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THE BEAUTY OF AUSTERITY

THE BEAUTY OF AUSTERITY

Hannes Bernard & Guido Giglio
POPPOSITIONS

THE BEAUTY OF AUSTERITY is a proposition by Guido Giglio and Hannes Bernard on the means of wealth production and the effects of their apparent limitations. Guido Giglio produced the film The beauty of austerity about the ethics and aesthetics of austerity, the crisis of Europe and the future of the Third World. Hannes Bernard presents The end times, an economic report on cultural production in the Southern hemisphere. Could destitution be a creative way out for the renewal of Western culture ?

The End Times, édition, Hannes Bernard,impression offset, 2012, © SulSolSal The End Times, édition, Hannes Bernard,impression offset, 2012, © SulSolSal -

Could destitution be a creative way out for the renewal of Western culture ?

The Dexia Art Center is occupied by an empirical construction inspired by the structures used as small bars in the main towns of South Africa. Most often built illegally, theses places allow a particular sharing of urban spaces. In his text People as infrastructure, the sociologist and urbanist Abdou Maliq Simone takes the example of Johannesburg and emphasizes economic collaboration amongst inhabitants seemingly marginalized from urban life : “Though one of Africa’s most urbanized settings, it is also seen as a place of ruins—of ruined urbanization, the ruining of Africa by urbanization. But in these ruins, something else besides decay might be happening. There is possibility that these ruins not only mask but also constitute a highly urbanized social infrastructure. This infrastructure is capable of facilitating the intersection of socialities so that expanded spaces of economic and cultural operation become available to residents of limited means.” (1)

Life can arise from ruin. THE BEAUTY OF AUSTERITY is proposed today as a critical and constructive tool to consider Western obsessions of “crisis”. Under politics and mediatory manipulations, it remains an ambivalent beauty : between the cynical fascination of repression and the poetic dimension of essentiality, austerity gives rise. “A spectre haunting Europe,” state the South-African and Brazilian artists. Our XXI century would cyclically be built and destroyed by the fear of not being any more at the top of the prosperity… “We shall not fear austerity but rather embrace it,” declares the voice. Nice image but now how can we lose our cultural dependence to superiority ? “Lick my favela !” begins the song.

(1) People as infrastructure, Intersecting Fragments in Johannesburg, AbdouMaliq Simone

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