“Artists are Revolting: The 3rd Horseshittists’ Manifesto” by Richard F. Yates
Part One: Excommunications
Dr. Augeas P. Houyhnhnm and the other members of the Secret Tribunal on Horseshittists’ Ethics, responding to the rogue posting of a 2nd Horseshittists’ Manifesto by recent inductee, Yichard Rates, have declared a state of emergency within the Horseshittists’ ranks. Though rogue actions are generally smiled upon within Horseshittist circles, the blatantly anti-Horseshittist commentary perpetrated by Mr. Rates has lead to the unanimous decision to excommunicate Mr. Rates from the ranks of the Horseshittists from now until the end of time, or until the Big Crunch, whichever shall occur sooner. However, his renegade work, The 2nd Horseshittists’ Manifesto shall remain in the archives of the Horseshittists, partially because it establishes a series of interesting talking points and partially because we are all too lazy to bother erasing it.
(Sources have recently revealed that Yichard Rates is actually a poorly designed robot created for the sole purpose of destroying the Horseshittists’ Movement by the big pharmaceutical industry, which is, naturally, horseshit.)
In addition to Mr. Rates, two posthumous excommunications have been decreed by the Tribunal at this time, as well:
—Andre Breton, founder and ruler of the Surrealists, is hereby posthumously excommunicated from the Horseshittists for forcing Tristan Tzara out of the circle of the Parisian branch of the Dadaists and for being an egotistical douche-bag, which is horseshit.
—Richard Huelsenbeck, the Dada drummer in Zurich and participant in the Berlin Dada group, is hereby posthumously excommunicated from the Horseshittists for denying Kurt Schwitters admission into the Dada Club in Berlin and for picking on Tristan Tzara, which is horseshit. Tzara wore a monocle for Bob’s sake. You just don’t pick on a guy who is classy enough to wear a monocle.
Part Two: “A Horseshittist Considers the Purpose and Usefulness of ART”
[This beautiful section was penned by Grover Von Eyesocker, Jr., but is fully endorsed by the Horseshittists’ Movement as a whole.]
Art is not about pretty pictures. Art is not about therapy or “self-expression,” either. Art is about the collapsing of infinite possibilities into a singularity, a moment or object that defies oblivion, however briefly, but is itself composed of said oblivion and is derived out of the deaths of innumerable possible alternate moments or objects. Where this painting now sits, billions upon billions or other, equally probable paintings will now never come into being. It is possible that in some far flung moment of space-time that we shall never reach, alternate universes exists in which each of these non-paintings has become a reality, but what are such probabilities to us who will never encounter them?
No. Art is not about pretty pictures. Art is about ghosts and phantoms and shadows, the compression of all possibilities into one, less than perfect, momentary, fleeting blip, a point of existence that cries out for a spectator to notice it before it fades back into the nothingness from which it, oh so momentarily, sprang.
Part Three: Posthumous Inductees
Since we’re kicking people out of the ranks of the Horseshittists, it’s only fitting that we grab a few to add to the group, so that we can keep the numbers on an even keel. Here are a few citizens who have been decreed, by the Secret Tribunal, as posthumous inductees into the Horseshittists’ Movement:
—Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, is hereby inducted into the ranks of the Horseshittists. He was full of pranks and gumption, and often managed to entertain and enrage at the same time. Welcome.
—Tristan Tzara, the wandering Dadaist, born in Romania, caused a fuss in Switzerland, and got socked in the face in Paris. His “1918 Dada Manifesto” is one of the most brilliant, but undervalued, pieces of modern literature, which bandies about concepts of absolute import to the Horseshittists’ Code, such as the following: “Every pictorial or three-dimensional work is without purpose; let it be a monster that frightens servile minds, and not something sickly sweet to decorate the refectories of animals in human costumes, illustrations of this fable of humanity.” Is that reason enough to let him in? The Tribunal says yes.
—Erik Weisz, aka Harry Houdini, could smell horseshit from a hundred miles away. In addition to being a master escape artist and illusionist, Houdini dedicated a substantial portion of this life to debunking fake spiritualists and psychics who used trickery to rob unsuspecting and vulnerable citizens of their hard earned dough, which is some serious horseshit. Mr. Weisz, you are one of us!
—Ray Johnson, a collagist and postal artist, was a master of taking horseshit too far. Though he eventually drowned himself, before giving up the ghost, Johnson was the king of the tiny gesture, a true poet of nothingness, whose artwork didn’t stop at the edge of the canvass, but included nearly every aspect of his life. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, Mr. Johnson. One of us!
—Roy Dean “Rowdy” Yates, my father, who died in the summer of 2012, was an environment-builder who utilized the most basic, found substances to create his world. He had a cherry tree, limbs and all, holding up the ceiling in his living room. The back porch of the house I now live in was built out of wood he scavenged from a toppled down barn (and it kind of looks like that’s true.) And I even heard stories about how he once ate a dead fly off a windowsill at a party on a dare! Shocking. The man lived a frugal but imaginative life, and besides that, look at how great I turned out to be! For that alone, the man certainly deserves to be counted among the Horseshittist elites!
Thanks, and have a good night.
---Richard F. Yates
(Commander in Cheap of The Primitive Entertainment Workshop)
#humor #writing #art #arttheory #philosophy #manifestos