By Lu Xinghua
1. We must realize that the kinds of radical politics popular today are nothing but decaffeinated espresso. In particular, for artists the following forms of radical politics are far from adequate: 1) The identity politics, diversity politics, and cultural studies jargon of the radical left in American academia are being parroted in contemporary art. We must distance ourselves from them. A new politics must be created and new political methods invented – this is precisely the task of art; 2) The French left tends to mistake economic struggle for political struggle; while the two do have similarities, the unlimited and universal nature of the struggles of the proletariat and oppressed Other must be seen in a broader context; artists should focus on universal ‘struggles’ that transcend culture and nationality; 3) Habermas’normative discourse of liberal democracy is very deceptive; the new politics will be the inverse of common knowledge and rule of law, it will be opposed to all oligarchy based governance of knowledgewealth-identity; 4) We must be wary of the inherent contradictions and absurd claims of ecologism and biopolitics; artists should avoid the traps of NGO politics; 5) We must be aware of the possibility that China will, in the name of human liberation, surpass the West in its ruthless use of technology to change mankind’s destiny; we must be wary of the rhetoric of Chinese identity, Chinese methodology, and the unique value of Chinese culture.
2. To be politically radical and artistically innovative, artists must follow these principles:
1）There is only one world. There isn’t a third world, or a fourth world, despite what the first world might think. Work to create equality within this world. Believe that the oppressed and the Other will produce their own organic intellectuals, who will reappraise social values and tell us what constitutes ‘art for artists’; (during the Q&A, the following was added: there is only one world, so we need a new globalism; because it is easy to go international. We must oppose post-globalization, ecologism, democracy, sustainable development, the protection of human rights, and other popular international ideologies. Artists must use their art to fight these things. There is only one world, we all live in the same world, and we don’t want the closed, false world offered to us by the West. Third world artists shouldn’t be contemporary prisoners of the endless stagnant stream of Caucasian history. Everything that exists in this world exists in my world as well. The closed little world of the Western bourgeoisie offers only pornography and prostitution. In the bourgeoisie world artists are prostitutes, artistic trends are pornography. Contemporary art, global in its reach, seeks order in diversity. Liberation must continue.)
2）Artistic creation is not subject to the dictates of nations, historical eras, or schools. Art is greater than culture, and should not be thought of as a part of contemporary culture. Art is not cultural consumption. We should use those contemporary works universally acknowledged as valuable to appraise other artworks and art history, as well as inferior or mass art.
3）Artists should pursue the same kind of scientific truth that mathematicians capture in their equations.
4）As Rimbaud said, we must reinvent love, and protect love. We must evade the grasp of capitalist pornography and be bold in blasphemy, in order to liberate ourselves and our language. Contemporary artists should reject the legalization of gay marriage and all other attempts to link love with identity and body politics. Instead, we must focus on the intellectual (a kind of freedom we’ve never experienced) and the collective power of thought acted on by Platonic love. Art should focus and amplify this collective intellectual power.
5）Diseases and treatments must be reassessed/rediagnosed in the light of contemporary social conditions, regardless of their nationality, historical status, culture, administrative rank, or financial resources. We reject all bureaucratic therapies and therapeutic autocracy. We reject all therapeutic reforms.
6）Writing is to be a struggle against all forms of media.