Nick Zedd’s The Extremist Manifesto
Underground filmmaker Nick Zedd, who founded the Cinema of Transgression and who wrote that film movement’s manifesto, has crafted a fantastic new art manifesto for the new millennium that he has allowed us to reprint below:
The Extremist Manifesto
Now that contemporary art, a system that stands for privilege, nepotism and political connections is finally dying, get out of the fucking way.
We who have been locked out of your galleries, museums and art holes… ignored, reviled and cast aside for having convictions (and belonging to the wrong class) are the voice of the future. We spit on the fashionable insignificance of today’s culture. We puke on moderation, a generation’s fashionable irony and deliberately boring contemporary art. We shit on your chronic timidity and your tamed and domesticated notion of what art can be.
The time has come for a rupture, a break, and an honest method of digging our way out of the manure of contemporary art. Your system is spineless and must be replaced.
Those who are proud of being imperceptible are lost.
Todays gatekeepers remind us that painting is dead and if that’s the case, then so must be photography, movies, music, writing, sculpture, performance and all human creativity. The logical implication of curatorial culture’s hierarchical dominance is the negation and replacement of the individual with a neutered clone. Academia’s curatorial class, we are told, are god-like. They determine history. Their choices are showered upon us from above. The fact that breakthroughs in history are the exclusive domain of the AMATEUR (a lone individual who invents and innovates) is beyond the double-think reality tunnel of the insulated curator. Todays curatorial elite have determined that passion, anger and conviction are replaced with ironic indifference, a stance of self removal, an evasion, a retreat into the herd. With sheep-like acquiescence, a generation of followers have emerged with no point of view, afraid to stand for anything, yet pretending to be fearless while hiding behind an ironic indifference that amounts to a compulsion to conform. The follower artist’s philosophy is one of capitulation.
Through capitulation the follower is conditioned to anticipate and grovel for the expectation of inclusion into the world of high culture and it’s attendant material rewards.
What the followers, apologists and their gatekeeping masters fail to understand is the essential non-differentiation between high and low art. Today’s smut is tomorrow’s fine art. The profane, with the passage of time becomes sacred. Having suffered under a reactionary ontological hermeneutics for the last fifty years, the extremist movement constitutes an emergent phenomena which is more than the sum of the processes from which it has emerged. Interpretation theory rewarded by dominant culture would have us believe that history is objective when in fact its subjective nature is based on hierarchical systems of exploitation benefiting a global elite.
Extremist art is non-metaphysical, based on the senses.
It establishes the human body as the ultimate arbiter, the component that allocates wisdom.
In an empirical sense, extremist art is a unified confirmation of one’s resistance to and transcendence of status quo thinking.
The Simulation imposed upon us by shadow governments and hidden elites must be exposed and destroyed. That includes a cancerous art establishment based on commerce and the malignant dictums of predatory capitalism that negates individual breakthroughs based on lived experience.
Non-referential, non-simulated breakthroughs are accomplished by plunging into life and grabbing it by the balls. This means taking chances, offending people, causing alarms to go off and generally disturbing the equilibrium in a strategic manner.
We are the new extremists, armed with a vision to see through the charade imposed upon us by the gatekeepers of consensus reality, who manage a mass hallucination we choose to reject.
Ours is the art of bad taste, which blots out and destroys your system of lies and self-delusion. For too long the sheep among us have been rewarded for their subservience to a bankrupt system of lies. WE SHIT ON GOD. BECAUSE THERE ARE NO GODS AND THERE NEVER HAVE BEEN.
ALL SYSTEMS OF TOTALITARIAN CONTROL MUST BE SUBVERTED AND DESTROYED. HUMAN FREEDOM DEMANDS VIGILANCE AND RESISTANCE TO HIERARCHIES, WHETHER IMPOSED BY REVOLUTIONARIES OR COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARIES. WE ARE FOR ACCELERATED EVOLUTION
THAT SUPERCEDES REVOLUTION.
WE ARE EXTREMISTS UTILIZING PROVOCATION, ENLIGHTENMENT, HATE AND LOVE.
WE WILL UNITE OPPOSITES.
c. Nick Zedd 3/6/2013