from 24nd August to 2st September 2022
in the Rust/Burgenland/Austria
Small is beautifulor – less is more
»Small is beautiful« is the title of a very well-known book authored by economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher. Written as early as the 1970s, it is a visionary work in which he criticises the over-exploitation of resources and talks about breaking free from dependencies, about security of supply, as well as fair distribution and democratisation.
Since the very same issues also feature prominently in current public debate, they have inspired our choice of theme for this year’s 23rd eu-art-network symposium, where we intend to address these problematic topics.
Wasting of resources, energy debates, environmental pollution and a cold war in the midst of Europe are showing us the downside of an economic rationale that aggressively pursues profit and growth, not only destroying basic democratic structures, but also causing deep rifts in our society. Hate, readiness for war and the creation of enemy stereotypes are deeply ingrained in humans, particularly in times of major crisis and existential fear – a situation that seems to get worse and worse for us at the moment.
The question is, how can we successfully change that? Will we ever, even remotely, be able to follow a vision like E.F. Schumacher’s and find our way back to a human measure of things by reducing unchecked economic growth and consumerism? Will we ever manage to implement an economic theory that strives for simplicity and non-violence, as Schumacher describes? In order to achieve this, wouldn’t we have to put the principle of humanism before the principle of capitalism and that way overcome hate and war, if we want to save our planet?
During this year’s symposium, the participating artists will examine these and similar questions and articulate their perspective via the medium of art. Especially the symposium’s subtitle, »less is more«, is a quote often used – in the world of art as well. The concept of reduction is an essential aspect of artistic creation, because the endless adding-on of supposedly important things can often and quickly lead to worse results.
The works of art created during our symposium will be presented in exhibitions and published in our art magazine »Cahièr d´art«.