W.V. That is right. I know it has something to do with space. I was trained to practice intelligence in a two-dimensional filmic space. Eventually, it becomes nonsense and outright deception.
C.C. A last question: I have been thinking about this for a while. Right now in France there is a big debate concerning contemporary art. A lot of people are criticizing it very strongly. So there's a sort of crisis about the aims of contemporary art and I would like to know from both of you: what would be the biggest danger concerning what you're working on?
W.V. The art as commodity is something I cannot square in my mind. Any which way it is done, it is absurd.
D.F. My feeling is, the domination of the galleries and why it is so strong today is because there are no more values. There are no shared values whatsoever, so you can't use a shared value as a way of describing art anymore, the only way you can is through money.
W.V. That is an interesting point, of course. On the other hand, artists used to deliver advice on how to live, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, even the modernists would teach you about ethics of the left:, that it is good to hate money and that capitalism is bad. Today there is no serious way to address the public. What do you tell them? The old ideological systems are really discredited. I do not think there is even a chance that art could look like it did, or be useful the way it used to.
S.V. An artist often was this person who could not really function in society and therefore was an artist. But now there are these hordes of artists who function completely within the society and are indeed very much a part of it. And that seems somehow for an artist to be a wrong role.
D.F. Because they are not out ahead of it, which is where they really should be.
W.V. Unless they would sacrifice themselves every afternoon. If
there were some self-immolations, some hara-kiri and wrist slashing, I
think artists could gain a kind of leadership again. But who is going
to go through that?