Andreas Broeckmann on Mon, 7 Feb 2000 12:33:20 +0100


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Syndicate: MORAL OUTRAGE AND POLITICAL ACTION


Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 01:19:42 +0000
From: herwig turk <turk@thing.at>


"MORAL OUTRAGE AND POLITICAL ACTION

That there are grounds for the above is beyond
dispute.

That the situation was predictable is beyond dispute.

So, what can be done by those living outside of
Austria?

As an artist I can only appeal for action, but a
complete intellectual and artistic boycott of this
country removes support from the large majority of us
who do not want this government and would like to see
the FPÖ disappear from the political stage.
Simultaneously it restricts the possibilities of any
other action in the future. It cannot and should not
be business as usual, but those artists and
intellectuals who work in areas which are of political
relevance to the situation should maintain contact
with Austria and / or exhibit and work here. There is
work enough and it is extremely important to be able
to set up temporary focal points for action and
reflection. These points help people to keep a
European perspective (or engender one) and help also
to overcome the purely national vision. There is no
space and no need for nationalistic cultural
chauvinism. South Africa is not Europe, by which I
mean that pressure can be exerted by actions against
specific companies, artists, sportsmen and political
and other organisations who support or do not condemn
the FPÖ and its racist politics - they all have home
pages, e-mail addresses and and and. What we need is
moral outrage and  imaginative intervention. That
depends on who you are and what is in your power to do
and organise. The man on the street may consider
postponing his holiday in Austria. You might write
letters to political figures. You may want partial
boycotts but please, artists have a differentiated
response to almost everything and above ordinary dose
of creative potential. If you want to change things
engage. Do not disengage.

On the other hand it is time for Austrian artists to
consider seriously how and where their
work is presented, and ask themselves whether the
presentation can be construed as representing Austria.
It is time to develop and display a consciousness of
the politics of art and the art of politics. "

Tim Sharp / Lisl Ponger


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