Composition of Martin Hybler, written in 2006, still up to date…
Pictures by Jana Kubankova.
Power structures are like darkness – visibly invisible, uncatchable, untouchable; having no contures, no shapes. They are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The borders are hidden. Such power structures are soft and amorphous, they will penetrate everywhere – like the darkness. These power structures make their real characters and their intentions unclear. They are more problematic, they are hard to define, hard to catch in words and hands, hard to oppose. They are in close proximity. Everywhere we move in everything we do there is an element of power structure, the shadow of darkness.
Fear of the power structures is same as the fobia from darkness. Dark is unfair enemy, having no face so that we could hit it, talk to it or even arouse compassion.
We all are in darkness in our self. Darkness is fear and uncertainty, doubts. Darkness is also our most personal space, space of delving into the pure self, space of no distrurb concentration by visual and surrounding world of perception. Darkness is a space of revealing the truth. I am in the darkness means I am deep in my soul and I can see the truth. We meet face to face in darkness with the power structures. What are we talking about together there?
„You are person. You are personal to yourself. Your final purpose is you. I am power structure. My final purpose is my power. You are just a tool to reach my purposes. You have your love and pains. I have you just as a body with cardiac muscle and nerves. You have your name, I have your evidence number. You are uniform cell in the system agregate.“
Power structures disrupt personal structures by unpersonalizing personal. In power structures, personality is reduced to object. Power structures negate human authenticity, human freedom. Human is not a final purpose anymore, but just a tool to reach other purposes, the purposes of power structures.
The power structures distribute reward of time and injustice of work. They precisely organize our opportinities and limits, define the character of our freedom, feed us by abundance of conveniencies. They put us masks on, giving us roles. We slowly get to distance from ourselves. We fall into darkness. We become passive, because we have no choice. We are falling asleep and we feel safely, because dark is also our personal safe space. We are taken care of and sleep in a square space of objective world, tired from work and sated by material conveniencies. We have everything. But do not dare to wake up!
Soon you realize your freedom is false, you live within precise framework planned in advance for you, you are a puppet of power structures, you are caught in a box with no exit.
Then everything that does not fit in square, your identity, your humanity, your art, will start screaming and beating on the walls trying to get out of the darkness to light, of the masks to nakedness which will not be shame but rescue.
“In memoriam Jan Patočka”
Jan Patočka, Czech Philosopher, first speaker of Charta 77, being prosecuted by the secret police. He died after one of tough police examinations in 1977. In his essays he was searching for human freedom and found it in the art.
Art seems to be crucial point in human societies throughout ages. Creative process appears like a human need even more like a leisure activity. Patočka said: “Human need of creation of new artworks is the last proof of human freedom.” Freedom is a primary condition of any existence to manifest its authenticity while authenticity can be pointed out as an identity of this particular being, but even more as a true basis of particular existence that makes this existence as such. Through ages people needed to express their existence, to somehow record their life and world. They often used an artistic expressions as a record, as a manifestation. Art drew an inspiration and content form human area and created some kind of a comment or rather a „source of definition on human affairs“. In 20. century, the power of definition was fully taken over the conceptual thinking such as mathematics and other natural sciences. Patočka says this is probably the historical milestone where art has lost the function of “human mirror” providing trustworthy information about the world. However the triumph of nominal sciences provided the art new possibilities. Instead being the reference quality, art became rather a source of searching for new meanings. According to Patočka, the meaning of the new artwork is not given in advance, but emanates from it after the creation. This would mean that the new art is searching for its meaning itself. Still it is us creating the artworks, it is still our world providing us inner inspiration getting out through new art. So how could the art lose its power of record? Is it that we have lost our trust in artistic evidence or we more do not understand the shapes that emanate from our new art as a records of our „new being“ in this „new world“?
In 20. century we provided primary evidence to natural sciences. By these, being purely rational, countable and measurable, we alienated from our authenticity and let ourselves become the objects of measuring. On the contrary the nature of human being is to be purely personal to himself or herself, because we do not mean ourselves naturally as numbers and measures, and being reduced to object is felt as an act of injustice and misunderstanding on a deepest existencial level. We are objects within the outer world, while within the inner space we stay personal to ourselves. We still express ourselves through art, but we no more give art socially satisfied „notification“ respect. We are taught to trust the measures and numbers more and this habit starts occupying also our inner world. I dare that new art provide space of trustworthy notification as in the past, it still is a mirror, just the contents that come out of this mirror differ. Who are we humans now within this nice working new world constituted by science and digital conveniencies? We built a barrier made by precise racionalitation and „objectivation“ of the world and now on the way to find the way back to ourselves we must overcome this distance to get to something that should be the closest and most natural quality in our lifes. We bound ourselves to slavery of being objects and voluntarily awarded our freedom to cold unpersonal entities…
Anyway, we need to be free to do art, but we even more need art to be free. Paintning the colours to touch ourselves, singing music to hear ourselves, do the art to meet ourselves on human basis. We simply need this freedom in a pure meaning of essential condition of human existence.
I come from the country that was bound with totalitarian regime of communists for ages. I also come from the generation that was born around the Velvet Revolution and have no real contact and experience with this period of time. I just meet various kinds of people talking about their experience which always leads me to reflections on the key issue of that times – the idea of freedom. Let me share one brief article on freedom with you…
We used to have few and we had not possibility of choice. Now we have plenty and we have not ability to choose. We fundamentaly need freedom and we fundamentaly need certainty.
Our idea of freedom is based on desire to know that it is us making our lives happen. We tend to be free because we feel that true authenticity of our lifes starts right there. Our idea of certainty is that I can rely on the fact that state of affair is long-term consistent framework where my possition is clear and stable. This is where our life-certainty starts.
Authenticity is difficult, dangerous and makes our life uncertain. Certainty is difficult, dangerous and makes our life non-authentic.
When mind is free, it is always the mind responsible for itself. When mind is free, it must always face the responsibility of decissions, solutions and verification the truth. Every hour of every day. When mind is given certainty, it does not need to consider the issues and verify the truth, because this all has been already solved some way by somebody else. Once upon a time during certain hour of one particular day.
We tend to freedom because we somehow feel that by being free we meet ourselves truly, unless it is still something we are not about to bear because it is just too heavy. Freedom is uncoverable by human limited conventional mind. Idea of freedom transcends human mind bound by convention.
Freedom brings doubts about certainty of comfortable conventional life. When being free, we still have to confront the convention, whether it lies to us or whether it is correct and true and this is exactly the act that tears us away from the light mind – slavery.
Anyway, freedom is not an anarchy. Being free does not mean to do anything you want and to thing anything you like. Contrary, freedom is modest and careful consideration on our ideas and action. Every hour of every day.