April 21, 2009 - PAVILION UNICREDIT center for contemporary art & culture - How innocent is that?
April 21, 2009

How innocent is that?

Juan delGado
videostill from “don’t look under the bed”
DVD, 2001, 8 min 11 sec
Courtesy the arist

HOW INNOCENT IS THAT?
April 30 – July 05, 2009

Opening: April 30, 2009, 19.00 hours

Sos. Nicolae Titulescu 1 (Piata Victoriei)
Bucharest 011131 Romania
+ 4 031 103 4131
pavilion [​at​] pavilionmagazine.org

www.pavilionunicredit.ro

Curator: Eugen Radescu

Participants: AES+F (Rusia), Carlos Aires (Spain), Juan delGado (Spain/UK), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Germany).

“In war there are no innocent victims. One might be tempted perhaps to consider me as a simple accomplice. But this notion of complicity has only a juridical sense, and it does not hold here. For it depended on me that for me and by me this war should not exist, and I have decided that it does exist… The one who takes part into war could always get out of it by suicide or by desertion. Neither the war, nor the tortures are inhumane… Only the man could decide the inhumane through fear, desertion or resort to magic…” (Jean-Paul Sartre)

In our times, who can pay much attention to the massacre of the innocence? The innocents of yesterday are sending the bombs of today, these supreme gifts of helplessness, infamy and failure. There is an East of the innocence, like there is a West of the innocents. As I am living in Romania – the state and paideuma of innocence in its unbalanced, unhappy and dumb form – I imagined the “stranger”, with his “strangeness”, was something – something else (together with his alter). Far from the truth. We are all false, disintegrated, miserable, and lacking innocence. Lacking interest. Civilization doesn’t mean the steam engine, but it means civility, the ability to have civic relationships, to follow judicial norms. Somehow, all these attributes are lost. We have forgotten our civility; we lost our civilization. We have become innocent vacuum cleaners and we are sucking in ignorance, pain, ardour, hatred, show. Nowadays it is easier to kill one thousand people than say “Have a good day”.

The project advanced here is structured in three segments, three sections, and they aim to describe as illustrative as possible the word “innocence”, with all its weaknesses and associations.

1. The Opponent
The first part of the project “How innocent is that?” suggests a way to approach the term “innocence” from an extremely topical and highly controversial angle: the socialism. Innocence in socialism and/or socialism as innocent ideology.

In the 19th century Marx willingly announced the end of the state through the end of the class struggle, as the exploitation of man by man ends together with the emergence of the society they imagined: a perfect egalitarian society, without any class struggle, namely the socialist society. The political power was not needed, either, because in the socialist society nobody rules anybody; it is just a historically necessary development: the working class will replace the old bourgeois society with an association that eliminates classes and class antagonisms.

The 19th century was the century of the socialist utopia, but it was an inapplicable ideology, regardless of the merits ascribed to it. The 20th century was the arena of the socialist realism, the period when socialism knew a strong revival, because of the atrocious war experiences and the weakening of the society (it turned from an underground doctrine into a state ideology). I am not interested here in the historiography of the socialism, but I believe it interesting to point out that the above-mentioned doctrine drew its vigour from the most interesting philosophical, political and religious contexts.

2. The pure white
This time the reflexion begins by approaching a concept-metaphor from the area of the common sense: the innocence associated with the childhood, the innocence of the white-vested children, where white turns from a non-colour to a “colour” of the purity.

3. The grotesque of innocence
The last section, “The grotesque of innocence”, debates over the misconception of the term “innocence” and its implications, and the crudeness of this concept in its relation with the morals, God and sexuality. We are tempted to ridicule the every day life by accessing rather grotesque actions than standard behaviour actions that are socially and morally accepted by everyone. The regulations are absurd, and so are the conventions. They are lacking substance. You cannot trust them.

The innocence verifies the validity of the social norms and conventions.
How can I relate to the people close to me, when I am compelled to live together with those I don’t know?

The West has no erotic art. We don’t learn how to make love, we don’t learn how to offer pleasure, we don’t learn how to pleasure the others, we don’t learn how to maximize our pleasure through others’ pleasure. Instead, the West has a sexual science – scientia sexualis –, dealing with people’s sexuality, not with people’s pleasure; the truthfulness of sex, not the intensity of pleasure.

Why do we reproduce (ourselves)? Is it for our personal pleasure (the pre-Christian hedonism) or from the wish to perpetuate the species (post-Christianity)?

I have been frequently amazed by the priests’ violent attitude (especially the Orthodox priests) while approaching the sexuality topic. Marriage, for example, is for them not a more “relaxed” form of the crude, vegetative, carnal sexuality, but the union of man and woman, mediated through and by the divine power. (Eugen Radescu, from the book “How Innocent Is That?”).

Publication: “How Innocent is That?”, 14.5 x 19.5 cm, Romanian/English, 112 pages, published by Revolver Books Berlin.
Available at www.revolver-books.de and pavilion@pavilionmagazine.org
PDF free download at www.pavilionunicredit.ro/en/publications.html

Special limited edition of 50 containing a signed and numbered limited edition postcard by Carlos Aires. More info and pre-orders for the limited edition at ioana.nitu@pavilionmagazine.org

PAVILION UNICREDIT
center for contemporary art & culture

Sos. Nicolae Titulescu 1 (Piata Victoriei)
Bucharest 011131 Romania
T: + 4 031 103 4131
E: pavilion@pavilionmagazine.org

www.pavilionunicredit.ro


PAVILION UNICREDIT is a center for contemporary art & culture, a work-in-progress independent space, a space for the production and research in the fields of audiovisual, discursive and performative. It is a space of the critical thinking, and it promotes an artistic perspective implying the social and political involvement of the art and of the cultural institutions.


PAVILION, BUCHAREST BIENNALE and PAVILION UNICREDIT are projects devised and founded by Razvan Ion and Eugen Radescu


Supported by: Pilsner Urquell
Strategic partner: UniCredit Tiriac Bank

Media partners: Hotnews.ro, 22, Alternativ.ro, Feeder.ro, 24Fun
Production partner: UpDate Advertising
Printing partner: Herris Print
Audio-visual partner: Sony
Collaborating partner: Center for Visual Introspection

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