„I don't know if I'm making myself clear, but if I were to accept this business of conceptual art I would have no reason to exist.“

Quoted in Kristine Stiles & Peter Howard Selz: Theories and documents of contemporary art (1996) P.671

Last update May 22, 2020. History
Jannis Kounellis photo
Jannis Kounellis2
Greek painter, sculptor and professor of arts 1936 - 2017

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„Art before the modern period is as much art as Neanderthal man is man'. It is for this reason that around the same time I replaced the term "work" for art proposition. Because a conceptual work of art in the traditional sense, is a contradiction in terms.“

—  Joseph Kosuth American conceptual artist 1945

Joseph Kosuth. (1969), as cited in: Claude Gintz, ‎Musée d'Art Moderne Paris (1989). L'Art conceptuel, une perspective: exposition au Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 22 nov. 1989 - 18 fév. 1990. p. 42

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„I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.“

—  Charlie Chaplin British comic actor and filmmaker 1889 - 1977

The Great Dictator (1940), The Barber's speech
Context: I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another.
In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world — millions of despairing men, women and little children — victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say — do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed — the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes — men who despise you — enslave you — who regiment your lives — tell you what to do — what to think or what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!
Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St. Luke it is written: "the Kingdom of God is within man" — not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power — the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.
Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up, Hannah. The clouds are lifting. The sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world, a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and brutality. Look up, Hannah. The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow — into the light of hope, into the future, the glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up, Hannah. Look up.

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„I would, but I'm going to be busy all day converting beer into pee.“

—  Scott Kurtz, book PvP

PvP, Friday, October 11, 2002 http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2002/10/11/fri-oct-11/
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„For me, life would be worthless if there was not modern art and if I did not had the opportunity to express myself in it anyhow, now that I have gradually found the way I can express myself.“

—  Hendrik Werkman Dutch artist 1882 - 1945

version in original Dutch (origineel citaat van Hendrik Werkman, in het Nederlands): Voor mij zou het leven waardeloos zijn als er niet de moderne kunst was en als ik niet de mogelijkheid had om me daarin te uiten op welke manier dan ook, nu ik de wijze waarop ik mij kan uiten langzamerhand heb gevonden.
Quote of Werkman in his letter to August Henkels, June 1942, as cited by Doeke Sijens in H. N. Werkman - Leven & Werk - 1882-1945, ed. A. de Vries, J. van der Spek, D. Sijens, M. Jansen; WBooks, Groninger Museum / Stichting Werkman, 2015 (transl: Fons Heijnsbroek), p. 64

„I'm trying to change the world or at least to make the horrors of the global capitalism visible. I don't care much about art. I used to be a total artist but now I'm more a human being.“

—  Riiko Sakkinen Finnish visual artist 1976

"More a Human Being than an Artist" (6 February 2013) http://www.riikosakkinen.com/blog/?show=archive&m=02-2013

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„I don't do art to address other people but to address myself. I've never done art with a thought of being a professional artist who makes a living by selling his art.“

—  Robert Fulghum American writer 1937

Introduction to the Art gallery at his website (2006) http://robertfulghum.com/index.php/fulghumweb/artshowentry/introduction2/
Context: I don't do art to address other people but to address myself. I've never done art with a thought of being a professional artist who makes a living by selling his art. I've never had a commercial show in a gallery. I suppose I'm like those who write poetry or songs without seeking publication. I make art in and for the experience itself — to satisfy a need to express myself in a creative, colorful, non-verbal way.

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„I don't believe in that "no comment" business. I always have a comment.“

—  Martha Beall Mitchell Wife of American politician 1918 - 1976

Quoted by Nigel Rees in his book Why Do We Say ...? (1987), ISBN 0-7137-1944-3.
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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“