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Ivana Keser: My life is (not) your life

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David Torres

It is enough to name ethics and politics so that an artwork is viewed from an engaged angle. An angle which, as curator and critic, I believe we must uncover. No one is innocent. If we do not want to uncover and foster the critical engagement and political character of an artwork, we are also playing a political game. This is a reactionary game and it is pretending to fill museums with objects that say nothing to us. I believe that we do not want art which occupies the empty rooms of a museum and nothing else. Can we search for art which speaks of our lives, of the world we live in and not only to reaffirm what we already think? Art takes us into a situation of crisis; to question our position and all that surrounds us. The question is how? Nicolous Bourriaud in "Esthétique Relationelle" has written of the end to the revolutionary spirit and of the social utopias in art. Indeed, the art of this century has not caused a world revolution and the world is not a better place to live in despite the proliferation of artwork. Even the art which has examined the explicit accusation of a truthful situation has not accomplished its task. Most often, it has fallen into a political pamphlet or the mass-media. Institutions have assumed this information for its own and neutralised it. There has been a call to see the end of art and its possible engagement. Must this path be taken? Are there no options? I believe that there is an opportunity to move through this problem. Ivana Keser's work is a good example of the political engagement. She offers a more slippery and astute possibility. She acts with a certain perversion. It is not enough to be satisfied with a simple description of Ivana Keser's work. Photographs combined with text within the genre of graphic design appear in publications such as this newspaper and in publications which she composes. She shows, in an allusive way, a kind of vital portrait and private comment about life and her place in the world. Ivana no longer speaks to us of an absolute social utopia. With her experience, she knows better than anyone about the failure of social utopias. She attempts to denounce such an Within her text and images, she gives us a private and daily utopia made to the measure of our limitations. It speaks of the necessity of building us our lives every day. Ivana Keser's message to us is a discerning one. The importance of this critique and of the acidity in relation to social issues as it is addressed to us, comes from the private and personal to the private and personal. It drives to the stomach with the intention that the individual is conscious of his own individuality. I have talked about the perverse strategy in Ivana Keser's work. The message is in the newspaper, not in a museum, in the form of a mass-medium. Its intention is to illuminate the mass conciousness into an individual one. The message is for you and I. Ivana Keser attempts to change the mechanics of our daily newspaper. She moves away from the global politics and institutional news to create the truthful news of the individual. Her work is perverse because it asserts that there is a virus which contaminates the real necessity to build consciousness day by day. What is the work if it has not localised itself, if it is volatile? What if it makes its way to a public medium reaching the individual? Nothing of this has any relation to the yearning for changing the world or proposing a global revolution. This would be ingenious. It is only a private, transitory, limited utopia. However, it is large enough to allow us to survive. In any case, the aim is to cause slight and momentary modifications in people's intimate life. I recently read that the purpose of art is to transcend our daily miseries. I believe that if Flaubert would have read this he would be furious. I also believe that art is to depict us, to poke at our misery and to make us conscious of it. Ivana Keser speaks to us of the right to the indifference, to live and let live. This is an which could be politically fundamental.

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