Luis Camnitzer

Manifesto by Luis Camnitzer, 1982

I presume to be a revolutionary artist, with a vision for the world and with the mission of implementing it: to eradicate the exploitation of man by man, to implement the equitable distribution of goods and tasks, to achieve a free, just and classless society. In order for my mission to succeed, I have to try to communicate with the highest possible percentage of the public, something only possible with a great amount of production and a good system of distribution for my products.

The production needed to reach the public who might be converted to my ideas cannot be realized through a limited, craftsman approach. I need means of production that are as efficient as possible and assistants who can perform those tasks that do not require my creative effort, but can be executed under my instructions. Having limited funds to acquire equipment, I have to extend my ingenuity to find good buys, to profit from errors by the sellers, to bargain to my advantage; that is, to act with more intelligence than those who would exploit me if I weren't careful.

Having limited funds to employ assistants with the salaries they deserve, I have to try to pay as little as possible, prolong working hours for the same money, try to achieve a maximum of productivity with a minimum of expense. If this operation should leave some money left over, it should be invested in more equipment or in employing more people under the same conditions.

The biggest problem for the distribution of my work is competition. Other artists, sharing as well as opposing my ideas, interfere with my potential contact with the public. The public spends money on works that are not mine, money that would be useful to improve and increase my means of production, works that distract their attention from my revolutionary aims. I have to be able to establish my work over those obstacles.

I cannot physically eliminate the artists competing with me, but I can try to harm their image, spread rumours, create rifts between them and their dealers, and generally, try to sabotage their distribution systems.

With some luck and some manipulation I can then add these distribution networks to mine and ensure my preeminence in the public's view. Thus I will increase my sales which will allow me to acquire more and better means of production. I will be able to consider gaining access to other audiences, an international public. The day when my revolutionary ideals will become a reality therefore could be near.