by Mie Hansson
I am among the new generation of Johnny’s and constitutional psychopaths; poets without a purpose, painters without a vision. In a world divided by prosperity or poverty, war or peace, a world where pre-fabricated art ruled by commercial interests takes the main stage and the rebels, idealists and visionaries are overlooked because it is less lucrative. Stuck in an era of quick fixes, band-aids and short-term solutions, where nobody’s are known and somebody’s are hidden, can we talk about an era where the gap between commercial art and the importance of the avant-garde is forgotten?
Our radio stations cough up fabricated music that innocent civilians are forced to know, art-speculators put a blue canvas on auction and decide the value with their own gold, our governments are corporate, have we forgot the governments are ours? And the writers, maybe we need to remind ourselves why we write?
Art! What’s our role? Yes, we shall care for green transition and fight corruption, we shall disdain destruction and war, demand equality and freedom and never forget that the planet is not a CEO’s business; every human being has the fundamental rights to live and is equally important.
But among such heavy issues, do we still need art and does art need us? If we need to ask ourselves that question it means we need art more than ever.
We can mirror our time and repeat the current or we can transform our time with our ink, our paint, and our performance. When King Charles X was replaced with Louis-Philippe as a result of the Parisian uprising in July 1830, Delacroix immortalized the insurrection with Liberty Leading the People and said;
“If I have not fought for my country, at least I will paint for her.”
As a passionate attack on Spain’s fascist government, Picasso, in his own way, formulated the horrors of his beloved Basque capital in northern Spain in Guernica; a painting that has become a universal symbol of the atrocity of war. No one asked Delacroix or Picasso to create masterpieces that would alter their present and the time to come; no one told Rousseau to form the democratic principles that The French Declaration are massively based on; the modern ideas of direct democracy. Innate freedom, innate human rights—no exceptions.
No one will come to your door and tell you to change the scene nor how you can; we are all architects of our own age, and that is our purpose, privilege and responsibility.
I wasn’t there when Lincoln declared the abolition of slavery, I wasn’t among the Parisian bohemians in the twenties, I wasn’t there when my beloved country fluttered with tens of thousands of red and white flags on May 5th 1945 when World War II had seen its last twilight. I didn’t hear Martin Luther King’s speech live on radio, the man on the moon, I didn’t experience the Beatles.
My time is now, now is my time and now is the time for it to be great; now is the time for my time to be the halcyon days; the golden age.
Our ancestors have built the foundation, now it is up to us to lay the bricks. We can build another ghetto or we can build another Palais du Louvre.
My ambition is not to mirror my time, but to understand and question, reject and embrace, deform and transform it. I am not Napoleon or Nietzsche, neither a revolutionary nor a philosopher; but as artists, this is our role. We’ve got the tools, the platform, the freedom and the potential. I embrace mistakes but I refuse stupidity. Everything broken can be rebuild, everything wounded can be healed. But one must see the light, always, and we are all in the muddle-puddle, stuck in a dark tunnel, but I have vowed to follow the light and diffuse it with such power, that even the blind will feel it falling on their closed lids and bare shoulders.
I feel outside society, it’s a bit like primary school, really. The world disgusts me in many a ways; I care little for Kardashians, Rihanna doesn’t get me up and dance, and I am ultimately sad that America has auctioned its dream to corporate hands. But I am nonetheless proud of the Scandinavian achievements and the moves my brothers has come to make, and I believe in a morally bright, strong and inspiring Europe.
It is time for power to be redefined; our days of colonization are over, one shall not gain power by suppressing nor own, but globally we shall understand the power of a clever mind, a warm heart and a helping hand. For we need each other more than we have ever before; we no longer live in our native country alone, we live in a global world, all together, and our responsibility has inevitably grown.
Success too, needs to be rethought. First we must delete money as the association, for money is a material, not a feeling. Success cannot be measured in materials; it is an individual currency that only one self can decide. Those who disagree do not know the realm of it; that is an experience we shall all discover in life. And there will be no peace or justice anywhere until we understand that materiality and the obscene consumption is not the solution, but actually the enemy we too often fuck beneath our covers.
Now is not the time for another gold chain or a pair of embroidered sagging pants, but maybe there never was…a time for that.
I don’t know where I am going but I will be on the first train to get there. My voice can blaze up your windows, but I will never blaze in vain. I hail my ancestors and I acknowledge our mutual history, but I shall not dwell in it; together we shall write our own and I understand that our age will be read as we choose to design it.
So let’s move, let’s write, let’s envision, let’s fight;
we are all architects of our time.
And yes, I choose Palais du Louvre.