Jana and Jiří Ševčíkovi
Barbara Kruger, an American artist, is the author of the famous statement I go shopping, therefore I am. The slogan from her poster - an ironic perversion of a famous philosophical statement - brings us into a situation, in which all the media perform different forms of seduction in order to fulfil our needs, in which even culture has long ago become a product and we have all become entangled in the market system. It was this circulation into which Marcel Duchamp has placed art one hundred years ago. He exhibited a mass production object as an object of art and thus turned the artistic creation into an equivalent of a capitalist production. The products are consumed in a feverish tempo and the accelerated consumption requires an increased production, which again encourages consumption, as we all know in theory from Marx's Critique of Political Economy. Today the artists use the fact that consumption and production become more and more entangled and that production becomes post-production, that is making use of, sampling, creating collage, cutting out of the ready made products. This was very well described by a French sociologist Nicolas Bourriaud in his book Postproduction. Culture As Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World.
The artists move happily in this global culture and hedonically consume in order to produce and vice versa. According to Bourriaud, a DJ and a programmer become the heraldic figures of the new age. The question remains how to avoid being drowned in the consumer culture, how to keep a critical view in the never ending process of satisfying one's delight of consuming. In order to fulfil their old critical duty towards the society, the artists have to look for new strategies. They have to get around in the same way as hackers do: they have to acquire the system, identify with it and occupy it as thoroughly as their own house. If they treated the system ironically or passed moral judgements over it, no one would believe them. Only when the artists control the system and seemingly totally identify themselves with it, they can uncover its obscene basis. At the same time they put the viewers in a situation that requires his or her critical attitude. They do not answer their questions, but ask them.
We believe that this is the context of the CZECH DREAM project, that has started as a shooting of a film about those, to whom the statement of Barbara Kruger /I go shopping therefore I am/ applies. But the project has grown and a stage for a spectacular show was created as its "postproduction" or its parallel product. It illustrates what our "realistic" socialist life has turned into. For some of the participants, the staging of this show might change an entertaining game into an unpleasant awakening. But this is the role of contemporary art: to show how manipulated our everyday "reality" is by the means of this very "reality".