What art is

What art is


Artists, I tell you:

Don’t do art because you want a scholarship.

Don’t do art to get a good review.

Don’t make art because you want to be admired.

Don’t hope for the mercy of the institutions, because their mercy always hangs by a thread.

Don’t ingratiate yourself to anyone. Be loud and uncomfortable when no one is loud and uncomfortable. Be quiet when silence becomes important.

Be the counterworld.

Avoid „regular work“ if somehow possible, because art is never regular.

Be the other, the crazy, the strange, the scary, the disturbing, the comforting, the healing.

Make art exactly when everyone says no one needs it.

Make art exactly when it is impossible.

There will be years when you live in abundance and don’t even realize it, when you become decadent, academic, complacent, and fed up. A few will fight it with their art, and those are the ones who stay.

And there will be years that are dark, when you will be marginalized, forbidden to speak, you may have to flee war and persecution, when survival is a struggle. Not everyone will be able to raise their voice, but it will resonate louder than anything else.

And that’s what remains.

What is then said is what matters.

The hollowheads come and go, their names are more fleeting than they realize in their pathetic overconfidence. Art, on the other hand, is there and will always be there as long as there are people.

Art is not a single famous name. Art is what, among other things, created this famous name.

Art is utopian.

Art is pragmatic, clever and cheeky.

Art is possible in the most unlikely places, and yes, you don’t have to sell your soul for it, even if it seems tempting.

Art isn’t f****** “national.”

Art belongs to everyone and no one alone – not to the powerful, not to the demagogues, not to the industry and, above all, not to those who have a precise idea of ​​what should and should not be allowed in art.

If art is too “colorful” for you, then you are too gray.

Art survives everything.

Art is lesbian.

Art is gay.

Art is bi, trans and whatever.

Art is heterosexual.

Art is a freak.

Art is a refugee.

Art is truth.

Deal with it.

If you imagine your world to be orderly, regulated and controlled, then art will be the exact opposite of that, whether you want it to be or not. Art will transcend every boundary, will seduce and confuse you when you need it most.

Ban the images, declare us “degenerate” or immoral, lock us up, kill us. In the end, we are the ones who have the final say.

We are the bitterness.

We are the joy.

We are the sting and we are the rose.

We are the phoenix rising from the ashes.

We are the only thing that makes sense, because life can only be endured where we exist.

You think you don’t need us? Then imagine a life without stories, without dreams, without songs, without longings, without dance, without images, without passions and without hope.

Imagine your life as an endless assembly line, a single and relentless existence that is nothing but existence. Imagine if there was nothing left to laugh about because no one would think of anything to laugh about anymore.

We are only human because art exists.

It’s not about everyone making art. Those who listen and watch and read are part of the art just as much as those who make the art.

No matter how hard these times are: we artists do not have to legitimize ourselves, we do not have to explain ourselves, we do not have to apologize. We never have to explain that we are needed because we don’t have to question whether we need legs to walk, eyes to see, or noses to smell. It is obvious that humans have an imagination, and it is also obvious that this imagination is needed.

Without us life sucks, that’s for sure.

No AI can replace us as long as this AI does not – like us – feel the tragedy of its own existence.

You cannot tame us or tame our art. If you wipe us out, we’ll grow back somewhere else. We are invincible precisely where we are not wanted.

Without art there is no life because art empowers us to be alive.

Why are there daydreams? Why do we start doodling on a paper when we are bored? Because we couldn’t stand simply existing and at the same time being exposed to the fleeting nature of that existence.

Everything has its time.

But everything that passes away is reborn: in a line, a melody, a brushstroke.

Art is our shared memory of longing.

We have to keep reminding ourselves.

And we have to dream again and again.


For Martin Hufner


Moritz Eggert

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