TransAct 11

TransAct statement

Given the terrible century we have just completed, it is probably understandable that people outside a given country over-react when anyone inside that country says things that relate to the causes of our historical agonies. The reaction will be even more greatly inflected when the party of the spokesman for these awful ideas is elected to the government, as happened recently in Austria. We are, on the other hand, not especially compelled by the danger of slippery-slope argumentation – that if we do not register our disapproval with actions, then increment by increment, Austria will slide into nazism. There are too many countervailing powers. So we outsiders, when we register our disapproval, have an obligation to declare our solidarity with those forces in the society that are in opposition to those we rightly fear. We count the artistic and intellectual classes in Austria to be among these forces, and so we feel it necessary to give them our unswerving support.

Arthur C. Danto, Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Columbia University New York and Art Critic for The Nation

Barbara Westman, Artist, New York

New York, 9 March 2K