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<nettime> Adequatio Artis et Torturae Towards Marcello Mercados Capital
Nils Roeller on Wed, 8 Aug 2001 03:41:33 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Adequatio Artis et Torturae Towards Marcello Mercados Capital

Adequatio Artis et Torturae -- Towards Marcello Mercados Capital

Primo Levi spoke once about the shame to be a human being. The shame to be
a human being did grow within him after having survived the holocaust.
Levi wrote that the shame to have been tortured, to have been treated in a
way that cannot be seen in parallels to other treatments, did grow in
himself after the liberation of the concentration camps. This is one
factor that helps to see Marcello Mercados work The Capital. The videofilm
is a work in progress since years, it is finding now its shape. The actual
state is 70 minutes long. Most time the capital is formed by moving
abstract colours and an overhelming soundscape.

The film is not all the time abstract. This has to do with the second
factor: Of colourmaking and of abstraction. The color Fra Angelico became
famous for - the Fra Angelico blue – goes back to lapizlazuli stones. Very
expensive stones and a very long and precious way were necessary to
produce colour from these stones. Marcello Mercados colours go back to
Super 8 films: films of tortured persons in Argentina. It is found footage
material that someone gave to him. Mercados colour productions starts from
these images. He shows this basic images at the end of the film. At the
end of the film one starts to feel shame, shame to have liked colours and
forms that have been abstracted from yellow, blue, deformated, burned
bones and organs. Marcellos work challenges an old definition of what is
true or not. True is when mental concepts are adequate to the things they
represent. Three questions do arise immediatley: What is a mental concept?
What is an adequate representation? And what are things? Stefan Zweig
discusses aspects of this questions in the context of the theory of novel.
Zweig argues that Dostojewskis novels are beautiful because they are truly
lived through: The writer Dostojewski did live through all the cruelties
and tortures he is writing about.

This enabeld him in the interpetation of Zweig to represent Russia in a
true that is adequat form. Zweig argumentation assumes that art is
overhelming when an adequation between the representing artists and the
represented reality is taking place. This is highly problematic. At
minimum in two regards: First because Dostojewski did need a central idea
(in his case: the idea of the becoming moral superiority of russia) in
order to maintain and persue the construction of his novels, second
because the adeqution is a relativ criterion. At the same time, but in a
different geophilosphical context the definition of adequatio is not
connected with an action of the soul, but to well working technology (see
for example the biologist Ernst Haeckel).

How an adeqution is performed can be discussed in terms of
geophilosophical and epistemic conditions. Marcellos Mercados The capital
reflects this. Like Dostojewski he has survived extreme situations, but in
difference to Dostojewski Marcello does not construct a central idea in
order to organize his expressions. Marcello uses distinctly technology in
order to question what he has seen and suffered. Flint- and Paintbox –
Techniques are used as optical devices who do shape another view on the
phenomena to express. This enables him to step beside his powerstation of
sensations and to discuss them from a different angle. Colour options and
geometric constructions are such angles. They are laid out in the programm
of the machines. But this angels are not focussed by a fleeing point, but
by an open horizont formed by a critique on capitalism. The Capital of
Marx serves in the Capital of Mercado as an open horizont of questions
(not as stock for clear ideas that may order actions and events) and as an
invitation to discuss the fact of torture and cruelity in a post-colonial

Please check also note on Cusco
And on Toti in South America (in english) www.tuxamoon.de/text/Toti.html

Nils Röller

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