friedrich tietjen on Wed, 2 Feb 2000 23:30:21 +0100 (MET)

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Re: Syndicate: Fwd: Do no longer exhibit in Austria! (fwd)

some remarks:
1. i think it's too easy to search shelter in fearing a new facism: it
will be a pretty uncomfortable situation in austria in the next years,
but i guess the horrotrip will be different from the one some 50 years
ago: it will be soft and silencing and it will ruin a lot of the
structures built up in the past years. and will ruin existences by that,
2. i was at the demonstration tonight at the ballhausplatz and what i saw
and learned there made me feel even more uncomfortable after all the
discussions i had the last days: the lack of poltical analysis is the
thing that really scares me. the general unspoken essence was that
everybody wants back a coalition of the social democrats and the
conservative party. funny enough the program after the red-black
negotiations is not too much different of the one now being signed by
black-blue. its the choice between plague and cholera. i've never had the
one or the other; but maybe if you suffer plague you wish to suffer
cholera. (okok - this is a bit crude: under the spoe-oevp gouvernment you
could at least negotiate with the responsible people in the gouvernment
about money &c - this may have an end now.)
3. and the problem is that there is no alternative around. in my eyes
it has again to do with lack of political analysis: current discussions
for instance still operate with the idea that 27% of the austrians are
racists because they voted for the fpoe. unfortunately it is around 80% -
you can be a racist here and vote for the social democrats with no
problem; the minstry for internal affairs was held  by mr schloegl, member
of the spoe; und under his responsibility the restriction against
foreigners and refugees became harder a lot (remeber the omufuma case last
year?). and while the election campaign last year there were a lot of
raids against africans in town initiated. don't tell me anything about
coincidence - it was the try to win at least a part of the potential
fpoe-voters by profiling the spoe as a party of law and order, too.
4. the general attitude against racism in discussions here is often enough
that the one who know must convince those ones who don't that racism is
bad - hi, aufklaerung! obviously it seems hard to understand that people
can vote and act as racists not because they are stupid but because they
are clever: racism pays out, at least emotionally: it makes the world far 
easier, black and white, if you allow this little pun. paedagogical
attempts to change that seem to me mostly nice but useful only for
soothing one's conscience.
5. and i even got the argument from one wellknown curator that haider will
discredit himself soon enough (the german word she used was
"herunterwirtschaften" - untranslatable for me) ... i'm still looking for
one single historical example where that did happen within the last let's
say two centuries.
6. about the possible consequences: don't forget that austria was and
still is a base for a lot of artists from the balkans. cuts in the budget
will affect their situation, too.
7. i think the idea to isolate austria generally is honorable but
mostly useless - those who would do will know enough artists inside
austria worth to support, projects worth to support will somehow continue 
to support, and they're doing right. those who won't isolate austria ...
well they won't. it sounds to me a bit like an intellectual hungerstrike
which is a device of a certain value in specific situation and for
specific groups - but to starve or to let starve generally and to call
everybody to participate is rough and undifferentiated. i appreciate that
robert fleck stops his activities in austria - it's a symbolic act and i
don't think that the only way to act is everybody does the same. i'm
currently working in vienna and make my living by working in the
art-sector, preparing exhibitions and stuff; as there are little
alternatives for me (or does anybody out there needs a skilled
arthistorian in the moment? usa, england, balkan preferred, but
any offer will be examined) i will stay here as long as possible (let
alone that i'm curious). is this necessarily opportunism? is this
necessarily collaboration with the new gouvernment? 
> So, finally Thomas Bernhard was right in his observation that when Claus
> Peymann (former director of the Vienese Burg Theater) invited him for
> coffee at Hotel Sacher (the place where the political and power elite
> meet), upon entrance he could see that the crowd was made up for one half
> of fascists and for the other half of idiots...

maybe the balance has shifted a bit

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