Elisabeth von Samsonow


The many “demands”, even an ultimatum for ending what was first an unbearable and then infernal situation in Kosovo, evaporated into thin air. This was just as unbelievable as the innumerous so-called “air attacks” which lasted way too long only to find a hardly dignified end, forcing a completely devastated country to surrender. It was not our intention to direct one more statement after so many into a void. Instead, we were interested in rediscovering the political power of art.

First, in a very simple way: the Academy of Fine Arts had the honor to host a number of meetings that was to give those artists immediately affected by the war – Kosovo-Albanians, but also Serbs – a chance to voice their differentiated views of things.

And second: taking up an idea of Peter Noever and Carl Pruscha, the revolutionary power of art itself was to be used in the hope that it would be able to reach the people in a more direct way than just verbal imperatives would.

As a well-known means to an end, posters were used: their suggestive pictorial surface, the emblem, the hieroglyphs leaving such a mark on memory merge word and image. The poster demonstrates how one is to feel and act. It does not just make a statement, it also provides the choreography, stating how it is to be executed. The poster is thus highly allusive, its message is immediately directed to the beholder’s mind. What was good for propagandists of powerful ideologies can only be proper for artists.

Using the means of suggestion – better: pasting or pasting over (a new, artful link of neurons reacting sensitively to information, if you so like) – they convey something of the order of the canon from Thelema which so enthused Rabelais: it is the most category of all imperatives: