Artist, Worker, Soldier (2000)

I am an artist, a worker, a soldier. I do not fight for myself. I have a mission. It’s an impossible mission. I believe in Energy. I don’t believe in Quality. Energy Yes! Quality No! I hate qualitative thinking, in art or anywhere else, energy is all that counts. I want to make simple and economical work. I want to make dense and charged work. I want to work in over-work. I want to work politically. I want to face up to the World around me, I want to remain attentive and lucid. I don’t want to exclude anyone with my work but above all, I want to include with my work. I want to fight without thinking about winning or losing. I am not chaotic, I am not a theoretician, I am not a philosopher. I don’t need philosophy for my work as an artist; I need philosophy as a human being, as a man. But I carry with me a philosopher’s marvelous answer to the question: “What can philosophy do?” “Philosophy can bring sadness.” I have the will to give form. Giving form is my commitment as an artist. Art is a tool for me, a tool for knowing the world, a tool for discovering reality, a tool for the experience of passing time. I don’t ask myself if my work functions. I think it’s necessary for it not to function in order to remain utopian. I don’t want to work for fashion. Beauty must be preserved from capitalism. Fashion favors escaping to the personal, private, selected, chosen, fake self-determination. Fashion reflects the fear of loss of identity. I want to do my work like a warrior. Everything has to come from the inside, from myself in confrontation with myself. I believe in resistance in art. I want to work with what belongs to me and I want to stay free.

T.H. August 2000