We asked them about their project, about ‘Yugoslavia’ and how the artmarket stands today! So find out what they said
Antoine Te Industrial, Designer & Teacher
It was the short men who caused all the trouble in the world. Born in England, Birmingham and standing at 1.63m short. This perspective has taught him a valued lesson not to give a shit or two about averages,conformity and prejudices but to display truth, love and honesty.
Denis Leo Hegic, Architect & Filmmaker
An X: ex-Yugoslav, ex-boyfriend,ex-driver and an ex-perimentalist. Loving people,animals and plants. A pussy and a dick. But also a multidimensional human species full with sentiments of love, rage,light, blood and shit in search of truth and himself.
Harald Geil. Actor & Filmmaker
Harald was born in Pfaffenhofen,Germany, off the Ilm River, in a rural area which is euphemistically referred to as the ‘bacon belt’ of Munich. After being properly damaged by Catholic school education, he graduated with the certainty that he had to leave the small town life. So on his 19th birthday,he fled his river village to further his studies and start his career in bright lights of the metropolis.
1. You call yourself TROIKA? Right? Are you a trio or three separate artists working on this project ‚‘makemoney not art‘‘?
And how long have you been together / known each other?
It is not popular at all, but the reality is that one dayTROIKA will knock on your door too. Acting along those lines, we are taking a leap forward and bringing economic salvation by making moneynot art. We are TR, OI and KA and belong together.
2. The project ‚‘make money not art‘‘ is just amazing, where has it all been performed? How does the public react to this project once it arrives?
MMNA is not a performance. It is not art. And we are not artists. We are economic advisers for the realmof art.
MMNA is accepted happily all over the world,because people like money .
3. You ask yourself questions about relationships between art and money,sponsors and artists, can artist live without public funding and sponsoring – how do You answer these questions for yourself?
If there is anything we know about arts, then this: the art market is booming! Every new auction is breakingnew records: Koons, Munch, Warhol… Million sales and buys are made by billionaires. Art fairs are playgrounds of the super rich.
Art has become one of the best investments and the most effective way to avoid tax payments. By buying art you can launder money, save inheritance taxes and gain public recognition. And it is much easier to speculate with art then dealing with the share market. The art speaks almost exclusively through the language of money to us. And it is louder than ever before. While older and more modest museums and galleries are struggling to survive and while the percentage of artists who can live with dignity from their art is continually declining, while the post-democratic states are degenerating the cultural memory of their societies, iconic and flashy new museums are being opened withmedia-friendly blockbuster exhibitions.
And again new records are being set: even greater numbers of visitors, even more cultural trips all inclusive. While the art mutates to investment, the artists transform to some sort of neighbourhood-avantgarde of realestate sharks. Museums are iconic landmarks of cities competing for cultural locational advantages. The artmarket was never running better. The art-culture struggles as never before. Most artists too.
Once, the art was considered as one of the most excellent means of human liberation. It played with the creative possibilities of the autonomous subject and revealed what freedom can be. Art was an expression of freedom, very often in a most intense way where it just freed itself from the compulsion to express something in particular. Art was the instrument, the freedom that the individual artist took to transmit to the audience, in galleries, in the public space, museums and, certainly also in the saloons of the bourgeois.
At the same time there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that art has always been dependent on the economicand political power.
But it was part of the nature of art, that those who could afford it also accepted certain responsibility. Art has always been more then just private property of the economic and political elite. Today, however, the economic and political elite has not only acquired art itself but also the discourse.
Art history, art criticism, art publishing – they are all enslaved and dependent on their graces.There is a simple economy of this booming art market, which is already too big to fail: the excess capital creates a playground on which it can act in however it pleases. A small group of super-rich collectors are pushing each other‘s prices up. Art business which is globally networking and closely intertwined with banks is profiting from that development.
Art consumption has become competition between the oligarchs. The artmarket itself has become an evil caricature of the capital market. The banks are collectors who organize art bonds and eventually provide expertise about the value of art.This commodification and privatization of the contemporary art has serious consequences for us, the ordinary people „interested in art“. The middle sector or the art that stubbornly raises up against this market islosing its value. The flip side of the super-rich-art is a general impoverishment of the artist, and not least alsot he loss of those spaces where art and citizens are communicating with each other, without being disturbed and abused by economic and political interests.
The art loses its actual addressee: people who are longing for freedom, beauty and fantasy, a society that dares to push aesthetic experiments.
The art is losing the very people, which do not want to consume but tounderstand and interact with it.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, which transforms itself to the consumer fetish of the oligarchs.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, that further increases the gap between the rich and the poor.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, which is just another instrument of the banking system.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, whose value is not defined by the discourse but by the market.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, that expresses freedom of money only.
WE DO NOT NEED ART, which has no resistance
4. What do You think the position of art is today? It‘s values and ideologies, the ‘spirit‘‘ of today? This is quite a vague question but I am sure that all artist consider it at one point, and all though the question and it‘s answer is wide and general -we would like to know ‚‘Your feels‘‘about it (to put it modern slang)?
We don´t know art. We are not artists. We make money, not art. The most of art, which we understand is Halid Bešlić (Bosnia), Heino (Germany) and Richard Peebles Rikki (UK).
5. Your artist Denis speaks about Yugoslavia, because he is close to our country we would like to know his stand point about our international relationships (are we all still basically in Yugoslavia in our mindsets)?
Note: We almost didn’t publish this question but we got a ‘green light’ from TROIKA to go right ahead :))
Why not talk about politics? Don´t be afraid. Don´tbe silent. Be loud! It is always the wrong ones who are“loud” and the right ones who are “silent”. That is what brought blood and wars to the Balkans: the wrong loud ones! You need to be LOUD. We need to be LOUD. To create together, to become better together! Denis is the last Yugoslav. To be precise he is an unkusturical Yugoslav. He considers Zagreb his town just as much Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skoplje or any other city or town he grew up with. Denis is the last Yugoslavand the first European among them. He misses the passion, the food, music and humor which is so significant for all of his fellow Yugoslavs.
6. And again for Denis, and all: Have our countries lived to see a major set back in art? What are your opinions on art today among our ‘Balkan countries‘‘ and its field of conceptual art?
There is no structure. There is no money. There is no support. Nobody gives a damn about art and culture. There is NOTHING.
But there is something in this situation, which is so valuable andt remendous! There is something, resulting out of this nothingness which is of such a greatness and importance: you need to beaware that you have an ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! In a world, where there is few or no public (infra)structure, supporting any imaginable way you are not obliged to anyone! You don’t sell anything to anyone, therefore nobody owns you neither!
You have ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! And it comes even better! There is even a cherry on the top of that cake: in the world of nothingness artists are perceived as jesters. And being a jester is the best situation, you could possiblyt hink of: absolute freedom and not even a punishment! Use it.
We thank TROIKA for this amazing interview and we are openly inviting them to come to Croatia as well!