We, people, have the unique lot of moving in a vicious circle of entrapment-seeking for freedom.
It is as if our mind is set up as a joke to function in this tragedy. No surprise that often great minds break themselves with drugs, decadence, insult of values and suicide as only way to gain the ultimate good. Freedom is however only pointed like pointing a finger to the moon or our mind to god. Entrapment follows freedom always.
Art, as buffer of reality, is involved to the tragedy, inevitably; not to forget that avant-garde is mainly expected to show the way to freedom. Since the modernism of the 20th century this is accepted to be done by breaking bonds with the past and with whatever is/was established as belief or as aesthetic value. Seen that the majority of art institutions, in Europe at least, consider Joseph Beuys as the start and constant reference point for almost everything happening in art the last 30 years, I must flag this reminder that the core of his art was exactly that: freedom. Be it the “extended definition of art” or the artist as “loudspeaker”, indeed I cannot think of any other reference as solid as Beuys. And he must have captured a great deal of freedom, if we look at the follow-up of a whole generation that is taught to battle with intellectual exchange, documenting thoughts and movements, talking about and presenting any sharp or not so sharp idea. It is as if the art world was so much shaken by Beuys’ s freedom that worked straight ahead to defeat his achievement; in fact, by this, artists offered voluntarily their head to curators, critics, historians, sociologists, gardeners, librarians, chemists, physicists, biologists, map makers, astronauts, adding indefinitely, leaving the chance for rebellion against (anything established) to “…add at will”.
I can only think that this entrapment, strengthened by the totalitarian impose of technological gadgets, has shifted the seeking for freedom to the boxing of freedom (labeling and instructions folder included) that is not at all the same thing. It will take a severe shudder to break this; time to stay alert and sharpen our skills.