Anarchism and the need for a new art

  • Posted on: 30 September 2018
  • By: rocinante

A translation from Acracia [1] via stalking the earth (September 30th, 2018)

August 2018, by Quijano Araucano

This text is directed towards young anarchists (among them me) who are as lost as usual, more lazy than ever and each time (discovered with terror and fatigue) more scare. As Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) has mentioned, in numerous texts and interviews, literature, now more than any other historical moment, suffers a state of stagnation and decomposition never seen before, even more so in this strip of land in the south of the world, where thanks to 18 years of tyranny and barbarism the situation turned out to be (and still is) of an even greater severity.

But what has been said by Bolaño can perfectly apply itself to all of the arts: painting, sculpture, music, all subordinates of international capital, that have abandoned their true objective (to be the subsequent expression of being human) in order to conform to the simple and the mediocre, the consumable and the fast, asphyxiated by their own incoherence and that awakens in one, to a certain extent, a conservative spirit, one that longs for the old works of art. Music has been automatized in pursuit of being consumable among the large markets. Painting, the image itself, has lost significance in a world of TV and the Internet, the forms are no longer important, only the colors and how much it sells. On sculpture… I sincerely prefer not to speak. It’s enough to make a mental parallel between Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne” and the works of art exhibited by Damien Hirst. Art (writing, painting, sculpture, and all of it’s derivatives) have always enjoyed fame as soon as they take a leap into the void. A blind bet, where no matter how hard you try, you will probably end up dying of hunger, choking to death on your vomit and your failure in the final days. Kafka and Lovecraft are great examples (and at the same time, extraordinarily sad, sad enough to start crying on the floor) of the above. Both are considered essential topics today for world literature, who were despised and unknown in their respective times, spit on and treated like dirt, and only after their death was their work seriously appreciated. It seems (and with good reason) that a lot of people have already had enough of this logic. Why try to to write the new “Ulysses” and die of hunger “under the same star,” if with throwaway culture and emptiness, it is enough to to live and follow me on Twitter? Enough.

It’s perfect. The trade of the artist has never been so profitable and easy. A couple of random swipes on a blank sheet, and let’s go! To Instagram with a picturesque filter, and good evening to the shepherds.

“Permanence has been swept aside by the speed of empty images. The pantheon of illustrious men, we discovered to our astonishment, is the kennel of the burning asylum” - (The myths of Cthulhu, Roberto Bolaño, 2003)

But if it is something that has characterized anarchism in Chile during the last few years, it is the wall of laments of the old utopians, those who believe in a better world. The liquor that loosens the tears of the eternal melancholic and allows them to throw a pair of rabid tricks into the air… but, nothing more. I think that we’ve had enough, enough contemporary art that alleges some sort of occult meaning in order to conceal their obvious emptiness, enough of the plain zombified music, enough of the literary works without history or aim. I’m fed up. I’m angry. Is it that we are waiting for them to remove the works Da Vinci from the Louvre, and instead hang the works of Lucio Fontana? What are we waiting for!? Meanwhile, the international powers, the state and big capital advance in leaps and bounds in front of our eyes taking everything in their way (in-between that, art). What do we, the anarchists, do? Create! There is still time to save art. I’m not one to point where to go: the revival of surrealism, save infrarrealismo, and paint the colorless ashes of realism, fantasize, imagine, dream… Think!

If we let art completely fall into the mercantilist hands that have been destroying humanity and nature for over 200 years… I’m not sure what could happen, but I’m sure, as always, that it wouldn’t be anything good.


[1] The name of the newspaper is Acracia, meaning Anarchy – and following that ácratas is the Spanish word for anarchists.



i'm about it. thank you for the translation! this issue is of intense interest to me, as a fan of Bolaño and Mario Santiago... and general critic of the era.

You also gotta understand how, according to some perspective, the mercantilization of "Art" is a key factor to the evolution of civilization, towards an "eternal empire" of the likes of Antique civilizations, where history has stopped and time is fused with a consolidated power. One could say this art is fascist art, but is also beyond fascism. It asserts the full naturalization of the regime, in a Snowpiercer world.

I'm an anarchist and an artist. I support anarchist art, and certainly it's true that much art perpetuates state power and capitalism, but this article is mostly bullshit. All contemporary art is trash? Leonardo is the gold standard? So we should all be making oil paintings of Christian imagery paid for by monarchs and the Catholic church? There's a lot of art out there and some of it critiques capitalism and expresses suffering under the state. But you don't like or understand it, so you demand we all become surrealists? What even is a surrealist now? Capitalist realism is more surreal than any Freudian sexual innuendo Dali painted. And you sound like an alt right asshole when you rail against contemporary aesthetics and pine for neoclassicism.There's a lot of good art in the world, I would recommend you look into it.

Yep capitalist realism makes Dali look like Disney.

Surrealism is the intersection of fantasy with reality. Not surprised that a true artiste such as Dali could visualize with an infantile perception the reality of objects, whereas da Vinci had the fascist's expression.

I'm not sure what you mean by "visualize with an infantile perception the reality of objects." Can you elaborate?

I wouldn't call Leonardo not a "true artist," but it's certainly true there is an authoritarian context to work of the Italian Renaissance.

Basically a world view which is amoral, non-ideological and ahistorical.

We true nihilists negate the whole significance of what the Getty Museum of Art represents as a cultural foundational icon, that there is no such thing as " fine art" that it benefits no one and that it perpetuates a culture of rape and pillage.
Barcelona 29 Sep Holi Antifa against Jusapol

best use of colour powder ever possibly.

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