn away through use. Cautiously observing the work experience of endangered trades. In developing countries. physical labor still bears a huge cultural burden in exalting. intending to capture the disappeared essence of worn things. I find a thematic and methodological exit for these jobs in the simple presentation of facts. tells us. without saying much. I seek to find prostheses for activities that have prematurely been deemed hopeless. but bearing in mind that too much information often confuses or hinders clear codification when one tries to decipher or to question the “benefits of progress” or the transformation of everyday life while still living within it. These pieces are exercises that test and evaluate memory. and also dissimulated a bit as poems. This situation not only allows the obsolescence of consumer goods to be defined by trends. This celebration of work. playing with the idea that they are possible. not just as an economic tool. and stops being one of the basic gears of global economy.

This act will be held before a Notary Public. the sack has no artistic value . three-kilo sealed sacks of salt will be sold at €3 euros. will be subjected to a game. in which the viewer will also participate with his curiosity. I intended to confront two elements that are similar in form and color. salt and diamond. through a document. who will witness the authenticity of the diamond placed inside the salt. A third value is put into discussion: the value of art. In order to establish a reflection about general schemes of value used through history by different social groups. During the exhibition. The piece goes on when the buyer of each salt sack is notified. that the art work will lose its value as an artistic product—namely.Fritzia Irizar 44 45 Fe de azar (Chance faith). in which a real diamond valued in at least one thousand dollars will be planted at random. These two elements. but above all activating the emotions derived from being exposed to the temptation of guessing his good or bad fortune. Fill 333 sacks with 3 kilos of salt Sacks of polypropylene with a capacity of 3 kilos 333 full and sealed sacks The buyers are notified that in case of opening or breaking the safety stamps. that it will cease to be of my authorship—once the sack is opened. but which nowadays differ greatly in function and exchange value. 2010 Place the diamond in the salt Salt Notary Public The sacks are put to sale during the exhibition for a price of €3 euros Diamond The piece consists on a ton of salt placed directly on the ground. and there is the possibility that one of them contains the diamond.

2009-2010 [Once Again Looking After the Intellectual Bourgeoisie] 46 Detach here .Bea Schlingelhoff Mal wieder was fürs Bildungsbürgertum tun.


look for an example. we are the continuous reproduction of unskilled laborers. one would be naïve to think so. full text archives like Jstor are not accessible to the mass) and again feedback and the project to perfectly control. 2. send an email. 5. and so on. You want to fucking email parrhesia1? Google dérive2? Internet use turns desire. The internet is certainly more dangerous than sects were in the 70’s. To labor for free is a sentimental form of labor.” published in Les Lèvres nues. it will be their dictatorship. knowledge or friends or will offer you succor for your ADD teenage son. You will have no part of the “mystique of the total revolution”. If you cannot relinquish the use of the internet. i. libido. Commodity. 7. a reaction we are made to believe has a value per se. Fuck the Flâneur!. “reCAPTCHA: Human-Based Character Recognition via Web Security Measures”.” Guy Debord. you are not with us. compare internet news and weather forecasts on the internet we produce value. shopping. communication. to the fact that the parrhesiastes says something which is dangerous to himself and thus involves a risk. intellectual industry and for journalism. matching the guarantee of professional human transcribers. dissertations must immediately stop. 2009 . Our resistance to voluntarily work for and confirm cybernetic capitalism will be the perfect coup d’internet. freedom. relationship industry. develop and own it. co-operating corporations dominate. currency industry. as a serious legitimation of cultural (re)production. and analysis into a pseudo-cyclical unpaid internship. 2. to a difference of status between the speaker and his audience.
v. means of production. To believe using the internet will give you access to democracy or information. the commitment involved in parrhesia is linked to a certain social situation. 1465-1468. divorced from its production or use value. objects. pp. they are the means of production. such as deciphering distorted characters. Colin McMillen. the most efficient structure where we freely contribute daily to the monetary and symbolic surplus of a tight.e. 9. an object value or meaning per se. namely that it exists in spite of the value we give it and in spite of the use-value and exchange-value that is produced and in spite of us. We labor. for you it is not a tool. Every time we start a search. Despite of the intelligent notion that resistance to the oppressive structures and endless control-dispositive (that which links discourse. The proletariat will be those who resist to use the internet. I want to critique that we labor without wage or with merely a symbolic wage. The cybernetic control mechanisms do not re-surface metaphorically within art production (i. we cannot reach a state without exception unless we end thinking about the internet as a tool. pharma industry. communication industry. December 1958. third world labor. Its lousy messianism is the promise to share a whole lot of free binary codes instead of sharing land.e.000 Web sites and has transcribed over 440 million words. The internet is the oligarchic tyranny. power. consumption and conspiratorial abuse is a part of the fine print that can be willingly ignored or appropriated. Le gouvernement de soi et des autres. This resistance is not jeopardized by its realize-ability or by its predictability. post a blog. the fascist über-monitored boot camps used for ”Open Space Conferences” or “Open Space Technology”). not quite so global monopoly. That internet-use leads to alienation. We must stop thinking about the internet in utilitarian terms. 1983 2 Dérive: literally “drift” or “drifting. abolish?” For some time now. we work for free. If Marx believed fetish means something along the lines of giving a product. an open call for exploitation. a dick to fuck. the state of exception. we do not only produce a sentimental surplus. We labor for differentiation within a system that we do not differentiate. the state of emergency. It is the most radical socioanthropological project of the far right. You are not the Left. The question: “How can we resist? How do we not reproduce the power structures we seek to destroy. this is it. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects. experience.3 Your computer is not a typewriter. Women know a good deal about this.19. unskilled. traditionally considered the result of concrete labor. “Théorie de la dérive. control.”mechanical turks”). Further we produce use-value. nor with the aspects of surveillance immanent in internet use. We resist to voluntarily and automatically submit to the instrument of regulation. 3. You are excluded. 8. subjects and reality of control) of our sexual. They do so by asking humans to perform a task that computers cannot yet perform. When we use the internet. which was replaced with the adjective cultural. a hand to write. critique. traditionally referred to as abstract labor. post a video.51 Bea Schlingelhoff Internet use is complicit to cyber-capitalism Through the Internet. Within the internet dispositive there is no contradiction —there is no fetish— there only is feedback and feeding codes to the information-myth ( 1.” Michel Foucault. December 1956. houses. “Crowdsourcing” makes exploitation look like a lottery win online. Our apparatus is deployed in more than 40. nor a non-for-profit platform. anticipate and evaluate. maps. nr. September 2008. A tongue for parrhesia. for he risks nothing. sex industry. 4.” “One of the basic situationist practices is the dérive. I am not concerned here with the gross boredom that we feel after spending 3 hours online not knowing why. is equivalent to believing you will own a new Audi A8 because you are working at the Audiassembly line. 1 “For. The superstructure that the internet connects merely subsidizes neo-liberalism. forecast. which was later replaced with everyday life. neo-liberalism is not even its prosthesis. a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiences. and Internationale Situationniste. And we produce use-value providing “informational and cultural content”. Benjamin Maurer. Good were the times when the flaneur was only apathetic in the hallways of MIT Press and Verso. Science. 5895. orgasms. Diary: The world wide web is not an abstract auto-poetic machine. nor resource. social and communal desire must be an unpredicted and unpredictable one. and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll. a worldwide movement began to develop in opposition to the doctrines of neoliberalism http://en. We take back our communication and control knowledge ourselves. where many artists could either react with violently infantile attempts to fuse Balenciaga and Foucault or helpless attempts to use the mass-intellectualization. race. Our research explored whether such human effort can be channeled into a useful purpose: helping to digitize old printed material by asking users to decipher scanned words from books that computerized optical character recognition failed to recognize. 321. 6. not quite so netted. when we shop. 3 Bea Schlingelhoff. the consistent appropriation. respond to ads —or when we penny-labor (i. then the demystification of cultural commodity production for artists meant to find and proclaim themselves outside of the attempted a priori production of meaning and enqueue their production as part of the apparatus they wished to criticize. First the factory was replaced with the city in the 60’s. The use of the internet for sales.” Luis von Ahn. nr.e. David Abraham and Manuel Blum.e. and without producing or affirming aesthetic or theoretical conditions of commodification and without an estate of citizenship.wikipedia. p. popularization and commodification of revolutionary thinking and struggle has created a semi-cynical vacuum in the Western post-discourse network. ephemerabilia. nr. […] It is because the parrhesiastes must take a risk in speaking the truth that the king or tyrant generally cannot use parrhesia. as we shall see. which newly replaces a modernist class of the intellectual bourgeoisie. If sentimentality is used to describe a decadent or ill-proportioned emotional reaction to a specific situation. Using the internet we consistently labor for the war industry. as well as cyclical. only this time the dictatorship of the proletariat will not strive to acquire and control them. Unless you are a CEO at Cisco the internet can never be useful for you. We showed that this method can transcribe text with a word accuracy exceeding 99%. “CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) are widespread security measures on the World Wide Web that prevent automated programs from abusing online services.

2010 .Jota Izquierdo 52 53 The Work of Art in the Age of Pirate Reproduction.

b) The Fiorito Museum will show copies produced by the Ernesto de la Cárcova Museum of Copies. at a venue located in a high traffic area at the entrance to the Villa. Feuille de vigne femelle—an object-trace of the female reproductive apparatus. affirms Didi-Huberman. e) On November 29. c) At the entrance to the Fiorito Museum. According to Didi-Huberman. we donated the replica of the Duchamp piece to the Museum of Copies so that it would be displayed as part of the collection. We successfully proposed our project to Professor Carlos Molina. the director for the Museum of Copies. Fundación José Ortega y Gasset. We may conclude therefore that it becomes an object of public property. trans. which. since [soccer star Diego] Maradona was born there. C. 213. 2009 an action was carried out in the Ernesto de la Cárcova Museum of Copies. populous suburbs in Greater Buenos Aires. and a cultural center in Villa Fiorito. in the form of a “black hole. is a mold of a vagina. which consisted of: a) Creating a Museum of Copies and Replicas in Villa Fiorito. the reduction of Duchamp’s work to an idea—a term that legislates.” Further still. because there is nothing more than a trace—the non-work par excellence. located on the city’s South Promenade. a dependency of the National University Institute of Art (the only official university art institution in Buenos Aires). 25-40. and responds in the negative: “Whether implicit or explicit.] . from the benefit of copyright1. which. in reference to the technical reproducibility of the work of art. or whether they constitute it as such. d)������������������������������������� At the same time. one of the most famous. [The quotations have been translated from the Spanish version. pp. could also become the recipient of new replicas. 2007 We act in relation to two spaces: The Ernesto de la Cárcova Museum of Copies and Replicas. núm. a conceptual “intention”— excuses us from the obligation to look at it. but also to the problem of the work of art in general. The question that remains is whether these qualities deprive it of its fetish character. Jacoby. a replica of the left foot from Michelangelo’s David was mounted on a pedestal constructed by a group of local residents.” 1 Georges Didi-Huberman. Feuille de vigne femelle is a still more relevant reference than the celebrated text of Walter Benjamin and not simply with the respect to twentieth century art. That is. The author radically asks whether it is still possible to exhibit and contemplate Feuille de vigne femelle. Laguna and R. he maintains that “there is nothing to see. What we proposed with this project “Donations” was to play with the notion of “museum” and its possible extension ad infinitum. in terms of the work of art. considering the destruction of Argentine art from the 1960s and other periods. the Museum of Copies accepted into its holdings a donation from us. Revista de Occidente. according to contemporary legislation. T. a moldobject of the human mold. Salvatierra. as is well-known. Madrid. f) The director of the Cárcova Museum of Copies signed an agreement for these donations with F. but also.Fernanda Laguna and Roberto Jacoby 54 55 Donations. an object produced from a mold—is excluded not only from the gaze. This is a replica of Marcel Duchamp’s piece Feuille de vigne femelle (1954). This would be the first piece of modern art to become a part of the Museum of Copies. during which the donations were given over to the residents of Fiorito and to the authorities of the Ernesto de la Cárcova Museum of Copies. excluded from commodity fetishism.N. febrero de 1999.” Thus. “El punto de vista anacrónico”.

which has serialized the “gift” of so-called “philanthropy” as an industry parallel to industrial publicity. and as an exercise of true luxury within which the “gift” of sacrifice and the “return” of antagonism take place. exactly 24 hours after its inauguration the Skoghall Konsthall was burned down by the artist himself in an act of vandalism that was nevertheless conducted according to all regulations and the city’s strict security protocols. By destroying the promise of this space of visibility at the end of a single day. Alfredo Jaar constructed a gallery made of paper for the small Swedish community of Skoghall. the Skoghall Konsthall inscribes its host city with the ashes of the gallery. Here there is an attempt to achieve art’s redemption as the establishment of a social symbolic debt. Jaar introduced the insatiable race for prestige that defines cultural globalization to a margin of the extreme North. the metropolitan centers of Swedish art. Rather than instrumentalizing contemporary art as a method of post-industrial urban planning and integrating it to the economy of spectacular services and real estate speculation. London’s Tate Modern. the originary structure of artistic accumulation that presides over the economy of investment in museum infrastructure at the beginning of the twenty-first century. the invention of a space for a culture that is only practiced out of conviction in an abundance without investment. In a context plagued by episodes of erection of spaces for art exhibitions. or peripheral cultural centers in suburbs like Mósteles in Spain or Ecatepec in Mexico. But beyond referring to the economic base of the show’s host city. the construction and dematerialization of the Skoghall Konsthall symbolizes an insolent search for an effective rhetoric of state and corporate patronage. Jaar de-materialized. 2000 In the year 2000. Malmö and Gothenburg. By tying the source of wealth of a capital of the global paper industry to participation in the symbolic economy of the global proliferation of specialization in art. Through this exercise in critical anti-architecture. a weapon for the promotion of tourism and a strategy of real estate speculation.Alfredo Jaar 56 57 Skoghall Konsthall. Jaar assured that the demand for insertion in the global artistic circuit would operate by exception under the rules of emission of true symbolic capital: the destruction of values and unproductive consumption. returning the museum’s edifice to the ephemeral object of a permanent artistic economy. Georges Bataille identified in the North American Indian potlatch: the destruction of accumulated wealth that would establish a challenge that could only be matched through an ever-increasing gesture of destructive competition. which hopes for expenditure without accumulation. A multiple redundancy specifies the action of creation and destruction of public cultural space that Alfredo Jaar produced in Sweden. The volatile paper architecture of Skoghall Konsthall configures a deferral of equivalence similar to the classic model of production of prestige that Marcel Mauss and. the transformation of market goods into the socialization of an aristocratic gesture. Alfredo Jaar’s Skoghall Konsthall arises as a political critique of art’s symbolic capital. The Red Specter . For an entire day. using the material that serves as the basis of the regional economy. Skoghall had an exhibition space that showed work by emerging artists from Stockholm. in an era when emblematic buildings are typified as much by the Bilbao Guggenheim. at least in a specific locale. following his example.

2004-2010 .Magdalena Jitrik 58 59 From the series First of May.

This fabric was embroidered in gold with a phrase taken from a message left by organized crime next to one of its victims. Mexico. 2010 Courtesy of Galerie Peter Kilchmann. Both processes of the piece's construction were carried out by residents of this border city. . where violent events took place.Teresa Margolles 60 61 To Whom Does Not Belive it Sons of a Bitch. Zürich Fabric used to collect the residues from the streets of Ciudad Juárez.

flag. drinking mezcales with the owner of a taquería. summing up to 2. The amount of money contained in the wad can be valued with artistic speculative parameters. placing it within a complex range of specialized institutions of development. art fairs. The piece is a paradox: the intention of Mexican Muralism is based on the criticism of the modern system (Marxism): capital. we headed for New York City. it too is merchandise. The acquisition of the piece implies its intact preservation. center and conservative. Coincidentally.S. which were obtained by the work and work force of Mexicans living in the United States. we had no luck finding it. it cannot be used for any other purpose. so generating a flow of specialized and over-valued merchandise. The social and economic panorama before World War I showed progress to global industrialization and continuous economic growth but also in a very unequal way.560. especially to the USA. This intervention is visible in museums. the New York Stock Exchange plummeted. and for that reason they can also not be the symbol of a paper exchangeable for merchandise—they are in fact still money. However. movies. After the war. the massive unemployment and the cessation of the migratory fluxes to America. It is an object with no real value. This dilemma culminated in the intellectual and political system that prevailed during the 20th-century. created a devastating scenario for the international economy. and an agreement arose to paint a mural in his taquería. It was painted on the façade of “El Paso Taquería”. In between them. this amount of money (bills) will be exhibited as the art piece and it will be sold for 232. References Money plays the role of a symbol representing all the merchandise that you can get for it. the modern systems of social security. public venues. the contradiction resides on the fact that the artistic object is not the mural. Bills substituted the real value of gold and what it symbolized. The serial numbers of the 100 bills contained in the wad have to be legally registered and this rule also applies to any sale of the piece. it is interchangeable and because of this. They made a lot of questions about us: what where we doing in the Unites States? What did we do for a living? Were we painters? We answered we were mural painters. The interwar period empowered the dollar in the international economy. But even if this set of values triggers a chain of financial exchanges. It consists of a wad of bills. . At the end of 1933 the gold standard was abolished for bills. in this way creating an exponential chain of financial exchanges. We found it the next day. 2008).M&X 62 63 Black Monday (Remesa). The Great Depression exiled economic liberalism and created a division into hegemonic politics and intellectual ideas: Marxist communism. and many other political insurrections. the creation of foundations. Using the postmodern postulate about the relative interpretation of history.80 USD and so on. the whole system works under neo-liberalist political interests. and a conversation started that lasted till the early hours of the morning. The mural is based on Jesús Malverde. on October 24.00 USD. just as gold was for a period of time. and with it they cannot become capital.000. In this stage. That night we went looking for a bar called Xicala. The physical money will be exhibited as part of the piece and it can only be sold under the same principles. the development of the mass media as an entertainment strategy (the politics of consumption). we conceived the piece we now present for consideration. the idea arose of making a joint project. ultra conservative Fascism. provoked a series of social movements and cracks that triggered off (from the 1929 depression onwards) Nazi Germany.78 pesos to the dollar.000 USD). 2008. Every transaction will be carried out under the above legal terms. in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood. plus the expansion of credit and the economic dependence on the USA (specially for Germany). which was divided between left. diffusion and the commercialization of it. 2008). based on the character Jesús Malverde (a Mexican avenging from early 20th-century. Today that means that the real value of paper money depends on how much of it is physically in circulation. The night we got the money we had a few drinks to celebrate.78 times more than the real amount contained in the wad (2. on the day it did (September 29. sports and cultural events. social and cultural interchange models on a global level. technological. the widespread unemployment in central Europe. which led to the formulation of an art piece that comes with a symbolic charge in synchrony with historic actual events constituted by chance (serendipity). The art piece will then have to be acquired at 10. Such is the development of this system that it is currently common to see big corporations involved even in matters such as leisure activities. When the event was over (on September 15. conceptual and financial valuations. but the capital. This being so. their transformation has only been symbolic. the power to regulate the amount of cash circulating is also the power to regulate its value. 1929—for the world economy. accompanied by a desert landscape and decorative motives of the U. However. albeit out of circulation. which became the legal tender. etc. the total amount of money could became a representative amount of money capable of producing a small crisis on an economic and symbolic level. Until the 20th-century you could trade almost everything for gold but then the bill appeared as the legal representation of the metal. owned by a Mexican friend. and this crisis ended with the creation of neo-liberalism as the hegemonic system of the Western economy. In the interwar period. Black Monday is a succession of fortunate events. leaving behind the development of the basic social needs in order to earn huge profits. best known nowa days as patron saint of drug traffickers). they are out of circulation. In this case. This occurred in a very specific context. That transference generates a lot of different interest in the wad. The development of neo-liberalism coupled with the end of the communist era had created new practices on how to conceive the economic.00 USD. The piece was conceived to be activated at the moment in which the money entered Mexico as a remittance. 2008 Black Monday (Remittance) M&X On September 9. This means that if the piece is sold for 21. we—M & X—traveled to Washington DC in order to carry out an exhibition. they invited us to join them at their table. in an event considered to be a new Black Monday—after the first one. Like in Duchamp’s ready-mades. production.416. and decided to go in and have a few drinks. Our friend was there. The fact of proposing a wad of bills as an artistic object brings us to speculate on its aesthetic. Social Democrat politics. seeking fun and some catching up with friends. The exchange rate from September 29th 2008 was 10. on our way back home. today the concept of art (that is supposed to be the model for creation and question the values of collective knowledge and of the development of humanity) has been diversified onto a global scale. the object suffers a semiotic transformation that poses the question: How can a wad of bills be considered art? On turning the bills into art. The corporations are also looking forward to creating media phenomena. the USSR’s rejection of capitalism.

Insurers invest. Buy a stock option. Investors insure. an uprooting of obstacles and the rapid and radical transformation of societies and environments. The higher the investments. get a disaster free. Insurance and investment share a common vocabulary of premiums and returns. This is where insurance comes in. though geared towards diametrically opposite ends. You can be insured against any damage to your life and environment caused by the forces unleashed by investments. Successful investments generate the climate that makes it possible to generate extraordinary amounts of wealth in record time. When you invest in something. Insurance companies are able to promise the returns that they do. Raqs Media Collective . 2007 Capitalism expresses possibilities in the language of investment. Investment options lay claim to the dream of making your future work for you. This requires a speeding up and intensification of production. as much as attempting to garner some security for yourself and your dependents in the event of being discarded from a productive life. You may in fact be insuring yourself against the likelihood of bad investments. At the same time it administers our attempts to deal with the idea of risk through the rhetoric of insurance. Insurance and investment come calling hand in hand. you are hoping that your bet on the likelihood of the success of a venture will be borne out by the future.Raqs Media Collective 64 65 investment % insurance. usually accompanied by tremendous violence and disruption. the greater the damage to extant patterns of life. because they invest the money that people make available to them.

but there can be countless ways to share it. 2009-2010 Fragments from a Communist Latento* Raqs Media Collective I The spectre of abundance haunts the empire of scarcity. thought. From each according to their generosity. desire or madness? II It is not desirable that the future be captive to the present.Raqs Media Collective 66 67 Fragments from a Communist Latento. There is only one way to possess something. VI The collective transformation of the world requires the continuous networking of an infinite array of otherwise impossible choices. to each according to their pleasure. . Until then. V We will wait for the time when the socially necessary labour time to make something can be debated socially. laughter. Who can ration breath. Even social relations worth fighting for are fragile. an assertion of that which is clearly evident. meaning an elaboration of that which is latent or hidden. is the antonym of a manifesto. restlessness will remain the best antidote to exhaustion. nor the boomerang of time! III A million ways to make things rough is better than one way to make things smooth. just as it is unthinkable that the present be held hostage by the future. IV The diversity of the commons challenges the singularity of property. Neither the arrow. *A latento. VII Take care as you make the transition from bondage to freedom.

•All materials must be mailed to the artist’s residence.Vicente Razo 68 69 From the series Public Adress. . •All materials are requested online. 2009 Rules to make a Public Address •All materials are acquired for free.

passersby were invited to share those things that they had I Buy-Sell Time wanted to do but which they had been unPuerta del Sol. refunding them building of this auction site in Silicon with a note equivalent to the correspondValley. what which carried it anew to the shore. or the uncertainty of whether or not we are the owners of our own lifetimes. I offered to buy or sell time around Lost Time Refund Office Puerta del Sol. Rostock Hamilton Ave. They were invited to exchange a bill for what they considered to be an equivalent value (in time).org/ Online documentary about the actions: http://www. answered by the action of the sea. Official website of Time Notes bank: http://www. Principe Street. a representative of Time Online buying & selling of time offered Notes took down the description of how dethrough eBay. ing the streets of Madrid and offering the service of “Refunding Lost Time. the office left each day ed job. financial bubbles .ar/ timenotes Time Loan Office Florida Street.” Time Waves Praia de Patos. Singapore. using a new system of money based in temporal units (denominations of one year. Continuous Present Santo Domingo Plaza. Singapore August 2006 This action consisted of walking down a pedestrian street in Singapore’s commercial district. Vigo e-Time October 2007 Ludwigstrasse. over-employment and unemployment. Buenos Aires March 2009 Time Notes presented its credit line for the realization of desires that had been deDescription of actions carried out ferred. Munich and Madrid. Berlin. Launching Event Karl Marx St. A copy of each bill handed in at the Lost Time Refund Office was tied to a balloon. and how to save or to spend them. etc. Singapore August 2006 This action took place setting up a stand in front of the city’s largest shopping mall. the growing virtualization of the economy. In each case the actions developed were the product of observation of different local problematics related to the system of exchange. etcetera). or for Mounted on a tricycle and with a wireless arbitrary reasons (working at an unwantinternet connection. construction workers.). lost in a bad relationship. extra hour. Madrid able to achieve as a result of having misFebruary 2010 spent their time. Rostock June 2007 This action took place in Rostock during the G8 summit. Silicon Valley. At the office. would you do with it? Lost Time Refund Office Buy & Sell Time (from Silicon Valley) Kröpeliner Strasse.. advertisement men who offer to buy or sell gold. where passersby were asked what they thought about the new monetary system. Vigo. travers. dropping time notes. Proposing a reflection on the system of social exchange and our preconceptions about the value of time and money. Vigo October 2007 Mobile Office The office offered itself as a place for the Madrid receipt and classification of time given February 2010 over involuntarily. 60 minutes. I offered the service of buying and selling time around Monte de Piedad in Mexico City. Losing Time Orchard Road. Berlin August 2004 The campaign was carried out in the plaza of the mayor’s office in Neukölln. different actions were carried out in cities like Berlin. which was later released to the sky. . in Santo Domingo Plaza in downtown Mexico City. Mexico City June 2009 Counting time in bills with a denomination of one second. mimicking those who offer their services as plumbers. on whose reverse side was printed the cause of time lost. the experience of time (as one’s own or as belonging to another) the army. Exchange Office Orchard Road. Time Release Silver Pearl. Munich This video documents the action of reOctober 2009 peatedly throwing a one year bill into the Launch of Time Credit Card. I Buy-Sell Time Monte de Piedad Street. how they imagined these bills would be useful. or Buenos Aires.timenoteshouse. under duress. Mexico City June 2009 Next to the Metropolitan Cathedral. If you had an sea. year in your life. 2004 The project Time Notes consists of a series of actions in public spaces carried out between 2004 and 2010. an annual meeting that is carried out in enclosed places inaccessible to land travel. where passersby were invited to give their opinions about this system of money. and they were given a Wearing a reflective vest that mimics the loan in the form of time notes. serving from its base at Casa de América. San Jose June 2007 September 2009 In a mobile office. day. Nigran. from the lobby of the main ponents had lost their time.Gustavo Romano 70 71 Time Notes. ing amount of time. Rostock.

Seine Persönlichkeit. . Verlag von B. 2010 8 pages from artist's book.Guillermo Santamarina 72 73 Lisarb and Atrabal.G. Work in progress. seine Bedeutung. 1905. Pen on paper. Teubner in Leipzig-Berlin. seine Lehre. intervention in the Hans Richert book Schopenhauer.

UU. le pokinel an traipe manushikana thàj an tchaveripe dogèske. trekegimos. katar te thav an praktika jèkhi keripen direktni ja jèkhi demokràtsia direktni etimològike arakerindòj: jekh raipen katar narodo orthoardo vash-o narodo so si i pesko organizatsi katar le butare. -ke nivar prindyarèna ke si nùma ke si bi sigaripe vòrte thàj vaxtes.UU.arakhadjel katar jèkhi krisis katar le shimeripe subprime an EE. ke sat so savo gadja ke te plastarèlen nakhindòj bokh. dilini. Vigo. thàj i orrixipen katar i ke trajin le narode mashkar an jèkhi adìnki baknasipen sòske si pe davindòj sari vash jèkhi maripen vash kinemaskeri katar i laburimos shastrin‚ski thàj vash kinemaskeri katar le buteselenke katar petròleo so ka lèsko var si i famìlia bush so trajel katar petròleo thàj le famìlie katar le thagarimata katar Dishorig Pashutno.UU. sòske odola sos si orthoindòy ulaveripen katar i gadyikani tchel an tipa. si jèkhi ètika so pa sa si o poshno mashkardyenutno. mukjen katar te pokinav i shimeripen sòske le nive potchibèske xuline. i orrixipen gadyikano. ¿per so xuline le potchibe thàj per so butjurde le nive katar bikeramos? Pòske okova si jekh godsveripen halno dyantripnuno thàj godsverisko. nùma ke shaj te baravav amen sar dyene. and-i zolarimos sar kerelaro katar evoluvipen katar le narode. Kapitalipen katar Them ja Kapitalipen katar sotsial democratsia kaj hamisipen o Them thàj o bikinlin. thàj si jèkhi ètika purnardi an jèkhi kultùra katar ke sa si amen ke te terelav stilipen ka i kultùra sòske si o dyanipen.UU. thàj i barabaripen katar i mestipen katar te gindarav sa per barabaro. jekh pashe ekonomikano. so butshinel kòva. jekhe trajin and-i plaguripen thàj mandèsko thàj an sa le dikkipe. avere and-i barbalipen thàj savaxt sam le butare sos sam and-i ulaveripen khino sar tipo sotsialnes radyini. si pa sa vash ke na te samas katar te lav amari traipen an amare . is avàva kher ja na avàva kher. kàna von kamen te kerav te patchav ke i krisis ekonomikani somvaxtuno. thàj dudano.UU. Spain.UU. sar shaj te sinen le dikhipe Sòske sam i mas katar bruchardo thàj i mas katar butilin katar okola tiknida favorde ke trajin ka okasilli amari.UU.UU?. okova pashe ekonomikano and-o ke bichindel pe akaia pilipen si jekh sistèmo ekonomikano bushlo Kapitalipen an lèske trin rigate. okola si tikàke. then an tsòlo katar hakajipen lèske haznipe ekonomikane politikàke thàj sotsialne. si jekh pashe orthoardo ende le buta katar mothipen sares dilarno. nas an fòrme katar lovo. na katar te bitcha. ke sar utch o pachandi sas màj ke tchukniardo gindarden te buxjarav o paruvimos ka kon dènas le pachande thàj kerdisarde ka te dav pachande ka dyene sat jèkhi pilipen ekonomikani bipatchani. ka jekhe nive kekàve ke kerdisarda ka te jagav le butjuripe katar bikeramos thàj le tikne potchibe an EE. an jèkhi tchatchi gadyikani tchel. thàj avav jekh rài. Sòske avillindòj papse k-o arakhadjipen katar i pilipen ekonomikani thàj katar le vàshe. i labaripen katar i dyantripen sar porùnko katar diskipen vash te glasav na korkores le problemora dyantre thàj nùma vash te glasav le problemora ekonomikane thàj sotsialne. Lovelin. ¿So butshinel kòva?. si te phenav. and-i sotsialmos. si jèkhi ètika purnardi and-i Ajsarimos so pa sa butshinel i demnipen katar te sinav manushikano.UU. Ami is thodas o porùnko dyantripnuno ka komòni katar akala divàne von phenen amènge thàj ka sako anglidipen te das amen jèkhi putchipen thàj ka sako putchipen averi anglidipen te dikhàsas so telaluno. plagurda. utch na dyalènas k-o andripen katar EE. jekhe gindaren thàj o lùma adatsire si anindòj katar jèkhi fòrme gindarardi ka jekh avere kanden. i barastorikes o Them si kadial. ke butshinel ke si les ke te Na arakeras katar okoja barabaripen politika so si jèkhi barabaripen fòrnalno. an barabaripen katar hakaja thàj musipe. te thav an praktika i ekonomikani sat okola vàshe. na dyanas is putcharen pen gunoji ka le dyene ja sòske le shimeripe sas len jekh nivo katar shimeripen tikno. pantch tchone jekh berg mukjen katar te pokinav i shimeripen? Avèla varekoni halaripen. ka te kerav keripe gadyikane. si te phenav ramblipe ke temelutnes madyuten si jèkhi glasipen katar jekh nevo zakòno ètiko thàj sotsialno. te zalisav thàj ke tchatches na te samas katar amare problemora kraliseske. na vash-e bokharipe an va. 2010 okova Kapitalipen sar mòdo katar baripen ekonomikani thàj sotsialno.UU. Yekhto katar maj katar 2009. mukjen katar te pokinav i shimeripen sòske o nivo katar bikeramos butjurdas. si te phenav. okola dyene sos lije okola shimeripe katar yeskotres mukjen katar te pokinav le shimeripe sat so savo le bànka sas len ke te kerav pe tovàro katar okola shimeripe.. Okoja si i pilipen ekonomikani ke isi adatsire. ke te avèlas i glasipen so o Anarkismo chantel ka okoja pilipen amare shtikaripe katar pesko organizatsi. jekh pashe sotsialno. na te sinav savaxt ka kutchipe. mashkar an jèkhi sikipen darano. politikàke. te dyamavav diskavdas thàj makardas Bakunin: ni Devel ni Them ni Gadyano. amare problemora ekonomikane. xelade ja skrankena. thàj i fòrme and-i ke irinèlas pe leske okova petròleo ka EE.UU. si jèkhi ètisotsialne. jèkhvar ke ushtilas o timin katar petròleo logel and-e dyemetche parvarne sòske sa le butaripe kereske labaren petròleo. sotsialne. utch na dyalènas tchines k-o mashkeripen katar EE. sòske le timine katar petròleo ushtile sòske akàna isi Thema sos xalen màj gadja isi sos te bitchav bio jagèske ka i keripen katar zor sat so savo butshinel ke nikabas germe katar i parvaripen thàj le anas ka te kerav o petròleo sat so savo ushten le timine katar le dyemetche parvarne sos ka lèsko var jagen akala bokharipe thàj ke samen lènge le bokharipe thàj kava si but vasno. thàj i glasipen katar i televizia. si pe lènge kerindòj jekhe ‘mitos’ thàj jekhia ilaripe purnarda temelutnes an elemènte dilarne sar shaj te sinav o tùtbol. is avàva buti ja na avàva buti. avèla ke te kerav pe i telaluno putchipen. Phurikano kher katar le kriseline thàj katar i shtaripen katar vigo. adyutisipe ekonomikana thàj adyutisipe katar sa glindo ja k-o baravipen katar i laburimos gadyikano. Them. ke vi sinav ame le direcktòre katar amaro pèsko krìsuro.Santiago Sierra 74 75 Translation of a Conversation 3 (caló). sòske sas pe diñindòj jèkhi pilipen katar ke bare tchaveripe ekonomikane katar EE.UU. ke le timine katar petròleo ushten sòske isi Thema hanikine sos akàna xalen màj. o timugipen katar te trajav an gadyikani tchel. feudalimos. akaia pilipen ke sam arakerindòj bichindel pe an jekh pashe politikàko. Mishto. per so le nive potchibèske xuline an EE. nùma arakeras katar i barabaripen realo. te lav amen an seròzo an lètsti amari traipen. si jèkhi ètika purnardi and-o shirdipen katar i mestipen thàj katar i godornipen kaj o te sinav manushikano naj les ke te sinav aneldo ni orthoardo intreges per khonik sòske si amen shajnipen vash te godisarav. is te labarav amen ÿÿ o porùnko dyantripnuno katar diskipen ekonomikano. le kerelipe si i gadyikani tchel gadyonèski pesko organizisindòj. jekh nevo zakòno ètiko sòske si i purnipen katar i teginipen katar so sa le manùshe manushikane sam barabare. ka sako putchipen jèkhi anglidipen thàj ka sako anglidipen jèkhi putchipen ¿per so kerdisarda ka te avav màj bibutipen an EE. logel an ke bitchen pen màj dyemetche katar i parvaripen vash te kerav petròleo sòske o timin katar petròleo buterdas pe per desh ta logel an ke sari i orrixipen reàlo. te okola sombeshne thàj te avel o patchalo bitchavaro katar okova shtisav te baravav amari traipen. te le vàshe katar i pilipen somvaxtuno: Devel. shtar. buti. thàj ke vekheder kòva na te avel diskùtsio. te gindarav thàj te kriyav per ame ikane. ke buxlevel ka sa o lùma sòske akàna o timin katar petròleo. ke ka lèsko var jagel jèkhi krisis lovikani. mandèsko thàj xelado thàj ètiko. sas man jèkhi barèder koboripen katar tchaveripe ke inklènas katar EE. Okova pashe politikàko and-o ke bichindel pe si jekh Them sat jekhia fòrme katar shtisipen. Svàto katar José‚ luis velasco tel o naman katar “VASH LE BUTARE SAVAXT ISI KRISIS”. EE. shimeripe gunoji sòske kon chimerèlas le shimeripe. jekhe si len o dyanipen thàj k-o te avav kulturikano thàj avere si and-i bidyanelimos. sòske okola astalipe tran baròder an anglaginipe katar ferisipen thàj and-i laburimos shastrin‚ski inklen katar sogòdo than thàj le maripe sar phenel pe le pokinel savaxt o narodo. o janipen. garavdi pe lènge i tchatchipen. nùma an te palyerav keserindòj le nive katar sarbaripen katar i maripen katar kushval. ke na te ushten le timine. si dyemetcho katar i krisis katar le shimeripe gunoji. sar shaj te sinen le prijasipe mashkar phirne diskavdi ende o mùko katar dikhipen katar chantipen anarkisno thàj na phirne. May 1st. okoja si i godsveripen katar i krisis ekonomikani katar EE. thàj ka so utch na parnel pe an okoja srànko thàj an okova Devel. jekh Devel perdal katar sa thàj kongòdi so te sikel temelutnes i barabaripen reàlo si te terelav hakaj ka i traipen. le maripe imperine sar sara le maripe isi ke te pokinav len..keripen somvaxtuno ke maj anglal sas les avere anava. Ami latcho. TRANSLATION OF A CONVERSATION 3 (Caló) Courthouse and Jail buildings. sòske akaia pilipen katar i ke sam arakerindòj na perel katar jekh trùpo bibutvarno. jekhe keren buti thàj avere bukurisen katar okova mudarlin. jekhe kerelipe. si okoja fòrme mandaipèski ke si i vav amari shajnipen katar detsìtsia an okola burokràtsie polisrànko thàj i muxaripen katar le buta katar mothipen. and-i adyutisipen enredùj. jekh mudarlin ekonomikano. Adatsire ka le gadyikani tchela anglunarda katar Europa thàj bidyanelkero thàj ke dukhavel le tchorimàta. katar na te bitchavav intreges an khonik. simas an fòrme katar bare astalipe xelade. nùma ke dyalèlas ka te marav Irakine vash te tchorav les o petròleo. José Luis Velasco’s found conversation with the title “THERE IS ALWAYS CRISIS FOR LABORERS” RINTCHIBARIPEN KATAR JÈKHI SVÀTO. jekhia vàshe. si per so samela lènge. gadja ke aveldel jekhia institutsie lovikana. Doleskes i putchipen thàj i anglidipen anel ka ke i krisis katar le shimeripe gunoji si jèkhi yekhti anglidipen ka jèkhi tapardo katar putchimàta sos anen papse ka i maripen katar kushval. ka te oklagitav jèkhi maripen so sas i maripen katar petròleo katar Irak. nùma te sinav goge katar amari traipen thàj te lav amari traipen an amare vaste. bare astalipe katar i laburimos shastrin‚ski thàj bare kinemaskere vash i laburimos petrolera so na so orrixèlas papse an EE. nashti te kinelar o love so sas len dino thàj die andre an jèkhi krisis katar love somvaxtuno so buxlardas pe per sa o lùma.UU. nùma sòske phenarde ke then an tsòlo katar hakajipen thàj an nasulimos i childarimos demokratisarèski thàj sotsialno katar okola Thema. okoja fòrme katar shtisipen -hisi i tchatchi barabaripen katar te sinav manushikano.UU. katar pesko organizisav amen. thàj le maripe gavutnèske isi ke te pokinav len.UU. Kapitalipen katar bikinlin. vash te dilarav. jèkhi ètika so parnel pe and-i Ajsarimos. thàj okoja si i halaripen katar ke EE. te na te sinav savaxt samardo katar is shaj te kerav buti ja na shaj avel so von phenen lav katar Devel. Devel and-i phuv. okova pashe kulturikano and-o ke del pe. jekh mudarlin ekològiko. ¿per so ka le trin. robipen. bi te bitchavav intreges an khonik. but bipharimos. sòske o tsiklùso ekonomikano katar i orrixipen katar sa okova lovo utch na dyalèlas ka andre katar EE. kulturikane thàj moral. keràva buti . bokhati thàj nasalipe. gadja dyen ka te kerav jèkhi putchipen. thàj ke dyal mamui le demokratsie anglunarda. España. jèkhi pilipen ekonomikani daranes nakrisàki so rintchibarel pe an miliona katar mul‚ per maripe. 2009. sindikarèske. Okova pashe skrankono ja mandèsko and-o ke del pe si le skrànke an lèske kavere fòrme. kamen amènge te kerav te patchav ke i krisis ekonomikani katar EE. thàj okova pashe ètiko and-o ke del pe si jèkhi moral katar i srànko so kamen te kerav te patchav ke si purnardi vekheder an jekhe keripe opral naturàle sos butshinen ke si les DUITI ULAVERIPEN ke te avav lakre thàj brakengere. sindikarèske. ¿per so okola dyene ka le ke dias pe jèkhi shimeripen an lèski chive mukjen katar te pokinav i shimeripen? is kerdisarde pokinindòj la. thàj okoja Broxares le vàshe katar trinchi nabarsani thàj trinchi tragèdia manushikani si okova Them. o timugipen katar sotsialmos. kulturikano. divàno an lètsti.

by reenacting an un-eventful day in the living of the original family at the comfortable house designed to best accommodate the needs of his users and the comforts of modern living. Hegel. pp. 2007 In her short film. where national histories are conceived as self-contained allowing for the construction of Western histories as coherent narratives of human freedom. The Red Specter 1 Susan Buck-Morss in her book Hegel. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.1 This is a generalized paradox. It is know that one of the most excellent of modern cultural historians. Haiti and Universal History. This Functional Family (2007). Commissioned in part by the Netherland Architecture Institute and performed at the site of The Sonneveld House—considered an emblematic historic example of Nieuwe Bouwen. Judi Werthein stages an impossible and contradictory reconstruction of the utopian impulses of modernism. that is the Dutch branch of functionalism—Werthein’s film displaces both. Haiti and Universal History provides a detailed and critical discussion of the Dutch Republic and the symptomatic erasure of any account of slave trade. See. With dignified presence and measured gestures their “use” of the functional and luxurious house affects a fracture in the order of representation which in turn plays unto the gaze as a ghostly scene. as the Embarrassment of Riches. Susan. The intervention of Werthein inhabits the house as a paradox: as the mise-en-scene of the irresoluble tension marked by the discourse of progress and freedom within modernist movements and the key role that the practice of slavery had in the ascendancy of Western nations within the early modern global economy. invisible and disavowed. It is also evident that within this narrative the central role of slave trade. Simon Schama. An uncanny dislocation emerges when the family of immigrants in the Netherlands born in Surinam.Judi Werthein 76 77 This Functional Family. Buck-Morss. . The history of modernism and modernist architecture is wrap with the same logic. modernism and its utopian impulse. colonial rule and the presence of black slaves in the domestic life of the bourgeois households of the Dutch Republic are both. the normative representation of modernist architecture and its mode of perception. or for that matter. 2009. describes the Golden Age of Dutch culture as a dialectical movement between being rich and being good: that is. 22-26. Curacao and South Africa impersonate the original Sonneveld family. This Functional Family reverses roles and works by undoing the suture—opening the wound to our gaze as a ghostly structure that unravels the rationality of functionalism. any images of blacks in the revisionist history of Simon Schama famous volume Embarrassment of Riches.

performance (installation). in which being can only be attained in having. motivating the coming to consciousness of this powerful suggestion that dominates us. Here there is a powerful suggestion that operates beyond borders at all points on the planet. really? Observing it. This is a power through which humanity has transferred the physical and spiritual potentialities of its essence to a materialist domain based in illusion. while the other is a zero peso bill. we find ourselves before a few small pieces of paper. of its possessors. The power of money currently represents universal power. absolute medium of all fulfillment in objective life.” nourished by the belief deposited in its object form. where representation and reality are confused. the absence of money or the absence of what money represented as value would provide in the following years a territory that would open the possibility of bringing about experiences such as the following project. as one fills in forms when one participates in a contest or solicits a merit scholarship. successive and simultaneous.Federico Zukerfeld 78 79 Making Money. giving way to a most profound social and economic crisis. others were stashed away in hidden places to provoke surprise upon their casual discovery. The idea of Making Money is to make money The Making money project is a combination of different disciplines: counterfeit. a subsidy for artistic creation was requested from the Buenos Aires Cultural Fund. the government took the decision to with hold access to savings. but true as art-object. of the possibility of the development and formation of every human being. In an artistically illicit action. and finally the surprise actions in which the money was handed out en masse. force transformed and made owner of destiny. This was called the “freezing of financial assets” and it provoked a state of collective panic in the community. great hypnosis! The power that dominates us in contemporary existence plays out over the whole of society. Among other misdeeds. representing the unique. observing the movements in the doors of financial entities for hours. At the time. with disastrous consequences for the lives of the populace and implementing a new model. The experience began in a clandestine printer’s workshop.” regarding the confused relationship between reality and representation. after a ten year vigil. that is. of ownership over all objects. promoting greed in every bond. represented objectively in money. followed by an actor’s training in downtown Buenos Aires. The origin of the deepest confusion lies in this alchemy. Faced with the imminent imbalance this would produce in the local economy. Two possibilities were proposed by international organizers: the dollarization of the Argentine economy. Money composes the essence represented by power. along with one of the starting points of the contradictions that we live. This hypnotic system is signed by a suggestion that operates in the substitution of the true elements of reality with abstract representations. Let us think for a moment how to determine whether a banknote is false. As if it by magic. promoting the poetic forms of resistance before the critical current situation. the application was completed out of a sense of irony. 2004 The day the ex-Minister of Economy announced the devaluation of the Argentine peso against the American dollar he gave up. This suggestive state resides in the conviction in the transference of the notion of value to the money-object. . which was allowed to fall as a result of “bumping randomly” into passersby. forgetting for a few seconds the notion of value. but rather by his or her economic possibilities. One form of making evident these contradictions is to destabilize belief through the production of money. In itself. But the entirety of this great trick is based in a property that acquires money as an external object. The power of money is the power of absolute belief in money. If the artist had received a positive response to his need to be Making money. Just ink and paper! So where do we find the attributes that bestow it this power? The mechanism of this “great hypnosis” finds its starting point in the place where money is located with respect to all objective reality of human life: in the middle.” Two-faced bills: one side is a 100 dollar bill. being in itself the very same object. Money mediates between needs and their fulfillment. the crisis of representation and the vacuum of power resulted in the successive falls of five presidents over the course of four months. and in overcoming the individual order it becomes a human mediator. To carry out the experience.This re-distribution would contribute to the generation of an effect of response to the “great hypnosis. seeking a high quality in the finish and the details. replacing national currency in circulation for the use of the American dollar (as was done in Ecuador) or a devaluation of national curency of over 30%. This mechanism of objectification determines the order of comprehension of reality. The notion of the value of the money-object was then destabilized and soon people were using coupons and even rehabilitating methods such as barter in order to ease the crisis. and urban intervention. regulating the withdrawal of currency and converting funds in dollars de facto into national coin. It is made independently of people and makes people dependent on it. placing itself as the absolute intermediary. it becomes the object par excellence. sequentially numbered and printed with illustrations and colors that distinguish among them. This reduces reading to a quantitative plane. on the model that had been initiated following the application of measures recommended by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as the plan of convertibility: 1 Argentine peso = 1 American dollar. bills rained down from high buildings. The piece consists of the production and distribution of “money. What a human being is and can be is not determined by his or her individuality or personal qualities. The piece is completed with the installation of the video along with some of the elements used in the performance. reality has been changed around beginning with the effect of a collective acceptance of the legitimacy of the substitution of all the elements of life through exchange value. Oh. But what would happen if this money were used to produce more money? This would be false as money-object. We can constantly appreciate this replacement in everyday life and the permanent mise-en-scène of commerce. he would have obtained a sum that serves effectively as money. piercing within these contradictions. The government of ex-president Fernando de La Rúa eventually chose the latter measure. What is false? Is not every banknote false? What difference is there between one piece of paper and another? Who grants truth to a piece of paper? Here is where the game appears: to reveal the irony of this system. fake money invading fake reality. The structure of the action was shaped by a series of performances and urban interventions. transporting the truthful properties of money to an indiscriminate creation and distribution. in public spaces in Buenos Aires. As money has the property of buying everything. Money “comes to life. where thousands of bills were distributed by actors who roamed the streets carrying briefcases full of money. a “magical” property: the power of transforming representation into reality and reality into representation. But what is money. This property is universal and corresponds to the omnipotence of money.

. Uxmal and Palenque. This observation applies chiefly to Mexico. Thus their writing system was similar. let us say without more ado that nothing in these long-gone Americas can rival. that is. we cannot help comparing it to the arts of the Far East at a similar date. including Ecuador. has ever given rise to a more sanguinary excentricity: ceaseless crimes committed in full sunlight for the sole satisfaction of deified nightmares and terrifying phantasms! The cannibal gorging of the priests. ‘Buy me a little flag. the corpse-strewn ceremonies and rivers of blood speak to us less of historical adventure than of the dazzling debaucheries described by the illustrious Marquis de Sade. Literally bloody. On the whole. These officiants were not always content with drenching themselves. monstrous. Any rejoicing was to mark the state’s religious festivals.” writes Prescott.” Georges Bataille VANiSHED AMEriCA Les Cahiers de la République des Lettres. bear little resemblance. overgrown heads on puny. it is obvious that it is not so much a rude attempt to delineate nature as a conventional symbol. The land and its harvest belonged to the state. But it is elsewhere than amongst the Inca that we must seek a production truly worthy of interest. . was nevertheless the most alive. Cuzco was the seat of one of the most rule-bound and At the time of the conquest. a flash. promptly melted down by the conquerors. for the literally extravagant way of representing the gods. these can only be found among the Central Mexican peoples which attained a peak of civilization shortly before the conquest. in that of Sun. and the vases in the shape of human or animal heads. In the wake of important military conquests. an analogy suggested itself between the Christian representation of devils and the Mexican representation of gods. for all the elaborate perfection of its craftsmanship. the Aztec people. Even during the Incaic period. for the ecstatic priest to cover his face with the bloody skin of the face and his body with the skin of the body. thanks to the meticulous organization of a vast army. Colombia. Most of their gods were fierce. ‘What has come over us?’ It seemed they all had lost their wits.. Altars were smothered in blooms.” This interpretation of the ghastly or grotesque deformations found disturbing by Prescott strikes us today as inadequate. [1928]. The capital of the Incaic empire. they remain of secondary interest. while they correspond with one another in form. Indeed.” Clearly. Paris. too. the textiles. in the same way as the pieces of similar value on a chessboard. being integrated into prestigious architectural ensembles which were the first to justify placing American civilizations on a par with the great classical models. Tall. but inferior. we know a great deal about the religious myths and social organization of these peoples. No matter: of the various American Indian groups. say. Bolivia. Even the horrors were unremarkable at Cuzco. jointed and cooked for the priests to eat. Panama and the Caribbean also possessed highly developed civilizations whose artistry astonishes us today. that of the Quiché Mayans and that of the Mexicans proper. in our opinion. XI: L’Art Précolombien. flower gardens of great beauty. to the peoples of those regions. Before they were sacrificed. By nightfall all the bodies had been skinned. to express the idea in the most clear and forcible manner. and nobody ever thought to ask. Such a regimentation should not be confused with that of present-day communism: the essential difference was that it rested upon heredity and class hierarchy. are very fine. in the eastern regions of Central America and the south of present Mexico. above all. and punctured his chest with a violent blow from a glittering dagger of stone. The Mexicans encountered by Cortés were probably little more than recently refined barbarians. Peru. The priest had a man held down on his back. might be comparable (they certainly spring from essentially the same obsession). Mayan art is certainly more human than any other in the Americas. in fact. arched over a kind of large boundary stone. highly stylized and above all repetitive. as related by the Spanish chronicler Sahagún offer a curious counterweight to the Golden Legend. This culture developed a few centuries before the Spanish conquest. a perturbing wealth. Even on the waters. whose heavy. The ribs thus broken. the power of the Inca extended over a sizeable area of South America. Although no influence was of course involved. however. which they alternately smoked and smelled. the bloodiest that ever rode the clouds of this world. Cuzco. flatly hideous. above all. an incandescence of solar gold. Some ceramic fragments are stylistically connected to this thousand-year-old gate. By the time of the Spaniards’ arrival. Their development undoubtedly influenced and largely determined the later civilization of the high plateaus. The architecture of the temples that towered over the roofs was no less stark: only the pediments were entirely clad in a sheet of beaten gold. lent to the streets a somewhat bleak and sordid air. capering absurdly towards chasms where their broken bodies are turned into rocks. where they had led the wandering life of Red Indians. ponderous grandeur. When attempting to account. des Sciences et des Arts. more precisely in the Yucatan peninsula.” The Mexicans obviously took a murky pleasure in this type of mystification. frolicking and dancing with his drum: the people become a dancing mob. Coming down from the north. whose mighty confederation seized in the fifteenth century almost all of present-day Mexico. In these conditions. that fashioned the most arresting objects. historians who have dealt with Mexico have MAY 2010 signally failed to understand it beyond a certain point. Furthermore. to that of the Maya. usually. If we go back to the time of the Spanish conquest. surely. Although estimates vary. of course. “were like the faces of their souls. And here we must distinguish between two very different civilizations. allied to a kind of black humour that was more frightful still. and yet nothing was sufficient to dispel the impression of drab uncouthness and. the famous Gate of the Sun bears witness to an exceptional architecture and art which hark back to a far more distant era. Work was assigned and marriages were decided by state officials. They also held flowered shields and perfumed reeds. On closer inspection. on the other hand. thatched houses made of great squares of stone. and the flowers brightly piled on the altar. one is struck with the grotesque The Mexicans were fully as religious as the Spaniards. From then on an old Indian woman journeyed through a place called Chapultepec cuitlapilco. during the fifteenth century. A significant portion of the fantastical statuettes and oneiric faces which make pre-Columbian art so relevant to contemporary concerns are due. Clothed in this unbelievable garment. the healing of the sick with cruel pranks. but their religion included a powerful sense of horror and dread. Tezcatlipoca appears in the midst of a crowd. it was the coastal peoples. it is not surprising that there are so few shining details to report about Incaic civilization. The sculpted fiends of European churches.” he wrote. Not one of them failed to be periodically spattered with human gore on the occasion of his feast day. orderly states ever instituted by men. but the reality does not match up to such an image. or malevolently whimsical. misshapen bodies which are themselves hard and angular in their outlines. or map. In ChichenItza. as it is called. the idols. it was in wholesale decline. with many ornate temples and. was set on a high plateau at the foot of a kind of fortified acropolis. the temple walls. of numbing uniformity. However. 5-14. a whole people obeyed orders like troops in a barracks. luxuriant frondiness it shares: both evolved. flowers were tended with a passion. But here we must insistently point out the startlingly cheerful character of such atrocities. they did not even integrate with any genius the elements borrowed from their predecessors. The honey of Christians contrasts with the bitter aloes of the Aztecs. The life of the civilized peoples of America before Columbus seems wondrous to us. it was also a prosperous city. Everything was pre-ordained in this airless existence. we will find a genuinely intriguing explanation of this point. with their more ancient civilization. to the object they represent.THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 80 THE RED SPECtER wont to put forward as outstanding. for example. after all. in blood. without external windows or ornamentation. At Tihuanaco. yet they display none of the power and grandeur of the Aztec phantoms. with Mexico. under leaden skies in overheated and insalubrious lands. poetry and humour are what we seek. their explanations are disconcertingly weak. and without the least skill in composition. The city’s character was one of massive. in northern Bolivia. “In casting an eye. one can still explore the impressive and often richly wrought remains of temples and palaces. some sacrificial rites prescribed the immediate flaying of the wounded man. stolid and monstrous. the victims were made to dance “decked in floral wreaths and necklaces. like the god Quetzalcoatl who loved to slide down mountains on a little board . These designs can be regarded as mainly decorative. as is well known. it is thought that the annual number of victims ran to at least several thousand in Mexico City alone. sinister tricksters full of a wicked sense of fun. Another evil trick played by the necromancer god is reported as follows by Sahagún: “A shower of stones rained down and after them fell a large rock called techcalt. Its productions are probably the ones that most closely approximate to what the archaeologists are caricatures it exhibits of the human figure. the heart was grasped with both hands plunged into the welling aperture and ripped out with such skill and speed that the bloody mass continued to palpitate for a few seconds above the scarlet coals: after this the corpse was sent tumbling heavily to the bottom of the steps.’ and once it was bought he went to the place of the techcalt and was slain. the most seductive—even in its demented violence and somnambulistic vagaries. Mayan bas-reliefs depict gods in human form. he prayed in wild delirium to his god. Peru may well represent a singular mirage. a veritable Venice criss-crossed with canals and footbridges. pp. “over a Mexican manuscript. Within these dominions. peddling small paper flags and crying ‘Flags for sale!’ Anyone who wanted to die would say. and yet their art seems somehow stillborn. L’Amérique avant Christophe Colomb. To this gold must be added the vivid hues of the robes worn by rich and elegant notables. Mexico City was not only the most gruesome of human abattoirs. not only because of its instantaneous discovery and disappearance. While the arts achieved some distinction. Tezcatlipoca seemed to take an unaccountable delight in peculiar “hoaxes”. His adventures 81 Sandman or Bogey are names that can be linked to these violent figures. The Maya-Quiché civilization is generally reputed to be the most glittering and compelling of all those that flourished in vanished America. Occasional victims were strangled with cords in these temples. The monk Torquemada attributed the ghoulishness of Mexican art to the demons that possessed the Indian mind: “The faces of their gods. for example the Khmer. But if air and violence. but also because no human derangement. It is probable such nightmarish disasters actually made them laugh on some level. Ecuador. and the north of Argentina and Chile. whose solid gold statue. due to the perpetual sin in which they lived. retains nonetheless an aura of magical prestige. This helps us to an understanding of hallucinations no less outlandish than the gods of the codexes. penetrated by roads.

These ferocious warriors were at the same time amiable.” Death. Ethnographie (Doctrines. they claimed. ‘Doctrines’ was a more unusual term in the context of the avant-garde 10 The term ‘Critical’ was dropped in issue 4.”1 he represented in the late 1920s an intellectual. archaeology. What he meant by his title was not what they had expected. Jean-Michel Place. Formless: a user’s guide. the implied critique of Breton’s movement. social critic and idiosyncratic philosopher—remains a profoundly influential and controversial thinker and writer.” Critique. Undercover Surrealism . 1929. artists and writers of his age. Instead.’6 6 Translated by Lorna Scott Fox Michel Leiris. 1997 (catalogue of the exhibition Informe at the Centre Pompidou. January 1946.). Ibid. when it provided not meanings but the tasks of words. 6 GEOrGES BATAiLLE AND DOCUMENTS Originally published as the Introduction to Dawn Ades and Simon Baker (eds. pornographer. p. allowing an unblinking stare at violence. Wildenstein. Bataille. gregarious fellows like any other. 2006. Bataille’s choice of rubric for Documents: Doctrines.7 This short text alone has had a remarkable afterlife as a critical tool for the analysis of contemporary art. 15 April 1929. nr.. In Bataille’s only contribution to an official surrealist journal (apart from the Fatrasies. 1929. Because that was how they made sense of their strange agitation. See Bataille. Archéologie.’ Documents’ approach to the visual opposed that of Breton at every turn. from the fourth issue this disappeared and was replaced with Variétés (Variety). which attracted many of the best non-conformist poets. and illuminated manuscripts and sacred stone circles alongside an analysis of the big toe. where Bataille was following a (promising) career as a numismatist together with the journal’s co-founder Pierre 7 83 d’Espezel. at a time when Jean-Paul Sartre was leading the post-war attack on Surrealism. his problem 1 Documents. of the editorial board and of Bataille himself did not cohere. which ran for fifteen issues through 1929 and 1930. 1991. Described by his friend Michel Leiris as “Bataille the impossi­ ble. March 1926). one of the very rare occasions when he names Bataille. 2 The final issue was actually published in 1931. Leiris. They insisted to the very end on providing a “spectacle” or “theatre” for those fantastical beings. was an abrupt and appalling death. whose Gazette des beaux-arts was one of the longest established art reviews in Paris. ‘Eye’. p. actually idealised and sublimated them. ‘Abattoir’. Jean Babelon. with similar visions for his Torture Garden. 6. Georges Bataille (1897-1962) —numismatist. 13th-century nonsense poems in La révolution surréaliste. 689. 4 MAY 2010 to which Bataille and his closest colleagues contributed short essays on. to come. The MIT Press and Hayward Gallery. 11 Hollier.” Documents encompassed art. For the first three issues ‘Doctrines’ headed the list. They asked their gods not only to let them welcome it with good cheer. was sufficiently provocative for Breton to react furiously in his Second Manifesto of Surrealism (1929). among other things. • Bataille’s essay ‘The Academic Horse’ (Le cheval academique) had flouted scholarly academic traditions of objectivity and was a foretaste of what was 9 Letter from d’Espezel to Bataille.’5 Bataille was nonetheless uncompromising in his disdain for art as panacea and substitute for human experience. but also to help them see its positive charms. nr. 5 Ibid. “La valeur d’usage de l’impossible”. MAY 2010 82 THE RED SPECtER the violent nature of desire. no. That’s a lot. Cortés’s victory was not the triumph of force. p. 1963. p. Paris. Bataille’s most visible contribution to contemporary thought was in the form of the review Documents. ‘Factory Chimney’. in his own words. scholar. The magazine’s financial backer was Georges Wildenstein. and d’Espezel wrote after the first issue: The title you have chosen for this review is barely justified only in the sense that it gives us “Documents” on your state of mind. Writings on Surrealism. Fine Arts. Another colleague. to the Aztecs. It’s essential to return to the spirit which inspired us in the first project for the review. a rigorous will to insubordination.8 • Documents’ unlikely cradle was the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. ‘Man’. 1936. 49.” However. They were determined to look on swords and arrows as if on delicacies. was also on the editorial board. Fine Arts and Ethnography. “It announces that Documents is not another Gazette des beaux-arts and above all not as a Gazette des beauxarts primitifs. remaining ‘the place that Surrealism gave to poetry and painting: it placed the work before being. “Le bleu du ciel. 2 Conceived as a “war machine against received ideas. photography and popular culture. since they perished in an instant. p. 1930. so as to “entertain” them and be their laughing-stocks. and to whom he devotes several pages of well-aimed invective. film. ethnography.” Documents. Breton and the surrealists had proposed various ways of achieving immediacy of expression: through automatic writing and drawing they had tried to circumvent the conscious control of imagemaking. 2. The various expectations of the new review on the parts of its founder. The exhibition Informe at the Centre Pompidou in 1997 attacked the unity of modernist readings of art by proposing a set of alternative and unstable ‘operations’ by which works were discussed not in terms of meanings but in relation to ‘horizontality’. internal opposition to André Breton’s Surrealism. Documents utilised strategies of de-sublimation. It was also the home of a “Critical Dictionary. while Sigmund Freud’s theories had provided a symbolic code through which dreams and the workings of the unconscious mind could be noted and interpreted. Bataille wrote in his entry ‘Formless’ (Informe). Bataille later. Bataille took the title “general secretary” but was in effect the editor. “De Bataille l’impossible à l’impossible ‘Documents’. op.’4 As. In the heterogeneous visual material included in Documents Bataille and his colleagues. cit. nr.” in Minotaure. cit. Although Surrealism is not openly discussed in its pages. 195-6. Strange and fragile. fond of meeting together to drink and talk. when you and I talked about it to M. 4 G..9 Dawn Ades and Fiona Bradley It seems that this extraordinarily courageous people was too much in love with death. See Hollier. Michel Leiris. Robert Desnos and Carl Einstein engaged with and challenged such ideas which. nothing divine—to all accepted limits. dubbing him an “excremental philosopher. the only way out. Bataille’s approach grated with Wildenstein and the more conservative members of the board from the very start. A dictionary would begin. but not quite enough. Ethnography) already distances it from the primitivist aesthetic then fashionable in Paris. At Aztec banquets. op. writes that “in this haven of flowers and perfumes it was neither repugnant nor terrible. far from confronting the base realities of human thought and . as well as the flagrant play with the surrealist principle of cultural collage. Surrealism’s ‘old enemy from within. he describes the paradox of ecstatic experience for modern man: ‘a vertiginous fall in the void of the sky. Presumably Wildenstein had expected another luxurious version of the Gazette des beaux-arts with the addition of “primitive art. expressed a fundamental if critical sympathy with it as ‘genuine virile opposition—nothing conciliatory. and ‘Dust’. sacrifice and seduction through which art was “brought down” to the level of other kinds of objects. Beaux-arts. Oeuvres Complètes XI. in Troisième convoi. 1929. meant nothing. with discussions of jazz and music hall performances beside the work of major modern artists. They surrendered to the Spaniards as though in a crazed hypnotic trance. ‘base materialism’. so much as that of an utter bewitchment. 10 Documents 1. nr. the juxtaposition of ‘distant realities’.”3 Documents drew in several dissident surrealists such as Michel Leiris. Bataille ‘On the Subject of Slumbers’. Zone Books. for them as for the victims with whom they had placated their frolicksome gods. Cambridge-London. The Absence of Myth. As though the people had obscurely sensed that once this degree of euphoric violence had been reached. Archaeology. the constant harping on a ‘base materialism’ as opposed to the elevation of poetic thought. people commonly became inebriated by one of the various drugs that were taken as a matter of course. ‘Absolute’. 8 See Yves-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss. These five subjects define the ostensible coverage of material in the journal. Never himself a member of the movement. preface to facsimile Documents. Mirbeau. ‘pulse’ and ‘entropy’. 3 M. Joan Miró. like a bug squashed underfoot. 572. Robert Desnos and André Masson.THE RED SPECtER One can imagine the swarms of flies that must have hummed around the steaming rivulets in the sacrificial chamber. see Michael Richardson’s introduction to G. VIII. 8. nr.’ The anonymous note to Fatrasies was already wholly characteristic of Bataille: ‘those [nonsense poems] from which the following extracts are taken escaped the scorn of generations as they escaped the mind of those whom a burst of laughter will one day blind.”11 Three of the subjects on Documents’ cover remained constant: Archaeology. May-August 1996). 689.

given to him by his analyst.” ibid.’15 Documents did more. However. XLibris.”16 This text links the slaughterhouse to temples of bygone eras and “the ominous grandeur typical of those places in which blood flows”. Western and non-Western. and between image and image. December 2009 . 71.” In terms of content the journal closest to Documents was Jazz. Lotar’s notorious photographs of the Abattoir at La Villette.12 Perhaps ‘Doctrines’ was intended to stand both for those beliefs held by declared religions and for those of more occult communities. 6 THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 culture in Europe at the time.. considered relevant to contemporary society. 1929. nr. Bataille 12 See for example ‘The Surrealist Religion’. ‘Surrealism from Day to Day’ (surviving chapter of a book Bataille planned on Surrealist Philosophy and Religion). Eli Lotar’s abattoir photos but in its second issue (January 1929) it included a horrific sequence of photos of Chinese executions. offering in other words “documents” of the present day. Whereas Variétés made a game. The interaction between text and image. For the first five issues of Documents an editorial board of 11.’ Subsequent issues omit the editorial board and credit Bataille alone as ‘general secretary.14 he did not publish it himself p.’ which indicates a more managerial or administrative position. was named. in G. hilarious and shocking. Titaÿna. camouflage and challenge. for example. 6 magazines than ‘Documents’ itself. the screens covered with photographs of images from different civilisations constantly rearranged. which are consistent studies and their origins in concerns within Documents. November 1929. pin-ups and celebrity mug-shots figured in publications like the German magazine Der Querschnitt. Popular art. were only partially realised. Carl Einstein in Documents and his collaboration with Georges Bataille. the German poet Carl Einstein. and work­ ed them into a series of challenges to those disciplines that were implied by its rubric. like Documents. his ambitions to draw in German scholars and in particular to establish a link with the Warburg Institute in Hamburg Adrien Borel.. The Belgian Variétés. on Documents. announced “les images/ les documents/les textes de nôtre temps” (the images. Doctrines are defined by and define ‘moral communities’ and religions. Einstein’s respect for Aby Warburg’s research methodology. with Bataille taking the title of ‘general secretary. Joyce. G. 15 on modern architecture a seBataille was haunted by a photograph of this horrific scene quence of striking photographs of the 1907 abattoirs at Lyon. Cahiers d’art. which was regularly advertised in Documents. in c. Documents. especially art and popular culture (Charlie Chaplin beside Jean Crotti’s painting-relief Clown) sometimes via a title (a Magritte painting beside the fictional detective Nick Carter. p. 31. Documents’ use of ‘resemblance’ drew visual and thematic parallels. photos and text relate to Bataille’s interest in sacrifice and suspile temps. It constructed—or 85 de-constructed—them. under the heading ‘Mysteries’). leaving the absorbing question of editorial control unresolved. It was not. p. nr. very simply decoded. soliciting contributions to the new journal.’13 Although Einstein continued to contribute to Documents until the end. so out of line with the flush of new journals dealing with art and contemporary 13 “Notes on the publication of ‘Un Cadavre’. founded and edited by a remarkable woman explorer. is complicated an unexpected. ibid. including public beheadings and the notorious killing by a ‘thousand pieces. Parallels between cion of the modern religion of German and French cross-cultural hygiene.THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 84 Documents. however. 34. in its pages than chart the interesting discoveries and materials. Not only did Jazz reproduce. and later Bataille insisted on thus describing Surrealism. 1925. documents and texts of our times). Writings on Surrealism. Documents’ title was both until much later. Didi-Huberman has mentioned connections between Einstein and Warburg in Devant The North is Lost A generous reward is offered to anyone with information that leads to its prompt recovery The Red Specter. 19th-century comparative studies But it cannot be coincidental of religion could have an that Cahiers d’art in 1928 had interesting bearing on Docupublished as part of its series ments’ approach. a monthly review dedicated to ‘l’actualité intellectuelle’ (current ideas). 329. Carl Einstein and Georges-Henri Rivière. Most spiced their covers with the promise of a range of subjects of contemporary interest. and what it signified for Bataille is unclear. although 16 Documents 6. expressed in a letter to the Institute’s director Fritz Saxl (reprinted in Joyce). opens the intriguing possibility of the influence of Warburg’s Memory Atlas. Documents differed from other magazines of the period in its treatment of its heterogeneous subjects. Take. covered “Painting-sculpture-architecturemusic-theatre-discs-cinema. including scholars and museum professionals as well as Wildenstein. 1929. Bataille. Not infrequently Documents picked the same topic as one just discussed in another magazine but wholly subverted the spirit of the original article. p. modern and ancient. such as Surrealism. in the late 1920s. that undermined categories and the search for meaning. 2003. later wrote that he ‘really edited [Documents] in agreement with Georges-Henri Rivière … and against the titular editor. in itself. 14 See C. of comparing or contrasting pairs of images. The Absence of Myth. and Bataille’s critical dictionary entry on “Abattoir.

”too little censorship”. the attempt to primitivize and transmogrify both the political discourse and the social science of his times. so that here too the motto would be: per aspera ad astra. therefore. For it is not enough that in my daytime labours I have to he present at gymnastic exercises. In general terms. which. We should like to “arrange and connect” these fragments. 184. by force of habit. however. 1978. but if paid for is called simply an “advertisement”. In 1842 the Kölnische Zeitung. 179. the section devoted to Documents undeniably stood spectacularly apart as an alternative to orthodox surrealism. and while still covered with dust. his whole deployment of the relation between subjects and commodities used the catholic figure of “mysticism” rather than the fetish. through politics to the oysters. grouping paintings. my son! Hermes. 179 OF THE KÖLNISCHE ZEITUNG 4. In the initial uncertainty as to where this new genus should be placed. between public specific polemics and theoretical text. letters etc). KArL MArX: KEY TEXTS ON FETiSHiSM The genealogy of Karl Marx’s theory of fetishism is extremely revealing. Dada and Surrealism Reviewed. relying on its core ideas as a means of presenting the objects they made extraordinary in the context of an exhibition. It is not until Marx added to the first volumen of Capital a didactic text titled “The Value form” that the example of “the savages in Cuba” who described westerner colonizers as fetishists. bound to be at least one who Written: between June 29 and July is no Hellene. Cahiers d’art. the aim has been to reflect the visual aesthetic of the review itself. We regarded above all its “leading political articles” as a means. If the drive of his final rendition of “commodity fetishism” in the second edition of the Capital (1872-73) involved redirecting the colonial category of “a religion of sensuous desire” to capitalism and its subjects. Hardly have I returned. 191. First published: Supplement to Rheinische Zeitung nrs. in The Predicament of Culture. the finely even balance which the Kölnische Zeitung had hitherto succeeded in maintaining between politics and advertisements has recently been upset by a kind of advertisements which can be called “advertisements of political industry”. for I have to lead the souls of the dead to Pluto and perform the duties of attendant while the dead are being judged. it is true. Since his expulsion from Olympus. 1928. 191. July 10. 343. p.”17 Bataille’s reference by contrast to the “chaotic aspect of present-day slaughterhouses” together with Lotar’s repulsive photos of bloody floors and indistinguishable lumps of flesh and fur directly confront the modernist efficiency lauded by Cahiers d’art. what would happen with freedom of the press? If our eyes are too weak to bear the “presumption” of the censored press. for ought I not to believe this discerning man who is so ingenuous as to express his opinion with the utmost candour in his own house.THE RED SPECtER These “model edifices. It is a question. both wise and select. and put the cushions straight in the council chamber. reproduced in the “Marché aux bestiaux et abattoirs de la mouche à Lyon”. 5 Weak eyes! Weak eyes! And the weakest eye will be offended by an expression which can he intended only for the level of understanding of the broad masses. Reprehensible indulgence has hitherto been shown also. This being his opinion. 18 D. we want to represent the magazine itself as an active force. which we give here in a “generally comprehensible” translation. torn between so many duties. which has hardly been able to draw breath as yet. 87 to the authorities. we consider equally impermissible. e. and I went on reading. THE LEADiNG ArTiCLE iN NO. in an inversion of the normalcy of everyday perspective that William Pietz defined at one point as an “anamorphism”. or his son. whose photographs of the clean structures of the buildings are unpeopled and unsullied. in the first writing of Marx’s chapter on “The Commodity” of the Capital in 1867. we find no trace of spirit. books. Rheinische Zeitung No. He explains how his pretentious articles are to be read. as in his drafts of the 1850s. it followed a fairly consistent tripartite mode of display. • In the 1978 Hayward Gallery exhibition Dada and Surrealism Reviewed. In our opinion. bearing in mind that the Greek Hermes was the god of eloquence and logic. it is true. Documents 1929. The writer is obviously referring to opponents of his view. I must also look after all matter concerning the dead. p. Don’t say such things. spreads philosophical and religious views in newspapers and combats such views) shows thereby. The leader writer. and help the people’s orators to memorise their speeches. If the relaxed censorship already allows abhorrent offshoots to appear. act as herald at meetings of the people. sweep out the diningroom. Maia Hermes. the guests are given a drink of exquisitely fine spirits. That again has to be remedied. p. who have to do everything myself. 132. We have decided to offer the English reader a number of texts and fragments which. 1988. However. separating works of art. The author declares: A party which employs these means (i. 19 Conversation with the author and David Sylvester. ‘On Ethnographic Surrealism’. which prefaces itself with a declaration of its own incompetence? The loquacious author will reply to us. In following this custom. Nay. chosen objects and documents (journals. As long as the censorship exists it is its most urgent duty to excise such abhorrent offshoots of a childish presumption as have repeatedly offended our eyes in recent days. under the editorship of Karl Hermes. 12 + 14. Less than eight days ago he found that the freedom of the censorship allowed too little freedom of the press. July 10. Ades. so that he will the more eagerly turn to the vitally refreshing realm of the advertisements which reflects the pulsating life of industry and is often wittily piquant. But— lo and behold!—this article. “fetishism” is not yet a means to capture the effects of the structure of desires and exchanges envolved in the universalization of commodity but a rhetorical tool aimed at the classics of political economy like David Ricardo for their unability to differentiate their views from the ordinary commonplaces of public opinion and pollitical maneuvering. 1842. However. let the reader decide. 17 MAY 2010 pages of its fifteen issues. and yet it is only by quite detailed. When everything is in order I have to wait on Jupiter and spend the whole day as his messenger. nr. put together. in that the new philosophical school has been allowed to make most disgraceful attacks on Christianity in public papers and other publications intended for a readership that is not purely scientific. for making politics repugnant to the reader. quite definite signs that he could prove and show what his view aims at. It is a custom in the North that before the meagre meals. the Young Hegel’s in particular. the article can have no other intention than the achievement of external aims. It is remarkable that. Once again. I curbed my impatience. However. which defended the Catholic Church in the 1840s. the goat-god Pan. one of Bataille’s closest collaborators. became fully deployed as a general operation where he primitivized the modern economy as a “religion of sensous desire” involving the mediation of things in the relationships between subjects. for he has long ago convinced himself that he is a bidden charterer. Here. All of those interventions. again he has second thoughts. who have such a lot of things to attend to. He confines himself to giving some fragments.htm This article was occasioned by attacks on the trend of the Rheini­ sche Zeitung on the part of the influential Kölnische Zeitung.” in Zervos’s words. It is not our function to act as public prosecutor.’20 Rather than simply amassing as many as possible of those things. at least has the tendency to combat philosophical views and spread religious views. took an active part in the campaign against the progressive press and progressive philosophical trends. 179 of the Kölni­ tung. of new police measures against the press. however. but by ‘individual authorities’. films. still performs “servile duties” and looks after all matters concerning the dead. I became well aware gerous to reproach the state. he says. and indeed into one which in the language of the political world is called a [Anzeige] “denunciation”. I have to serve ambrosia.19 Leiris. the “arrangement and connection” of which he leaves to the “perspicacity of the reader”—the most convenient method for the kind of advertisements which he makes it his business to deal with. but for indulgence carried too far. itself. wrote the ailing article of No. Why shouldn’t I? I.” because among our readers there is Source: MECW. in all heaven a god who is more tormented than I am? Maia. ethnographic objects. that its intentions are not honest. In such text. and it is not our fault if the rosary does not become a string of pearls. It is danin this way. the work of the fetish is to contribute in one or other way to an ideology critique of “theories”. going to and fro on his errands. Supplement Up to now we have respected the Kölnische Zeitung. http://www. The state. are marked within elements coming from the Hegelian “critique of religion” which was still somehow framed under the critique of the categories of christianity. The magazine was. dear Mother. Hermes. previously himself a member of the surrealist movement and participant in the bitter exchanges between the dissident surrealists gathered round Bataille’s Documents and the orthodox group led by the founder André Breton. the author comes to a halt.18 The very inclusion of Documents in Dada and Surrealism Reviewed was much debated and finally sealed on the advice of Michel Leiris. cannot be reproached for any philosophical views. Worst of all. J. These “external aims” will not fail to show themselves.’ Although the 1978 exhibition took the dada and surrealist reviews as its structuring principle. now he finds that the compulsion of the censors results in too little compulsion of the censorship. What are we to make of an article which disputes the right to its own existence. or to combat them in the newspapers. I am the only one who is allowed no rest even at night. and the leading article into an advertisement. compose a small drama of the Enlightenment: the difficult task of mobilizing. Clifford.marxists. sculpture or crime magazines in relation to the key strategies and ideas in Documents. 1842. in our opinion. 8. the state is to be reproached. While the old man chattered on has second thoughts. He accuses them of exercising. in the very “ailing” [leitender] article sche Zeiin nr. if not as the “organ of the Rhenish intelligentsia” at any rate as the Rhenish “information sheet” [Intelligenz]. and therefore we refrain from any more detailed designation. not by the state. 20 86 THE RED SPECtER MAY 2010 tedious litany of oracular pronouncements. it happened that an advertisement was transformed into a leading article. Volume 2. we are Lucian’s Dialogues of the Gods XXIV HERMES’ COMPLAINTS Hermes. He lets fall only vague. The Red Specter more pleased to offer some Karl Marx (1842) the spirits to our Northern guest because in the meal itself. and that it is less concerned with instructing and enlightening the people than with achieving other external aims. Paris. may well have anticipated the ensuing critical revision of Surrealism which has seen the darker counter-currents of Bataille’s ‘base materialism’ as a favoured alternative to Breton’s ‘ marx/works/1842/07/10. . But again the author has second thoughts. and have to submit to so many servile duties? In the morning I have to be among the very first to get up. the origin of the argument is far from linear or simple. 1977. everytime Marx denounces his adversaries as the true fetishists between 1842 up to 1867. Whether Hermes himself. has not only the right but the duty to “put a stop to the activities of unbidden charterers”. that he intended to deliver a Therefore he addresses himself What heavenly goodness there is in this man! He refrains from any more detailed “designation”. 193 + 195. 1842. how would they be strong enough to bear the “audacity” [Übermut] of a free press? “As long as the censorship exists it is its most urgent duty. a secret agent of the Prussian Government. not for excessive severity. Therefore we present first of all a scene from Lucian’s Dialogues of the Gods. nr. To spread philosophical and religious views by means of the newspapers. juxtaposing different kinds of objects to cut across conventional hierarchies. these fragments also attest to the episodic and variegated way in which the concept of the fetish emerges and disturbs Marx´s project. that Marx had quoted in 1842. his accusation against freedom of the press turns into an accusation against the censors. ACGB.. photographs. a ‘playful museum that simultaneously collects and reclassifies its specimens. Is there.”And when it ceases to exist? The phrase must be interpreted as meaning: it is the most urgent duty of the censorship to remain in existence as long as possible. “correspond absolutely to their purpose and fulfil their role according to the most recent requirements of economy and hygiene. of a new intensification of the censorship in religious matters.

In its crudest form as childish fetishism it nevertheless to some extent raises man above his sensuous desires which. Translated: by Clemens Dutt. for here the Assembly itself becomes conscious of the conflict between the interest of forest protection and the principles 1 FROM THE RED SPECtER tO tHE OECUMENE Of COnsCIOusnEss We promote the canonization of the Capuchins’ miraculous Holy Blind Child from Puebla. Mexico. we must acknowledge the frankness and consistency with which it gives an unfree form to the unfree content. and to make private interest lay down laws to the law where the law had laid down laws to private interest. in case of conflict there should not be MAY 2010 89 Karl Marx (1842) PrOCEEDiNGS OF THE SiXTH RHiNE PrOviNCE ASSEMbLY.” Hence he quickly takes up his final position: We could not fail to protest against a course which. what need is there of this leading article. let it be given its appropriate form. principles endorsed by our own laws. 3 1842 The pirates of Tidong1 break the arms and legs of their prisoners to ensure control over them. indeed. To ensure control over wood thieves.marxists. does it not make the ani­ mal man’s god? And now. Among the peoples of the ancient world. and however contradictory these two tasks may be. 305 and 307. 303. completely fulfilled its mission. critics and art historians. Is there any further need to discredit a movement of the press which calls the attention of the censorship to “accidental negligences”. 88 THE RED SPECtER of law. Would the ancient world not have perished if scientific research had kept silent about the errors of religion. The Assembly therefore put it to the vote whether the principles of law should be sacrificed to the interest of forest protection or whether this interest should be sacrificed to the principles of law. that of secret procedure so that at least no archive/marx/works/ 1842/10/25. Rheinische Zeitung. nr. could degrade himto the level of an animal and make him incapable of fulfilling any higher aim. Fantasy arising from desire deceives the fetishworshipper into believing that In our day. We consider its merit in regard to re-establishing some categories of our trial procedure as absolutely nil. so that we should not be left in the end with only an empty mask. which cannot bear the light of publicity. The leading article. and the decline of their greatness and their power coincides with the decline of their religious culture. what all “men of science” regard as established even without his agreement. the author does not want to restrict in any way “the freedom of scientific research”. he has stood history on its head. The commission’s proposal which we have just examined and the Assembly’s vote approving it are the climax to the whole debate. the author’s assertion must be directly reversed. and that he has to present himself as a “loyal friend of freedom of the press. it is lawless natural instinct. for the “true religion” of the ancients was the cult of “their nationality”. 1 and 3. Signed: a Rhinelander. [Hermes] his “own science”! Religion is the basis of the state and the most necessary condition for every social association which does not aim merely at achieving some external aim. if the philosophical press discredits itself in the eyes of the public? Of course. the Rhinelander ought to have been victorious over the estate. immoderate. First published: in the Supplement to the Rheinische Zeitung. And as for Rome! Read Cicero! The Epicurean. complacent illusions will be evoked and entertained. November 1996. wherever he put forward the legal point of view. knows of an “official reason” which does not learn from scientific research. the Provincial Assembly has not only broken the arms and legs but has even pierced the heart of the law. we shall permit ourselves to enlarge Herr H. In accordance with its function.. but far be it from us to desire to justify them on that account. Before going further into these “silly” explanations of the leading article on the subject of “scientific research”. 307. the entire ancient world collapsed because scientific research revealed the errors of the old religions. scientific research an “inanimate object” will give is rightly allowed the widest. to devote their main attention to the content of the law. the human being ought to have been victorious over the forest owner. And such ignorance as is found in this leading article proclaims itself the “legislator of scientific research” and writes “decrees” for philosophy. Nov. of their “state”. For the last time the unfortunate man has second thoughts. Stoic or Sceptic philosophies were the religions of cultured Romans when Rome had reached the zenith of its development. and especially of Rhenish jurists. The Assembly confined itself to drawing consequences that the legislator had neglected.’s erudition in another communication. The leading article believes in the scientific inspiration of the censorship. art and rhetoric supplanted religion. THirD ArTiCLE. MAY 2010 can only gain. We consider that at the present moment it is the duty of all Rhinelanders. if he allowed himself to be ruled exclusively by them. therefore. DEbATES ON THE LAW ON THEFTS OF WOOD (FrAGMENT) Written: October 1842. up its natural character in ormost unrestricted scope. and therefore the conclusion was drawn that every exceptional provision it contained was permissible. let us sample for a moment the “philosophy ofreligion” of Herr H. The age of Alexander was the age of Aristotle. . which is a learned providence that establishes the length every hair should have to convert a scientist’s beard into a beard of world importance. our Assembly by its activity intervened with confident tactfulness to correct and supplement him. but we considered it our duty to show by means of an example what is to be expected from an Assembly of the Estates of particular interests if it were ever seriously called upon to make laws. one-sided. That with the downfall of the ancient states their religions also disappeared requires no further explanation. In the age of Pericles the Sophists. The form is of no value if it is not the form of the content. as the patron saint of curators. limits should be prescribed to science. The proof. But does not animal worship degrade man below the animal. der to comply with his desires. Greece and Rome are certainly countries of the highest “historical culture”. That in doing so it trampled the law under foot is a simple consequence of its sash. Who is to decide on the limits of scientific research if not scientific research itself? According to the leading article. “fetishism”! Truly. can have no other purpose than to discredit the freer movement of the press in the eyes of the public. and not of a law. to play into the hands of opponents who are afraid of failing to achieve their aim in an open way. Nov. it is not his function to be a public prosecutor. 27 and 30. http://www. through which Christianity In those nations which attained higher historical significance. According to the leading article. the flowering of their national life coincides with the highest development of To arrive at the truth. remembering that his function is to write liberal leading articles. He concedes. It was even realised that the whole law was an exception to the law. the erudition of a penny magazine! Fetishism is so far from raising man above his sensuous desires that. on the contrary. therefore. and what lies outside the limits of scientific research. on the contrary. and can lawlessness lay down laws? Private interest is no more made capable of legislating by being installed on the throne of the legislator than a mute is made capable of speech by being given an enormously long speaking-trumpet.htm#n1 The censorship—we are told by this defender of freedom of the press. who rejected the eternity of the “individual” spirit and the God of positive religions. 1842. and is it not the shamelessness of stupidity and hypocrisy to claim to be a defender of the freer movement of the press while at the same time teaching that the press will at once fall into the gutter unless it is supported under the arms by two policemen? And what need is there of censorship. but the downfall of the ancient states that caused the downfall of the old religions. The author of the leading article calls fetishism the “crudest form” of religion. his function is to be a hidden prosecutor. Greece flourished at its best internally in the time of Pericles. and which expects to obtain its renown in public opinion through the “penknife of the censor”? This movement can he called “free” insofar as the licence of shamelessness is also sometimes called “free”. Hence the crude desire of the But how our author conceives fetish-worshipper smashes the scientific research can he seen fetish when it ceases to be its from the following utterance: most obedient servant.THE RED SPECtER half audible words intended to arouse suspicions. has adopted this “disastrous” course in order to discredit the freer movement of the press in the eyes of the public. They themselves are legally entrusted not only with the representation of particular interests but also with the representation of the interests of the province. if it is not the consequence of accidental negligence. It is with reluctance that we have followed the course of this tedious and uninspired debate. therefore. for interest by its very nature is blind. Tidong is a region in Kalimantan (Borneo). and Socrates. We repeat once again: our estates have fulfilled their function as such. if the Roman authorities had been recommended by the author of the leading article to excise the writings of Lucretius and Lucian? For the rest. Supplement. Wherever the legislator had forgotten that it was a question of an exception to the law. their religious consciousness. wake me not!. It was not the downfall of the old religions that caused the downfall of the ancient states. In this connection a sharp distinction must be drawn between the requirements of freedom of scientific research. 300. is introduced materially into our law. Transcribed: by director@ marx. The Provincial Assembly. In them. who could be called the embodiment of philosophy. and interest outvoted law. but teaches it. nrs. October 25. it is “the religion of sensuous desire”. that “animal worship” is a higher form of religion than fetishism. 298. externally in the time of Alexander. If private interest. who is as bold as he is sharp-witted—if it is not the English leopard with the inscription: “I sleep. The entire ancient world had to collapse because the progress achieved by the peoples in their scientific development was necessarily bound up with a revelation of the errors on which their religious views were based. it represented a definite particular interest and treated it as the final goal. in short.

MAY 2010 The fact that the substance of the exchange-value is something utterly different from and independent of the physical-sensual existence of the commodity or its reality as a use-value is revealed immediately by its exchange relationship. as iron. A thing can be useful and be the product of human labour without being a commodity. Both are equal. We know its unit of measurement. in only 4. Whatever their exchange relationship may be. The value of a commodity is related to the value of eve­ ry other commodity. So air. The sense of right and legality is the most important provincial characteristic of the Rhinelander. that in connection with the law concerning wood he should think only of wood and forest and should solve each material problem in a non-political way. etc. namely. This is the case wherever the human relevance of the thing is not mediated by labour. Public Health Commitee The wealth of societies in which a capitalistic mode of production prevails. would they not have regarded wood as the Rhinelanders’ fetish? But a subsequent sitting would have taught them that the worship of animals is connected with this fetishism. i. in which they appear as exchange-values. and their discovery therefore costs on 91 the average much labour-time. 7-40. a relationship which constantly changes in accordance with time and place. labour) which is contained in it. the smaller the productive power of labour. for archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ ch01. etc. hence. independent of the other. even hares.THE RED SPECtER a moment’s delay in sacrificing representation of particular interest to representation of the interests of the province. as object of enjoyment —or by a detour as means of production. Given more richly laden diggings the same quantum of labour would be represented by more diamonds and their value would sink. forest owners remain forest owners in Kamchatka as in the Rhine Province. in accordance with quality and quantity. a quarter of wheat) is exchanged with other articles in the most varied proportions. Nevertheless its exchange-value remains unchanged regardless of whether it is expressed in x bootblacking. and the smaller the mass of labour crystallized in it. insofar as it is an exchange-value. That this reduction is constantly occurring is revealed by experience. but use-value for others—social use-value. provided it is present in the correct proportion. Each useful thing (iron. after all.2 90 THE RED SPECtER values of commodities provide the material for a study of their own. etc. they represent much labour in a small volume of space. nor is it contagious through the exchange of fluids. quantitative determination is always presupposed (as a dozen watches. sang in a circle around it and then threw it into the sea. They celebrated a feast in its honour. as values. without any connection with the whole of the reason and morality of the state. for example. As far as the exchange-value is concerned. and the most fruitful source of individual and specific forms of morality. to a third entity. the scope and the efficacy of the means of production. but is given for a particular society. caring no more for the province than it does for the Fatherland. must therefore be reducible to this third entity. Now we know the substance of value. This unity does not arise out of nature but out of society. The quantity of value of a commodity accordingly would remain constant if the labourtime required for its production were constant.g. New on a bill against violations of Park Publications. It is labour-time. etc. The common social substance which merely manifests itself differently in different use-values. Diamonds are rare on the surface of the earth. We have yet to analyse its form. but not a commodity. therefore. In direct contradiction to those writers of fantasy who profess to find in the representation of private interests ideal romanticism. perhaps half as much labour as before was sufficient to change a given quantum of yarn into cloth. these laws will differ from one another only by the place of origin and the language in which they are written. because he needs all the more labour-time for its completion. It is labour. are only particular masses of coagulated labour-time. Their reality as values forms. is labour. Consider a simple geometrical example.) is to be considered from a double point of view. wheat and iron. The unit of measurement of labour itself is the simple average-labour. but the product of his individual labour-hour now represented only one half a social labourhour. any more than for the general spirit. and by natural relationships. In order to determine and compare the areas of all rectilinear figures.. and they would have thrown the hares into the sea in order to save the human beings. e. According to Esch­ wege. the proportion in which use-values of one kind are exchanged for use-values of another kind. and therefore the reason why the formula of an exchangevalue internal and imminent to the commodity (valeur intrinsique) appears to be a contradictio in adjecto (contradiction in terms). this sin against the holy spirit of the people and humanity.marxistsfr. But only the socially necessary labour-time is labour-time required for the constitution of some particular use-value. In order to produce a commodity.. More complex labour counts merely as simple labour to an exponent or rather to a multiple. the greater is the labour-time necessary for the production of an article. the smaller is its value. on the other hand. one reduces them to triangles. to be sure. Exchange-value appears first of all as quantitative relationship. whatever its social form may be. We are also not concerned here with the manner in which the entity satisfies human need. use-values form the substantial content of wealth. That is the reason why exchangevalue appears to be something accidental and a purely relative thing. The discovery of these different respects and hence of the manifold modes of utility of things is an historical act. and partly from convention. however. by 1823 the complete yield of the eightyear old Brazilian diamonddiggings had not yet amounted to the value of the 1½ year average product of the Brazilian sugar or coffee plantations. wheat. Our investigation begins accordingly with the analysis of the commodity. A use-value or good only has a value because labour is objectified or materialized in it. commodities are first of all simply to be considered as values. with the available socially-normal conditions of production and the social average-level of competence and intensity of labour. It might seem that. The quantity of labour itself is measured by its temporal duration and the labour-time in turn possesses a measuring rod for particular segments of time. In the form of society which we are going to examine. does not form a value. no entity can be a value without being an object of use. use-value and exchange- Karl Marx (1867) THE COMMODiTY (FrAGMENTS) This is an English translation by Albert Dragstedt of the first chapter of the first German edition of Capital (1867). The same quantum of labour manifests itself after propitious weather in 8 bushels of wheat. Sixth Rhine Province Assembly Value: Studies By Karl Marx.. appears as a “gigantic collection of como­ dities” and the singular commodity appears as the elementary form of wealth. The nature of these needs is irrelevant. Precisely how this reduction is to be controlled is not relevant here. they form the substantial bearers at the very same time of exchange-value. changes with each change in the productive power of labour. a thing which satisfies through its qualities human needs of one kind or another. In the consideration of use-values.. then the value of diamonds would sink beneath that of paving stones. if wood and its owners as such make laws. But it goes without saying that a particular interest. Its value equates it to the product of simple labour and therefore represents on its own merely a definite quantum of simple labour. For this is characterized precisely by the abstraction from the use-value. ton of iron. e. quite as good as every other.. So it is only the quantum of socially necessary labour. which in and for itself is neither the one nor the other. which precisely stamps the value as an exchange-value. The English hand-weaver needed in order to accomplish this change the same labour-time as before. in one quarter of wheat and likewise in a cwt of iron. the exchange-values of commodities can be reduced to a common-entity. A thing can be a use-value without being an exchangevalue. the character of which varies admittedly in different lands and cultural epochs. The latter. article.htm#S1 ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE PEOPLE Theory is not a venereal disease. One reduces the triangle itself to an expression which is entirely different from its visible figure—half the product of its base by its altitude. brush in a wild state. he must produce not merely use-value. diamond. etc. has also no concern for local spirit. y soap. Wood remains wood in Siberia as in France. After the introduction of the steam-driven loom in England. good. like hour. If the Cuban savages had been present at the sitting of the Rhine Province Assembly. Each such thing is a totality of many properties and is therefore able to be useful in different respects. What does this equation say? That the same value exists in two different things.e. and sank accordingly to half its earlier value. Originally. Modern editions of Capital have a first chapter based on the second or subsequent 2 An allusion to the debate of the editions.g. This holds true even more for diamonds. yard of linen. Of such a kind is the invention of social measurement for the quantity of useful things. The quantity of value of a commodity varies directly as the quantum. It is the utility of a thing for human life that turns it into a use-value.g. independent of their exchange-relationship or from the form. The commodity is first an external object. z gold. This abject materialism. irrational and soulless abstraction of a particular material object and a particular consciousness which MAY 2010 is slavishly subordinated to this object. game regulations. Hence. Consequently. Each of the two. paper. then the labour contained in it is also useless. A single commodity (e. By way of abbreviation let us term the useful thing itself (or commoditybody. the commodity appeared to us as a two-sided entity. The very same quantum of labour provides more metals in richly laden mines than in poor ones. the level of development of science and its technological applicability. A commodity may be the product of the most complex labour. or which can be produced within the same labour-time for that reason have the same quantity of value. the social combination of the process of production. And on the contrary.g. http://www. but after impropitious weather. Commodities as values are nothing but crystallized labour. their unity. as the labour-time necessary for the production of the one is related to the labour-time necessary for the production of the other. But now how are we to measure the quantity of its value? By the quantum of the valueforming substance (i. Commodities as objects of use or goods are corporeally different things. which deprived pp. The use- . London: 1976. it is always representable in an equation in which a given quantum of wheat is equated with some particular quantum of iron. one commodity is.. etc. wood growing in wild conditions. for example. If it is useless.and incompetent a man the more valuable his commodity is.
Source: Albert Dragstedt. The diversity of the commodity-measurements arises partly from the diverse nature of the objects to be measured. whether in an immediate way as food—that is. if the value of a commodity is determined by the quantum of labour expended during its production. Use-value realizes itself only in use or in consumption. is an immediate consequence of the doctrine which the Preussische Staats-Zeitung preaches to the legislator. immeasurable depths of feeling. does not count as labour and. In general: the greater the productive power of labour the smaller is the amount of labour-time required for the production of an article. Before we do that we must develop the determinations which have already been discovered in somewhat greater detail. The productive power of labour is determined by manifold conditions. Finally. the more lazy. It must therefore be distinguishable from these. The single commodity counts here in general as average sample of its own kind. Let us examine the matter more closely. whether their origin is in the stomach or in the fancy. day. and the greater its value is. among others by the average grade of competence of the workers. Clinical evidence provided by previous generations show that its dissemination is not detained by mechanical means. Jacob doubts that gold has ever paid its complete value. of which they represent a greater or lesser amount. and inversely as the productive power of the labour embodying itself in the commodity. so that a smaller quantum of complex labour is equal to a larger quantum of simple labour. etc.). Commodities in which equally large labourquanta are contained.) use-value. to be sure. If one succeeds in converting coal into diamonds with little labour. or that labour-time which is socially necessary for the constitution of a use-value which determines the quantity of the value.e. The savages of Cuba regarded gold as a fetish of the Spaniards. virgin land. the science of commodities. its various manners of expression.
Transcribed: by Steve the peasants of the right to hunt Palmer. one quarter of wheat = a cwt of iron. All commodities. Likewise. A man who satisfies his own need through his product creates use-value. Hence. such representation on the contrary abolishes all natural and spiritual distinctions by enthroning in their stead the immoral. Now let us consider two commodities: e.

whether I happen to consider it from the viewpoint that its attributes satisfy human needs or that it obtains these attributes only as product of human labour. we note that it is just exactly this form which objectively veils the social relationships of private workers and consequently the social determinations of private labours. analysed value and amount of value.. Genuine commercial people only exist in the interstices of the ancient world. They relate their various labours to one another as human labour by relating their products to one another as values. for the determination of a thing as value is their product. who work with common means of production and expend their many individual labour-powers consciously as one social labour-power. relate these commodities to linen as universal equivalent. We do not refer at this time to praying and other such activities. The mystical character of the commodity thus does not arise in its use-value. the metamorphosis of the product into a commodity and accordingly the existence of man as commodityproducer plays a subordinate role. Nevertheless. nevertheless he has various needs to satisfy and must therefore perform useful labours of various sorts.e. Pre-bourgeois forms of the social productive organism are Hack economist of Marx’s day. just as much as speech. They are conditioned by a low level of development of the productive powers of labour by correspondingly restricted relationships of men within their material process of the constitution of life. that the social relationships of production of persons appear as social relationships of objects to one another and to the persons involved. is essentially expenditure of human brain. diary. organ of perception. For that to happen. The first and most universal THE RED SPECtER manifestation of the object as a social thing. One part of this product serves again as means of production. even if incompletely. Let us take Robinson Crusoe on his island. but they are based either on the immaturity of the individual man who has not yet torn himself free of the umbilicus of the natural species-connection with other men or are based upon immediate master and slave relationships. relate themselves to linen as universal materialization of abstract human labour. This actual restrictedness reflects itself in an idealist mode in the ancient natural and popular religions. but it confronts all other commodities on its head. But if the producers of coat. however. the table remains wood. fish. The social relationships of their labours are and appear consequently not as immediately social relationships of persons in their labours. build furniture. If I say that coat. like the gods of Epicurus or like the Jews in the pores of Polish society. In order to relate their products to one another as commodities. or the quantity of labour). etc. hunt. The social relationships of men to their labour and their products of labour remained transparently simple in this case. make tools. and that every such function. it is a physiological truth that they are functions of a specifically human organism as distinguished from other organisms. Political economy has by now. In the ancient Asian. It remains social. The personal relationship is concealed by the objectified form. The mysticism of the commodity arises. As we consider the matter more closely it will appear that the labour which is contained in the commodity is two-sided. it metamorphoses itself into a sensually supersensual thing. The form of the social process of life (i. considered in themselves. The way in which it exists for them or is reflected in their brain arises from the very nature of the relationship. etc. MAY 2010 as soon as men work for one another in any manner. But another 1 92 part is used up by the members of the organization as necessities. which necessarily grows out of the particular manner of their material production and the relationships into which this production sets them. which I am the first to have developed in a critical way. also. Now as far as concerns the amount of value. Nevertheless. This is a primordial and hence unconsciously instinctive operation of their brain. . All relationships between Robinson and the things which form his self-made wealth are here so simple and transparent that even Mr. and were thereby immediately objects of use for him. the labour-time serves at the same time as the measure of the individual share of the producer in the common labour. since our Robinson derives enjoyment from them and regards such activity as recreation. and finally of the labour-time which particular quanta of these various products cost him on the average. full of metaphysical subtlety and theological perversities. in production as well as in distribution. and thereby also in the part of the common product which can be used up by individuals. from the fact that the social determinations of the private labours of the private producers appear to them as social natural determinations of products of labour. from the fact. In the second place.THE RED SPECtER value. Whence comes the puzzling character of the labour-product as soon as it assumes the form of commodity? If men relate their products to one another as values insofar as these objects count as merely objectified husks of homogeneous human labour. Those ancient social organisms of production are extraordinarily much more simple and transparent than the bourgeois organism. antique. an ordinary. although not to the same degree at different levels of development. boots. ink and pen from the shipwreck begins to keep a set of books about himself like a good Englishman. instead of laying them bare. Later. They are the socially valid—thus objective—forms of thought. Finally. an essential difference emerges. All Robinson’s products were his exclusively personal product. to be sure. Experience teaches him that much. however. and thus are only different modes of human labour. This aspect. for relationships of production of this particular historically determined social mode of production. when the house falls down on one’s head. there lies at the same time in that relationship the reverse. becomes greater the more the communities enter upon the stage of their decline. that their various labours only count as homogeneous human labour when under objectified husk. their labour acquires in addition a social form. however. Such forms as these constitute precisely the categories of bourgeois economy. the labour-time would play a dual role. As mere use-value. muscle. The relationships of the private workers to the totality of social labour objectify themselves over against them and exist. So just what a value is does not stand written on its forehead. In such a case. On the other hand. and develops out of its wooden head caprices which are much more wondrous than if it all of a sudden began to dance. it is Christianity that is the most appropriate form of religion. their relationship exists as relationship for them. and our Robinson who saved watch. etc. the insanity in such a way of putting things leaps into view. of the material process of production) will only cast off its mystic veil of fog once it stands as a product of freely socialized men under their conscious. But relationships can only represent themselves as what they are. it is clear that the quantity is distinguishable from the quality of labour in a way which is even perceptible with the naked eye. whatever its content and its form. if we consider that which lies at the basis of the determination of the amount of value (the duration of time of that expenditure. To a society of commodity producers whose universally social relationship of production consists in their behaving toward their products as commodities (hence as values) and their relating their private labours to one another in this objective form as equal human labour. and consequently to one another and to nature. sensual thing. boots. There is absolutely nothing of a riddle in the fact that man changes by his activity the forms of natural matter in a way which is useful to him. with its cult of the abstract man—especially in its bourgeois development. It arises just as little out of the value-determinations. Wirth1 can understand them without particular mental exertion. value. The total product of the organization is a social product. Only for the sake of the parallel with commodity-production do we presuppose that each producer’s share of necessities of life is determined by his labour-time. he knows that they are only various forms of activity of one and the same Robinson. modes of production. but as objectified relationships of persons. it was the time of labour which the production of necessities costs that had to be of concern to man. For in the first place. As far as concerns the value-form finally. First their relationship exists in a practical mode. for them in the forms of objects. which. nerve. In all conditions. The form of wood. They do not know it. then the social relatedness of their private labours appears to them in exactly this insane form. But as soon as it steps out as commodity. therefore. but they do it. The producers’ own social movement possesses for them the form of a motion of objects under the control of which the producers lie instead of controlling the motion. they attempt to get behind the mystery of their own social product by the aid of science. is the metamorphosis of the product of labour into a commodity. Modest as he naturally is. This part must be divided up among them. The manner of this division will change with the particular manner of the social production-organism itself and the comparable historical level of development of the producers. by reducing the material thing to the abstraction. consequently. just as the law of gravity does. a material basis of society is demanded or a row of material conditions of existence which are themselves again the primordial product of a long and painful history of development. or social relationships of objects. we note that the private labours which are plied independently of one another (but because they are members of the primordial division of labour are dependent upon one another) on all sides are constantly reduced to their socially proportional measure by the fact that in the accidental and perpetually shifting exchange relationships of their products the labour-time which is socially necessary for their production forcibly obtrudes itself as a regulating natural-law. Its socially planned distribution controls the correct proportion of the various labour-functions to the various needs. The analysis of it yields the insight that it is a very vexatious thing. etc. Protestantism. etc. The religious reflection of the real world can only disappear as soon as the relationships of practical work-a-day life MAY 2010 represent for men daily transparently reasonable relationships to one another and to nature. however different the useful labours or productive activities may be. that is. etc. His inventory contains a list of the objects of use which he possesses. for example. It does not only stand with its feet on the ground. Deism. tame llamas. of the various operations which are required for their production. Second. Despite the variety of his productive functions. The determination of the amount of value by the labour-time is consequently the mystery lurking under the apparent motions of the relative commodity-values. all the determinations of Robinson’s labour are repeated: but in a social rather than an individual way. for example. planned control. is the starting point upon which comprehension of political economy depends. […] A commodity seems at first glance to be a self-evident. Whether the one takes more space and the other takes less in the totality of his activity depends upon the greater or lesser difficulty which must be overcome for the attainment of the intended useful effect. it is a sensual thing in which there is nothing portentous. The private producers only enter into social contact for the first time through their private products: objects. And nevertheless all essential determinations of value are contained therein. however. If we now put an organization of free men in Robinson’s place. It has never even so much as posed the question: Why does labour manifest itself in value and the measure of labour by its temporal 93 duration manifest itself in amount of value? Forms upon whose foreheads it is written that they belong to a social formation wherein the process of production masters men but not yet does man master the process of production—such forms count for their bourgeois consciousness as just such a self-evident natural necessity as productive labour itself. trivial thing. Necessity itself compels him to divide his time exactly between his various functions. is changed if one makes a table out of it. men are compelled to equate their various labours to abstract human labour.

htm production is measured according to definite social laws. not as a subjective stimulation of the optic nerve itself. The commodity form was still relatively easy to see through as the most universal and most undeveloped form of bourgeois production. although not in the same prevailing (and hence characteristic) way. is in fact thrown upon another thing. Our authors.130-150. light from a thing.marxistsfr. Volume 1. 94 THE RED SPECtER in order to find an analogy for this we must take flight into the cloudy region of the religious world. by nature. thus of two opposed entities.e. Nevertheless. The real relating of commodities to one another. 2. —are values. Therefore.’ Now just listen to how the economists speak forth from the very soul of the commodity: ‘Value (exchange-value) is a property of things.
Translated: Mike Roth and Wal Suchting. that tailors and weavers enter into a definite social relation of production. 1821) ‘Riches (use-value) MAY 2010 are the attribute of man. The relative value-form of a commodity is mediated. however. but only by means of a visual collaboration that accumulates violence. This I call the fetishism which clings to the products of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities and which is therefore inseparable from commodityproduction. Act III. in which they measure the magnitude of their labours by the duration of expenditure of human labour-power. The Red Specter deserves only the merit of having evoked the paranoid. stipule que ces archives revêtent  «une grande importance pour l’histoire des idées de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle et la connaissance du travail toujours controversé de l’un des derniers grands intellectuels français de cette période». but their exchangevalue on the other hand inheres in them as objects. But within our practical interrelations.g. They are values. iron. It consists precisely in the fact that the bodily or natural form of a commodity counts immediately as the social form. or the social quality of being immediately exchangeable with all other commodities. Since exchange-value is a determinate social style of expressing the labour which has been applied to a thing. COMMUNICATION: Toward an Architecture. the eye. publishers of Capital and Class journal for permission to make this translation available. does not prevent the specter of capitalism from materializing on occasion. the equality of human labours as a value-property of the products of labour. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of the human hand. as objective determinations (gegenständliche Bestimmungen) of the products of labour themselves. from the external object. Just how drastically a section of the economists is deceived by the fetishism which sticks to the world of commodities (or by the objective illusion of the social determinations of labour) is proved among other things by the tediously pointless contention about the role of nature in the formation of exchangevalue. they are measurable as magnitudes of value. for example. Hence. wheat. Now this fetish-character emerges more strikingly in the equivalent-form than in the relative value-form. ‘20 yards of linen = 1 coat’ or ‘20 yards of linen are worth 1 coat’ only expresses the fact that: 1. who lay claim to special critical depth find. sensible-supersensible ( sinnlich übersinnliche) or social things. pp. as the value-form for another commodity. Our own circulation as commodity-things proves that. First published in German in 1867 and in English in 1978. Source: Capital and Class . fragmentary. global.THE RED SPECtER accordingly treated by Political Economy roughly like preChristian religions are treated by the Fathers of the Church. and finally the social relations of the producers through their labours appear as a value-relation or social relation of these things. Thanks to the Conference of Socialist Economists.) The commodity is immediate unity of use-value and exchange-value. necessarily implies exchanges. Conversely with the equivalentform. as a property pertaining to it by nature. let another example concerning the commodity-form itself suffice. its specific weight. Fourth peculiarity of the equivalent form: the fetishism of the commodity-form is more striking in the equivalent form than in the relative value-form The fact that the products of labour—such useful things as coat. Thus it is an immediate contradiction. président de la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF). signé de la ministre de la Culture Christine archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ appendix. that seems to possess. It is a physical relation between physical things. for example. Now the fact that. also the equivalent-form. the utility of his real. But within our practical interrelations these social characters of their own labours appear to them as social properties pertaining to them by nature. the riddle (das Rätselhafte) of gold. It is not less a definite social relation of producers. the measure of the labour by the socially necessary labour-time as the magnitude of value of the products of labour. in the immediate relationship between thing and man). but to write and read comes by Nature. So if commodities could speak. riches (use-value) of man. It has been observed that in the relationship of commodity to commodity (e. The different types of labour necessary for the production of these things count equally (gleichgelten) as human labour. they would say: ‘Our use-value may be of interest to a man. however. But because within the value-expression of commodity A the equivalentform pertains by nature to the commodity B it seems also to belong to the latter by nature outside of this relation. Hence Le Monde. for example. nevertheless. the products of labour. value is the attribute of commodities. but their value on the other hand realizes itself only in exchange (that is. qui a largement œuvré pour que les archives restent en France.. 
 3. had stuffed his pantries and cupboards with just over 205 million dollars. Who is not reminded here of that excellent Dogberry who teaches the night-watchman Seacoal. Post-Industrial Anamorphosis. etc. shoe. ‘To be a well-favoured man is the gift of Fortune. It is our exchange-value that inheres in us as things. and their common property of being values puts them into a value-relation to one another. But as for more concrete forms like Capital. so that hence it appears to be immediately exchangeable with other things just as it exists for the senses (so wie es sinnlich da ist). Attribute & ShareAlike. its colour. apart from its other natural properties. Here the products of the human head appear as independent figures (Gestalten) endowed with a life of their own and standing in a relation to one another and to people..4 Spring 1978. A presumed methamphetamine trafficker. namely by its relation to another commodity. It is only the definite social relation of people (der Menschen) itself which here takes on for them the phantasmagoric form of a relation of things. in a social process) is what strengthens them in their belief. definite magnitudes of value and in general commodities. for example? The fetishism of classical economics here becomes palpable. which for that reason appears even in earlier periods of production. It is only as exchange-values that we relate ourselves to one another. in this sense. the Mexican police added his talents in the area of installation. http://www. As opposed to that the commodity-form and the value-relation of products of labour have absolutely nothing to do with their physical nature and the relations between things which springs from this. The shoeshine boy is of interest to the commodity. In order not to anticipate.. Thus the impression on the optic nerve brought about by the light (Lichteindruck auf den Sehnerv) from something is represented. In March 2007 the Mexican police seized the greatest quantity of currency in history. L’arrêté du 29 janvier. This contradiction must enter upon a development just as soon as it is no longer considered as hitherto in an analytic manner (at one time from the viewpoint of use-value and at another from the viewpoint of exchange-value) but is really related to other commodities as a totality. MAY 2010 95 Karl Marx (1867) THE VALUE-FOrM (FrAGMENTS) The Value-Form 
Appendix to the 1st German edition of Capital . Scene 3. A pearl or a diamond is valuable as a pearl or diamond. But in the case of seeing.
Markup: by Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive. are properties which naturally pertain to them only in our practical interrelations (in unserem Verkehr) and not by nature like. linen. No. etc. its resistance to the subject’s comprehension. it can no more contain natural matter than the rate of exchange. At the same time it is inherent in this that existence as value (Wertsein) is a relation which is alien to the thing itself and hence that its value-relation to another thing can only be the form of appearance of a social relation hidden behind it. To that fabulous mass of semiotic paper. Especially after capitalism has reached its dematerialized phase. Bailey) Up to now. the fact that the quantity of labour expended in their It is a definite social relation of the producers in which they equate (gleichsetzen) their different types of labour as human labour. a pearl or a diamond is valuable. Precisely because of this the products of labour appear to them as commodities. Chinese businessman Zhenli Ye Gon.. these things relate to one another as commodities.’ (Anonymous. prophetically. its technically sublime quality. no chemist has discovered exchange-value in pearl or diamond. Après Salvador Dalí . Value. within our practical interrelations. that use-value inheres in objects independently of their material properties. of shoe to shoe-shine boy) the use-value of the shoe-shine boy (i. Breton excommunicated with the anagram Avida Dollars. material properties) is completely irrelevant to the shoe. 1867.’ (Much Ado About Nothing. «Ce classement comme trésor national s’interprète comme une reconnaissance par l’État de ce que représente Debord dans la vie intellectuelle et artistique du siècle écoulé». thus evoking the image of an impregnable building of capital. A man or a community is rich. We all know the mode of production cannot be represented. only as form of appearance of its own value. its non-oxydisability in air. riches do not..’ (S. for example. et publié jeudi dans le  Journal officiel. to hope that a concrete scene would make present a nomadic.
Transcription: Paul Hampton. Through this value-form the value of the commodity is expressed as something completely distinct from its own sensible existence. is their process of exchange. 16/02/2009 Guy Debord érigé en trésor national… L’État français vient de refuser que les archives personnelles du fondateur de l’Internationale situationniste quittent la France. the property of being heavy or being warming or nourishing. oblique gaze of he whom.
 CopyLeft: Creative Commons. souligne Bruno Racine. Une décision majeure et symbolique. But it does not inhere in us insofar as we are things. but as the objective form of a thing outside the eye. The remarkable circumstance that the usevalue of things realizes itself for men without exchange (thus. uneven process is a robinsonade. to possess the equivalent-form appears as the social natural property (gesellschaftliche Natureigenschaft) of a thing.

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