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‘Non-Programming’ and ‘Non-Satisfaction’ in the «Robert Walser-Sculpture»

By Thomas Hirschhorn

‘Non-programming’ is a form. I understand this form as necessary to remain alert, to remain attentive, to remain sensitive. ‘Non-programming’ is the assertion that art – because it is art – can create unexpected dialogue and confrontation from one to one. The «Robert Walser-Sculpture» wants to establish the conditions for an experience: the experience that an audience can be created on the sole basis of production – without it being programmed, announced or communicated. Therefore, there will neither be timetables nor schedules with fixed hours. The participants in the «Robert Walser-Sculpture» will decide the timing of their intervention themselves. I will be their first listener; I will be their first listener and the one accompanying and helping them setup whatever they need. ‘Non-programming’ comes from an artistic decision – it does not operate according to a cultural choice, but manifests the boundaries between art and culture by deliberately positioning itself as art.

Thus, the ‘non-exclusive public’ constitutes the core of this artwork and, following the logic of ‘non-programming’, this public opens the field of ‘non-satisfaction’. The ‘non-exclusive public’ will understand – in and with the «Robert Walser-Sculpture» – that the question is not just about gaining satisfaction or about immediate satisfaction. This public will be the first one to understand and experience this because ‘availability’ is its specificity. And also because ‘non-programming’ in the «Robert Walser-Sculpture» is a novelty, the future and the key to the future. The ‘non-exclusive public’ is indubitably the hard core of my projects that follow the guidelines of ’Presence and Production’. This public is open to the experience and consists mainly of people who have spare time, of young people sometimes at the margin of society, who participate by giving their presence and their production for reasons of their own that remain unknown. The ‘non-exclusive public’ will be the heart of the «Robert Walser-Sculpture».

The ‘non-exclusive public’ understands that it needs to support, agree with, and even hope for ‘non-satisfaction’ which comes from ‘non-programming’. The ‘non-exclusive public’ understands that it participates in the creation of an event as a consequence of the state of ‘non-satisfaction’. Most of all, it understands and is willing to experience that an event without transformation is no event. It knows that transformation can only happen because ‘non-satisfaction’ is experienced as ‘resistance’; resistance which is itself, ‘transformation’. Because ‘non-satisfaction’ is a tool to resist cultural, economic, political, religious and social habits. The ‘non-exclusive public’ knows that art is ‘resistance’, resistance as such, and with this resistance makes transformation possible. This is why the «Robert Walser-Sculpture» is a work of art and not a cultural event. This is why culture leads to satisfaction – a satisfaction that remains passive – as opposed to art offering ‘non-satisfaction’ that becomes active. I believe that the dimension of ‘non-satisfaction’ allows the shaping of a new dynamic, a dynamic or a movement in which a new form of sculpture in public space is created, deployed, even re-deployed.

The «Robert Walser-Sculpture» is a work of art, a sculpture dedicated to the active: presence, production, thinking, memory, the moment, the here and the now. The «Robert Walser-Sculpture» is the form of what is uncertain, of what is alive, of what is to come, of the not guaranteed and the precarious.

Thomas Hirschhorn, January 2018

Photos©Enrique Muñoz García, All rights reserved