Sunday, December 03, 2006


CO-RITUS Manifesto

1. The Renaissance is irrevocably over. And if we did not work on eradicating it, one day it would eradicate itself.

2. With an enormous bang. 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 ...

3. In European cultural tradition there is an insurmountable barrier between performer and audience. This barrier is blocking the cultural evolution and threatens to make all of us into twaddling fools in the supermarket of the culture industry. To make us victims of repression of undreamt scale.

4. We want to create new rituals. Rituals are human thinking shaped in social patterns. Every cultural pattern is a ritual.

5. European cultural tradition is as one-eyed as the individualised central perspective of the Renaissance. From here there is only one position to view things from at a time: the position of the artist or the audience. The cultural ritual created in this way by the Renaissance made the exhivbition a confining trap, which Tinguely, Happenings, Fluxus and the Nouveau Realists are still helplessly caught in.

6. Individualism is utopian. However it became the perspective in which European cultural understanding was formed. This produced the divide between the individual and the group, between the ideal and tha banal, between art and anti-art, between the creator and the sheep. This produced Communism, Cubism, Liberalism, Fascism. Now the utopian epoch is over. No more utopias can be produced. Time has run out.

7. The perspective of the Renaissance became the leap of technology, but at the same time became the pretext for doing nothing in cultural life.

8. It is happening in the artist or the spectator, traditon tells us, it is sublime or banal. We say: from our point of view art is happening in the space between. In the space between people, in the space between the sublime and the banal. It is the functioning of art we want to change. It is here and now it is happening.

9. We are de-christianising the idea of the People's Colleges. We are de-animising the African tradition. We are stealing and borrowing as we feel like. We are using the heritage. Moreover, we allow ourselves to play with it.

10. This is the first time it has been said to the audience: Come and join us. Get down to it. Everybody has got right of appeal.

11. CO-RITUS is washing art shinning clean. It is the bomb under cultural life. But we do not need to attempt assassination. The cultural life has been at a standstill since 1850.

Jens Jørgen THORSEN,
Jørgen NASH,
Hardy STRID.

May have originally appeared at the Co-Ritus show held at the Gallerie Jensen (December 1962). Translated by Jakob Jakobsen from Jens Jorgen Thorsen: Friheden Er Ikke Til Salg, Bogan 1981.


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