An Admirable Manifesto from Michaelangelo Pistoletto

“Art is responsible for establishing new principles of a harmonious relationship that involves aesthetics and common ethics, a harmony that leads all the elements that compose the social structure back to a “classical” proportion.

Art must reveal the possibility of determining the values of a vast equilibrium, emerging from the long “romantic” vicissitudes of progressivism.

Art is responsible for a new philosophy based on the comprehension of opposite poles, such as the absolute and the relative. This philosophy corresponds to a different way of conceiving both phenomenological dynamics and fideistic immobility.

Art is responsible for taking on the role of a fundamental proposition of thought, namely being the spiritual foundation that informs common existence according to a global concept of being.

Art is responsible for revealing the contrast between advanced technology and ancient dogmatic systems, producing a new way of seeing within consciousness.

Art is the primary expression of human creativity, thus the constant reference for every structural, technical, economic, and behavioral activity of society.

Art must go beyond the limitation of the object, of the so-called artistic product (while considering it to be of fundamental importance), in order to be active in every situation and place of planetary life.

Art must bring its unique perceptual sensibility to every system, whether productive, organizational, or political, to carry out the “composition” of the various parts, understood as harmonious elements of the civil concert. The lack of this sensibility is the cause of the sclerosis of every individual organism.

Above all, artists must not be only in art galleries or museums—they must be present in all possible activities. The artist must be the sponsor of thought in whatever endeavor people take on, at every level, from that of the “masses” to that of “command.””

– From Michaelangelo Pistoletto‘s July 2010 essay Art’s Responsibility—Artist as Sponsor of Thought (these thoughts originally written somewhere around 1992)

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