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Experimental work shop civilization and art as

tragic vision

Work of Art is an expression of the vision of the world; World Vision is


a term that serves as an instrument of social scientists that reveals:
A. the importance of a work, the essence of the meaning of individual
works and
B. elements in total offense. (Goldmann, L. 1980.)
Ultimately, the visions of the world express the reaction of some
things to many situations.
Human communication is limited by the visual spectacle, far from
essential human - sociability. A variety of plasma images,
meaningless music, various messages are newly subjectivity which is
similar to schizophrenia (Jameson, F. 1991)
The spectacle is not a set of images but it is a social relationship
between individuals mediated by images.
Western civilization is full whit silly offers to haw live better life, how
to actually present better image about our selfs in time when very
small number of people actually communicate. So, in society (western
and others) there is extreme alienation: alienation men from his Body,
from his Mind, from his Self.
In western societies, people are transformed, there are tracking to
find theirs bodies, minds and inner being (Baudrillard, J. 1998.).

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Maybe we can say that the era of globalization was born at July
1962 when era of mass communication began. That same year first
satellite broadcasting happened. (Radojkovi, M. Mileti, M. 2005.).
Off course there were a lot of authors (Marx, Held, Wallerstein,
Castells, Berger, etc.) who wrote about this phenomenon, but we
could say that one of the major changes was the way how people were
communicating. Now the television/ television image was one of the
significant settings of reality. One who watches television broadcast is
not only a viewer. He/she is active participant who carried over
directly what happens in reality. Today the most important events in
politics, culture are very important to the world because of media
broadcasting. Language of television are very good tricks
determinated by director, or editor. And thats the reason I state that
we all witness television spectacle, the spectacle of presentation
specific event. And maybe that society or personal event is not so
important to our life.
Mass culture is produced by mass industry production, spread
by technics ways and their appeal society, to mass independent
society structure (class, nation, race) (Moren, E. 1979).
That New media was functioning as bracing down society
barriers giving people two ways of living: individuality (going to ideas
by individual interest) and other heading to collective assimilation
(Ch. H. Cooley).
By the middle of sixties, theories about new media / new
communications in sociology, social psychology, mediology, philosophy

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were grown by mass media. So, there is Gerners cultivation theory
(1981.) that says that television cultivate the way we live, think, act,
and look. So many people who watch television more and more except
the world of television as reflective reality. That theory also reviles
one of the main functions of television: storytelling. Before television
expand, in families, tradition was to tell stories. Now when families
are at work, or somewhere else, we all have television to watch and to
listening stories.
Everything around us is a plasmatic images and no sense music
- messages that are new way subjectivity with no center. Everything is
looking a like to schizophrenic state of mind (Jameson, F. 1995.). So
we have this synthetic life at TV screen which is one of the spectacles.
Spectacle is not only assemblage image, it is societal relation between
individual interfere by images (Debord, G. 1992). So, we have, as
synthetic lives that show as Big Brother or Presidential Inauguration 1.
Desires for successes (Warhols 15 minute of glory) are very often
motives to strip someones life. So maybe it is true that todays era,
we also called Striptease culture (McNail, B. 2004.)
So, we all live at collapse of society, (Weatherill, R. 2005.)
pronouncing that our world has this hallucinate character.
Sometimes it is hard to distinct reality from fantasy. What is
real? Baurillard says that we all live in one of the kind script. Our era
era of globalization, is perfect crime. We all live in absolute
simulation of reality. We all live in no sense at all. The World is radical
illusion. We are all in simulation and simulacrum (Baudrillard, J. 1998,
1991A, B). Baurillard sees simulation as production above reality and
simulacrum as reproduction of object and events. When everything is
politics there is no politics, actually politics is at end, so if
everything is a culture we witness end of culture.
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Whole world watch Inauguration of President SAD; but what that event have to do whit anything? It is
only event, but no, it is spectacle, a ritual, it is promotion SAD as a big country who has all the power. It is
only a spectacle.

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Reality is what is cable to reproduce; hyper real is one what is
already reproduced. Television, says Baudrillard is Ausvic, because it
is ready trough exorcism liquidates. Spectacle is destroying memory
and history. Forgetting and artificial memory is symbolic way of living
for most people.
We live in these big supermarkets which are hyperspace of
merchandise one new way of communication.
More or less we also live at this non-stop reality shows, every
human is virtual ready-made. Contemporary state is State without
freedom where symbol of democracy is economy prosperity and right
to vote. Assimilation of ideals and reality, sublimation of soul or spirit
are basic elements of mass culture (Marcuse, 1977.).
Manipulations in politics and economy are incorporated with
exploiting technology and scientific discovery; contemporary society is
living by producing and consuming, also living by propaganda and
with ideals who are only available to masses.
Nietzsche (1976.) says that the signs of modern era are:
trifle/waste human dignity, corruption, progress, ratio as authority,
synthetic dressing, superficial interest, history as overbear
confusions, systematic coldness. In their essence, modern being is
mask and boringness.
Men are developing scientifically, maybe there is technically
progress, but civilization, and humans are experimental workshop
with no logical order. Morality does not exist, maybe only in books and
movies as slide show of good or bad.
Yes, we live in time of loosing ideas, in collapse of culture. We
dont know what reality is, we dont use knowledge but only
information; we dont love, we only consume love, we are in absolutely
simulation and absurd.
In western societies, people are transformed, there are tracking
to find theirs bodies, minds and inner being (Baudrillard, J. 1998.).

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Lyotard (2005.) says that at this postmodern society, we loose trust in
metanaration, where only one criteria exist Money. Only criteria
for efficacy represent something value. Eclectics is high point of
contemporary culture : reggee music, McDonalds, ect. Modern or
postmodern for Lyotar are not stand, cognitive attitude; postmodern
does not have any link whit trends in architecture or paintings that
all are only reaction.

Tragic vision

What happened with Art if everything is lost?


In Paris, Centre George Pompidon (Centre Beaubourg), which
is one kilometer from Louvre - symbol of contemporary, is only a
stove for sucking cultural energy, and exist as simulation of
cultural values (Baudrillard,J. 1991.A). This building swallows
everything around it; around that building there are disinfection clean
space that has snob and disincentive design.That is devise for
creating empty space (Baudrillard, J. 1991A: 65). Centre Beaburg is
monument of culture prevention it is also a museum script. In that
building any sense, meaning or esthetic feeling doesnt exist. Simply
said - that is master peace of anti culture (1991A: 67). Irony of that
all, is that the masses every year, for whole year are coming , jumping
to Beabourg; they all are coming to see works of art which were not
in focus for centuries, to see clearly culture what they hate. It is a
place for consuming. It is a design market.
Everything that I mentioned as characteristics of life goes as ideas
and as works in contemporary art. For example, works of Barbara
Kruger is one of many who are primarily concerned with issues of
feminism, consumerism, and power. The influence of commercial art is
evident throughout her work. If everything is commercial, is art too?
Art, especially contemporary art speaks about merger human probes

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as problem way of living. Is living today only consuming? She
combined her own photographs with original text and this process led
to her signature style, one that incorporates found imagery with
politicized slogans. These works masterfully employ the look and feel
of propaganda, while subverting propagandas traditional alliance
with the cultural elite and powerful. Krugers sloganeering confronts
and questions the dominant culture. Her art has been exhibited
internationally including the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London
(1983), Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1999), and
Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea in Siena, Italy
(2002) (http://edu.warhol.org/app_kruger.html).

What Barbara wanted to say printing American flag with letters in it


(Work called: Untitled(Questions),1991Photographic silkscreen/vinyl)?
Once she sad:

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The brevity of the text is about cutting through the grease. I just
want to address people in a very forthright manner. It is why I always
use pronouns, because they cut through in the same way. Direct
address has been a consistent tactic in my work, regardless of the
medium that I'm working in. I try to deal with the complexities of
power and social life, but as far as the visual presentation goes I
purposely avoid a high degree of difficulty. I want people to be drawn
into the space of the work. And a lot of people are like me in that they
have relatively short attention spans. So I shoot for the window of
opportunity(Barbara Kruger, http://edu.warhol.org/app_kruger.html).

If we all live in Global Village, so is it true that we dont real live


any more? In all that mass reproduction and consumption we can ask
ourselves: is there any spiritual in our culture? Men and women who
are in those fabrics of products called supermarkets are also product
too. What is my price, whats my number?
For Picasso for example work of art, painting is one moment of
life; it is suma sumarum (addition) of destruction. Everything that
goes in to the painting is his way of seeing a woman, bicycle, a hat
his way of seeing. And the way as Picasso sees, his images are not
constant there are changing. Artist is playground of ideas, emotions,
moments Painter sees at his work one, he feels one, but when that
painting goes to the someones wall it live other life, other stories
( Harrison, Ch., Wood, P. (ed) 2003.).

The point of the tragic vision is living in essence of human


being. Because human being is paradox, in human being as united are
angel and animal, greatness and misery, categorical imperative and
radical evil and in that all we have tragic conscience. We have desire
to have all or nothing, and if we dont have all thats disaster. Exactly
that concept is basic characteristic for ethics of tragedy. One of the

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meager understanding tragic vision is deeply involved with except
human being, with society, and Art (modern, postmodern,
contemporary). Contemporary art - paintings of 20th century speak
trough proper of who is human, in what kind society we live in.
Human being is like actor on stage, playing his character, who is
finding his own interest in civilization framework, trough science,
society norms, and at basic his tragedy builds with hypocrisy and lies.
Images of hope of Budha, Christ, Socrates, Lao Ce or even Karl Marx,
bring to World long journey of utopia. Because civilization is farce
thats a tragic; human has power but not humanity who also represent
tragedy. So, every work of Art is vision of the world. Vision of the
world is one phenomenon that lives the best at artist conscience.
Artist that vision express at theirs work that analysis by historian or
esthetician. That analysis applied in text reviles:
A. essential of the work
B. meaning partial elements in work as altogether, and response to
question which are social and individual reasons that is in that vision
at that work of art, at that place and in that time, in that way
( Goldmann, L. 1967.).
Visions of the world at theirs finality are expressing reaction of
particular being to many situations. Tragic vision are presented
trough looking reality, trough many dimensions as new sense reality.
My tragic vision is connected with works of Baudrillard (how he sees
things as there are, life also, and human being), Nietzsche, and many
others, with all who recognize Truth about modern civilization and
essence of human being. Kasim Prohic (1980.) writes that paintings is,
actually origin sight of human dealing with Chaos, world that is not
told, with ontology Chaos. The artist reviles new dimensions of reality,
no one work of art is only reflection of social situation, it is
depending whit scientific discover, relations between humans,

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generally atmosphere of time, tradition, innovation, utopia; it is
depending also with life style, and immanent developing art.
One of the Croat artist Slobodan Vulicevic says that everything
is Absurd, everything is contradictor. Contemporary society builds
their freedom on totalitarism, on manipulations, giving to mass only
what is necessary to minority. Maybe the biggest characteristic of
contemporary culture is its irrationality. Capitalistic way of living give
to many artist ideas about how to present what capitalism did or do
whit nature of human being. In works of modern art, especially new
concept of time and space has been developed; Art always was ready
to feel and to know new relations in nature and society. In works of
Art there are taking ahead essence of our period uniting the world
(Bihalj-Merin, O. 1974).
So we have avant-garde as significant sign for anomaly or
excess that has happened (that is happening) in the way of actually
culture (Suvakovi, M. 1996.). When we look avant-garde as regarding
to modernism and postmodernism, we have: avant-garde, neoavant-
garde and postavant-garde. First is antecedes modernity, it is
complex collection of experimental and interdisciplinary movements
or individualities that antecedes modernism as dominant culture. Or it
is historic revolution. Second ( neo) is correction and critic of
dominant modernism at Cold war era / technologically Art in 50 s and
60s. Finally the third called post avant-garde is using, erasing and
spending avant-garde effects, products. A. It is meta( over) and
critic access to history of modernism from late 60es to today. B. Or it
is retrograde and post romantic drama and scene access to avant-
garde in late 70s - 80s. C. Or it is name of experimental, technologic,
media, critic way of dealing to high and mass culture in 80s and 90 s
(technodrama, technoart, technoestetic).
History of 20th century Art it is possible to deal on two sides.
One is abstract painting and the other is ready-made (trough dada,

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surrealism, fluxsus, neodada, pop-art, minimal art and conceptual).
There are two ways analyzing work of: A. to see it trough context of
culture (relativistic way) B. realistic way to see how inner need
create subject and art.Serbian theorist Misko Suvakovic says:
Todays art, or Art in 20th century, first of all was made for
specialists. (...) In postmodern culture solutions of high and elite
modern art has became shape of mass culture. Thats two dominant
models that exist on international scene. At ours (Serbia) situation is
very problematic, art scene is closed on individual trying or on
individual work of critics, groups, artist. There is no regular
transmition between culture and art. To create that, it is essential to
create function trough media, industrial understanding role of
museum, marketing and role of magazine space in witch will art be
functioning
(http://www.yurope.com/zines/kosava/arhiva/30/sadrzaj.html).

For Suvakovic, it is better for Art, to be elite, subversive,


provocative, and to function in area of specially. It is very important
relation between culture and art. In a matter ex Yugoslavian countries
that transfer between art and culture does not exist or if it does it is a
rare situation.

In 2010., for example I did Content Analysis of Magazine called:


Odjek - revija za umjetnost, nauku i drutvena pitanja (Echo
review for Art, Science and Society Questions). In that analysis I
comprehended 20. Numbers of magazine issue. Magazine is coming
out every three mounts. So I selected numbers from Summer-Fall-
Winter-Spring 2003-2010. Conclusion was: According to this
numbers, we can say that the magazines are focused basically on
literature, that is: prose, poetry, literature critic and review. But also
it is focused on themes such as: politics, religion, constructing state

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and society of BiH, philosophy. At least magazine deals with themes as
art, painting, visual art, theory of art. So if someone foreigner was
coming and reading this 20. issues, he or she can decline that this
magazine deals only whit literacy. So that Bosnian society does not
have modern, contemporary art and culture and that is bounded with
theory of literacy from 50 years ago. So many artists, so many
movements in art are in Bosnia society, as Theatre, Movies, Design,
Conceptual art
So that transmition what was Suvakovic saying, there is none.
Everything is alienated; society dealing whit major social, political
inner issues and dealing whit global problems to, has no time to
involve with real beauty - art. Only in 4. Numbers, Odjek/ Echo is
dealing whit themes about paintings and theory reviewing on art in
generally. There is no sense in this magazine with long tradition of
publishing, to understanding contemporary media in art, movies,
theatre, architecture, dance So, link between society and culture is
small, fragile. Culture exists as different world from society, from
state.
For more discussion in Croatia there is magazine called Zarez
dvotjednik za kulturna i drutvena zbivanja. (Comma two numbers
per week for culture and society questions) focused on media, theatre,
movies, visual art I also analyses 20. issues of Zarez, and
conclusion was that this type of magazine in Croatia is better and
more from critic side linked to contemporary culture and art. This
magazine is so much involved in art that is from Croatia but also from
others countries. Zarez has these special sections as: In focus,
Theatre, Visual culture, Music, Poetry, Words and things, Movie,
Architecture, World commas, Theme issue.
I only analyzed Visual culture section , and I found and
concluded next in it : Croatia has good journalist and critic text, and
trough 49 of 57 articles (which was in section Visual culture from 20

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numbers 2006.-2009), this magazine is dealing with contemporary art
and culture. So it means that one of magazines which are dealing
with society, culture and art is focused on themes that are mainstream
theme. And that this paper equally gives space and analyses to every
aspect of art and culture. That is not the case in magazine Odjek /
Echo.

Closer or something else

Today we are in the supremacy of concentrated financial capital,


which produces media and virtual reality that is extorted marginality,
as individuals, nations and countries from which many slaves of the
international monetary capital. (B.Spahi)2. New world order is
defined as globalization or myth about globalization. Culture
(especially mass culture and consume culture) if isnt in function to
glorify capital, it isnt culture at all. In BiH, culture has high point in
kitsch, nationalism, religion nationalism (Abazovi, D. 2006).
Professor Spahi said: We trough movies entertained the world with
our misery and poorness in last two decades. And what is the worst
only with that content and only with that kind of authors we won
worlds prizes (Oscars for best foreigner movie, Golden Bear in Berlin
for the best movie.). () We have the authors and the critic but we
dont have audience with esthetic criteria, capable to acknowledge
deep artistic truth and messages. Also globalization has opened
desecularization of society and developed come back to religions, and
that also affected the art and culture.
Man from today is whiteness of many changes as consumer
society, high technology break down, exploitation nature, pollutions,

2
Dr. Prof. Besim Spahi, profesor from University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Politic science. He was
interwied in 2010. for my master paper.

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demographic over bear etc. - that all are visible at unpredictable
climate changes.
Only looking at art, the human being is the path traveled by
Altamira caves drawings to performance art and video installations,
showing the human need to present the world around them.
Art in generally, is human need. At first that was mark of life,
mark of civilization, later art was one kind of education such was
Hindus art, or art in time before renaissance helping people to
recognize and to learn about God. In the other hand, in one time, art
was building world for its own; art was at one point focused on art
only. Art was coming back to art diving in to essence of life, mind and
subconscious, reality, political, existential. That is how art became
critic, attitude about life, about world. And even when stories about
ending art, art was surprising all with new forms of art,
transcedenting in new vocabulary: photograph, video, installations,
performance, activism etc. Art became pluralism of ideas, different
ways to speak about life.
In between all authors, such as Jameson, Baudrillard, Bell,
Marcuse, Fromm, Freud, Lacan, Lyotard, Nietzche, Mclian, McNair,
Horkhaimer, and many, many others I found link between culture,
society and existence of art. Art and critic of society have in common
one link tragic vision. Both of them talk about truth of human kind,
about civilization that is built on images like love, freedom, low, state,
language, friendship, history, tradition, ethics that existed vivid as lie,
as acting, as only declarative.
For example, Maljevich Black square, Picassos Guernica,
Warhols Campel soup Duchamps works, Barbara Krugers work
also, and so many of artist like poets, were seeing whole in mans
deads Nietzsche saw how civilization and modern way of living is
hypocrite way of living. Baudrillard saw all civilization as simulacrum,
as script of living. Is all farce, it all a lie, it is holocaust!

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Tragic vision exists on many levels. One level can be that art is
presenting truth about human being; so there is no art, we would have
died from the truth (Nietzsche). Art is something like light on the end
of the tunnel. We can definitely establish that human life been more
difficult without the art.
In plurality of ideas, trough many faces, art open our eyes,
seduce us, give us hope or other feelings. Sometimes give us a critic
and sometimes entertain us.
But the fact is this: Painting, as one of the cultural specificity
determinant of post-modern society, is a meaningful disclosure of
reality, postmodern man becoming a voluntary slave, is part of the
passive mass is closely associated with the increasing accumulations
capital, leading to a collapse of culture.

Literature:

Abazovi, D. (2006): Za naciju i boga: socioloko odreenje


religijskog nacionalizma.Sarajevo: Magistrat.
Baudrillard, J. (1991B): Fatalne strategije.Novi Sad: Knjievna
zajednica Novog
Baudrillard, J. (1998): Savren zloin. Beograd: igoja tampa
Baudrillard, J.(1991A): Simulakrum i simulacija.Novi Sad: IP
Svetovi
Bihalj-Merin, O. (1974): Jedinstvo sveta u viziji
umetnosti.Beograd: Nolit

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Debord, G. (1992): Drutvo spektakla. Beograd: Bastard
biblioteka
Goldmann, L (1967): Za sociologiju romana. Beograd: Kultura
Jameson, F (1995): Postmodernizam u kasnom kapitalizmu.
Beograd: Art press
Lyotard, J.F. (2005): Postmoderno stanje.Ozvjetaj o
znanju.Zagreb: Ibis grafika
Marcuse, H. (1977): Kultura i drutvo. Beograd: BIGZ
McNair, B. (2004): Striptiz kultura.Seks, mediji i
demokratizacija udnje.Zagreb: Jesenski i Turk
Nietzsche, F. (1976): Volja za mo. Beograd: Prosveta
Radojkovi, M., Mileti, M. (2005): Komuniciranje mediji I
drutvo. Novi Sad: Stylos
Weatherill, R. (2005): Kolaps kulture. Beograd: Clio

Web pages:
www.edu.warhol.org
www.yurope.com

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