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INVOLVEMENT SHOW STATEMENT

By BORIS LURIE (1961)

Published in: Lurie, Boris; Krim, Seymour: NO!art, Cologne 1988

Welcome to this exhibition. If your eyes and mind serve you well, you will see something new. When viewing this show, please avoid applying aesthetic labels; do not call us realists, neo-dadaists, surrealists. These labels are neither true nor important in today's context. Formalist distinctions do not apply here. Aesthetics are generally viewed as a fixed, solid entity: we look upon it as the reflection of changing reality. The ivory tower is no substitute for Involvement in life. In a time of wars and extermination, aesthetic exercises and decorative patterns are not enough.

We are not 'abstract', 'non-objective', 'representational', alone- rather, we are all of it: we want to use all inventions, past or present, without discrimination as to 'styles'. Totality is seen as a composite of all aspects: limiting, purist, puritanical approaches are rejected. We are not playful! We want to build art and not destroy it, but we say exactly what we mean - at the expense of good manners. You will find no secret languages here, no fancy escapes, no hushed, muted silences, no messages beamed at exclusive audiences. Art is a tool of influence and urging. We want to talk, to shout, so that everybody can understand. Our only master is truth.

New frontiers ... old frontiers. Is it true it only took one man to awaken the world?

Eichmann alive ... Eichmann dead ... who cares for Eichmann? Now they tell us all about the concentration camps. Bergen-Belsen has been turned into a beautiful park. Thousands kept on starving after the Liberation.

Was it right to kidnap Eichmann? International law? Who brought the capture about? One man?
Look down. What do you see? Count the dead! Count the living? What do you hear? Silence. How can they be counted?

Millions worth of publicity.

We have absolutely nothing to sell! Some people get very uncomfortable in their cages - nothing seems as credible as before (the ghosts started their parade in New York). Even the Dead had been in hiding, so long, deprived of the right of self-expression. They are much more at peace now that the newspapers have remembered them. But it only took one determined man to accomplish all this.

Buried, covered up, sick, mouldy consciences; open up! Man might be helpless, but faith has moved a mountain. Fresh air blows through these putrid canyons?! Platitudes and sophistries.

Deceit, conceit, lies.

About BORIS LURIE: Born in 1924, in Leningrad, Russia. Together with his parents he moved to Riga in 1925/26. Captured by the Germans 1941 and suffered in the ghettos and concentration-camps of Riga, Salapils, Stutthof and Buchenwald-Magdeburg in Germany. Emigration to USA in 1946. Lived in Paris from 1954 to 1955. Founded with Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher the NO!art movement in 1959 in co-operation with the March gallery in the Tenth Street in New York, later so called March Group. He works always in continuing the NO!art movement.—Died 2008 in New York.  |  linkMORE

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