Concrete Utopia, a "collaborative project space" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is emerging as an intriguing site for the examination of the legacy of 19th and 20th Century aesthetic and political discourses; though it is also, of course, squarely forward-looking. Their current show (and print publication), "I'm not a good enough feminist," grapples with the theory, history, and future of the feminist movement. I generally appreciate C.U.'s eagerness to combine artistic production with activism and earnest intellectual debate, along with the current trend they inhabit of breaking down borders between space, text, object, idea and mission. Increasingly there's a sense that an artistic product worth its salt should be able to traverse at least all five.
C.U.'s founding event was a call for riffs and variations on the classic Avant-Garde theme of the Manifesto, a dying art once much beloved by Communists, Futurists, Dadaists, Situationists, and the semi-fictional Necronautical Society.
I submitted a poem (in homage or contestation of Asger Jorn's scathing remark about socialist realism,) "one can only identify accidentally with a poor woman buying fish."
(Rethinking Synthesis) A Call To Really Invent Socialist Realism, on the Anniversary of Asger Jorn:
One can identify only accidentally with a poor Brooklynite buying fish.
One can identify only accidentally….
One must only identify with the accident of buying fish.
With the accidental Brooklyn of fish-buying and identity.
The identity of fish and the identity of buying.
Can each be properly identified? With…what?
Brooklynites, countrymen, fish, we must strive for the total unity of identity and accident.
With the total marketization of Brooklyn we must buy identities like fish to proclaim them an accident.
Unos Dos Tres Fulminates against Yi Er San
Hieroglyphs will kick the shit out of Cyrillic
Ideograms won’t know what hit them
With the total marketization of Babel we must make all textual systems fight to the death in Brooklyn
Think of the rarefied European thought systems that fed Marx and then think of what it would be like to be a poor peasant in Brooklyn told that even the accident of buying fish
is an identification, an assertion of identity.
Can you identify with this?
You must, and it will raise a red flag.
We must, or it will raise the death of Brooklyn
Re: the death of Babylon.
A grave accident.
A fish graveyard.
A transcendental accident that makes a unity of buying and identity.
A Re-Babelization of buying that makes the market into poetry
A re-concretization of transcendence that makes poetry into fish
Ich Ni San will bitch-slap Aleph Gimmel Hay
Marx will grow leery
Of Concrete Utopia
Teach a fish to fish, we proclaim.
And you will have fish for life