21 May 2013, Cervera de los Montes
Jani and me have been working for the whole winter with Homelessness Fair which will be inaugurated next month at Hyvinkää Art Museum, Finland. For the catalog, published as a supplement of Iso Numero, the Finnish version of the Big Issue magazine, we wrote a short text about the event and the mission of art.
The Homelessness Fair is an antithesis to the coincidental Housing Fair in the same town. The latter is a superficial spectacle of construction techniques and decoration trends avoiding the social and political problematics of housing - which is the the focus of the Homelessness Fair.
We didn't want to organize a conventional exhibition but chose an approach that academic curators would hardly apply. We decided to invite different NGOs and institutions that work with homelessness to participate and leave the artists to the minority. Art is not in the artifacts but in the attitude with which things are presented and viewed. Art is not content or form, but an instrument to talk about the world.
The mission of art is to shake up the society and make it visible in a way that no other medium or institution can. Art must be questioning and discordant. At its best, art can deal with things faster, more boldly and more directly than journalism, politics or science. Art provides an arena with more freedom to discuss and act than other contexts of the society.
We hope that the Homelessness Fair won't remain merely an illustration of its theme but raises discussions and deeds. According to the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky art is not a mirror which reflects the world but a hammer with which it is molded.