10 VANITY

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
—ECCLESIASTES, Old Testament

Contemporary art has been accused of being superficial, empty, and meaningless. Yes. It is true—the nonsense of art is also its raison d’être. However, the supposed vagueness of art and its apparent lack of meaning is nothing more than the sign of its relevance in an increasingly reified world where entertainment and vanity reigns. Art deals with absence. Yes. Art represents those relevant issues that are ignored and neglected by our culture, by our shared history, and by our political leaders. Yes. Entitlement and diversity are recurring notions in our current political and artistic discourses, and yet, who is forming consensus around these fundamental questions? Life, the experience of freedom and ethics, should be our guide, but is not. Art should also be an anchor for social practice, but is not. Art, like life, needs to be restated constantly and protected daily. It is a process governed by its end. Art cannot be the mirror of the world—that would be too much to ask for. However, the pressing call of our time invites us to consider the possibility of seeing contemporary artistic practices as a vehicle that reflects on a more ethical and social life, a vital vehicle in the construction of a we.

—ENTKUNSTUNG

Flesh to Cloth 5
Darren Harvey-Regan
2019
Balance From Within
Jakob Tonski
2012
Protect your neck
Max Geisler
2019
Can’t Help Myself
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
2016

VANITAS EST NOBIS

Pose (film stillls)
Hanna Schwarz
2011