Friday, August 5, 2016

Il boomerang di Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev & Co contro il Volksbühne staff

>>>anche Carolyn Christov Bakargiev firma lo sprezzante appello contro lo staff del berlinese teatro Volksbühne e a sostegno del neodirettore Dercon, figura a lungo alla guida dalla Tate Modern.
Sottolineo che Bakargiev per la seconda volta e pochi anni dopo la “figlia di Mario e Marisa Merz” (artisti di una corrente del secolo scorso denominata Arte Povera) a Torino gestisce un'istituzione d’arte pubblica come se fosse la galleria del suo limitato gusto personale e il mausoleo di stato dell'Arte Povera. Evidentemente è proprio tale deriva di estremo personalismo censorio di ogni altra visione, prospettiva, approccio, contesto in nome di una delega dettata dalla politica e da “modelli precostituiti” imposti su scala globale che i lavoratori del teatro tedesco temono, quindi quella perdita di autorevolezza che riduce un'istituzione pubblica alla compiaciuta autoreferanzialità di un unica figura, prassi che invece di elaborare conflitti e posizioni differenti, li omette.
Se alcune istituzioni artistiche torinesi hanno accettato di entrare in una sorta di coma pilotato da decenni, tale scelta ha costi culturali e professionali altissimi e pretendere da altri di inseguire tale deriva è semplicemente assurdo. Giusto e corretto il timore del Volksbühne staff quando in una densa e lapidaria nota osserva il rischio che the artistic processing of social conflict is displaced in favor of a globally extended consensus culture with uniform presentation and sales patterns.

 La casta della cultura gerarchizzata e globalizzata dei firmatari dell’appello parla finanche di “colpo di stato”, si trincera con toni minacciosi dietro l’investitura ricevuta da Dercon dalla politica, quindi introduce implicitamente tra il neodirettore ed i dipendenti del teatro 
(90 staff members e 80 freelancers) quella sfida che mira ad ottenere il silenzio di ogni alterità di pensiero attraverso l’autocensura. 
Gli stessi metodi strumentali da essi solitamente attuati con la categoria professionale degli artisti. 
Tutto ciò in nome della “Berlin’s global stature”, quasi che la “Berlin’s global stature” si alimenti di disprezzo per ogni confronto, dibattito, discussione. 

Il passaggio "at its crudest, the open letter is about power, and the abuse of the privilege conferred by public employment to defeat an individual’s vision" sposta il centro della questione che invece va individuato nella collisione di due modelli differenti di intendere autorevolezza nell'istituzione pubblica, quindi la cultura come elaborazione dei conflitti; ad una strategia divenuta prassi centrata sulla sua restituzione simulata ed estetizzata nell'omissione di ogni elemento non conforme a modelli prestabiliti e uniformati su scala globale se ne contrapone una seconda, impersonificazione catartica di posizioni antitetiche attraverso le nozioni di "personaggio", "scena", "narrazione" in un confronto assoluto con la parola.  
E che dire della "tactic of public denunciation undertaken by Mr. Dercon’s detractors to damage his professional credibility and impugn his personal integrity"? Gli intellettuali del Volksbühne contestano (più che la persona) il modello di cui Dercon è portatore, in cui la "visionary leadership in the museum field" divine alibi per fare censura di stato. GLI attori-clown alla Bakargiev che si atteggiano a pensatori radicali al vertice gerarchico di ricche istituzioni di stato sono un portato del tardo postmodernismo: un'idea di avanguardia e ricerca completamente finzionale, la loro.
 
Ecco il testo dell'aggressiva risposta, senz'altro un effetto boomerang per gli argomenti utilizzati, i toni allarmistici completamente fuori misura in quanto rivolti anche (oltre che al potere politico) a quelli che dovrebbero essere i futuri collaboratori del neo-direttore; suona come un chiaro alibi dato a Dercon di scavalcare già l'influenza dello staff del teatro i cui timori risultano ancor più fondati e dimostra la difficoltà di intavolare una discussione con figure che ad ogni divergenza fanno pesare il proprio ruolo gerarchico.

Open Letter from Concerned Cultural Actors about Recent Discussions Surrounding the Directorship of Volksbühne in Berlin
Dear Mayor Michael Müller,
Last week we read with interest and dismay the open letter authored by 90 staff members and 80 freelancers of the Volksbühne in Berlin in opposition to the appointment of Chris Dercon as the incoming director of the theater. In normal circumstances of employment-related dispute between members of management and staff, we would have taken a more circumspect view of this letter.

However, because the main goal of the open letter was intended as a mechanism to reverse the directorial mandate vested in Mr. Dercon by the Berlin Senate, we did not want to stand aside and witness a miscarriage of justice being perpetrated. Nor did we want to sanction, without public comment, the tactic of public denunciation undertaken by Mr. Dercon’s detractors to damage his professional credibility and impugn his personal integrity.
Indeed, one can grant the authors of the open letter the fact that Mr. Dercon comes from the museum world and not the theater field. That is not in dispute. Nevertheless, for signatories of this letter to make the claim that his association with museums is liable to bring to Volksbühne “a global consensus culture with uniform presentation and sales patterns” is risible, as is the claim that there is one single truth presided over by those who signed the open letter. Given its derisive tone and the a priori judgment of a cultural programme that has not yet been realized, the substance of the open letter makes it clear that there is a different agenda at work.
A cursory reading of the complaints and the charges leveled within the letter reveals clearly that the motive is not about jobs or the defense and protection of the legacy of the Volksbühne; nor is it about art and the fearless engagement with ideas. At its crudest, the open letter is about power, and the abuse of the privilege conferred by public employment to defeat an individual’s vision. In the single-minded pursuit of an agenda of public co-optation, the signatories of the letter have bypassed all objective standards for serious debate and have descended to employing fear and censorship to oppose ideas they may not support.
The concerted public circus that surrounds the appointment of Mr. Dercon, the lack of decorum in the reception of his appointment, and, above all, the inability of his detractors to accord him even the most minimal courtesy, should be professionally embarrassing and damaging to a city of Berlin’s global stature. If the city accedes to a narrow-minded and self-interested coup d’etat, it will have succumbed to cheap innuendo and failed to defend the professional basis upon which Mr. Dercon was appointed. Berlin will also relinquish all claims to being an open city, a cosmopolitan place where professionals can accept an appointment in good faith with the freedom to think adventurously and create beyond the conventional bounds of institutional structures.
At the risk of restating the obvious, Chris Dercon brings with him to Berlin strong record of visionary leadership in the museum field over three decades. He has built and skillfully managed strong and thriving institutions, and has a global view of the importance of art and ideas in instigating change. As a highly respected figure in the field of contemporary art he has supported, nurtured, and realized the critical visions of artists; he has relentlessly demonstrated a commitment to experimentation and risk-taking; and in so doing earned the trust and admiration of peers.
In lending our support to Chris Dercon, it is our hope that common sense will prevail over alarmist sensationalism. We also wish to note that every change of leadership by definition is a vote for creative rupture. To bring excellence and vitality to culture we must constantly dare to appoint new stewards of institutions, who are charged to challenge and reimagine their place in our cultural, political, and moral reality. Given his record of accomplishment over the last three decades, we believe that Mr. Dercon is not only eminently positioned to lead the Volksbühne; he is also a bold and inspired choice. We applaud the Berlin Senate for inviting him to Berlin. Furthermore, we are convinced that Mr. Dercon will leverage his prior experience in some of the world’s most respected and renowned museums to reinforce and enhance the deserved reputation of the Volksbühne.
Okwui Enwezor
Director, Haus der Kunst, München, München

Hans Ulrich Obrist
Director, Serpentine Gallery, London

Hortensia Völckers
Executive Board / Artistic Director, Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Halle

David Chipperfield Architect
Thomas Weski Curator
Ulrich Wilmes
Chief Curator, Haus der Kunst,

Rem Koolhaas, Architect
Jacques Herzog, Architect
Bernd Scherer
Director, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Richard Sennett
Professor of London School of Economics

Alexander Kluge Filmmaker and Author
Manthia Diawara
Professor, New York University

Peter Saville Designer
Christine Macel
Chief Curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Konstantin Grcic Designer
Sabine Breitwieser
Director, Musuem der Moderne, Salzburg

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker Choreographer
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev Director, Castello di Rivoli, Torino
Adam Szymczyk Director, Documenta 14
Dirk Snauwaert Director, Wiels, Brussels
Matthias Mühling
Director, Lenbachhaus, Munich

Phillipe Parreno Artist
Susanne Gaensheimer Director, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a. Main
Friedrich Meschede
Director, Kunsthalle, Bielefeld

Kasper König
Curator, former Director Museum Ludwig, Cologne