Mar 102011

OK: What’s your attitude towards the classical in art?

SH: The same as my attitude towards anything classical – enough of that old rubbish, let’s have something different! People tend to forget that it’s not cultural objects that are important but the social relations within the communities that produce them. That’s why all forms of culture die. On the whole cultural objects cease to be relevant because the social conditions that produced them no longer exist.

OK: Who are the artists you respect?

SH: Those that quit art. Ben Morea, Henry Flynt, Laura Gemser, there aren’t many. Art is dead baby, burn the museums!

New (well, from this year) interview with Stewart Home.

Jun 082007

Det är skönt att nån tar på sig det tveksamma nöjet att tvätta Bakunins sketna underkläder. Jag är säkerligen inte ensam om att i gångna tider viftat det anarkistiska tygskynket, utan att ägna bajsfläckarna och det tunnslitna materialet nån större uppmärksamhet.

“George Woodcock observes in his book Anarchism (p. 136), Bakunin’s: ‘admirers, admitting the thinness of his literary and theoretical claims, have usually countered with the contention that Bakunin was really significant as a man of action. Yet even his actions, dramatic as they were, often seem singularly ineffectual. He was involved in more pointless plots and more forlorn hopes than most other revolutionaries in an age peculiarly given to such ventures. He arrived too late for the active phase of the only successful uprising of his life, the February Revolution of 1848 in Paris; the five other insurrections, spread over the map of Europe, in which he took a leading part, were all either heroic disasters or comic fiascos. The secret societies he loved to invent were stillborn or expired early from internal dissensions. And at the end of it all he died a lonely man, out of the struggle to which he had devoted his life and deserted by his own anarchist followers.’”

I stort handlar The Sucking Pit om anständig gyttjekastning på London-gruppen Green Anarchist från Stewart Homes håll. Detta, och en grisig Bakunin-abduktion, hjälper till i kartläggandet av träskfeberns smittovägar.

The activist disease, or swamp fever as it’s commonly known, can be traced back at least as far as Mikhail Bakunin, the founding ‘father’ of ‘revolutionary’ anarchism. (…) This is the real doctrine of the founding father of anarchist activism, beneath all his fine rhetoric about ‘freedom’ and ‘individuality,’ he is utterly contemptuous of both. By demanding a choice between ‘thought’ and ‘action,’ the various groups and individuals infected with swamp fever are promoting a false dichotomy. Clearly, the material unfolding of the class struggle leads the proletariat to self-consciousness, and therefore to a unity of theory and practice, something swamp inhabitants rail against precisely because they don’t operate from a proletarian perspective.

Mar 192007

Stewart Home har tagit över hemsidan om honom själv, och en hel del fräsht material har lagts ut. Igår eftermiddag läste jag LONDON ART TRIPPING: A PSYCHOGEOGRAPICAL EXCURSION TAKING IN TWO GENERATIONS AND FIFTY YEARS. Sedan spenderade jag kvällen med att supa och trippa ut på Stewart Home.

Han ska ha sina props. Han hittar ofta helt rätt i avant gardets snåriga resonemang i sina intervjuer, historieskrivningar och pamfletter. Och framförallt har han hamrat ut mängder lågbudgetsprosa med tillräckligt trubbigt våld, sex, uppskruvad teori och populärkulturspastischer. Ett samlag eller mord på varje sida garanteras.

Nämner man Luther Blisset, SMILE, Monty Cantsin, Karen Elliot, Neoist Network, KLF, eller The Art Strike ringer det kanske klockor. Home kan påpeka att han stått där i skuggorna av dessa och dylika projekt, och dragit i trådar eller historicerat.

Även om han under mycket av sin aktiva tid kunde skriva under Raoul Vaneigems ord om att “those people who talk about cultural revolution without explicitly attacking the institution of art, without understanding what was subversive in the link up between the anti-Bolshevik communist-left and the Berlin dadaists, and what was positive in the avant-garde’s doomed attempts to bridge the gap between art and life, such people have a corpse in their mouth”, har han aldrig hållt sig till den Situationistiska Internationalens moraliska konstavhållsamhet. Han sällar sig till den skara post-situationister som uppmuntrar en rakryggad vinnar-attityd och interventioner i skådespelet, i kontrast mot Debords paranoia och ressentiment.

“I exhibited a bed because I’d just come off Art Strike. I didn’t show the bed I actually slept on but rather a different bed, because I didn’t want to present something ‘authentic’. I liked the reaction my Art Strike Bed got, and decided to keep showing the piece but substituting a different bed each time. I showed a derelict’s bed in an exhibition curated by Jane Pollard and Ian Forsyth called “Yourself Is Steam”, and it was placed opposite a Tracy Emin work; this was shortly before she produced her own “My Bed” which proved to be the antithesis of mine, since Emin’s was all about ‘trauma’ and ‘authenticity’.”

“I started going to galleries on my own at the age of twelve. The first gallery exhibition I went to without adult supervision was a show of original art work from various Marvel Comics at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1974. That said, on the whole I found the strikes and political strife of the mid-seventies more interesting than its culture.”

Att skriva om första person är komplicerat, men Home gör det anständigt. Förut har han inte ordat så fritt om sin egna historia. Öppnar man upp ett självbiografiskt snitt i sin produktion utsöndras mycket sammanlänkande skaparkraft, men det beredes väg för sjävlgodhet, personupptagenhet och förmätenhet. Trevligt då att Home lyckas väl med det förra, och till stor del lyckas undvika det senare.


Switch to our mobile site