Although the tension between these two positions is more visible in the last two decades, and especially since the beginning of this decade, it is not so much a problem of which position the artists will be choosing. What is important is motivation, tactics and vision – there are numerous examples with different outcomes and success/effectiveness from the first that is idealistic and from the other, materialistic position.
In this case, with the gesture of OPA, the dilemma about the two positions is commented, through the precisely poised choice. For the dilemma to be even more delicate and more serious, it is designed intentionally for someone who is directly involved in the abovementioned debate and, especially in the last decade, reflects and recalls the problems and challenges, and also ever more clearly emphasizes the importance of responsibility in art, and its political dimension.
Back to the Troublesome Place of Art Definitions
And, at least to me, what would be art today, if not precisely that unstable/destabilizing element of free-fluctuating visual (or multimedia) culture, that anomalous entity, that broken hammer in Heidegger’s sense, which is not only the wider audience, but also for the guards of disciplinary knowledge, those non-inventive bureaucratic parrots that are almost always confused. And so, again and again, with every gesture that goes unpretentiously out of some categorization, classification or simply belongs to a tradition that is beyond the current trends and the expected, OPA once again confirm this important dimension.
Without the necessary, normal and expected process of “summing up the experiences”, through which the discipline of art history, despite the expanded field of visual culture, could demonstrate its openness to challenges and changes, we cannot expect to overcome the present feeling of confusion, or the indifference about art, its function and meaning. Without this, we would be even less able to orient ourselves, let alone to the wider social context or, as in this case, issues related to macroeconomics or the global financial system.
And for OPA, as authors who flagrantly violate all expectations with skilled meandering movements, to the point that for them so far with almost no exception is a highest priority, it remains to be written a lot, and in depth.
17. Boris Groys has written on many occasions and in a different form about this dilemma as well as the problems and challenges arising from the intersection of art and activism. Boris Groys, ”On Art Activism” (e-flux, no.56, June 2014). .
18. All of that is aimed at countering the hauntingly emptied reflections on art as a search for the presumed perfect form unconstrained by content, ideas that outside the professional circles are still dominant, as well as numerous examples of counterproductive “engagement”.
19. Jan Białostocki, Povjestumetnostiihumanističkeznanosti (Zagreb: GHZ, 1986).