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#Athens: Invitation to Libertarian Art Festival

<<What is art?>> Regardless of the fact that trying to collectively define art is a chaotic effort, we posed this question. Actually, trying to take a step further, we wonder : << What is libertarian art?>>

Originally published by Athens Indymedia.

Note: Enough 14 is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

The poetess Katerina Gogou answered:<<Art means love. And love is a right of all people. Love means to greatly love your crumpled self, because only this way you will love the one near you. And love is desire. Desire for life, for songs, for you and for everyone. And desire is revolutionary art with the true meaning of the term, because it does not stand <<it is allowed>> or << it is forbidden>> .For me there is no bigger work of art than the human, who walks all alone in time with painful conflicts inside of him. […]The human seems to me like a sun, who is burning by itself. And Art, being the sick and doctor together. >>

Art is not a process outside the social and political reality. On the contrary, connected to a series of factors, on the one hand, it takes on its importance, on the other hand, it is determined regarding its role (by the political and social reality). Today, its dominant aspect is commercialization, as art is used/treated mainly as merchandise. Its commercialization is manifested in every stage, from the conception and actualization – in terms of money, its the stage of <<production>> – , to its presentation to the public – stage of distribution -, to its << consumption >>, which means its destruction. Thus comes the alteration of the uninvolved connection of artists with the public, as mechanisms of the market come in the way, through a system of promoting, which is targeted on selling (sponsorships, advertising, art galleries), forming the internalisation of the artwork from the public and the terms of interaction or exclusion from the work of art. At the same time, the always present and dominant pursuit of profit, alienates the artists from the artistic result he/she achieved.

Throughout the course of history, works of art have been used to praise leaders, to prettify regimes, to decorate commercial products or to wash out corporate names. However, the political aspect of art, is not only found in its use. Libertarian art is different not only when it comes to use, but also in its making and distributing. The artist who creates today, realises that even the so called <<avant garde art>>, that begun with vigorous and subversive characteristics, is limited to a statutory context that <<institutionalises>> the very art itself and integrates its radical aspect by neutralising it, selling it. From the industry of art which profits, to the <<modern>> sensitive issues, all the way to new artistic subjects, which even if they are not yet recognised, they act aiming to their recognition. Art becomes (one more) spectacle.

Art though, is a lot more that a ephemeral aesthetic product. Art, so much in the stage of creation, as in the result of inspiration in a complete work, has inside it an unbelievable and unique power. As a creation, it embodies an impulse, an idea the goal of which is to spread, to socialise and in its path to carry away and to provoke. We don’t aim to maintain the delusion that art itself can change the world, this will forever be the work of humans. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inherently revolutionary characteristics of creating and destroying. Art can’t change the world. But, art, as a way of continuous searching, struggling and creating, can change the world of one, ten, a hundred people and they will be the ones who will fight using their means and ideas.

Through all human history, libertarian movements in art search for different ways of creating, rejecting the forms, the means and the messages of civil art, while introducing new ways of artistic expression, even by suggesting the destruction of works of art. When it comes to the dispersion of libertarian art, it is greatly affected by the fact that it does not aim at profit, it does not serve interests. Libertarian art is produced from people who express through art, not by obediently promoting specific imperatives, as in this way they supress themselves, but by communicating ideas, visions, proposals, emotions. Through art, everything that can’t be shared, can be externalised, and this way a magical power is born that connects people, ideas and situations. Thoughts are being socialised, emotions are born and possibilities of a different life and a different world are proposed.

As the Self – Managed Canteen of Law School we envision and propose libertarian structures concerning artistic creation. The overrun of the commercial aspect, the consistent artistic and broader struggle for the override of the dominant forms of controlling and promoting art, constitute imperatives towards the total emancipating and libertarian artistic process. For this reason, we invite artists, people, collectivities and collectives to the creation of a Libertarian Art Festival, with the hope to witness in it every art form (visual, sculpture, photography, video art, dancing, performance, theatre, music, poetry, literature …..).

After a series of cultural talks and events at our space, we envision the organisation of a Libertarian Art Festival. We do not accept to abstain from art and concede it as an item of luxury, propaganda or expression to the few and privileged. This attitude of ours does not come from the belief that art is a need, as you can live without art, but it will be a life without freedom, in which the need to communicate, express and create will be taken away from us. Conceding art exclusively to mass – production, to the systems of art-capital and to the few who have the privilege or who will make the necessary sacrifices to create art, it would be like quitting from a field of struggle. On the contrary, we create, we act, we construct and deconstruct in a manner that is not built on exploitation nor is it destined to be sold and consumed. We propose libertarian art mainly as an idea of how to live our life, as we witness art being present to all the aspects of our life and to the world around us. Also, we see art as a possibility to let the urges inside of us to be connected with the urges of others, in order to collectify through art.

So we invite you to send us your works of art (or a distinctive extract in the form of video, text or picture) at, together with other communication info ( name, mail, phone number) and share any other additional idea or information about the art works and the way of presenting them. We will be waiting your creations until the 5 of May, in order for them to be a part of the Libertarian Art Festival in our squatted space, in Law School and in the areas surrounding it.

The last assembly for the preparations of the festival will be at 5/5, 3mm to the self managed canteen of law school (AKN).

Self Managed Canteen of Law School (AKN), April 21, 2019

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