political art or arty politics

Michael Blum
La salle des temps perdus

Le Grand Wazoo, Amiens, 1997

Our society, primarily based on wage-labour, rejects an increasing number of people who, with no work and prepared to no alternative by a system only preoccupied by profitability, find themselves idle, with no social existence and with just no existence. This leads us to reconsider the whole social architecture and search - or dream - alternative forms of life, obviously far away from economical logic and even common sense. But the time of utopias is gone. Now, no more ideological joke, high equals low until they serve some interest; art is only tolerated when harmless while the department store seems to be today's phalanstery. Therefore, it's nor about trying to build a better world neither to cry after a lost harmony, but simply about persevering in disturbing our social habits in order to perceive their nature - and thus assume/take over their vacuity. Waiting room detached from its function, pure waste place or unconsumable artwork, the Waiting Room (Room For Lost Times) testifies about a possibility of existence aside and against the logic of the market and the imperialism of efficiency.
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(Cover of the booklet, Le Grand Wazoo, Amiens, 1997)

Context : Amiens (Fr.), 80 000 inhabitants, 130 km north of Paris, about 25 % unemployment, many left-overs from an industrial past, highest suicide rate in the french police. The viewers, responding to the card announcing the opening of The Room For Lost Times (La salle des temps perdus) were expecting an exhibition. They found a basic waiting room with nothing to wait for, and just a table covered with copies of the booklet.