Boyan Manchev, Jean-Luc Nancy, Federico Ferrari and Tomás Maia
PERSISTENCE OF WORK I
ART AND POLITICS
(In Portuguese and French)
PERSISTÊNCIA DA OBRA I: ARTE E POLÍTICA
PERSISTANCE DE L’ŒUVRE I : ART ET POLITIQUE
Lisbonne, Documenta, 2021, 280 p. (First edition in Portuguese: 2011)
The two volumes, the result of a ten-year collaborative project initiated by the four philosophers, propose a reflection on the modern problem of art: what remains of the artwork after its separation from politics and religion? The initial group consisting of four authors (Boyan Manchev, Jean-Luc Nancy, Federico Ferrari and Tomás Maia) welcomes the contributions of Silvina Rodrigues Lopes and Isabel Sabino in the first volume, and those of Alfredo Teixeira and Paulo Pires do Vale in the second volume. The two volumes are published in a bilingual edition (Portuguese/French) by Documenta, Lisbon, under the editorship of Tomás Maia.
“The core of the original community of ‘persistence’ remains solid in both volumes – Boyan Manchev, Jean-Luc Nancy, Federico Ferrari and Tomás Maia.
The first of the volumes, The Persistence of the Artwork. I: Art and Politics (first edition in Portuguese: 2011) was republished in a bilingual version (Portuguese/French) by Documenta. Also participating in the first volume are Silvina Rodrigues Lopes and Isabel Sabino, while the second volume, The Persistence of the Artwork. II: Art and Religion features the contributions of Alfredo Teixeira and Paulo Pires do Vale.
Tomás Maia, Introductory note to vol. II:
“The remaining ones who still believe in the world are artists: the persistence of the artwork reflects the persisting world-form.”
Hannah Arendt, “What is Politics?”
“The question of persistence can be formulated as follows: unrooted from religion, can art finally begin? Or rather, does it only start over? And how can it or does it, nowadays, start over as “naked”?
Responding to such questions is not a matter of history. This involves a questioning of the necessity of art which is, for us, its destiny. Responding to such questions has become an ethical imperative when art – the art which persists – is above all something rare, sometimes even imperceptible, in the general confusion around what is “contemporary”. Facing the reign of “anything” (or even of “anything goes”) in the present overproduction, it is not a matter of re-establishing the rules prior to the artwork. And facing the impossibility of establishing a religious art, it likewise has nothing to do with opposing a “religion of art” (in the sense of the first romantics, that is to say, an entire section of modernity). Art is not about coming back or reacting; it is about, today as always, persisting.
The premiere included short presentations by Boyan Manchev, Federico Ferrari, Jean-Luc Nancy, as well as speeches by representatives of the two research centers, respectively CITER and CIEBA, Professor Luisa Almendra and Professor Joao Paulo Queiroz. The session was moderated by Catarina Reis.