Author: Amin Ghazaei & Babak Salimizadeh
The book “Armed Art” is the cooperation and thoughts of two young iranian marxist writers whose discussions are new and innovative in the field of marxist art and literature in Iran. This book starts with the theme of “Art In Class Society”. Art in “class society” is criticized because of the will to overdue the use-value and the consumptive functions.
The created art becomes dramatic functions with this will to overdue the use-value. This used workforce and the post -used are to blame for creating space between the founders of popular art and the elitism art. In this thesis the distinction is seen as the essence of formation of art belonging to the class society; because art in a “class society” is nothing else than the will to overdue the use-value.
It is obvious that the writers of this book are also aware of this, since they themselves have revealed it and they want to reach further than the use-value of the artistic piece, but not with suppression of it, which would not have any other destiny than the continuous failure of reaching further than the use-value , but with creating real use-value from artistic work and then reaching further.
In reality the co-authors of this book see the project of reaching further than the selling object of the art, to be possible only when the realization of use-value and not with rejecting the elementary of art.
In opposition, the mechanical reproduction of art, as Walter Benjamin , ruin the holy light over artistic work, but In the end it lead to the return of art to commodity form and content. The authors of this book in the aim of reaching further than the arts use-value and the art as a selling object, don’t recognize the first way (which is denying the arts use-value) nor the second way (which is mechanical reproduction ).They point to a synthesis which reflects “activity” and “situation”: “Art is an activity which can possess a situation .”
This sentence is very basic and of great and key importance for this book, and within it lay all the new possibilities that this book has created for marxistic art.
In this sense , the valuation on art is no longer a question about what content and what shape (form) it has. The question is rather what situation is with what activity being created and polluted? Therefore in armed art, the base of society solely is not by the “content” and the base of recognizing aesthetics is solely not by the “form”.
The situations face of society is presented as the “commune” while the activisms face of society is presented by “leisure”.
With this synthesis the artistic work is no longer only a selling object it also becomes an arm which pollutes.
But an armed piece of art with reflection toward the situation which it is in, and with the whish to have and to pollute that situation, it can escape the existing culture. In reality Babak Salimi-Zadeh and Amin Ghazai with putting forward the meaning of pollution, contagion and tumult are put instead of signification and representation .The virus reproduction takes over the mechanical, and this contagion happened in the city.
This means that if the situation of art is in a private domain, the situation of the armed art in the city and commune, and the activity which takes place in this situation – is not created by the artist nor by the artists inspiration, but by the collective activism of people.
This is a progressive and enlightening book created in cooperation between Amin Ghazai and Babak Salimi-Zadeh – the first one a philosopher and the next a writer and poet.
The gathering of their thought has created a very interesting and different synthesis for a revolutionary art. It has been welcomed and received by the different thinking youth and the leftist student movement in Iran.
نویسنده: امین قضایی و بابک سلیمیزاده