Marjana Pahor, 1993, ALUO, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Mentor: prof. Tomaž Brejc

Subjective Criticism
Modus Vivendi: ARS – a summary

There was no meaning to explore new theory of critique, art and war. This is only an essay. So much was already written, said and suffered.
Sitting and thinking in front of Guernica in August 1990, what is so big on or in her and despite of all histories and theories there was no understanding in the sensual background of the picture. Until … the airplanes were flying over Ljubljana and demolished a lot of Croatian and Bosnian cities. “Desastres de la Guerra” has experienced its own reprise. This time alive.
War disrupts art. Art is peace. Art cannot live with weapons, it cannot rattle with sabres. Art is tameness, where there is strength. Only reconciliation can be reborn to art, that is why art has to become the way of living and the way of living has to become art.

War: Outline of critic Donald Kuspit “Barbaric war”

With a myth of Ifigenia in Tauride, Kuspit tries to explain, his subjectivist relation during the war. He is critical in the sense of not concealing eyes and ears. The war is a companion of a life. It establishes death as a criterium of truth – war is one of big topics. The war personifies the basic problems of life, from love to death, from power to individuality. War is one of this repeating, ugly, obvious facts of life, which appoints us to extreme demands and, which threatens to take over our lives. War, which destroys our potential for freedom, where all our energy is put into extreme and, where there is no easy way out of it. War unites as Freud sweet-talks, demands of reality between the two and attention to itself with her absence, but always with her real possibility. Heraclitus says, that the war is the secret origin of all possible activities, “she leads in a disagreement”, but she is necessary for the existence. Most probably he thought in “tension between contrasts” it is an essential oscillation in the big circular process,that is happening all the time. War can be as well “a cause, a harmony builder, because of the most sophisticated harmony is composed by different elements.”

In memoriam: Walter Benjamin

Benjamin is forerunner and one of the most important founders of “theoretical critique”. He reaches critical distance with sensible differentiation. Benjamin represents non academical variety of a critique with his own reflection of absence of the dominant topic. The contents of these reflections are not result of an arbitrary choice, not the means of communication in the institutional public competition of originality, but this sooner or later belongs to organon detection of reader and spectator. He is capable to discover the invisible and unseen. Benjamin’s fundamental motive of the intellectual opus is possible to choose directly, as experience of insufficient, theory in relation to world ambiguity, multilateral phenomenon for example, art, which is next to by oneself phenomenon. Any critic can be recognized in Walter Benjamin’s theory. Some of the critics have subconscious whish of identification and continuation of the too soon defunct philosopher and critic. I can firmly claim to see this in Kuspits ambition, which is successfully followed, but is as well binding to his forerunner.
If we attribute dialectics to Hegel and phenomenology to Husserl, we can attribute critics of subjectivity to Walter Benjamin, which is developed to it’s borders with Kuspit.

Epilogue: Fiat Ars

The century of modernism is only a tragic term of decomposition, solipsism and inability to depth of communication, where all our communication is reduced to concepts, to objective symbols, which are not symbols, but signs. More than 180 years ago The Colossus was painted and a bit less from Guernica and when after Auschwitz and Hiroshima larpurlatism is no longer possible, because a man has fallen so deep, until Sarajevo. Signs really do exist; reality and real, such sign and power has Guernica. With the coming of Guernica to Madrid the democracy really came to Spain.

In the inner as well as in the outer world of art, which are necessarily co-dependent one from another, where everything can be explained, mastered and lighten up with analytical reason. The problematic is in the era that we live in, as some kind of hymn odd autonomy of human being and his abilities. In the modern era the human being experiences oneself as an absolute subject of everything and that is why everything is subjection to reality and he is the only personal subject. Modern human being closes horizon in its apparent infinity in its ratio. He, thus, modern human being, is going further away from signs of objective reality; he does not define himself as a human being in its ecstasy, which is created in order to restrain himself to exceed the edge of oneself and to agree in a relationship, that is opening into the infinity. He is experiencing himself in the relationship between the world and society, but both experiences are valid upon economical thinking. The modern human being is removed from the Life as Absolute and, that is why his creativity asserts on formal level of quantity and materiality.

The creativity is especially affirmation of the human being in order to experience himself as the “Creator”. That is why development and progress are the magical words in this modern era. Human being has drifted away from the core of life, nature and/or God. The life itself exists in the way of existence itself. The dream of modern man is seen as an economical standard, which actually conditions the modern culture. The latter catches a painter, because the painting has in these modern times, the function of a good investment (if we only mention enormous selling price of Van Goghs “Irises”). The whole progress is always in the new technological inventions, which again enable higher standard. Looking from the point of Life contents we can say that a man never invents something new, there are only some kind of formal changes. Its creation becomes more contradictory, nervous and anarchic. We remember consciousness try in Gaugin’s suicide and decision, that his life ends with the painting “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we?”

A man´s own culture is becoming tiring labyrinth of one’s individual affirmations. All of a sudden, a man appears not as a master of the universe but as a “tyrant” in the reality and in the society. Actually, a modern man is taking it out on the nature on the most humiliating possible way, exploiting it. The modern era is the appearance of the utmost cunning political system of society of political control. Eva Cockroft states in the article Abstract expressionism, weapon of the cold war, that Pollocks pictures and paintings of abstract expressionism were caused with the American imperialistic politics and tendency of time. In this way the new myth of modern American society can be established. There is a real nervousness of originality in the art, to be original for all stake, so to say have one´s own art language, one´s own language, even though nobody in the world can understand and decode this language. This creation is going further away from ontological reality and is dealing with the recognition, that means that the emphasis is transmitted to Reality of art of knowledge, of logic, which is more and more subjective and is even though it is sold as big objectiveness, but designed, by a human being and his ratio, where it´s immanently exhausted. Objective reality is in this way captured only in human ratio but not only this, it becomes human ratio in all his cognitive and analytical capability.

Post-modernism is evaluating the highest rationalities of our western civilization as entirely lonely castles of subjectivist mentality. The logical consequence is hermeneutical thinking that can become rotation in the closed circle, as nothing can be explained; there are only a bunch of words. The time of psychology starts. Nobody should think that this psychology style is something very positive. This means only logical consequence, that a man made from antique until post-modernism.


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