“Eternal Performer” and her/ his position within the context of the contemporary world - Milan Kohout’s reply to Wladyslaw Kazmierczak’s text Performance-education-fiction
Milan Kohout, 2011-12-12
Before we investigate the position of artists within the contemporary world, we should first define what is her/his historical role within society. According to my definition, art is an endless Aristotelian circle (wheel) with three rotating words in it — art is politics is life is art is politics is art.1 Of course the word politics is understood as the derivation of the old Greek word “polis” being the city state, where politics was perceived as community anchored care about the common welfare.
Therefore I have always taught my students not “how to make art” but “how to be artists”.
There are three basic faculties defining art: esthetic, cognitive and ethical. And the latter one is absolutely superior. I have been using the metaphor of “eyes” which see just the surface “esthetic” beauty and “brain” as the cognitive processor of the “cunningness” of the work of art. But above all these the most important is “heart” which is caring ethics —morality —which makes us human.
And it is the artist whom I call “The Eternal Performer” who understands this function of art through the ages.
• The Artist - “The Eternal Performer” working in media of his/her historical period and always the indicator of the presence of any ethical decay within a society.
• The Artist - “The Eternal Performer” who is constantly fighting everlasting stupidity of any people's formations and their social systems.
• The Artist - “The Eternal Performer” who from the outset of tribal times, using the artistic and therefore the most communicable tools, always woke up the given community and warned it about the danger of the power deviation created by some of the members of that community.