If culture was cousin Itt from the Addams family, then art would be its hair. And currently, art is being cut short. Yet if anyone who knows cousin Itt is asked what he looks like, the first and only thing they will mention is his hair, and that there’s lots of it. Indeed, it is quite undeniable that it’s there, and anything else we might know about him is seen through that celestial head of hair. Anyone who ‘knows’ culture, knows that it consists of a romantically excessive amount of hair – that is culture. What would be left if cousin Itt was no longer covered by that ocean of filamentous biomaterial? Would we recognize our oldest family member without it? Would we know who he used to be?
There is a boy who has yet to meet cousin Itt in its full glory – who has not yet reached his hair-covered heart. And he believes it is Europe. However Euro-centric of a thought, still Europe can be regarded as the cultural centre of the world – be it merely because much of what is historically regarded as the most impactful works ever made and collected, however imperialistically, in the cities of Europe. And now, some political lice have decided to do away with this heritage by allowing the clipping of this wondrous being. Rather, they are leaving the hair that is there – they need to feed off it until they perish themselves – but meanwhile are genetically modifying it such that it will stop growing effectively. And slowly but surely, as generations pass cousin Itt turns balder and balder.
It is imperative that the boy speak with him now, see him hair to heart, before he should fall into the depths of his eyes. Itt’s sad and withered eyes, which would feel ashamed to bare themselves, for they are humble and can only be truly expressed in hair. He needs to get to know cousin Itt, be inspired and admire, before he disappears. Hence, he is setting out to visit some of the cultural landmarks of Europe before they turn ruinous, more ruinous than the Forum Romanum. That is to say, he will travel through Europe to experience some of its most beautiful and inspiring places, catching a glimpse of humanity’s sole selfless endeavor – to allow visions to be shared, and emotions to be seen – before they will all turn to dust.
But what should be the purpose of this endeavor if all is going to waste anyway? What can one boy do amidst a crowd of 7 billion, to fully safeguard the existence of something in decay? One word should be enough; one word about all those beautiful hairs that still exist equals approximately one new hair, or a piece of it. By writing only one word, cousin Itt’s coupe will already be recuperated. And he doesn’t intend to stop after that one word. (He is a character, not a writer.)
In a world where governments are seemingly collectively pulling out of cultural funding, and a world where devastation or transience (without appropriate acceptance thereof) are taking the shape of the latest, sellable hype, he is going to take what’s left of creativity and use it to destroy that hype. He is going to make sure the world doesn’t forget, and therefore will do everything in its power to maintain the single worldly phenomenon that exists for its own sake – Art. Create in order to destroy, only to allow us to create again. Perhaps ‘defy’ is a better word when it comes to the hype of devastation, as it is less ambiguous in this context, and more appropriately describes what belongs to the character’s personal capabilities. He will not be able to reverse the painfully slow Bildensturm of Negligence & Foolishness, yet he would certainly think himself capable of defying devastation by praising, preaching, and practicing creativity. And that should suffice, for devastation is hanging by a thread.
Let creativity be our god, and communication our angels. Let our voices be heard because we create, not because we destroy, or there will be no-one left to listen. Let us create, for there is nothing left to destroy. Let us create!
– IG Karfield