MA FINE ART FT 2008/09


Fine Art to some extend always has been a voice of society and it’s time. The great styles of Art history mirror the status quo of thinking at a certain epoch (the Renaissance-man, the Baroque-poet).
Art, culture, sociology and philosophy always intertwined or discussed each other and the subject I want to study here, emerges in all these disciplines. I tried to define the various concepts in of Cynicism and to show ways of detecting it in younger history, particular works or artist’s personalities. The first part of this paper introduces the philosophy and the conceptual history behind Cynicism, it’s ancestors and some sociological or cultural appearances. The second part is a collection of brief fragments discussing aspects about several artists from this certain point of view. I tried to interlace a line of thought, which in a way concludes, if the subject makes a conclusion possible. I observed that the colleagues to whom, I presented the concepts of Cynicism kept thinking and discussing about it, which allows me to highlight particular aspects rather than discussing them in full depth.
This piece is an experiment of a cross breed between debating and aphoristic writing and the latter strongly relates to my theme. It grew some kind of monster but I hope that, unlike hybrid animals like the mule, it still is fertile.
I was advised to shorten the piece, but I even extended and fragmented it further. This certainly will be seen as a writing inability and spoil my mark, which is the point, where one might ask: What does Diogenes think about academic marks?1 I randomly picked some topics and added: (deleted), which might help to read exactly the length of text, that my decent readers would like to read.


The sun has finally managed to climb beneath the trees and warms the bottom of the quarry. Soon it will be terribly hot. I am standing on a huge granite block and just finished a long row of slots with a 12 kilo pneumatic hammer and a special chisel. I clear the holes from dust with compressed air (the part I don’t like) and insert the short edgeless wedges. Working on a large block, smoking quarry workers tend to light up a cigarette for the ceremonial moment that comes next, although using that big sle dge-hammer with a flexible handle is quite breath taking. But one has to make sure that he takes his time, for the grain needs time to rel ease. One wedge after the other is driven in, which is followed by a pause and then repeated. The sound of the strokes changes, which we describe as ”the stone starting to sing”. After at least the fourth repetition one can hear a fizzling, followed by a capitulating sigh. What has been connected solidly for millions of years now is departed with a groan…

I always preferred this old fashioned technique in comparison to the newer method of plug and feathers, which is based on drilling round holes deeply into the rock. The plug and feather requires less skills and knowledge of the stone, but is safer in it’s result. It leaves unaesthetic drilling marks on the split face, which sometimes have to be removed, which is a lot of work. The older method of chiseled slots just leaves a little pattern on the very edge of the blocks and produces a pure and natural split surface, which already can be used as a finished face. It also produces less dust and might even be faster. One reason why it isn’t used that much is, that the chisels have to be forged after a while whereas drills can be bought and sharpened with a grinder.
The slots can also be made by hand with a simple pointed chisel.

But it is not only for these practical advantages that I admire the method and the process of stone splitting and often preferred it to tricky time consuming sculptural work like carving hundreds of leaves and rosebuds. I always wondered if there is something philosophical about it, at least in a metaphoric sense. It is a kind of cleverness that doesn’t intrude the block very far but still has this massive impact, by the tension it produces. It is the hardness of the granite that makes it work, unlike in other materials like sandstone or limestone, where other techniques have to be used. If the block stands for a problem which has to be solved or for a group of people, which has to be polarized in order to start a productive argument, the short wedge stands for a minimal intervention with a maximal impact. The harder the problem might seem the better the smart action might work.
The hard work in a quarry with all it’s noise and physicality also comprehends the beauty of creative destruction. When seen metaphorically this work is very positive and gives hope, transferred to other fields of life, where things might seem impossible. The small breaks the huge, David defeats Goliath and a destructive impact creates.
Actually I am not writing a quarrying manual, but an essay about philosophy and art. But I am looking at old ancient Greek philosophy, which was often taught like a manual for life.
This paper won’t be a real manual, neither for quarrying, nor for
life or art, but maybe it will raise the right questions and explain
some kind of thinking tool. But at this point the cynic raises his voice: we are less disappointed if we expect less.

My artistic practice and a certain personal attitude started my engagement with the concept of Cynicism from a theoretical point of view, as well as from life’s practice. The words cynic or cynical are used for describing very different characters or concepts. Everyday language uses the expression of Cynicism slightly random on a certain set of humor and humoristic artwork but also for observations in economy or society, where things are perceived of being nihilistic to some extend. So very simplified, the corrupt man in power is cynical as well as the man on the bar who jokes about the man in power, in order to ease his frustration.
Written definitions differ, whether they are a philosophical approach, concerning literature, psychology or encyclopaedic defining. For “academic” writing one would only take academic definitions in account, but academic knowledge is not everything, that is known and on the other hand this particular concept changed it’s perception throughout it’s history. It is not like “libido”, which perhaps always meant the same (stress or inconvenience connected with reproduction,…certainly not, sorry to all romantics).

Cynicism and Kynicism
First of all I’d like to make a differentiation, which yet is only made in German language. It might help to sort things out.
The Kynics were a group of old ancient Greek philosophers, which appeared in the fourth century BC and existed as a sect almost 800 years. They rejected property and other values, like fame, family , religion and power. Their basic claim was, that one can achieve real happiness by living a simple life as natural as possible. Their attitude was seen as a response to the breaking apart of the polis and a country, that was struck by the Peloponnesian wars. So poverty, liberty and autarchy was seen as an alternative to greed and destruction, a kind of safety, by having nothing to loose. The outstanding figure of Diogenes of Sinope, who was a student of Anthistenes wasn’t just introducing a lifestyle, but also tempted to unmask false or hollowed values and provoke the sophistic arrogance of Sokcratesian academic descendants and especially Plato, with spoken satire, obscene gestures and mimed examples. His public defecation and masturbation can be seen as a kind of unorthodox dialectic.
He was admired and hated, and his most famous anecdote points out his set of values, when being approached by Alexander the Great, asking the philosopher, whether he could give him any boon, Diogenes answered:”Step out of my sunlight”. In this case Diogenes certainly cynically knows that nothing is for free.
In these times a philosopher easily could be sold as a slave for teaching the brood of person in power and organizing the household, which according to some sources happened to Diogenes.
With Diogenes we rather deal with a set of anecdotes, which were collected in the 3rd century AD by Diogenes Laertius than with a real properly recorded life, so it can be doubted that he ever met Alexander.
But these anecdotes resurrect that innerly happy but grouchy “Sokrates gone mad”(Plato) as a wise but subversive character, who was well educated but living in a tub in the streets with the dogs, well known but not interested in fame, well educated but sneering by obscene deeds.2
The biting irony of the kynical speech and the ideal of a life close to one of an animal, are the reason for the dog becoming the ultimate symbol for the Kynics although it is discussed if their name descended from the word kyon (Greek:dog) or from the gymnasium of Kynosarghes. But Diogenes once being called a dog as an attempt of insult, wore the name like a decoration, an ideal because a dog eats what he finds, sleeps when tired but is instinctively able to distinguish good and evil, expressed by the (satirical) bark.

During its existence as a movement the Kynics already faced a reputation as false brash beggars and freeloaders, rejecting all values, although their way of speech even influenced the Christians and Kynic philosophy is clearly visible in Stoic thinking 3. The asceticism and peregrination of the kynical lifestyle can be related to mendicant orders of the rising Christianity. There even are reports of some early Christians becoming Kynics, and Horkheimer and Adorno compare Diogenes with John the Baptist. Both were concerning their critical position towards progress and therefore power denied by the following movement. 4
The ambigues character of Diogenes described in a floating set of anecdotes which often lack of historic base, caused problems of interpretation throughout the centuries, which resulted in misinterpretation, and reactions reaching from full rejection to idealisation. Apart from his vulgarity and his predestination to disobedience the Diogenes character even doesn’t obey his own principles and the kynic adoration for virtues becomes spoiled by the higher idea of independence. Diogenes preaches sexual autarchy by masturbation but accepts free service by famous Athenian whores, who often were well educated and quite powerful but not involved with the academy, which was Diogenes‘ opponent.
Elsewhere he nearly poisons himself by eating raw meat, for he proclaims food that is as simple as possible and on the other hand is met at rich feasts.
This ambiguity caused a problem for his later recension and instrumentalisation. The school of Epiktet for example taught that Diogenes has to be seen as deeply religious, which can be doubted. He might have believed in the existence of the Gods as fixed constellations but he rejected the institutions of the temple and the sacrifice.
The Christian view rejected and banned Kynicism but contradicted itself, when at one time idealising the modesty of Diogenes and criticising the vulgarity of later Kynics and at another time critcising Diogenes, while accepting the following sect. In Latin the term for Kynicism was spelled with a C.

The negative reputation of the philosophy formed the negative use of cynicism as a term for immoral thinking or behavior with a nihilistic attitude.
During the Renaissance, with its affinity towards antique philosophy above mere apologetics5, Diogenes was rediscovered and appeared in literature as a positive character with less claws, which separated him from the concept of Cynicism.
The central figure was extracted from his philosophy and its questionable aims.
I assume that this is the most important point in time when the concept was fragmented and blurred, which let to the fact that the expression is not very precise, today.
The 17th century French literature and moralism used the word in critique of other works, hence still negatively and it is the 18th and 19th century when it became a kind of intellectual virtue with Schlegel, Diderot and the young Romantics.
These writers not only admired the Kynic connection of joke and morality, but also were inspired formally: “The Romantics think like the Kynics, unsystematic, aphoristic and they search for the joke, which for them is ‚prophetic fortune‘ and ‚fragmented ingenuity”‘

Jonathan Swift probably is the best English or better Irish example for early literary Cynicism,We all remember”Gulliver’s travels” ,a book that was rewritten several times and lost parts of the biting direct sneer about Swift’s contemporary nobility. But still there is Gulliver peeing on the palace during a fire as well as him preferring the horse-people to the human in the subverted world of the forth part of the story.
We also find metaphors for England and Ireland and Scotland as oppressor and oppressed in the in the metaphor of a hovering island shadowing the countries below.
But Swift also wrote pieces that were far more sarcastic and cynical and the Government even set out 300 pound for the identification of that anonymous writer behind several critical satires.
One example which is often mentioned in this context is “a Modest Proposal, For Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public”, where Swift suggests a solution for poor Irish families with too many children. “ I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout…”6

In this “essay” we find two forms of Cynicism, one is cynical, sarcastic satire in the form of parody, which portraits the master-Cynicism and the rhetoric of mercantile theory. Master-Cynicism is a form of logic, which makes sense in its own way, but ignores any moral issue.7 This form
of Cynicism is found in higher ranks of society and science as a personal attitude as well as economic or social mechanisms. We recently had to buy the Credit Crush.


A lot of people read Friedrich Nietzsche. Some understand him(or at least pretend to), some don’t. Others like his philosophy, some don’t. I admit that I had huge problems with it, especially when it comes to concepts like“The will to Power” and the “Superhuman”, where Nietzsche leaves behind all humanitarian, altruistic and tolerant grounds in a quest for a higher form of human existence. Certainly Nietzsche’s philosophy is still seen as a responsible source for the ideologies of the fascists in the popular perception, which goes back to academic interpretations shortly after the war.8 Cynicism as a negative or positive disbelief in values and purposes certainly is related to Nihilism. The latter is a form of the first, but this relationship is just a side-aspect, and with a different approach Nietzsche becomes accessible. But still I criticise how this difficult thinking, with it’s chauvinism and sometimes sexism9 is given as basic philosophical reading. “Shut up, if You didn’t read Your Nietzsche”. I will never read all of his stuff, because I still hear his Saxon accent and earnestness, but there is a different view on his writing. Kynicism holds a key position in Nietzsche’s thinking and style and might be leading to further studies than Nihilism which was discussed, explained and sticks to Nietzsche like a chewing gum to the boot.
In his early years he approached antique philosophy predominantly by studying Diogenes Laertius‘ biographies of philosophers, which are still the most important sources about Diogenes of S. and the Kynics. He admired and adopted the possibilities of the anecdote and the satura menippea. The connection between humor and earnest, moralistic contents in kynic literature and speech like the spoudogeloion especially inspired Nietzsche’s late work10. His seemingly unsystematic style including aphorisms and anecdotes were criticised by his contemporaries, who even dropped him from philosophy verbally. His isolated position as a radical thinker and challenger of central morality and Christianity made him identify himself with the Kynics, who he said having been the humorists of antiquity. He wanted to be a “buffoon” rather than a saint and maybe we just cannot hear a certain ironic tone in his writing anymore.
He justified Kynicism with a moral of instant animalistic happiness, which also derives from the joy of juxtaposing it’s environment.
The child, the animal and the Dyonysic powers (which creates and destroys at the same time) can be seen as metaphors for a new purity and flexible truth, all of which can be found in Kynic thinking.

There are also metaphoric reminiscences.
One of Diogenes anecdotes tells that he was accused of recoining currency in his former job as an exchanger. There are several versions, but it created the coin metaphor where “nomos” like in modern languages means the value of money as well as ethic value (paracharattein to nomisma). The “revaluation of all values” was adopted by Nietzsche as a task in ”Ecce Homo” and elsewhere and he foresees a world struggling in convulsions facing his philosophy. This destructive character of thoughts must be seen as being thought as a base for new creation, a Kynicism as a positive force.

Nietzsche also uses the metaphor of light, going back to Diogenes searching for human beings with a lantern during bright daytime only finding scum in the polis. Nietzsche’s madman searches for God and assumes that God must be dead after finding the people unable to tell, where God is.
For Nietzsche Enlightenment is silted in superficial Atheism, which leads to Sloterdijk’s critque.
There are other examples but with Kynicism Nietzsche becomes possible for rethinking. His radical philosophy, sometimes striving in immoral directions might draw the debate into a reasonable center or erase the meaninglessness in power. A thinking that negotiates and gives everybody a part to play. This kind of radical dialectic can be seen as a form of Kynicism.
Nietzsche still doesn’t use the term Kynicism but, so the meaning of Cynicism in his writing must be detected by the specific context in any case. The next page gives an example of a differentiation of the concept.

The Scale
I tried to design a kind of diagram, which might limp on both legs, but helps to map meanings and appearances of cynicism. Enlightened paradox life might spot an individual on more than one place on the scale, which proves the thesis.
Scale of Cynicism
What can be found in between the opponent concepts drawn by Peter Sloterdijk?

Cynicism as false, enlightened consciousness, a diffuse comfortable mass-phenomena, as a result of an enlightenment, failing its tasks.

dominant (master) Cynicism, nihilistic
hegemonic, arrogant, sovereign, full of hypocrisy, happy

half resigned dominant Cynicism, nihilistic
rational economic (or socio-economic) measuring,
without a certain stress on idealism or a certain values,
“If Africa ever comes to stand on its feet, it might kill the European economy” example
“A cynic is someone, who knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing” Oscar Wilde

resigned dominant Cynicism
“If I wouldn’t do the job, somebody else would do it, perhaps even worse” Sloterdijk

resigned criminal Cynicism, private
“Everybody does it, so why shouldn’t I!” example

resigned passive Cynicism
“There is no point in voting, they do what they want anyway” ex.

resigned ironic Cynicism, self-therapy
facing the common situation, which is perceived negative, with private sarcasm. Often a traditional way of thinking and

resigned idealistic Cynicism, sometimes nihilistic
related to the concept given before, but experienced by former idealists, sometimes sarcastic as self-therapy, sometimes bitter.

faultfinding, sneering Cynicism, satire
responding to all aspects of society (values, thinking, power,
social life…). Public, using Cynicism as an aesthetic tool in Literature, Poetry, Comedy and fine Arts. Sometimes angry, not unhappy, moral but not necessarily confident.

modern Kynicism
dialectic opponent, highly subversive, often in order to improve life and society, idealistic but undogmatic, unorthodox forms of expression in disciplines mentioned above and lifestyle. Angry but happy. Kynicism can be found in Dada, some avant garde, early Punk and other movements, some forms of protest, various individual artists, musicians and writers (gonzo-journalism).

Kynicism, ancient Greek sect of philosophers, opposing an arrogant, “idealistic” academia by impudent, sometimes obscene gestures. Rejecting property and other “false” values of the polis by stressing a simple natural, animalistic lifestyle in order to gain happiness. Use of sarcasm and satire. Idependant. Autarch. Diogenes of Sinope
Two friends meet in a pub and one starts “I have a sneaking suspicion that my wife is dead”, the other:” Why? Is it different in bed?”, “No, sex is pretty much the same, but when I look at the kitchen…”. Still not my best joke, but it displays Cynicism in jokes as a form of disbelief in values or institutions like marriage. Siegmund Freud discussed the psychology of jokes and the form of Cynicism as a way to deal with moral settings and rules that are overcome but still can’t be erased. He certainly deals with the subject in his typical way and focuses on jokes with a certain tendency, criticising institutions from the viewpoint of oppressed desires, where the individual finds release in Cynicism.
Freudian theory mainly explains Cynicism as a struggle between Super-ego and Ego as a form of aggressive masochism or self preservation. This
preservation creates distance and coldness which is also found in medicine and other disciplines, where people fight lost battles.11
The young boy becomes cynical, when realising parental sexuality and perceiving the mother as a whore12. Diogenes‘ tub was seen as a womb fantasy and Cynicism is described as a male issue. Swift and Nietzsche had problems with women, which occurs in their writing, which would prove the thesis, but aren’t these simplifications a form of scientific Cynicism. It also doesn’t explain Cynicism as a mass phenomena. Mass-psychology is never the summation of individual psyches and the mass won’t be cured by the mass phenomena of therapists. Let’s go on.

The term Cynicism is used to give name to sneering, unmasking or realistic literature and on a certain set of humor. A cynic is a “sneering faultfinder”, with a disbelief in people’s motives and values. This is how common dictionaries explain C. But apart from this individual transformation of what is perceived, we find another concept.
The most popular philosophic book to name, is “Critique of Cynical Reason” by Peter Sloterdijk. It was the bestselling book in its discipline after the second world war.
It doesn’t claim to be the great solution but a “relaxation-book” (against the cynical tension),and is a mighty, beautiful and informative work, but sometimes too much in love with it’s observations, to give helpful concepts. Sloterdijk basically juxtaposes Kynicism and Cynicism and deals with these concepts with socio-historic interpretations.
On the other hand it was a book at a certain time. It was published in 1983, which was a desperate time for some parts of the intelligentsia. Helmut Kohl won the election in Germany, heralding the conservative change, Margaret Thatcher did it in Britain, introducing a new harsh climate of economic liberalism and the Peking spring failed. Still Sloterdijk didn’t know that times could be worse. If people have hard stubborn opponents, opposition is easier to define and any action more efficient.
He might have foreseen the collapse of Communism, which, though being a farce in practice, existed as an ideological alternative, but he didn’t see the kind of Cynicism of Labour parties like Blair in the UK and Schroeder in Germany, denying their programs and the party base by what they called reality politics. The fall of the Berlin wall was disappointing for many Germans, which expressed itself in resignation and racism. The book was relevant at its time but its relevance increased, concerning Cynicism. If conservatism is a value it even might be easier to believe in it than in neo-liberal Labourism. Today he could find a lot more examples for the corrupting mechanisms of power as a form of Master-Cynicism.
Capitalism, progress and globalization as improving trends are heavily doubted in these times, but all historic alternatives are seen as having failed which leads us to issues set in around the center of the scale above.
A sporty set of Cynicism must stand against a world with more than two paths of suicide like environmental problems or the nuclear bomb, which he
psychologised most poetically. He couldn’t foresee a new time of crusades.

Sloterdijk defines Cynicism as a mass phenomena growing alongside Enlightenment. Kynicism and Cynicism both are enlightened, but they are different states of consciousness. Enlightenment and reason have dialectically canceled ideals, which were once perceived as absolutes, like Moral and especially Religion, and later on political systems.
This results in individuals, who might stick to principles, in which at the same time they don’t believe in. They only are able to trust in reason, which is not powerful enough to give life any meaning. Modern Critique of Ideology has cut itself apart from it’s satirical tradition, which roots in Kynicism, and becomes cynical itself. It is unable to criticize the false enlightened consciousness of Cynicism for it’s enlightened clever character.

The book detects the roots of Cynicism already in people’s eduction:
“The universities and schools practice a schizoid role playing in which an unmotivated, prospectless but intelligent youth learns to keep up with the general standards of enlightened meaninglessness”
Sloterdijk might have thought of the student revolt in the 60ies and it’s slightly kynical juxtaposition. He mentions the attack on T.W. Adorno, who can be seen as a father of the set of thoughts, that made the students revolt in 1969. Three girls successfully insulted the great thinker of “Critical Theory”,by showing their breasts and trying to kiss him during the lecture. Sloterdijk perceives this incident as Diogenes meeting Sokrates, and as a kynical expression. Adorno was insulted and confused and couldn’t make out, whether it was a revenge on him, for not participating in the revolt or an allegation of being sexist. He died three month later, some say of a broken heart, but that’s rubbish. On the other hand he might have foreseen the Youth becoming radical, which he, as a sensible Jew who had just returned from exile, could not support. It was like a statute for the Frankfurt school to make sure that a radicalisation like during the Third Reich never was going to happen again.
Concerning older times, Sloterdijk defines kynical aspects in carnival,universities and Bohemia which decreased as such, especially after the second world war.

A very important time for the growth of the miserable Cynicism is the Weimar Republic in Germany between the World Wars, as a time of various more or less radical strifes and a deep feeling of being deceived, which led to fascism and another stage for the loss of values, which affected the whole western society. On one hand the emperor had led the country into a horrible war, which didn’t have the heroism of former wars, but on the other hand the “Dolchstosslegende” appeared, blaming the social-democrats for the collapse of the war-force and feeding a disbelieve in parliamentarianism.
But people at least believed that something was going to come out of these circumstances, a feeling that is not common today. When Obama won the election, a lot of people just asked themselves, when “they” are going to are going to put him out. Conspiracy theories are another kind of cynical public sport, cynical at the bar but with a good potential of paranoia.

Sloterdijk’s concept of Cynicism as a state of consciousness wasn’t really new. Heinrich Nieheus-Proebsting describes the theory of Klaus Heinrich, who detects three stages of Cynicism: bearing cognition and critique, mere self-assertion and after that resignation. This resignation can also have three forms which are admitted resignation, fanaticism and indifference with adaptation.
Greek philosophy was often more a teaching of how to achieve a “good life”, than an explanation of the world or the subject, hence Sloterdijk’s book is not as far kynical as he might have wished. Although provocation and satire are exhausted, he advocates a slight Kynicism, the gay science (Nietzsche) and cheekiness (especially in the Old High German sense of courageous productive aggression).
At all times, not only after Freud the intelligentsia or nobility was happier to find proper self-analysis than behavior-therapy and therefore the book didn’t have a large effect, but for a small potential artist who partially is not class embedded, Kynicism can be a practical inspiration, and ease a lot of conceived tensions.

There are kynical aspects in political interactions and art strewn throughout history and often political activism and art mixes. But we also have to look at the results, the form and the aftermath. As a reaction on certain circumstances Kynicism in it’s forms has to stay flexible.
In early Christianity the kynical sect lost it’s reputation and was erased by Christian prudery and it’s own lack of the powerful satire, or philosophic beauty. Before that it had become one among several sects, seeking for spiritual freedom in the bureaucratic and dominant Roman Empire, it was more or less a mass-movement, driven rather by stereotypes than by kynical individuals.
Lucian, who was a wandering rhetorician and moralistic essayist, and in a way a Kynical figure himself, sneered at Peregrinus, who was a Kynic leader, who burnt himself to death with great pomp during the Olympic games. He imputed to Peregrinus that this self-chosen, heroic death was an act in search for glory, and therefore anti-Kynical. The Kynic’s concern, literally speaking, is comedy, not tragedy; satire , not serious myth.( 171).
With Peregrinus and Lucian, the latter settled safely, we already find two other interesting aspects, that can be found in modern times as well. Peregrinus can be seen as a symbol for an idea becoming stale and inflexible by being too earnest and pathetic. Lucian can be seen as the starting point of intelligent established cynical satire, which describes a lot of later literature, theater and poetry. Lucian isn’t free of envy and scorn to his opponent, who is an outlaw but who doesn’t have the freshness, healthy satire and gift of laughter of Diogenes.13

Kynicism can go wrong and become cynic! The most famous example is “the most fateful fart in history”, which was let forth by a Roman soldier in a obscene manner during a religious festival by the occupied Jews, “that triggered a clash that cost ten thousand lives”.
Another example was mentioned before, the so called “tit-attack”, which will bring me to sexual liberation, later on. The motives behind this student action were just found out recently, because the participants remained in shame, silence and anonymity. In fact the girls just thought it would be fresh and funny, and didn’t really know what is was about, but were convinced by a charismatic male student, who basically was interested in shooting a historical photograph. For people who perceived this time just by different media this constellation evokes images of the RAF14, the remainders of “Kommune 1” and even of the charismatic story of Charles Manson and sexist constellations.
Apart from the political themes of governmental control, university structures, conservative press, general oppression and in Germany the rehabilitation of former Nazis (to be continued) one of the most important task was sexual freedom, which, as a natural issue, is of kynical interest. The so called “68-generation” (correctly these people were born between 1940 and 1954) was reviewed to it’s 40th anniversary, which was a platform for pathetic nostalgia, reasonable investigation and flat critique. Up to this, still prejudiced reevaluation the following generations questioned the success of this rebellion. In terms of governmental control, we face completely different times, and the political self-destruction of the movement was criticized, but in the end of the day,in terms of sexual liberty, the critics didn’t ask themselves, why it is possible to share a flat with an unmarried partner, without the landlord getting arrested (procuration-laws until 1968), or about tolerant parents, who allow a teenager to house a friend overnight.
But the 60ies and 70ies were not mature enough to really manage the problem of gender equality, and freedom of choice. Some images of communities, which propagated nakedness up to the point, when they removed the doors of their closets and even perceived children’s sexuality being conscious, leave the stale taste of oppression, although the movement had beautiful kynic potential. There is a bit of sex on demand, meaning sex for liberations sake.
We have to consider, that the active individuals were still brought up in chauvinistic times and therefore implied an idealistic force. “Who sleeps with the same girl for two times, is part of the establishment”.
(rhymes in German).
A lot of women also enjoyed these times, but sexual freedom happened just to a certain male-dominated extent and the most famous image of a woman (for us) is the Pin up of bare-breasted Uschi Obermaier with a huge spliff, which became a commercialized psychodelic poster. Certainly there was a lot more in the sixties and 70ies, like the performance of Valie Export, who posed in a Munich Sex-cinema with a machine gun and fully dressed, apart from the fact that her trousers were cut between the legs, exposing her Vulva. What was accepted on the screen, was shocking and subversive in reality. There is pure kynical interaction in that performance, and as it happened in the early years of 1969 it is quite powerful.
But in a general view this generation didn’t achieve a state a fruitful gender equality.
The author of “Critique of Cynical Reason” Peter Sloterdijk doesn’t write very much about sexual liberation concerning women or homosexuality, which might be the field of Neo-kynicism for today (show Your nature, it’s not immoral, the society and war are immoral).
Sloterdijk lived with the Sanyasin community for a while and later on told that it was his initial experience to write philosophical books. The organized easy erotic approach could be praised, but I knew a woman spending her teenage life in Puuna in the Sanyasin ashram. She was persuaded to have a sterilisation-surgery, which was a common ideology, at the age of 16. Still living with a Sanyasin community in Australia she wanted to have a child, but reinstalling a sterilised woman is far more complicated and dangerous than with men. She was hopefully pregnant but died by expectable complications, in the third month.
Thanks Osho, halleluja, happy, happy, ding-dong.
Why was it the girls and not the boys, who were asked to take this step?
Another example of oppression for liberation’s sake, are the communities of performance artist Otto Muehl, where monogamic relationships and personal possessions including ones clothes were banned. The children were brought up by the community. Otto Muehl was courted for sexual contact with underaged and the movement broke apart for it’s rigidity.
Though Muehl’s performances have a kynical aspect, Diogenes would have laughed at his need for ruling others.

It was general sexual liberation, that was a large theme in all those years, but concerning todays western societies sexual boundaries are not perceived as a big problem anymore. There are also movements towards abstention and virginity. Values like monogamy and marriage become high-lightened among broad parts of the youth, especially in the U.S.
Today’s heterosexuality (at least male)rather faces individualization and alienation, than visible boundaries.
So the porn-operas of French musician and performance-artist Jean-Louis Costes, who try to make the viewer think about his own morality and relationship to the body, still have kynical aspects and a necessity. They also ask the question:”If this shocks You, have You had a look at the cruelty of the world?”. But it can be questioned if there is apart from almost automatic commercial, (fun-fare, freak-show) a psychological success, for these extreme shows, which have good potential for mere nausea, might reach a tolerant audience, but not exactly the people they want to change.
The power and mechanisms of shock in Art could be discussed further, but this would mean studies on the individual perception empirically and though part of this subject has to be left aside this time

One real battle-field of Neo-kynicism became and still is Feminism, homosexuality and the Queer, with real visible tasks in society and law, especially in the U.S., but also elsewhere and finally in everybody’s personal perception and language. I’ve got a friend, who, with a series of painful surgeries turned into a physical male. Dealing with him I constantly catch myself, shifting from being too bloky (look at that girl, hasn’t she got a wonderful…?) to being sorry for her and perceiving him as a female mate. Tolerance and neutral perception is not given, but must be trained.

Concerning the mentioned movements, we certainly can diagnose broad success, which bases on hard work and theory, but also on kynical, provocative characters and performances. Many countries have got celebrated drag queens, who don’t just appear in the show-business, but also interact politically and run election campaigns, like Joan Jett-Blakk in the U.S.A or Paulina Pantsdown in Australia. The Guerilla-Girls also work on the base of light-heartened, vital Kynicism, and therefore become accessible for those people, who otherwise wouldn’t think of them selves as being part of the problem. In this case it is the male-dominated art-world and the Guerilla-Girls don’t just theoretically claim that there must be more female Art, but they show that there is such, which is clever, quick and funny.
Certainly a theoretical background is necessary, but these examples contrast with the reputation of radical feminism for being ugly and deterrent, Angela McRobbie defines in”The Aftermath of Feminism” 2008.For her, some women’s empowerment dubiously appears in Pop-culture and consume and other areas, but remaining undiscussed (Pole-dancing-problem). These assumptions can be compared with the image of late Kynicism which was a mass phenomena but stale and pathetic as I described before.

Paulina Pantsdown copied the style of his political opponent, far right-wing politician Paulina Hanson and apart from running an election campaign, produced songs with collages of recordings of Hanson’s speeches and interviews. The music is horrible but staid on the radio-charts for weeks and partially spoiled Hanson’s reputation and cost votes. This is the wedges at work.

One artist, who uses the kynical principle literally, is the Russian Oleg Kulik, who apart from various other performances, like sticking his head up a cow’s vagina or in reference to St Francis, missioning fishes with himself placed in an aquarium, repeatedly acts like a chained dog in public. Naked and exposed to get arrested or attacked, he advocates animal life as the only true concept and criticizes anthropocentrism. He wants to reinforce the animal senses, which were lost with men standing up and using language. His statements were quiet shocking, but he was criticized for going too far, when he bit the visitors of an exhibition in Stockholm and damaged other artworks with his Russian colleague Alexander Brener.
Being asked for the reasons for his behavior, he answered that the curators had invited him to an artistic dialogue between East and West, man and animal, which didn’t take place. So he felt like an imported ready-made from “wild, barbarian” Russia and interacted.
Apart from the utopia, which Kulik performs and the poetic potential of this highly provocative work, it shows us, that there are questionable taboos in the art-world, like bodily harm or other people’s artwork, which have to be broken in order to define them.
It is not only subversion, articulated by satire and the image of the dog, which relate Kulik to Kynicism, but also his celebrated nudity and obscenity. There are a lot of other artistic enterprises, which might seem exhibitionist on the first glance, but use (self-) humiliation for stressing on further themes. There is Kynicism in these, even if they sometimes loose their point and just stay embarrassing acts. Provocation for provocation’s sake. (Paul McCarthy must be discussed)

If we think of shitting somewhere (bosses desk)or showing our arse, just to make a statement, some of us might have already considered such things when angry or insulted. There are a lot of reasons, why we never attempt such misbehavior, and one, after a lot of others is vulnerability. This doesn’t mean just physical nakedness and impudence, but also all psychological aspects. This point fortunately leads me away from Diogenes‘ anal or genital statements, to other fields of art, where it doesn’t stink(at least not that much).
So vulnerable self-divulgement is an artistic expression a lot of us can feel, although they might not be cynical at all. But I want to add a moral or idealistic determination to this psychological nudity or vulnerability to get closer to an image of a kynical artist.
In enlightened times one already can be nude and vulnerable by just having an attitude and takes the risk to maintain it.
Sloterdijk writes about Dada, with it’s radical, sometimes provokingly immoral statements (embracing the vitality of war in 1918), which had despite all the nonsense a massive attitude. It might seem stupid but it is never unreflected.
Dada was a statement against the crafty art of it’s time as “means for beautifying the hideous bourgeois-capitalist reality”(Sl. 392)
On one hand Dada with it’s playfulness and irony is kynical, on the other hand Sloterdijk finds a cynical pre-fascist trend in the “aesthetics of annihilation” and demolition to the full.
But one very important point about Dada is, that it never wanted to become DadaISM and art for museums, which is exactly what happened, but at least the kynical liberty and flexibility was manifested in their program and a lot of later isms cannot be thought without Dada.

So Vulnerability is one important aspect of Kynicism in comparison to Cynicism. A Cynic strives to climb a save tree to gather his apples (Master-Cynicism) or drop his feces on the world below (sneering fault-finder), whereas the Kynic opposes himself to critique and lays bare his personality. This position of Diogenes is fragile and puts itself at risk to fail. How is it possible to succeed if there are no shields to protect the naked position of the Kynic, who risks to be wrong? All critical views were not able to erase Diogenes from the philosophic table. Under the right circumstances weakness and vulnerability becomes unviolableness or
sanctity. Jesus, martyrs or monks being rolled over by American tanks might spring to the mind, but the real Kynic walks away laughing. Diogenes once been threatened by a stronger guy, saying that he would split his head, replied that he would make his enemy shake by sneezing. The difference between a martyr and a Kynic is the ability of irony regarding oneself. Who can make a joke of someone who is telling the better jokes about himself and who can unmask a naked man? The following example might be a bit stupid, but there is a connection between a freestyle Rap-battle and the Sophists, when the better rhetoric wins the argument. In the movie “8 Mile” by Curtis Hanson, white character “B-Rabbit” who faces an intolerant masculine black Rap-scene, gives all his weak points as a rapper before his opponent can use them in his dissing.( …now tell these people something that they don’t know about me) 15 He also acts Kynical when he shows the white arse, that his his opponents rap about. In this case weakness becomes strength without anybody feeling sorry for the weak.

I would like to mention Christoph Schlingensief, who is a master of self-developing satire in his movies and public actions, but who in my perception is painfully driven by his opinion and his basic social engagement, without being dogmatic.
One of his best pieces was:Schlingensiefs Container, Auslaender raus! (foreigners out!) in Vienna in 2001, shortly after the populist nationalist party came into power in collaborating with the conservatives. Commissioned by the Vienna arts festival Schlingensief and his staff put up a fenced set of “Big Brother”- containers in the middle of Vienna, where during six days the Austrians every day were asked to vote for two of the twelve “Asylum-seekers” ,which were kept and filmed in the containers. These two were driven to the border and thrown out of the country straight away. The containers were decorated with slogans of the right-wing party and the massive Austrian tabloid press, which headlined Schlingensief’s piece with scorn and hate.
He didn’t just unmask the prejudice and social climate but also the citizen’s “us and them” attitude, by him being German(They should sweep in front of their own doors, before coming here and…). Austria already suffered isolation in Europe after the election. After smaller attacks and destructive attempts by unknown people it was ironically a left group of activists, who conquered the containers and “freed” the Asylum-seekers, and displayed that their ability to think wasn’t much better than their opponents‘. They just weren’t able to see the power of something that pretends to be wrong and immoral.
On another occasion, Schlingensief invited all German unemployed to jump into the Wolfgangssee (lake), where Helmut Kohl(former German chancellor) went for holiday, at the same time, in order to flood his lakeside house.
For the biennale 2003, facing a world of terror, he founded the “Church of Fear”, which still exists, and proclaims a denomination to fear. “You have taken our faith, but You can’t take away our fear”. This church might be seen ironic, but especially it’s personal anti-cynical commitment is highly kynical.
Certainly Schlingensief is to some extent established and a media celebrity, which he tries to undercut now and then, but these attempts decrease with age. If he is a bulldog to the masses, he is a the lap dog of intelligentsia, which takes me to the next topic.

When I was in Rome as a tourist, my eyes suffered from the sunlight and all these bright buildings (and maybe the hangovers), so I decided to get myself a pair of sunglasses. After checking several shops I realised that the cheapest pair I could get came up to 80 €. So I ended up with a FC Milano Cap, which in Rome is a Kynical statement. The Italians generally spend more money on clothes than other Europeans, but the sunglasses are a special issue. The style of these sunglasses has been exported, so one now can see the big logos and the insect-like look everywhere. The lovely thing is that they far more than other accessories celebrate their prize and brand, which is performed in the middle of the face. Being posh becomes the central statement. Wonderful.

In mediaeval times there existed another kynical character, which was the court jester and his traveling colleagues. The traveling singers and poets, were welcomed, but had to watch their back. Francois Villon for example went to prison several times and once even barely escaped a death sentence. The court jesters enjoyed a better immunity but had to be skilled, walking on a narrow line. But they were the only persons allowed to joke and sneer on the king’s issues or to tell the truth. They also forwarded bad news, when nobody else dared to. The court jester on one hand shows the king’s sovereignty toward critique, the potential ability of self-mockery of a totalitarian power, and one the other hand he is the only institution, the king can trust in, because he has no other motives and perspectives than being the jester.

The court jester is a domesticated Kynic and if we think about the Oleg Kulik case, the Swedish expected a domesticated Art animal.
I won’t buy any of Kulik’s works because his paintings don’t really hit the spot.

I like the life and death poetry that Damian Hirst sometimes evokes in his work and when he makes people invest in the arts, the money probably circulates there or founds something useful. But enough peaceful words . (An artist without envy should join the salvation army)
When Hirst presents his golden calf it might be a good joke on the first glance. Art as a golden calf, how clever. The problem is that he is the bestselling artist with the world’s most expensive piece, by a living artist.
So he himself is the golden calf, but this self-ironic statement on art seems a bit stale for Hirst is the court jester in his own kingdom. Fans admire this controversial statement, but then one has to ask “What’s all the other rubbish for?”, the massive production of his factory or should we say fashion brand. The posh works celebrate sheer nattiness and also people who want to spend less money can have their Hirst. This kind of marketing, which is related to fashion remind me of Italian sunglasses. If I would be Hirst’s adviser I’d recommend to make a lot more money, then donate the most of it(not even found an art school)(I have to admit that he already donated with an auction inspired by Bono)and then fully retreat to rural Britain, collecting stamps or go fishing. A statement like this would have the potential of making him a century artist, though it already has been done. But the elegant brand Damian Hirst overshadows the poet Hirst and even the diamond skull says: “halleluja,we’re posh till death” instead of “For the love of god”. Hirst is cynical, shooting from a save place, whereas his little sister Tracey Emin with her kind of self-exhibition as a woman,having a hard time is far more kynical and natural.
I won’t buy any work by Damian Hirst because it will loose value, when the party is over and the hangover comes.


A slight kynical attempt was made with the love-glorifying series “made in Heaven” by Jeff Koons together with Ilona Staller, known as porn star Cicciolina, which are somehow in a intimidating natural but also alienated by fairy-tale aesthetics. But I won’t buy any of Jeff’s works, for he treated Ilona very badly throughout their marriage and divorce.


David Cerny presented a work called “Entropa” in 2008 which was ordered by the Chech Republic and the European Parliament for Brussels. He made a large metal-sculpture in the style of a model-making plastic cast frame, containing all countries (except Britain) and showing the common stereotypes. Germany is represented with motorways forming something that reminds of a swastika, France is an empty frame with a flag saying “on strike”, the Netherlands are flooded with a few minaretts sticking out of the water. The country, which felt most insulted was Bulgaria, represented with Turkish toilets and they wanted the piece being removed.
Now there were two problems: one was the thing being perceived as an insult and the other was Cerny having pretended to make something else to his government, which he tried to calm down by suggesting to give the money back.
Apologizing for this work Cerny said that he thought of a united Europe which is able to laugh at the stereotypes together, and therefore overcome them. Good thing.
The fact, his apologies, which were quiet brief, simple and somehow struggling, tell that there was no plan in case of fire. He didn’t expect this resistance. He thought he was the domesticated lap dog, who barks but doesn’t bite, or a court jester. It was his kynical habit as an artist to go that far and what did they expect by asking him? Did they think he would make a bare-breasted Europa riding the bull in marble or stained steel? But he thought to be safe on Europa’s beautiful lap. How wrong he was.

There was a problem to be solved, like a difficult gravestone-customer. But yet I didn’t know, that the bemoaned was my former practice and I was the customer. I didn’t know, how the grave should look like and which flowers would blossom…
O.K., less pathetic, when I started the master’s course, I knew that I wouldn’t find solutions in my former practice as a stone-sculptor, which would satisfy myself, concerning artistic relevance or meaning. The self-given task was to find a new language in stone. My works as a craftsman master were not totally disregarded, but there must be more. So how to get there? I needed a kind of initial exercise to get creativity started, but saw no hope in the lump of clay or the block of plaster. On the other hand, I was pissed off by my partial bad experience with an arrogant province art club (not financial fortunately but in terms of respect), and by my own incapabilities. Jealousy?…Maybe,but hey, this is about art and therefore about being perceived. Even anonymous street artists are jealous, but there is a dress code for the emperor’s clothes of modesty.
But I was stuck, too old, too unexperienced and angry, so attack was defense. For lack of inner themes, I started joking on everything in my new environment with small unskilled drawings, as a creative exercise. There might be no artistic point in these results, but one idea leads to the next and the perception is trained, in the same way as an expressive painter gets trained in watching his own strokes and learns to distinguish the good mark from the bad. The number of ideas grows, anger is canalized and as a side product there even might be art. Nobody was insulted yet and I think that I won’t reach the Cynicism or the quality of other sneering artists, who with a few drawn lines, cut like Bill the Butcher. But I’ve planted the thistle, and thistles sometimes bloom.
If there is any philosophical aspect to emerge first, concerning such practice, it must be Cynicism.

Throughout my career as a stonemason I had to realize that my work wasn’t art but arts and crafts. The beauty of the taught skills and the knowledge in school and in the company I was trained in, contrasted with the real business of industrial polished Design and the large amount of imported cheap products from China and India. Well trained in tradition , strong and motivated we were thrown into a cynical business world, which apart from restoration and home-design feeds itself by the confusion of moaning people (gravestones). Knowledge and aesthetic responsibility is lost. At master-school, dreaming alcoholics told us that stone masonary has to find it’s way back into architecture and Fine Art, where it was dominant in the old days. Cynical bosses argued about Chinese gravestones, but only as far as business-rivals sold them. Munich
graveyards tried support local craft with international ethics, by enunciating a law to ban stoneworks, which involve child labor. A trial, initiated by a big importing gravestone-company was recently lost for the graveyards. In these days my task was craftsmanship and good design. But over-viewing my business led to melancholy and Cynicism.

My contacts to several smaller art-scenes made me come across arrogance and cronyism, and I had a problem with all kinds of art that is made for elites, in order to create a difference between those who don’t understand
the works and those who pretend to understand. Cynically, I work in that way nowadays and even believe in that work, as long as I believe in art anyway. This might be a reason for my ironic references to famous artists. By using objects and other means, which are not directly related
to skill-based disciplines I deviate such practice from the stonemasons symbolism, where ivy stands for eternal live and the anchor for hope and so on. But all trends of Art, skill-based or conceptual have to be doubted and I want to stay in my dilemma as long as possible.
The next doubt appears concerning the university, where students are encouraged towards a practice that only will sell , when they reach a certain level of fame. There are no students, who practice commercial painting or something similar. I owe my own awakening to the institution
and I am glad, having started the practice, what was creeping inside for all those years and now I eventually learned how to make things that nobody will buy.
This is no joke, I am really thankful, but the questions remain and challenging is the task of the Kynic.
I was talking about arrogance and elites, which takes me to some impenetrable borders of the art world, although I believe that I will enter through the emergency exit. I can’t find an example which is more remote from any contemporary art debate and closer to the essentials of life, than this neighbor to my farm. She has five children, two horses, pigs, goats, chicken and a dog. Her husband is a low paid short distance lorry driver. Before getting married, she was working as an agricultural assistant household keeper, from the age of 16, which is the lowest educational base one can have in this area. In this time
she started drawing old peasant women. She has built herself a wooden studio and produces works in stone, wood, plaster and she paints. Her works are grouped around nature, myths, being a female and children, often quiet colourful. She exhibits occasionally on small scale and sometimes works with children. I wouldn’t have liked her work some years ago, but nowadays it’s different. I am a Kynic.
Fair enough, with Heidegger’s “Geworfenheit” (throwness into a world).
But what really broke my heart, was when this energetic woman, who fulfilled all tasks in life, seriously asked me if I could train her to become a stone-sculptor with degree. She wanted a paper to justify her being an artist, as if any of my degrees were close to being a modern artist. I answered that I could train her in the use of tools and efficiency, but I won’t tell her the rules of stone-sculpture, we have learned by Michelangelo(unfinished), Rodin and Moore. Her work is naïve but pure.
I promised to myself that I will have a show with her, even if I’ll have to produce extra works. Which leads to the next.

With my plans, mentioned before, I am, to a certain extent embracing the banal, the anti-intellectual, which is some kind a kynical approach, because the banal, the not knowing better (knowing better but not reacting is cynical), and the simple is human in a pure sense (like stupidity is human), and therefore human nature, which has to be admired.
Apart from the Duchamp, who isn’t simple, the first big art movement embracing the banal radically, were the Pop-artists. The movements before still turned the banal into art with expression. The central Pop-artist simply celebrated it as a way of critique. We don’t know too much about Jean Michelle Basquiat and Ray Johnson, who, in their style should rather be compared with Dada than with Andy Warhol, Christo and Roy Lichtenstein, who really embraced the banal, for powerful critique until they themselves became banal.

Being criticised for talking about attitude and not about my contemporary work that much once again relates my subject to my practice if there is such. I was and I will be making things for a kind of eternity, but my honest art and statement by becoming a Cynic or Kynic must be the opposite to skill-based, time-consuming craftsmanship. Some of the quickest disciplines of Art are Object Art and Performance. I don’t especially admire these forms, but like Kippenberger I follow the anti-rule of using any means in order to position myself and transport my message, myself or a parody of myself. Strigency is a word that often appears in German Art-discussion, but will be banned from my vocabulary. I am not searching for a specific language, which I have been told is a pitch, but create myself as a person with a philosophic position, which appears in the work. I started with a series of slightly cynical objects, but my personality and my body will become part of my artistic process, although I dislike exhibitionism. I was told not to show my craftsmanship, when showing my new practice, which was the point where I split myself into two persons, Carl and Olaf. Olaf is
the stonemason, who feels responsible to Design and Craft, whereas Carl is an artificial Artist. One of the projects concerning the artificial personality is turning myself into a body-builder. The antique Kynics stressed on exercise and induration which is not really the opposite to the Kippenberger-exercise of alcoholism. Kippenberger was a personification of the Cynic Dandy, juxtaposing the Berlin Punk-scene by wearing Suits and challenging the art-scene with his massive work, which doesn’t follow a real line. He was funny, earnest, intelligent and flat, colorful and melancholic. A sensible soft person creating an ambiguous, charismatic personality. Cynically we cannot perceive him, without his alcoholic death, which makes him one of these fallen icons, heroic, untouchable, stale.
But still he is one of the anarchists in German art and Kynically betrayed
one central value, the value of self-preservation.
Drinking oneself to death as a Cynicism has one problem, it takes too long, even Bukowski died from leukaemia. So if a body like mine makes
another “Artification” possible I’d like to try and become “A real work of Art” like Wallenger’s racing horse, a human machine.
But I am still an aesthetic Cynic and results should appear at some point. The cynical business is the parody and the sneer, which quickly occurs, after observing ones environment and the mechanisms. I am not yet deep enough into Englishness and my other subjects, but when my works are not really sarcastic, they combine a light-heartened irony with some melancholy. One intuitive theme is the passing of time in different measurements, and I think the greatest of all Cynics is time.

Then It Taketh, Carl. plinth, fabric, bottle of whiskey, slab-stone, engraved: Halleluja, help Yourself. Wooden letters, white paint, battery-run toy hamster.

To be able to stand the world of today as a sensible person, and I guess artists are sensible, a bit of constructive self-preservative Cynicism is useful. For others who are interested in a kynical approach a bit of anger and a lot of self- and world observation is necessary. The second attempt to cope with the world artistically must stay flexible and ready to give up at a certain point. It is not art for art’s sake, but art for man’s sake. Cynically I have to survive and therefore will work as a gravestone-mason again and by having these skills, I have an aesthetic responsibility in that field. This will be my job, other artists serve as a waitress or drive taxis entertaining their customers in a creative way. But I had to split things apart in order to sort things, and gave up the task to introduce stone into my work(at least for a while).
So Kynicism taught me to let go. I used to justify the suicidal aspects of granite- and sand-stonemasonary always metaphysically, like medieval colleagues did, who earned twice of the money compared to other crafts but had a far shorter life to spend it. I am not especially spiritual, religious or esoteric, but I lived in my own realm of metaphysic meaning, which I will keep, because it was simple: life has to be embraced in it’s depth, breadth, hedonism and higher meaning. If God doesn’t exist, Nature does and proofs a higher meaning.
(Fuck that Saxon, who admired those above and hated those below, which brought him into the position of an alienated thinker, and fuck the other, one, who was unable to take position, when it was time to take the heavy head out of the country. Fuck philosophy which is unable to expose one single fart of a single idea, without referencing all these old suitcases, who now and then fall into chauvinism, antisemitism and the love for the superhuman. This is a kind of referencial brainwash.I will be challenged for not understanding philosophy, but I will be happy about that, I hate Atheism and Nihilism as long as these concepts are a luxury for people in comfortable houses, living in delusion about any threats. I hate Peter Sloterdijk for writing an enchanting 547 pages book, about a concept, which already existed. All this is necessary to find a position, which I only can maintain, by reading a lot of stuff, which has no philosophical beauty at all. In fact I referenced properly although I don’t know which system I have used, and I hate myself for this weakness. But this is the dilemma between independence and studies. I have learned that studying old stuff is necessary to arrive at new thoughts, but every student has to preserve the ability to doubt and reject)
The old dusted Kynicism questions and canalizes a whole life long, without getting cynical or engaged with despair. It is no solution, no salvation, but an exercise, physically and mentally. The anti-esoteric believe in reason, heart and body. The believe in intelligence and stupidity. The moment and the universe. Though being intelligent,
Kynicism crowns the body and dethrones the intellect, with all its ambiguity from medicine to the nuclear bomb.


While they tear the blocks apart, the quarry-workers discover a druse, which makes the whole work stop. It is like a celebrated moment, like the bottle of vodka on Saturday eve ning, after a 84 hours week. These crystals and crystal needles, which we re hidden for so long, don’t have a real money value, it’s the power of curiosity, the excitement of children, the treasure-seeking, which m akes these hard men bend down in the mud and cut their hands on this geological wonder, which for them has just a spiritual value. They are c ut from their families, earning a Polish average with a killing work. They could go to Ireland, earn more with easier work, but they don’t. They are married to the quarry, it’s little wonders and it’s power, their marr iages break apart, but they stay. I purely admire these people, some of the best I have ever met;
But I collect my wedges, I might need them on an Island with a Queen not too far away…


1. Fear Factory, Demanufactur, 1995
2. The Beatles, The White Album, 1968, Motley Crue, Shout at the Devil, 1983
3. Motorhead, Eat the Rich, 1987
4. Twisted Sister, 1984
5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Let Love In, 1994
6. Pink Floyd, the Wall, 1979
7. The doors, Strange days,1967
8. Labelle, 1975
9. Village People, Cruisin,1978
10. Paulina Pantsdown, 1997
11. Biohazard, State of the world address, 1994
12. Trio, Trio, 1981
13. Suicidal Tendencies, Lights…Camera…Revolution, 1990
14. Neil Young, Freedom, 1989
15. Ash, 1977
16. Roy Orbison, 1964
17. Bee Gees, Idea, 1968, Faith no more, King for day…1998
18. Rage against the machine, rage against the machine,1995
19. Cyclone Temple, I hate, therefore I am, 1991
20. Madonna, Like a Virgin, 1985
21. Queens Of The Stoneage, 2003
22. Phrase by Faith No More in King for a day…fool for a lifetime, 1998

Front cover: The sign at the bottom shows my stonemason signet containing my first name Olaf and representing a working man, it is the emblem of my one man company. The symbol in the middle is the international sign for parcels, saying “This side up” and is a reference to Kippenberger, who often used it.
The sign on top is the emblem of the artficial character Carl and shows the all seeing eye of God, which is the symbol of the Illuminati (pyramide), but certainly this one can’t see a thing.
The triangle with one point upwards means holy Trinity, but also the male principle.

Books, which I find scattered around my room these days:

Peter Sloterdijk. Critique of Cynical Reason. University of Minnesota, 1987
“ . Suhrkamp Verlag. Frankfurt am Main. 1983
Peter Sloterdijk. Zorn und Zeit. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2006
Aubrey Dillon-Manone. The Cynic’s Dictionary. Prion Books Limited, 1998
Heinrich Niehues-Proebsting. Der Kynismus des Diogenes und der Begriff des Zynismus.
Wilhelm Fink Verlag Muenchen. 1979
Diogenes Laertius. Diodenes von Sinope. Hrsg.: Kurt Steinmann.
Diogenes Verlag Zuerich. 1999
Paul Poet. Auslaender Raus! Schlingensiefs Container. DVD. Der Standard. Hoanzl. 2006
Ecce Homo. Friedrich Nietzsche. Penguin Group. London. 1979
Beyond Good and Evil. Friedrich Nietzsche. Trln by Marion Faber. Oxford World’s
Classics. 1998
R.J. Hollingdale. A Nietzsche Reader. Middlesex, 1977
Walter Kaufmann. Nietzsche, Philosopher. Psychologist, Antichrist. Princeton University
Press, New Jersey,1974
Joerg Kobel. Kippenberger, der Film. Barbarossafilm,2005
Stephen Law. Philosophy. Crab
Joerg Drews . Das Zynische Woerterbuch. Reclam Taschenbuch, 2003
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Social Studies, New
New York
“ S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. 1969
Jonathan Swift. Gulliver’s Travels. Oxford University Press,1955
Jack G. Gilbert. Jonathan Swift. Romantic and Cynic Moralist. University of Texas Press,
Austin and London, 1966
Oleg Kulik. Art Animal. Ikon Gallery, authors and artists, 2001
Susanne Kippenberger. Kippenberger, der Kuenstler und seine Familien. Berlin Verlag,
Kippenberger. Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 1991
Geschichte der Philosophie. Tandem Verlag. 2005
Jonathan Swift. A Modest Proposal. Found on the Internet, full Version as ear-book on Wikipedia