The Idiosynchronist Manifesto: first draft
What is it?
The manifesto reads as follows:
We invite all those who wish to join us in defining a new form of art.
We categorically reject the current interpretation of Duchampian concepts of art which, although we laud the original ideas, rather than bringing the artist freedom have for over 50 years proved to be a prison in and ever diminishing field of nihilism and laziness.
Likewise we reject all concepts of the artist as a camera or decorator recording pleasing visual images and patterns.
By the same token we see many of the contemporary "isms" as bastions for rogues. They have become a wall behind which artists and buyers with little imagination or courage hide behind, in order to mask themselves and disguise their innate lack of skill or perception.
Most contemporary abstraction is merely randomly decorative and has no other function. It is a rolling dice with little meaning and substance. Kandinsky and Klee and others led us down blind alleys which manifestly failed in their purpose. Klein was right.
Nothing should be ever done in an artwork to please a third party.
Our purpose is mischief.
Nothing should ever be constructed in a deliberate attempt to be deep and meaningful. True spirit can only be ever based on your own direct experience and not on so called universal truths. The only universal truth is yourself and the ever changing moment you find yourself in.
An artist should never be a decorator, and a work of art should never be judged by how pleasing it is to the eye.
To please the eye is to paralyze the mind.
Unless a work challenges or expresses the inner mind, it amounts to nothing.
It can never comfortably sit above the sofa in the living room.
No work of art can ever been more than a caricature of our inner perception.
Our work is about our perception of our waking reality and not our dreams.
We believe that the purpose of art is to question our perception of the world and society around us. But to show dead objects and then say my work is about death, is an irrelevant tautology and must be opposed. The converse is equally true.
Rules are made to be broken, but only after we have learnt them.
We accept canvas, paint and traditional skills.
We accept objects.
We accept thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
The only illusion is Objectivity.
We accept rigorous discipline and long hours of hard work in order to master technical skills which only then must be thrown to the winds.
Our ultimate goal is nothing for it is the parent of all.
Signed this day: 6th April 2006
Emilio Zapotek Nic Costa Jemima Puddleduck
addendum added 29 6 08: essential reading: Tom Wolf The Painted Word, Eugene Herrigel Zen In the Art of Archery, John Gribbin In Search of Schrodinger's Cat