►►“Supreme” on Vladimir’s hat
“It was nothing other than a yearning for speed … for flight … which, seeking an outward shape, brought about the birth of the airplane. For the airplane was not contrived in order to carry business letters from Berlin to Moscow, but rather in obedience to the irresistible drive of this yearning for speed to take on external form.” - Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism
The feeling of speed (flight) required a form and thus we have airplanes. The function of the airplane is not to transport people from one place to another, but to express the desire of speed - an airplane is a shape of this feeling, it’s a “definition” of speed in a form of aeroplane. However, an aeroplane placed in the context of yellowism expresses yellow color instead of the feeling of speed. (The feeling of) yellow can take an outward shape, an external form of any object and being. Yellow in a form of aeroplane, yellow in a form of a chair, yellow in a form of Black Square by Malevich, yellow in a form of “Fountain” by Duchamp.
In yellowism, in contrary to Suprematism philosophy, the diversity of feelings doesn’t exist. The following feelings “illustrated” by Malevich: the feeling of metallic sounds, the feeling of electric current, the impression of resound, the feeling of magnetic attraction, the impression of universe, the feeling of cosmos, the feeling of mystic wave from cosmos, the feeling of non-objectivity are reduced to one, to the feeling / definition of yellow. All suprematic compositions by Malevich express exactly the same yellowistic feeling/meaning.
“Our life is a theater piece, in which nonobjective feeling is portrayed by objective imagery” says Malevich. Feeling? Kazimir, be precise, you talk about many different feelings, not about one and you defined your Suprematism language (Suprematism forms) to express the various feelings. But yellowists can use all “languages” - the whole art (including Suprematism) and the whole reality to express only one feeling / meaning. Every piece of yellowism is a pure expression of yellow color.
Malevich called his Suprematism world: “nonobjective”. Paradoxically, yellowism is neither objective nor nonobjective because yellowism flattens (to one surface) the nonobjective world (all feelings and impressions) and the objective world (material forms, all objects with their utility) at the same time. You look at a chair and you perceive it as an expression of nonobjective yellow. You look at yellow which only looks like a dark brown wooden chair.
Yellowism is based on the supremacy of yellow and takes domination over Suprematism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
Yellowism is not an artistic movement. Futurism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Fluxus, Cubism etc are the art movements, but yellowism is not. However, yellowism is a movement in a bit different sense. Yellowism is a move, a shift, displacement. Yellowists can move all artistic movements into the context of yellowism where artistic movements will not be assigned to the domain of art any longer and will lose all the meanings they carry. The radical move, the transition from the context of art to the context of yellowism. Duchamp moved an urinal from reality to art, we can move an urinal from art into yellowism. We can move all artistic movements like futurism, surrealism, dadaism, constructivism, cubism and more into yellowism. The manifesto of yellowism flattens manifestos by Marinetti, Breton or Tzara.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►►The timeless pain of yellowism
Perhaps Matthias Grunewald painted the intense crucifixion because he knew that one day this painting will be presented in the context of yellowism. Maybe Picasso thought about yellowism when he painted Guernica in 1937. Was it really created in response to the bombing of Guernica by German and Italian warplanes? Naah, it was made to express yellow color only. Artists from the past they knew already that in the future their works will be flattened inside the merciless space called yellowism. Some say that Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo (between 1508 and 1512 ) at the commission of Pope Julius II. I would rather say this ceiling was painted by Michelangelo at the commission of yellowists Vladimir Umanets and Marcin Lodyga who five hundred years later started yellowism. Also, the Paleolithic cave paintings were made to be placed, finally, inside a yellowistic chamber - prehistoric people were absolutely sure that one day the whole Lascaux cave will be surrounded by purple walls of a huge yellowistic chamber. That’s obvious that from the very beginning yellowism was the final destination for Mark Rothko Seagram murals. That’s why Rothko never devised a ‘final’ scheme for The Four Seasons restaurant. His studio assistant, Dan Rice, recalls that Rothko ‘was very reflective, gathering all the paintings together again and jumbling them up. It would be very difficult to say that one was intended as part of the murals and one was not’. Rothko could not decide because he knew that yellowism is coming.
What if all art was made for yellowism, if the total flattening proposed by yellowists was always the real (hidden) purpose of any art ? Imagine, Van Gogh was struggling with pain in the name of yellowism. Every artists only pretended that art he does is full of meanings and symbols. Marcel Duchamp and his son Joseph Kosuth introduced the era of interpretations and were questioning the nature of art just to hide the fact that they want to be yellowists. Kazimir Malevich defined suprematism to give the another product to yellowists.
Today, the whole history of art (like a big urinal) can be taken by yellowists and flattened to yellow, reduced to yellow. We can move art in the context of yellowism and it will be not art anymore. What if all works of art were intended to be pieces of yellowism? The history of art is a mask. The history of art is a mystification which is necessary to stand and hide the timeless “pain” of yellowism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►►The Treachery of Ontological Images
I look at “Treachery of Images” by Rene Magritte and I say: “this is not a work of art” because this painting is placed in a yellowistic chamber. Magritte painted a pipe and wrote under it: “Ceçi n’est pas une pipe” - this is not a pipe. Indeed, what we see on canvas is not actually a pipe, but the image of a pipe.
As Harkness characterizes Foucault and Magritte in his introduction to Michel Foucault book “This is Not a Pipe”, both engage in a critique of language: the former historico- epistemological, the latter visual. Each in his own way concurs with the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure in asserting the arbitrariness of the sign. However, in the arbitrary context of yellowism, Magritte’s message and Foucault’s analysis of the distinction between resemblance and similitude in visual representation are not important anymore.The discussion between painter and philosopher and their critique of language ends here, in the chamber. Now you can only say the final sentence, the last possible expression of, perhaps, still postmodern parlance: “this is about yellow” or “this is not a work of art”.
The pipe on the painting only looks like a pipe but you can not put tobacco into it and smoke. This is not a pipe then. Moreover, Magritte’s painting inside a yellowistic chamber is not a work of art, it gained the new status, it only looks like works of art. According to the manifesto, pieces of yellowism can look like works of art but are not works of art. If you see Magritte’s pipe inside yellowism and you think that it is art - you are wrong. You are looking at a piece of yellowism. This is the treachery of “ontological images”.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Authors of the Death
When looking from art perspective, one can say that yellowism is a dead territory where the richness of meanings and interpretations is reduced to one - to yellow. But one needs to remember that yellowists don’t announce the death of art. Art is and will be alive forever. They rather say that yellowism is dead, inert, homogeneous mass without creativity. Authors of the manifesto and definition of yellowism are the authors of the death - yellowists are the authors of a single interpretation. This death is positioned outside of art, like mirror.
Roland Barthes in “The Death of the Author” says: “To give a text an Author” and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it “is to impose a limit on that text.” Barthes argues against the method of reading that relies on aspects of the author’s identity — their political views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other biographical or personal attributes — to distill meaning from the author’s work. Yellowists want to impose a limit on the text, on art, and on ordinary reality too, but not by giving a “text” an author. Paraphrasing Barthes I say: To give a “text” a YELLOW and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it is to impose a limit on the text. Barthes demands the death of the author (author disappears) because the author’s identity limits the text, the reading. In yellowism case author also disappears and yellow - the necessary “limitation” appears instead of the author.
Inside yellowism the artistic kingdom of meanings and interpretations is erased together with the author. It doesn’t matter WHO made a piece of yellowism because all pieces were, are and will be about yellow only. Yellowism is permanent, boring, inert, homogeneous flat, ‘dead’ mass. Always was and always will be. Like in the forest where all the trees (meanings) ‘look’ the same – wherever you go you are in the same place anyway. A thousand kilometers left, two meters right or backwards – you are always in the same place. In yellowism the nature of the authors has “the identity of the indistinguishable forest”.
Barthes conclusion: “the birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the Author.” Yellowism conclusion: the death of meanings and the death of the author must be ransomed by the birth of single meaning - yellow.
by Marcin Lodyga
►► Luncheon on the grass
(on the grass: Arthur Danto, Roy Turner, Joseph Kosuth, Marcin Lodyga)
What makes the difference between a Brillo box and a work of art consisting of a Brillo box is a certain theory of art. It is the theory that takes it up into the world of art, and keeps it from collapsing into the real object which it is. - Arthur Danto. But to expose the irrelevance of this idea when attributed to the tradition, we have only to ask what “real object”, “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” by Manet collapses into when the implicit theory which supported it is refuted. - ask another thinker Roy Turner (Philosophy Now magazine)
Marcin Lodyga starts: If “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” by Manet was placed in the context of yellowism, inside a yellowistic chamber, then it would stop to be a work of art and it would become a piece of yellowism - a pure expression of yellow color in the form of Manet painting. Inside yellowism the painting by Manet is not a work of art. We have only to ask what piece of yellowism “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” by Manet collapses into when the implicit context of yellowism which supported it is refuted. The answer: it collapses into a work of art, it becomes a work of art again, it gains its previous status.
Painting is a kind of art. If you make paintings you are already accepting (not questioning ) the nature of art. One is then accepting the nature of art to be the European tradition of a painting-sculpture dichotomy. - nervously said Joseph Kosuth (“Art After Philosophy”). Dear Joseph - Marcin replies - in the context of yellowism - which is NOT a kind of total, huge conceptual art work, as you would consider it probably, painting is not a work of art. You said: “Art is the definition of art”, I say: yellowism is the definition of yellowism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Rome outside of art
Yellowism is not dadaism or neo-dadaism. If you think that yellowism is dadaism then actually you are a dadaist, because you try to devalue yellowism and make it meaningless. Dadaists were nihilists and they “promoted” nonsense. The fact that in yellowism everything means yellow leads to the wrong conclusion that everything means nothing and therefore yellowism is perceived as nihilism /dadaism. This is the big misunderstanding. The real consequence of yellowism existence is the philosophy of ONE and the vision of many different isms (existing outside of art) which can be reduced to (one) yellow-ism anyway. Although yellowism clones exist under different names - they are yellowism. In the future: many one-perspective “worlds”. Not only one “world” full of perspectives (meanings), many various subjective interpretations - like in postmodernism, especially postmodern art, but also many separate “worlds” (greenism, blueism, chairism) with one perspective each, concentrated on one meaning only. Yellowism, divided into many isms, will be positioned away from the forever developing, “organic” realm of art.
The total flattening announced by yellowists is more humanitarian than dadaism because it doesn’t leave people with nothing - inside the desert of meanings where you can watch only the wrecks and corpses of culture. Yellowists save one meaning (yellow) for everything and also they let you live in the “yellowistic totalitarian illusion of many”- you can exist in autonomous groups called greenism, blueism, chairism or skyism etc. but you will be a yellowist anyway. All roads lead to Rome. The universal Rome - the absolute truth will be always outside of art.
Dadaists are nihilists, they do not offer anything, they don’t show a new perspective, new possibilities, they replace everything with nothing. » Dada (…) wants nothing, absolutely nothing, and what it does is to make the public say ” We understand nothing, nothing, nothing “. “The Dadaists are nothing, nothing, nothing and they will surely succeed in nothing, nothing, nothing.” « 391, No. 12, Paris, March 1920 Francis Picabia who knows nothing, nothing, nothing.
Nihilists say that without absolute, universal, and transcendent values, there can be no real values at all. Friedrich Nietzsche, however, argues that the lack of such absolute values does not imply the absence of any values at all. Nietzsche “permits” the values of many different and even mutually exclusive perspectives. This is called “perspectivism” - all ideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives in which judgment of truth or value can be made. This leads (me) to postmodernism. Postmodernism is the consequence of Nietzsche’s perspectivism but is nihilistic. The proliferation of alternative perspectives, beliefs and values makes that postmodern society is foundationless.
This what we see in the galleries is the result of postmodernism or post-post modernism, or postpostpostmodernism, whatever. Many perspectives, many points of view, not one grand and universal but many interpretations closed inside the circle called “art”. In the future artists will resign from art, will abandon this circle. Art full of many perspectives will still exist but will be surrounded by - isms. Some artists will never leave the territory of art but there will be yellowists, greenists, chairists looking at them from outside - located in one perspective circles.
All the other isms are actually yellow-ism because, they have the same architecture, logic. Finally they can be reduced to yellowism, flattened to yellow-ism. However, people will need this totalitarian illusion of many isms, they will construct their own contexts, for example greenism,redism, chairism or godism, and they will be happy inside the isms but all the new one-meaning worlds can be always considered as yellowism.
Yellowism doesn’t replace (like dadaism) all the values with nothing, yellowism gives one sense instead of nonsense. Yellowism presents the vision of many autonomous territories around multiperspective art. Yellowism saves the ONE - whatever it is: blue, green, chair and offers the new grand philosophy of ONE.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Discipline and punish.The birth of the black hole
Yellowists see the whole domain of reality and the whole domain of art as gigantic readymades which can be transported into the context of yellowism. Yellowism is a specific prison, a ghetto in which you are free from freedom, in which the freedom of interpretation doesn’t exist. Every content placed in this territory defines yellow color. It requires a noetic discipline. You have to respect the internal yellowism law. Yellowism is a bit like a black hole - most of the information about the matter that went into forming the black hole is lost. In the end yellowism only remembers the total mass, charge, and angular momentum. The physical form of objects and beings transported from art and reality is preserved, but all the forms carry only one, always and forever the same, identical message. You can observe that something is moving inside, you can watch pieces of yellowism free from the past and future; there is a movement but there is actually no time.
►► The barbarous prophets of useless paradise
Perhaps contemporary yellowists have prepared the intellectual system for the next generation or maybe for the next civilization - for unborn people and unborn world. Their task is to leave a legacy - the ready philosophy which humans will need in the future. The current culture, the present society is not able to take yellowism without the radical change of perception and it causes a conflict. Yellowists say that yellowism exists already. That’s true, but yellowism existence is perceived by many as an unnecessary thing. For today spectator it’s completely useless and also barbarous, because annihilates the richness of interpretations. But, what now is seen as a stupid revolution or a ridiculous utopia, after some time will become the real basis of the culture. The worldwide need for yellowism must born and then yellowism will be generally accepted. The era of yellowism is coming. The total flattening in culture is inevitable. The sooner you realize it, the better. Pioneers of yellowism clearly see this context because they are already in it - they do pieces of yellowism, they open yellowism exhibitions in yellowistic chambers, they write texts about yellowism to prepare you for the new stage, for the real “totalitarian freedom”. It is a bit prophetic. Yellowists - the barbarous prophets of useless paradise.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► A dead animal
Today you can overstep the border, you can be a bit like Alice through the looking glass, you don’t have to, together with other artists, push the boundaries of art further anymore, now it’s time to cross it and discover the another, still unknown for many, space called yellowism. Of course, you can stay where you are and run your artistic life in harmony with the motion of postmodernism. Yellowists don’t announce the end of art; they say in manifesto: art is a forever developing whole. They don’t promote a slogan: “art is dead”, they rather say that yellowism is dead and always was dead and always will be dead. Therefore they don’t want to replace art with yellowism. They just introduce a new autonomous territory, specific environment which is parallel to the context of art. They give you a vision of time in culture when the resignation from art will be a trend. Yellowists show you the possibility of alternative existence in which the fact that you abandon art is considered as the most creative decision. It doesn’t matter what the condition of art will be after twenty or hundred years - yellowism will be still the same. Any changes and any progress around yellowism are and will be, metaphorically speaking, like a tank of formaldehyde for a dead animal.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Jump out of the speeding train
Since civilization is changing extremely fast today, there is little time for new meanings of objects to crystallize - said Jan Swidzinski - the creator of contextual art. In effect the objects of art assume different meanings. The outdating of meanings is a constant process - proceeding all the faster the quicker civilization changes. Contextual art by Swidzinski just follows the changes, it runs, chases the transformations and proposes the criterion of truth of which, defined by the pragmatic context, changes incessantly. Yellowism is steady and proposes the stabilization of meanings, actually - one meaning. Yellowism is a zone with the only one information inside. Art is running, the time is running but yellowism arrests just one interpretation and it’s permanent, constant forever. You can jump out from the world of many perspectives (art) to the one-point perspective world (yellowism). Yellowists guarantee that inside yellowism the point in which you are now will be exactly the same like the point in which you will be after fifty a hundred or thousand years - you are moving in harmony with yellowism expansion, you are producing pieces of yellowism, but the time is stopped.
text by Marcin Lodyga
text by Marcin Lodyga
The culture after fifteen or twenty years - the future in which greenism, redism, blueism or chairism exist and the resignation from art is a trend. Art still exists but is surrounded by other not artistic fields. Yellowists know already that yellowism is a prototype of the future cultural phenomenons. Any future ism will be based on yellowism - their internal, logical construction will be the same or very similar. Imagine many movements, each of them concentrated on one, its own meaning . One-point perspective constitutes every new territory.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► From “Fountain” to “Urinal”
essay by Marcin Lodyga
“Urinal” comes out on top
“Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp is an iconic work of art. In the article “Work of art that inspired a movement … a urinal” (Guardian, December 2004) you read that the urinal came out on top in a survey of 500 international artists, critics, curators, and art dealers, who confirmed that Duchamp’s urinal, named “Fountain” is “the world’s most influential piece of modern art”. Eight years later, in December 2012, Harper’s Magazine published five texts by Marcin Lodyga which are the important introduction to yellowism philosophy. Now, because of this philosophy, Duchamp’s urinal named “Fountain” has its twin, a mirror reflection, a non-platonic shadow, a copy which requires from a spectator the radical change of perception, a replica which pushed postmodernism to a dead end.”Urinal” says all works of art can be reduced to nothing but metaphors for the color yellow. Lodyga and Umantes can make art works mean yellow by simply placing them in a yellowistic chamber.”Fountain” by Duchamp still keeps the status of being the world’s most influential piece of modern art, however “Urinal” by Lodyga and Umanets is next to it, at the same height but on the “different mountain”. ”Urinal” is not an art work, it represents yellowism.
Almost a hundred years ago Duchamp’s “Fountain” opened the new way in art, “Urinal” is a closure of this way and at the same time it is the opening of the completely new, fresh and not artistic way. The act of closing looks like the act of opening - but it is only the external resemblance. “Urinal” looks exactly the same like Duchamp’s “Fountain” from 1917 - it is the next replica. There are other replicas but this one, signed by Lodyga and Umanets, is extraordinary. Duchamp’s ”Fountain” is a work o art. “Urinal” by Lodyga and Umanets is not a work of art, it’s a piece of yellowism.
Continue the unknown adventure
On 7th of October 2012 Vladimir Umanets went to Tate Gallery and signed Mark Rothko’s painting “Black on Maroon” (from Seagram series). One of the headlines which appeared in the media after the Umanets action in Tate Modern was: ”How to shock an unshockable crowd. In the midst of Turner Prize season, an attack in London tests the limits of provocation” (Boston Globe). People were shocked, indeed. Do you remember how Duchamp shocked the art establishment when he took the urinal, signed it and put it on display in 1917 ? Umanet’s act can be considered as a preliminary to “From Fountain to Urinal” auction. Mark Rothko said his paintings begin an unknown adventure into an unknown space. I think that especially “Black on Maroon” with the title “A potential piece of yellowism” begins an unknown adventure into unknown space - yellowism. Rothko signed by Umanets was the first publicly visible, surrounded by media noise, link to yellowism - the arrow which shows the way to “Urinal” . However, “Urinal” is already on the other side - it exists in the context of yellowism. Rothko’s painting is still a work of art which only shows the possibility of transformation. “Urinal” by Lodyga and Umanets is not a potential piece of yellowism, but It is an actual piece of yellowism. Also, it is the first piece of yellowism which is for sale on auction.
Same but different
Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets several times invoked Duchamp’s Fountain during the writing the Manifesto of Yellowism in the end of 2010 in Egypt. They marked on the studio floor in Cairo three fields: the context of reality, the context of art and the context of yellowism and they were walking on this diagram and commenting it more or less like that: the urinal in the context of reality fulfills is function and you can pee into it; the same urinal moved from reality to the context of art loses its usefulness and becomes a carrier of idea, it’s entitled, it can be interpreted, it acquires the status of the work of art. And then this work of art we move (shift) into the context of yellowism where it stops to be a work of art and become a piece of yellowism. An every day object - a urinal belongs to the domain of reality. “Fountain” by Duchamp - a work of art belongs to the domain of art. “Urinal” by Lodyga and Umanets - a piece of yellowism belongs to the domain of yellowism. Yellowism is the third context in which not only a reality ceases to be a reality byt aslo art cesaes to be art. Imagine that you have in front of you three identical objects (urinals), but each of them exists in its own context. They have the same visual form but different ontological status, different substance, essence. Today, you can experience three different contexts: every day reality, art and yellowism. Today you have a choice: you can buy a urinal in a bath shop, you can buy “Fountain” by Duchamp or you can buy “Urinal” by Lodyga and Umanets. There is a possiblity to (literally) take Duchamp’s work of art “Fountain” and place it a yellowistic chamber (in the context of yellowism) . But there is also another way to show that “Fountain” can gain a new status and can become a piece of yellowism - by making an exact replica of Duchamp’s “Fountain” which can be presented inside yellowism only.
Entrance and exit
Duchamp bought a urinal in a shop - he took a urinal from every day reality and puted it into the context of art. It was the shift from one context to another. He entered art with a urinal in his hand and transformed it into a work of art. Lodyga and Umanets are going out with a urinal - they take it outside, but they don’t return it to a shop or any bathroom. Today, if you resign from being an artist and you abandon the context of art - you don’t need to return to the context of everyday reality, because you have the possibility to discover the context of yellowism. You don’t have to step back. You can take a urinal to the new place called yellowism. Duchamp can say a urinal is art, therefore Lodyga and Umanets can say any work of art is about nothing but yellow, simply by surrounding it with a new context. That’s the logic, a bit of a chess move. The first move was made by Duchamp – a transition from the territory of reality to the territory of art; the second move was made by Lodyga and Umanets – a transition from the territory of art to the territory of yellowism.
The end of postuchampian era
Postmodernism or post-postmodernism in a relation to visual art can be called “the postduchampian era”. If yellowism belongs to postmodernism, then it is the tip of postmodernism – its outermost piece. But if it’s not the part of postmodernism, it’s a completely new era. If Marcel Duchamp is a border point between the age of modernism and the time of postmodernism, therefore, perhaps, Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets are the border point between postmodernism and the era of yellowism or other era whose yellowism is the first conspicuous harbinger.
The conclusion from the future
There wouldn’t be ”Urinal” without “Fountain”, but also there is no “Fountain” without “Urinal”.
►► A mysterious place in the universe
On 7th of October 2012 yellowist Vladimir Umanets went to Tate Gallery and signed Mark Rothko’s painting “Black on Maroon” (from Seagram series).Tate Modern will remove (or removed already) Umanets signature and title: “A potential piece of yellowism”. Unfortunately, Tate will not keep the inscription and therefore will “deface” something very special. But, regardless of what Tate will do with it, Rothko’s painting will be always remembered as a potential piece of yellowism.
Rothko’s work of art, placed in Tate and signed by Umantes, is still a work of art, it is not a piece of yellowism. It is (only) a potential piece of yellowism which means that Rothko’s painting can stop being a work of art, and can become a piece of Yellowism – if Rothko’s painting was placed in a yellowistic chamber, then it wouldn’t be a work of art anymore, and would express yellow colour only; it would be a definition of yellow given in the form of Rothko’s painting. In other words: Rothko signed by Umantes is still in Tate Gallery therefore it is still a work of art - a work of art entitled: “A potential piece of yellowism”. This painting will be a piece of yellowism only in a yellowistic chamber, in the context of yellowism. It can (potentially) gain the new status. “A potential piece of yellowism” shows the possibility of transformation.
Rothko said his paintings begin an unknown adventure into an unknown space. I think that especially “Black on Maroon” with the title “A potential piece of yellowism” begins an unknown adventure into unknown space. The new context called Yellowism is still an unknown space for many people. Simon Schama (in “Simon Schama’s Power of Art - Rothko”) says about Rothko’s painting: “I felt I was being pulled through those black lines to some mysterious place in the universe.” Now, not the black lines painted by Rothko, but rather the black inscription on the Rothko’s painting: “A potential piece of yellowism” pulls the whole world, the whole public, and all people around the world, to the new “mysterious” place called “yellowism”. However, this new territory, this new intellectual field, is not so mysterious – it’s clearly defined. The definition of yellowism is not a secret.
You can look through “A potential piece of yellowism”to see the new context. If you resign from being an artist and you abandon the context of art - you don’t need to return to the context of everyday reality, because you have the possibility to discover the context of yellowism. You don’t have to step back, you have the opportunity to radically change your perception and see all and everything as expressions of yellow color only – including the beautiful “Black on Maroon” by Mark Rothko.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Last Exhibition of Yellowism
Every yellowism exhibition is identical in content. Pieces presented on the first, the second or the legendary third exhibition of yellowism expressed exactly the same as pieces which could be presented at the fourth exhibition. Also, pieces on the fifth or sixth or thousandth exhibition of yellowism will be expressing the same. In the context of yellowism the content will never change. Yellowism expansion wants to transform all the existing minds into one flat surface and radically change the human perception. Every yellowism exhibition is the part of this expansion, expansion, no evolution. There is no progress, yellowists don’t develop any idea. Everything was finally defined at the very beginning ( of yellowism) therefore you should not expect any intellectual news on the next exhibitions. Every exhibition of yellowism which took place in the past and every future exhibition of yellowism is the last, the final. The past of yellowism looks like the future of yellowism. One can say that there is no past and there is no future in yellowism and the time is stopped.
text by Marcin Lodyga
In the context of yellowism every feeling is a definition of yellow, every emotion expresses yellow color only. Sadness is about yellow and happiness is about yellow too. Pain is considered as a pure expression of yellow, orgasm as well. Inside the context of yellowism all emotions and feelings captured on the four pictures (above) and emotions and feelings which these images can arouse in potential viewers, express yellow color and nothing more.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Listen to Young Dictators
Consider yellowism as a totalitarian system. Two young “dictators” – authors of the definition and manifesto of yellowism decided that there is only one interpretation in this specific context. Everything is about yellow – this is the order, the final solution. It is imposed on you, you are not free to interpret, and you have to accept the only possible way of seeing things. This way and no other way. If you don’t want to accept the fact that in yellowistic chambers you can see only pure expressions of yellow color – don’t worry, the young “dictators”: Lodyga and Umanets will not send you to a gas chamber (btw if a gas chamber was placed inside a yellowistic chamber then it would be about yellow). If you try to reject the existence of the new phenomenon then better just go back to your ordinary reality or go to an art gallery where you can enjoy the diversity of meanings, symbols and references.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► One and Many
“Abstract painting is abstract.” – Jackson Pollock “The flight from interpretation seems particularly a feature of modern painting. Abstract painting is the at tempt to have, in the ordinary sense, no content; since there is no content, there can be no interpretation. Pop Art works by the opposite means to the same result; using a content so blatant, so “what it is,” it, too, ends by being uninterpretable.” – Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation” Yellowism is not against interpretation, but Yellowism gives only one interpretation. Not many, just one, forever. Every piece of Yellowism is about yellow and nothing more. Whatever you put into a yellowistic chamber, it is a definition of yellow. The lack of many different interpretations is not the lack of interpretation. Every piece of yellowism has the content - every piece of yellowism has exactly the same content. All pieces of yellowism are interpretable because all are about yellow and express yellow, however the content is not obvious (blatant) for humans. Humans have a problem to see beings and objects (inside yellowism) as expressions of yellow color only. If for humans the fact that inside yellowism everything is about yellow was obvious and blatant, then it would mean that human perception was radically changed. An abstract painting placed in a yellowistic chamber has the content – the same content as a chair or anything else placed in a chamber . Every abstract painting (inside yellowism) is a definition of yellow, therefore is not so abstract anymore because you can see (interpret) it as a pure expression of yellow color. In art, an abstract painting is the at tempt to have, in the ordinary sense, no content.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Oh My God!
A monkey doesn’t distinguish between contexts. A monkey jumps on a chair in an apartment - in the context called reality, ordinary reality where objects are useful. A monkey jumps on a chair placed in an art gallery ( in the context of art) where a chair has meanings, a sense, a chair can be, for example, about love, war, death, existence, art itself etc and can expresses a lot of different things. But monkey doesn’t see any sense when looking on a chair; it jumps on a chair like in an apartment. Also, a monkey jumps on a chair in a yellowistic chamber, it doesn’t see that a chair in the context of yellowism is about yellow and expresses yellow color only. That’s obvious that a monkey doesn’t see differences between ordinary reality, art and yellowism; it just want to jump (or sit in a funny monkey way) on a chair, doesn’t matter where. But you, do you see the difference? It’s time to clearly and radically distinguish between contexts. Even if sometimes the context of art matches the context of reality or borders between them are very blurred, you still need to know what art is and what everyday reality is, also you have to know what yellowism is. Hypothetically, if one day art equals reality and therefore there is no art and no reality anymore, yellowism will be still a different context, a separate territory. According to polish theoretician and visionary Jerzy Ludwinski, the evolution of art can reach the stage called “the stage of totality” and this is how he described it: “What matters are the tensions created by the collective effort of many individuals which contributes to the making of one system, pulsating with its own life like some gigantic work of nature. Art = reality.” Even if there was such a fusion (art + reality), yellowism would be still “outside”. If art disappeared and reality disappeared - if both were transformed into “aRteality” or something like that, I would call yellowism, it this particular case, not the third but the second context. If two contexts (art and reality) become one, then the third context we should perceive as the second context. Imagine that yellowism is the only context which exists and you don’t need to distinguish anymore. No art, no ordinary reality (no “aRteality” as well), just yellowism, the whole universe is like one huge yellowistic chamber, all and everything is flattened to yellow. What would you say in a such ontological situation? Will you say: “Oh my god!”?
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► A Chair About Vietnam?
Yellowism requires from spectators the radical change of perception. The experience of Yellowism exhibitions is the experience of the “total flattening”. Is the contemporary public ready for this kind of intellectual violence? Is it the ruthless rape on spectator’s mind? Is yellowism inhuman - not suited for human beings? “This is difficult for the viewer. Spectator must, regardless of all the overbearing meanings, symbols, references and associations, think about yellow. (…) This situation is very difficult, because our civilization, culture, philosophy or art leads us to specific conclusions when we see specific prerequisites, premises, circumstances, reasons, data… We are able to decode the meanings and symbols because they are already (made) in us. We are looking for something which we already know. The traditional and universal “system of reading” meanings and symbols falls in this way - through introducing yellow into the construction / deconstruction of every metaphor - all metaphors are equalized to one level. All meanings are reduced (“flattened”) to yellow. This creates a new system of reading meanings. This is an absurd system. This is a Utopian system. This is a sick system – infected by yellow. This leads to suffocation of all previous meanings and symbols. All the beautiful metaphors and courageous comparisons rot if we apply to them yellow.” - fragment from texts written before Manifesto of Yellowism - “Remarks on Films” by Marcin Lodyga. People don’t think in this way - Yellowism way, a human mind / brain can not adopt yellowistic system of thinking or the yellowistic lack of thinking. You easily accept the fact that for example a chair presented in an art gallery expresses some artist’s political statement or is his comment on holocaust… When you are inside the context of art you expect metaphors, new meanings or old meanings given to you sometimes, paradoxically, in unexpected way, in very, let’s say: ”strange” way, not typical, you don’t take things literally, you don’t sit on a chair - you read a chair, you consider a chair… You see an art work made out of some rubbish as a “definition” of love or death. You don’t have a problem with a chair which (according to artist/author statement and art critics opinion) expresses something more than the idea of a chair, you don’t perceive a chair as a chair but you interpret it, you see new meanings because you already know that in the context of art any being can gain a new (intellectual) status. Therefore I ask you now, why you can not accept the fact that in the context of Yellowism a chair is a definition of yellow color? Is this meaning too new for you? Maybe you can not reach this level of abstraction? I think that you just can not forget about all meanings and symbols which our civilization, culture “inserted” into your mind, you can not stop your tendency to interpret, you are not able to leave the comfortable “kingdom of many interpretations” - art. How much do you need to change your perception to see a chair as a pure expression of yellow color only, how much you need to change your perception to see a chair as a expression of death? In art a chair can be about love, death, art, war, holocaust, but in Yellowism a chair can be only about yellow and nothing more, every object, every being, every emotion, feeling in yellowism (in yellowistic chambers) is only and forever about yellow. In Yellowism the only possible interpretation, the final meaning, the sense is given to you, is imposed on you, it is the order, the command . The only thing you have to know is that any piece of Yellowism is about yellow and that you are in a yellowistic chamber. Don’t think, you don’t have to. Just take it. You have to listen to young dictators. The fact that a chair in the context of yellowism is about yellow is ridiculous for you, but the fact that a chair in the context of art is about war in Vietnam or love, is not ridiculous for you. Why?
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Violent Violet II
Yellowism only in yellowistic chambers, nowhere else. Yellowists perceive and understand a violet color of walls in yellowistic chamber as a neutral color. In yellowistic chamber violet walls are only a background, walls are not a part of any piece of Yellowism.They are “earlier” than pieces of Yellowism, are “waiting” for pieces of Yellowism. On one hand, chamber walls are regarded as impartial, disinterested, dispassionate, uninvolved and unbiased, on the other hand they have important function - are the complement for pieces of Yellowism. A piece of Yellowism become a piece of Yellowism only when is surrounded by violet walls of a chamber. Pieces of Yellowism are not yellow but are about yellow. Notice the difference between “ARE” and “ARE ABOUT”.Yellowists deliberately don’t show yellow pieces of Yellowism ( made from yellow materials or painted yellow) to clearly communicate that pieces of Yellowism are ABOUT yellow, are the definitions of yellow color given in various forms (for example in the form of a blue chair, a fish, music, smoke etc) but are not yellow from the outside). If yellowist painted violet walls of a chamber, for instance: green, red or blue then this green, red or blue coat would be a piece of yellowism. This specific piece of Yellowism would cover the violet walls, and violet color would be invisible.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Nature of Yellowistic Drafts
A yellowistic draft is not a piece of Yellowism. A yellowistc draft becomes a piece of Yellowism when you insert it into a yellowistic chamber and then, like every piece of Yellowism, is about yellow color, expresses yellow color and nothing more. There are two types of drafts: drafts that were made during the period of transition between art and Yellowism (June - November 2010, Cairo), and drafts which were made after the writing of the Manifesto of Yellowism. The first ones were made parallel with the manifesto and were the notes (in various forms) relating to the different ideas that occurred at the time when we were defining Yellowism. These drafts were comments on the manifesto. After the Manifesto of Yellowism almost anything can become a yellowistic draft if yellowist chooses it and sign it. Any being, any object from the surrounding reality can get the status of a yellowistic draft. Yellowists can choose one draft from the set of yellowistic drafts and transform it into a piece of Yellowism. Yellowist makes yellowistc drafts and thus show what and who can be flattened to yellow. A yellowistic draft is a potential piece of Yellowism. Yellowists indicates all that what can be about yellow color and at the same time they also show how full of meanings, symbols and references is a draft before the “flattening” in a chamber. Draft may induce multiple interpretations and can be decoded in similar way as work of art can be, but of course a yellowistic draft is not a work of art. Some people will say about drafts: “Oh, it might be an interesting and beautiful work of art” or “I would like to show it in a gallery where art critics would admire it”. Those who want to perceive yellowistic drafts in this way, will always be disappointed because a yellowistic draft is just a yellowistic draft and at any time can be positioned in a yellowistic chamber and thus can be deprived of its intellectual richness. Titles of yellowistic drafts can only intensify a pain of those who wish to keep contents, because a title which magnifies a field of interpretation, loses its significance in a yellowistic chamber; a title is no longer a source of new meanings. No matter how you title a piece of Yellowism, it is about yellow anyway. Some yellowistic drafts will never become pieces of Yellowism. There are also pieces of Yellowism, which previously were not yellowistic drafts.
text by Marcin Lodyga
There are people who think that in Yellowism everything is yellow (visually yellow) - they are wrong! Also, some people think that yellowists like yellow color - people who think like that are wrong too! Finally, it doesn’t matter if yellowists like yellow color or not. Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets have reduced the visibility of yellow to show (to stress) that in the context of Yellowism, yellow is just the intellectual matter; that’s why, for example, the walls in a yellowistic chamber (since the No One Lives Forever exhibition) are violet. On the first yellowism exhibition (“Flattened to Yellow”, Cairo, 2010) walls were yellow and during the second yellowism exhibition (“All and Everything”, Cairo, 2011) walls were yellow too but for the occasion of No One Lives Forever exhibition (London, 2012) Lodyga and Umanets have changed the yellow color to violet to make clear the fact that in Yellowism the visual yellow doesn’t exist. In Yellowism, the visible yellow has been erased. The less yellow color, the greater power of Yellowism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►►This Way and No Other Way
“This Way and No Other Way” is the legendary text about the third exhibition of yellowism. It was written as an introduction to the No One Lives Forever show (attended by Damien Hirst, Miroslaw Balka and Neville Brody) which took place in Natalia Vodianova Yellowistic Chamber in May 2012 in London. When reading the text you can learn a lot about Lodyga’s and Umanet’s philosophy therefore it became an important text about Yellowism: No One Lives Forever (NOLF) is not an art exhibition. NOLF is the exhibition of yellowism. The idea of this show is strongly based on the definition and manifesto of yellowism which were created by Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets. This exhibition proves that the extreme point at which the current culture is now, should be called “The beautiful end of postduchampian era.” Some say that in art was already everything. Therefore you can say that in yellowism, can be everything what was already in art and it will no longer be art. Moreover, in yellowism can be everything what will happen in the future of art and it will not be art.Yellowism is the context, in which not only the reality ceases to be reality, but also art ceases to be art. Marcel Duchamp in the early twentieth century had two areas: 1 – reality, 2 – art, and he accomplished the shift from one context to another. After that, in art, there was nothing so revolutionary, radical and influential. Even such innovative artists like Andy Warhol or Joseph Kosuth, did not come out of the shadow of Duchamp , despite the fact that their work is very important in the history of art. None of artist have accomplished the latter important move. So, to do something to measure Duchamp, to make the another revolution was necessary to reach to the point where, metaphorically speaking: if you want to walk, you need to create a piece of land which previously did not exist, in other words: define a third context, (which is not art nor a ordinary reality) and do the next step. The third context, in which (for instant) the works of Miroslaw Balka, Neville Brody and Damien Hirst cease to be works of art and become pieces about yellow color and express yellow color and nothing more. Notice: the first step – made by Duchamp – a transition from the territory of reality to the territory of art; the second step – made by Lodyga and Umanets – a transition from the territory of art to the territory of yellowism. Hypothetically, if the all works of art from the all museums, galleries and artists’ studios around the world would be transferred to an yellowistic chamber, then all, without exception, would be about yellow and would express yellow and nothing more and then the maximum breadth and diversity of vision would be extremely narrowed, flattened to yellow. The context of yellowism would unmercifully equalize all possible interpretations to one, because inside yellowism a fascination with diversity of approach and interpretation doesn’t exist. Works of art chosen by curators for No One Lives Forever Exhibition, lose all their meanings which have in the context of art, lose their significance and the whole richness of intellectual references. In art, Damien Hirst explores the uncertainty at the core of human experience; love, live death, loyalty and betrayal through unexpected and unconventional media, but on the yellowism exhibition his work has unexpected and unconventional new sense and retains the same visual form as it has in art. Regardless of Hirst’s explorations on the art territory, his work shown in the yellowistic chamber is just the definition of the yellow color and is not a work of art anymore. If his iconic “For the Love of God” or “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” would be placed in the Natalia Vodianova Yellowistic Chamber then would be also about yellow color and nothing more. The Hirst’s work selected for NOLF exhibition is neither of these two well known “icons”, however its intellectual pregnancy was definitely better for the yellowistic profanation. “One day at the end of the twentieth century I asked myself what I do for the ones who lived here and are gone”, recalls Miroslaw Balka. “And I started my pilgrimages to the concentration and death camps …To collect their traces and take care”. Balka’s examination of the history of the Nazi camps resulted in the work shown on NOLF, but notwithstanding his artistic investigation of domestic memories and public catastrophe, this work in the yellowisc chamber is about yellow color only. In art, Balka explores (based on the history of Nazi occupation in Poland) how subjective traumas are translated into collective histories and vice versa. In yellowism this exploration ceases to exist. When looking at the work of designer Neville Brody one gets the feeling that he is striving towards a painterly quality. Brody’s designs are visually and mentally dense and there is a certain emotive quality that his typography exudes. It is the typography of our time and culture. It is dependent on the technology, pushing the technology in that Brody is interested in the formal qualities afforded to him by the computer. Brody himself says, “Digital design is like a painting except the paint never dries. It is like a clay sculpture that is always being twisted into new shapes without ever being fired”. In NVYC, the graphic language of Neville Brody expresses only the yellow color and nothing more. The visual communication is flattened to yellow. We see just the definition of yellow color in the form of typography /painting. The fact that in yellowism everything is flattened to yellow should be so obvious and commonly known as accepted by the majority belief that “no one lives forever”. Miroslaw Balka, Neville Brody and Damien Hirst also will not live forever, and if they will, then not only as artists but also as yellowists. Undoubtedly, No One Lives Forever requires from the spectator the radical change of perception. The experience of this exhibition is the experience of the “total flattening”. Is the contemporary public ready for this kind of intellectual violence? Is it the ruthless rape on spectator’s mind?
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Beautiful End Of Postduchampian Era
;Fountain” is simply a common human waste receptacle. Taking an object that is generally considered filthy and worthless, Duchamp converted it into an expensive art piece. He instilled value to an object most would consider valueless. Duchamp wanted to prove a point: by fabricating art and getting society to regard it as meaningful, we can increase its worth and value. With his art piece, Duchamp showed that in a postmodern world, truth is no longer dependent on its intrinsic value (a common, filthy receptacle); it depends extrinsically on how society defines it (an expensive piece of fine art). On the first page of the prologue in the book “Marcel Duchamp The Failed Messiah” Wayne Andersen introduces the reader to the powerful gatekeepers of the postmodern art world, the men and women who collectively unleashed Duchamp on the 20th century. Citing a December 2004 editorial from the Guardian Weekly that proclaimed “Urinal Comes Out on Top” he reports a survey of 500 international artists, critics, curators, and art dealers, who confirmed that Duchamp’s urinal, named “Fountain” still remained at the end of the 20th century what it had been at its beginning: “The world’s most influential piece of modern art”. Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets several times invoked Duchamp’s Fountain during the writing the Manifesto of Yellowism in the end of 2010 in Egypt. They marked on the studio floor in Cairo three fields: the context of reality, the context of art and the context of yellowism and they were walking on this diagram and commenting it more or less like that: the urinal in the context of reality fulfills is function and you can pee into it; the same urinal moved from reality to the context of art loses its usefulness and becomes a carrier for idea, is entitled, can be interpreted, it acquires the status of the work of art. And then this work of art, which, let’s say, now only looks like a urinal, we move in the context of yellowism. In yellowism, this work of art titled “Fountain” ceases to be a work of art and becomes a piece of yellowism therefore is about yellow and expresses yellow color and nothing more (notice: it is about yellow but not visually yellow). Duchamp in the early twentieth century had two areas: 1 – reality, 2 – art, and he accomplished the shift from one context to another. After that, in art, there was nothing so revolutionary, radical and influential. Andy Warhol (pop art), Joseph Kosuth (conceptual art), Damien Hirst (newest art) did not come out of the shadow of Duchamp, despite the fact that their work is very important in the history of art. None of them have accomplished the latter important move (on the chessboard). So, to do something to measure Duchamp, to make an another revolution we had to reach to the point where, metaphorically speaking: if you want to walk, you need to create a piece of land which previously did not exist, in other words: define the third context, (which is not art nor a reality) and do the next step. The third context, in which the works of Duchamp, Warhol, Kosuth and Hirst cease to be works of art and become pieces about yellow color and express yellow color and nothing more. Notice: the first step – made by Duchamp – a transition from the territory of reality to the territory of art; the second step – made by Lodyga and Umanets – a transition from the territory of art to the territory of yellowism. In the collection of the Tate Modern in London is one of the few authorized by Duchamp replicas of the “Fountain”. Hypothetically, if the Tate Modern would lend this readymade for the exhibition of yellowism, then the “Fountain” shown in the yellowistic chamber would cease to be a work of art. The world’s most influential piece of art would be a piece of yellowism and would equate with other pieces – each piece of yellowism is influential to the same extent. Postmodernism or post-postmodernism in relation to visual art can be called “the postduchampian era”. If yellowism belongs to postmodernism, then it is the tip of postmodernism – its outermost piece. But if is not the part of postmodernism, is a completely new era. If Marcel Duchamp is a border point between the age of modernism and the time of postmodernism, therefore, perhaps, Marcin Lodyga and Vladimir Umanets are the border point between postmodernism and the era of yellowism or other era whose yellowism is the first conspicuous forerunner.
text by Marcin Lodyga
Exerting influence on contemporary art is not the purpose of yellowism. Yellowism doesn’t want to attack, provoke and question the contemporary art. However, the presence of yellowism in modern culture overturns the entire contemporary art upside down. The fact that yellowism exists causes that contemporary art loses ground underfoot. Metaphorically speaking, it is a little as if contemporary art fell in love with yellowism, but yellowism is cold and impassive and focused on its own expansion. Yellowism is an autonomous being and does not need to substantiate, corroborate or verify its existence through other beings. Contemporary art looks at “inexorable” yellowism and consequently turns itself upside down and fall into insanity and despair.
text by Marcin Lodyga
Yellowism is not an artistic provocation, because yellowism is not art. Probably, some people will read the first sentence of this text as an artistic provocation. Fine, but that’s their business…Yellowism is not any provocation. Notice, that the expression: “yellowism is not art” is not a joke, an irony, it is just an important part of the definition of yellowism. Yellowism doesn’t want to provoke, question, diagnose, offend, infuriate or harass other beings, is focused on its own expansion and has no time for it; this is not its purpose. Yellowism doesn’t fight with anyone and is not anti -, for example, art. Yellowism simply exists, and it is possible that yellowism existence can be taken by some people as a kind of provocation… Well, therefore the fact that the trees grow and the sun rises can also be perceived as a provocation.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Mutual Tolerance (Diversity and Homogeneity)
Here’s the fragment of text about the exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cracow, Poland, attended by forty-four artists: “… to demonstrate how a problem which society is aware of, apparently generally comprehensible, is perceived by artists and capable of divergent interpretations. In this way, the mechanism of art will be revealed: to provide the maximum breadth and diversity of vision. And, in turn, the basis of tolerance: a fascination with diversity of approach and interpretation.” In the Manifesto of Yellowism, art has been described as a “diverse whole.” Undoubtedly, the text quoted above (written by some art curator) emphasizes the accuracy of this expression; therefore I can say that from both points of view, from the yellowism perspective and from art perspective, art stands as a “diverse whole”. I think also that you can easily quote a number of other texts about art, which will confirm the thesis that art is a “diverse whole” or a “multiple whole”; but I do not have time for more quotes …
In the same manifesto, yellowism has been described as “a homogeneous mass.” To recall why yellowism is so homogeneous, so monolithic refer to my earlier texts such as “All and everything” or “The Forest”. Hypothetically, if the works of forty four artists taking part in the exhibition in the museum would be transferred to an yellowistic chamber, then all, without exception, would be about yellow and would express yellow and nothing more and then “the maximum breadth and diversity of vision” would be narrowed, flattened to yellow. The context of yellowism would unmercifully equalize all interpretations to one, because inside yellowism “a fascination with diversity of approach and Interpretation” doesn’t exist. But – no worries :), this is just an example, a hypothesis. The process of formation of piece of yellowism is not (but it can be) based on the strategy to move works of art from museums, galleries, artist studios, public space etc. in to the context in which everything is about yellow color. It’s just such a possibility. A piece of yellowism doesn’t have to be a work of art, before it becomes a piece of yellowism. Notice also, that pieces of yellowism do not occur to fight with works of art or to be against art. Yellowism is not anti- art, this is not a war; there is no aggression between art and yellowism. Art and yellowism tolerate each other, despite the fact, that both are two separate “worlds”. I would not call this relation symbiosis or parasitism; these two contexts just look at each other and that’s it…
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Traveling Chair (The Inexorable Change of Context)
Perhaps it is true that we have not created a new context, we have only defined the context that already existed earlier but no one described it. I suppose that Marcel Duchamp sensed the existence of this context, but he did not even delineate it. I quote here the words of yellowist Vladimir Umanets : “Our grandfather Duchamp would probably be proud of us. We are futile artists, just like he was a futile yellowist and the opposite.” Some say that in art was already everything, therefore you can say that in yellowism can be everything what was already in art and it will no longer be art. For example: a bottle rack, which looks exactly the same as famous readymade by Marcel Duchamp, placed in the yellowistic chamber, will be about yellow color. The same applies to Damien Hirst’s shark. And more… Yellowism is the context, in which not only the reality ceases to be reality, but also art ceases to be art. Imagine a chair which ceases to be a chair for sitting, but it becomes a work of art, it loses its previous status and becomes an artistic manifestation about war, and then it loses its status of work of art and appears in an yellowistic chamber as a piece about yellow. “The travel of chair” has increased by one new context. Do not ask anymore why this chair is about yellow color. This is tiring. Do you ask, every time when you turn on the iron or the TV, what is an electric current? I suppose that you take it for granted. Follow the same in the case of each piece of yellowism. You have to accept this context, it clearly exists. Enjoy!
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Forest
There is no evolution of yellowism; everything has been already finally defined at the very beginning and even after a hundred or a thousand years this situation will not change. The history of yellowism is not and will not be such as art history. If the history of art we will imagine as torn, curly, interrupted, sometimes very thick, sometimes so thin that almost invisible, multi-colored line , therefore the history of yellowism we should imagine as a separate, perfectly straight yellow line which thickens as far as expansion of yellowism. Every point on the yellow time- line (history of yellowism) is no different from other points on this line. If you can not distinguish the point from the point then you can not see the passage of time. Through this yellowistic unification, the time is stopped. The expansion (expansion of the yellow line) is related with the time, but if you’re in the middle of this line, you do not see how this line is expanding therefore you lose the track of time. Imagine, that you are in the forest where all trees look the same, and everywhere you go you see the same thing; you walk, but you are still in the same place. Everything is homogeneous and nothing surprise you. There is no secrets. This lack of mystery, this desirable and innate lack of hope of doing something original, inventive, new and revolutionary is connected with the lack of creativity in yellowism. In yellowism, anything you do, does not develop any idea, you don’t create anything, you do not even think about a new concept of your work because no matter what it would be, it will be always the same “definition” of a yellow color given in another form. For example: a blue metal chair placed in the yellowistic chamber says: yellow - the hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between orange and green, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 570 to 590 nanometers; any of a group of colors of a hue resembling that of ripe lemons and varying in lightness and saturation. Each yellowist is no different from other yellowists. They all make pieces about yellow, and show them only in yellowistc chambers, in the context of yellowism. There is no better or worse piece about yellow, because no matter how it looks, it is only a repetition of the same expression. Visual forms changes, but the content not. And even if in the context of art, in the case of certain works the content is the same (because some artist stubbornly and invariably penetrates one subject) still exists the second or third, or hundredth, thousandth artist who expresses a different idea, different contents. A work of thousandth artist may even look very much like the work of the first artist, but both were made for another reason, for another purpose, both express something else, and provoke many different interpretations. Two same-looking works of art can express something completely different. Two very different pieces of yellowism certainly express exactly the same thing. Due to this, can someone ask: why to be an yellowist if he/she does not create anything; everything is unified, flattened to the yellow color, all yellowists do the same thing, express the same thing and show their pieces against yellow walls; there is no tension, no hierarchy, no contrasts, no intellectual friction… everything is so homogeneous… Answer: so to not do art, not to be an artist, indefinitely express yellow color and contribute the expansion of yellowism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Yellow Glass
If something is ahead of its time, and even if only a little ahead, it can be misunderstood by some or difficult to understand. The definition of yellowism is very simple and should be read literally. This is not a metaphor. This is a description of something that exists. However, sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to understand. I think the biggest problem for some people is to classified yellowism as non - art. It is hard to see yellowism as the area outside, as the autonomous territory, which is not neither art nor anti – art, nor daily reality. In accordance with its essence, yellowism is not art nor anti- art or reality, both social and material, such as we experience it. This is a new field, which perhaps had already existed, but its definition has been given recently. One of the answers to the question why yellowism is not art is such that in yellowism all and everything (no matter what it is) is about yellow and express yellow color and nothing more. Are all works of art about yellow and express yellow color? Of course, not. Two important facts: firstly, in yellowism all and everything is “flattened” into the yellow, and secondly, all and everything in yellowism is beyond art. The genius of yellowism consists in a combination of these two facts. Combining these two facts is the way to understand, or simply to see yellowism as what it really is. Often you can hear a commentary that yellowism looks like art, the pieces of yellowism look like works of art. Precisely, it is true that pieces of yellowism only look like works of art but they are not. This is the external, visual similarity. Work of art exists in its own context - the context of art, piece of yellowism exist in its own hermetic context of yellowism. The object placed in front of a mirror is reflected in it, but of course this reflection is not the object. The object and its reflection look identical but are located in other “spaces”. If someone would call this object “art” and its reflection would call “yellowism” would be close to understand what yellowism is and would see how everything and everyone in it, is flattened, equalised to one plane of thought as smooth as a sheet of glass. This glass is yellow.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► 6 comments
1.Art was not my aim but a means to an aim. Through art I reached to Yellowism. The transition to another level - but not like in a computer game. It is rather a transition from one game to another game.
2.The only difference between those who defined the context of yellowism (who wrote the Manifesto of Yellowism) and are “doing something” in this context, and those who did not define it (but rather they “got it”) and also are “doing something” in this context, lies in the fact that the latter did not define it. To make yellowism is enough to be aware of the context of yellowism.
3.The same person may exhibit works in art galleries and also in yellowistic chambers. He/she does not need to give up the art to do something in Yellowism. This person must only separate and distinguish these two contexts. She/he can even show the same thing in either of the contexts. In the art gallery a film about war in Afghanistan will be about war in Afghanistan (and probably also about something else) but in a yellowistic chamber the same film will be about yellow and nothing more.
4. Hypothetically: the work of art shown in the yellowistic chamber is no longer a work of art, but it becomes a piece of yellowism.
5.The piece of yellowism shown in the art gallery or anywhere except the yellowistic chamber is no longer a piece of yellowism, but it becomes a work of art or simply disappears in reality.
6.The yellow homogeneous mass is not for the masses.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► Questions & Answers
Q: “Examples of Yellowism can look like works of art but are not works of art” - this is a sentence from the manifesto of yellowism. Could you describe this independent territory where objects and actions look like works of art but are not works of art?
A: This autonomous territory is called “yellowism”. Yellowism is not art, it is not a form of creativity. We resigned from art, but not like Marcel Duchamp. Unlike him, after resignation we defined a new context, both mental and physical, and it was our last creative move. We didn’t reduce our activity to the domain of reality. Now, after this decision to give up any kind of artistic practice, after the “Manifesto of Yellowism”, it is better to say “we arrange pieces of Yellowism” or even “we produce” rather than “we create” Yellowism piece number one, Yellowism piece number two… These are just examples of yellowistic expansion. There is no evolution of Yellowism; we do not develop any idea. No new messages. The final message is done, context has been defined. Examples of Yellowism can look like works of art, but are not works of art. I can go even further and say: “sometimes examples of Yellowism look exactly the same like works of art but are not works of art”. Why are they not works of art? The answer is very simple: because these pieces exist only in the hermetic context of Yellowism which we defined in the Manifesto of Yellowism. And… even if someone doesn’t approve of this new context, it clearly exists.
Q: Is Yellowism a next, important move after Duchamp?
A: Duchamp was playing with two contexts: reality and art. Yellowism is a third context. Duchamp resigned from art…but in the end we have “Etant donnes” in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We resigned from art and at the same moment, with Vladimir Umanets, we defined a new territory for our practices. Yellowism is out of art and can not exist or be presented in a museum. Duchamp didn’t define a new context, he chose chess. In dialog with Pierre Cabanne, Duchamp said that chess may be an ideal work of art. Anyway, people have known chess since the 6th century.
Q: Is Yellowism a kind of anti-art?
A: No, definitely not! Yellowism is not against art. Yellowism is a result of the experiences that we gained by engaging in art. Through art we have reached Yellowism. Art was for us a bit like a uterus, like a mother, but we did not want to kill her (laugh). Now, Yellowism is Yellowism, art is art - that’s it.
Q: Can Yellowism as a whole be considered as a big work of art?
A: We defined the right context for our works, which were in a wrong context before. The right one is called “Yellowism”, the wrong one is called “art”. We were “writing” the Manifesto of Yellowism in the period of transition, somewhere “in between” – between the territory of art, which we wanted to abandon (and we did it!) and a new territory called Yellowism. It was the act of moving from one state to another, but the latter we were forming simultaneously. This decision should not be considered as a part of artistic process. It is not right to call Yellowism as a whole a work of art. I think that we are not positioned within a big work of art titled “Yellowism”.
Q: Is Yellowism a meta-art?
A: No, it is not, because Yellowism is not about art, it is about yellow. Yellowism is maybe “meta-yellow” (laugh).
Q: Can I perceive Yellowism as a mirror for art?
A: It looks exactly the same like me, but it is not me. What is it then? I think it could be, for example, my mirror reflection (laugh). My reflection doesn’t feel like me, doesn’t think like me, is flat, is… lifeless. Yellowism looks like art but is not art… Yes, Yellowism can be a yellow mirror for art - you literally enter this mirror when you cross the gap of the yellowistic chamber. You are like Alice. Everyone should notice that Yellowism is not an illusion. It is real.
Q: Today art can absorb everything. Do you think that some artists can use a piece of Yellowism to create works of art?
A: Hypothetically speaking yes, some artists can do this. If they decide to take a piece of Yellowism from a yellowistic chamber and put it in an art gallery or use this piece to construct their work, then its identity changes and we are immediately in an art context. An artist or curator can even prepare an exhibition about Yellowism - everywhere except in a yellowistic chamber.
Q: According to the Manifesto of Yellowism - a yellowistic chamber space is reserved only for pieces of Yellowism…
A: It is obvious that works of art can occur anywhere… for example: on the moon or inside your left leg (laugh), but white cube is the only neutral space for works of art. White walls - this is the convention. Why white? Good visibility, perhaps. A piece of Yellowism may only be presented in yellowistic chambers, not in open public spaces, not on the street, not in the desert, a bar, a hospital etc. Yellowistic chambers are the only space for pieces of Yellowism. Here, yellow walls are neutral. Yellowism has changed my perception and now white walls of art galleries seem strange to me (laugh).
Q: Who can be a yellowist, only you and Vladimir?
A: Everyone can be a yellowist, everyone who understands what the Manifesto of Yellowism is about, and is aware of what contemporary art is and what Yellowism is; if one feels that Yellowism is an appropriate context for his/her activities, then one can be yellowist.
Q: “Pieces of Yellowism are only about yellow and nothing more”. In art I can make work about yellow as well, right?
A: Of course you can, but you will do this in the context of art, in which you can make work about yellow and blue, red, line, surface, war, politics, religion, love, sex, the human condition, globalisation, art itself etc. You can refer to all these things separately or you can mix them as you like. In art you have a wide spectrum of themes, private mythologies, stories, metaphors, points of departure, references, interpretations, messages etc. In the context of Yellowism pieces are only about yellow and nothing more. In Yellowism everything is flattened to yellow. A huge and heavy stone fell down (smile) and now all intellectual and emotional possibilities are reduced to one- to yellow. Just the visual forms continuously change the “image” of Yellowism. Different materials in different configurations appear on one static yellow surface. It doesn’t matter how the piece of Yellowism looks, I mean, it doesn’t matter what kind of medium I will use to make this piece, it doesn’t matter what materials I use, doesn’t matter how I will arrange elements in the space, doesn’t matter how I will title it. A piece of Yellowism is always about yellow and expresses exacly the same thing as other pieces. If you are planning to visit a yellowistic chamber you already know that the exhibition installed there, is about yellow and you should not expect any intelectual surprises. It is enough, if you understand what we are saying in the Manifesto of Yellowism. There is only one message to think about, universal information for every yellowistic exhibition - the Manifesto of Yellowism.
Q: “A huge and heavy stone fell down”… so, there is no freedom in Yellowism?
A: Contemporary art is based on freedom – everywhere everyone can make a piece about anything. In Yellowism– there is no “everywhere” – but only yellowistic chambers, there is no “about anything” – but the subject matter is always yellow. Yellowism is closer to a totalitarian system than to art. Freedom? Freedom in mono-gamy can be more real than in poly-gamy… (laugh).
Q: A: Of course one can say that, as long as a yellowistic police doesn’t exist and can’t change one’s mind (smile), but it will be just that person’s point of view. It is quite obvious that today, very often, the spectator has to decipher and interpretate works of art… In Yellowism there is nothing to decode, because Yellowism is not art. All pieces are about yellow- this is the axiom which we give to everyone. All pieces of Yellowism always repeat the same information- definition of yellow: “a color like that of egg yolk, ripe lemons etc.; the primary color between green and orange in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 570 and 590 nm”. Let’s go back to the Manifesto of Yellowism: “Interpreting Yellowism as art (or anti-art) and being about something other than just yellow deprives Yellowism of its only purpose”.
Q: What is this “only purpose”?
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Necessity of Manifesto of Yellowism
The word “language” and “sentence”, “grammar” etc. I use in this text only to metaphorically explain the new context - yellowism. Yellowism should not be considered from linguistic perspective or only from linguistic perspective. To perceive piece of yellowism as a piece of yellowism, you must first know the manifesto of yellowism. Manifesto of yellowism will be “visible” in each yellowistic chamber. Perhaps, in the future, manifesto presented on the yellow wall in the yellowistic chamber will be no longer necessary; everyone will know in what context is located when one sees the yellow walls around something resembling a work of art. But now the presentation of the manifesto on the wall of the yellowistic chamber is indispensable. Imagine that you accidentally crossed the border of a foreign country and you didn’t notice that; you didn’t see the information sign; there was no fence, no lines, etc. After a while you meet people who speak a foreign (totally different than yours) language and you already know that (perhaps) you are in another territory. What happens if two “countries” use the same “language”? Imagine: you crossed the boundary of yellowistic chamber but you don’t know yet that this is a yellowistic chamber. The “language” seems familiar; you are even sure that you know this “language” very well and undoubtedly you are on contemporary art exhibition; “you are at home”. It is clear - some artist painted the walls yellow and putted some objects inside. But pretty soon, fortunately, you see the manifesto of yellowism on the wall. Manifesto from which you will learn that the examples of yellowism can look like works of art but are not works art. Now you know that you were wrong. You are not on an art exhibition. Although you already know all the “words” and the whole “grammar” but you need to learn these things from scratch because in this “country” (Yellowism) all the possible expressions (“sentences”) are about yellow. Therefore, this “new language” is very easy to learn, in fact, after reading the manifesto you already know this “foreign language” - each piece of yellowism is about yellow and expresses exactly the same as other pieces. It is simple. The truncated cow head with eyes painted turquoise blue hanging from the ceiling is about yellow and the video projection on which you see the white woman kissing a black man is about yellow; and next piece: the flag of North Korea stuck in the bread lying on the floor is also about yellow and nothing more. This is yellowism . Another way to inform about this new context (yellowism) should be a little similar to the transfer of information via genetic code…
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► External Resemblance
Consider a pair of visually indistinguishable objects, but the first element in this pair is a work of art and the second element is a piece of yellowism. The fact that first element of this pair is a work of art and the second element is not although the elements of this pair are visually indistinguishable shows that the first object in this pair must be enmeshed in some sort of framework or network of relations in which the second element is not. It is first element’s being enmeshed in the framework which accounts for its being a work of art, and it is the second element’s being enmeshed in the framework which accounts for its being a piece of yellowism.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► All And Everything
Imagine that you are a guide in an art gallery similar to Tate Modern in London; people follow you and you explain: this work here is about yellow and expresses yellow and nothing more, the next work made by X is about yellow and expresses yellow and nothing more, and this work of art made by Y is about yellow and expresses yellow and nothing more, and the work made by Z is about yellow and expresses yellow… After the tour it turns out that according to you all of the (let’s say a thousand) different exhibited works which are derived from different periods of art and were created for various reasons are about yellow and express yellow and nothing more, so people ask: “are you blind and stupid?” You equated, as some dictator, the whole richness of meanings, symbols, references (and also the lack of meanings and the whole abstraction) to a single expression, so… fuck off! Immediately after this indictment they would kill you :-) It could not happen in a large yellowistic chamber where in the same way you would explain a thousand variously-looking pieces of yellowism (every piece done by someone else); it can be pieces of yellowism visually very simmilar to the works of art that you have explained in the gallery. In the yellowistic chamber, people aware of the context in which they are located would say that you are right - all pieces in the chamber are about yellow and express yellow and nothing more. In art, unlike in yellowism, ALL and EVERYTHING is not flattened to yellow; therefore yellowism is not art.
text by Marcin Lodyga
Yellowism is an area that is located outside the field of art. Perhaps it is parallel to it, maybe it is its yellow flat shadow… in any case it’s beyond the art and this is its strength. It is an autonomous territory. The yellow ghetto is not inside the city of art, but outside of it.
text by Marcin Lodyga
►► The Definition of Yellowism
Yellowism is an autonomous phenomenon in contemporary visual culture. It derived from the visual arts and despite this fact, is not classified as art, what is in accordance with its essence. It was defined in 2010 by Marcin Łodyga and Vladimir Umanets. Characteristic feature of yellowism is the lack of a creative element. All manifestations of yellowism are about yellow, are identical in content and differ only in terms of form. Pieces of yellowism are cause of expansion of yellowism and are not the result of the creative process and evolution. Yellowism can easily be seen as a kind of art or creativity; however, such thinking belies its true nature. Yellowism can be presented only in the special yellowistic chambers. Yellowistic chamber is a closed room with violet walls that is not an art gallery and because of its nature, cannot exist or be presented in an art gallery. On 15th Nov 2010 in Cairo, in the Natalia Vodianova Yellowistic Chamber was opened the first exhibition of yellowism called “Flattened to yellow”, on which, for the first time, the Manifesto of Yellowism was presented. The opening date of this exhibition is considered as the beginning of yellowism.
►► Remarks on films
In May 2010 in the camp called “Good life” (the Sinai Peninsula) and then in Cairo, Marcin Lodyga wrote the remarks on his last work of art - a series of films made between 2006 - 2010. Two months later, he started to write, together with Vladimir Umanets, the Manifesto of Yellowism and he resigned from art.
Each scene relates to yellow, it is an expression of yellow. The whole story concerns yellow. All meanings and symbols you can verify by yellow. All emotions stem from yellow. The lack of emotions due to yellow. All questions and answers relate to yellow.
This is difficult for the viewer. Spectator must, regardless of all the overbearing meanings, symbols, references and associations, think about yellow. Through issues such as war, terrorism, death, art, sexual obsession, crucifixion, return to the womb, borders of language etc he/ she must “look” at yellow because the films are about yellow, not about all these issues. There are no banal scenes in the movie because yellow makes that all the readable meanings lose their obvious importance.
This situation is very difficult, because our civilization, culture, philosophy or art leads us to specific conclusions when we see specific prerequisites, premises, circumstances, reasons, data… We are able to decode the meanings and symbols because they are already (made) in us. We are looking for something which we already know. The traditional and universal “system of reading” meanings and symbols falls in this way: through introducing yellow into the construction / deconstruction of every metaphor - all metaphors are equalized to one level. All meanings are reduced (“flattened”) to yellow. This creates a new system of reading meanings. This is an absurd system. This is a utopian system. This is a sick system – infected by yellow. This leads to suffocation of all previous meanings and symbols. All the beautiful metaphors and courageous comparisons rot if we apply to them yellow.
text by Marcin Lodyga,Sinai/Cairo, May 2010