INTERVENTIONIST MANIFESTO or seven reasons not to make visual art

A NOTE TO READERS

The process toward the end of art has progressed too far to be stopped only by the traditional means of producing images, performances or exhibitions in galleries and art museums. Alongside these modes of production, radical institutional critique is needed. One form of radical institutional critique is intervention, which artists can influence practically without any limits.

The present text is simultaneously an intervention and a manifesto on an institutional critical intervention. The manifesto is sent as a signed free paper (500 pieces) to all Finnish art museums, art galleries, art schools, art councils, art associations, artist organisations, art magazines, culture magazines and the culture departments of the biggest newspapers and radio- and television channels. The text is published also on the Internet in Finnish (See http://interventionistinenmanifesti.wordpress.com) and in English (See https://interventionistmanifesto.wordpress.com).

Rovaniemi 14.1.2012
Kalle Lampela

1.    AMBIGUITY

Even though I work as an artist and make artworks, I cannot describe exactly how art is made and what turns one object or visual experience into an artwork while another does not. There are no universal or otherwise clear and satisfactory criteria defining manmade products as art.

2.    THE DEADLOCK OF AN IMAGE

I don’t believe that there are many people who would be conceptually interested in problematizing an image. This leads to two problems that cancel out each other.
a)    The high intangibility of an image leads to a tiring narrative. That is when the spectator’s individual contemplation evaporates into the air.
b)    Without an explanatory narrative the idea of an image remains obscure. Is it meaningful to represent such an image?

3.    DISCONTENT

My visual or plastic ideas rarely satisfy me intellectually. Also, the majority of so-called visual art leaves me untouched. Many an image would simply be better left undone.

4.    RELUCTANCE TO COMPROMISE

I am not willing to compromise in order to increase the intelligibility of an artwork if it means destroying the idea of the work.

5.    CURIOSITY

I am much too curious to content myself with repeating one way of doing or reproducing images repeatedly. An image is not a guarantee of art.

6.    VISUAL ART IS A CRAFT

Visual art is made by hand. In this respect the term “art” leaves its origin without a firm base. Crafts are concrete. Art is an abstraction.

7. THE POWER OF AN INTERVENTION

As a form of expression an intervention is free from the conceptual problems of visual art and the instrumentalism and conventions of the various forms of art. The executor of an intervention doesn’t ask for permission to perform his or her act but intervenes in the state of society independent of its restrictions.