The Editors of Blok’s “Editorial Statement” (1924)
Translated from the Polish by Wanda Kemp-Welch. From Between
Two Worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes,
1910-1930. (The MIT Press. Cambridge, MA: 2002).
• • •
We are finally doing away with the expression of personal moods, the mannerisms of opening one’s heart, hitherto existing in modernist art.
Art must not be a manifestation of the artist’s individualism, but the result of an effort by the collective in which the artist is the worker and inventor.
What the artist creates is to be the superstructure of all the efforts of his predecessors and his fellow artists of today.
Divergent and individualistic experiments must be replaced by relentless discipline and continuity of work based on the canons.
Instead of inspiration, aesthetic contemplation — a conscious, formative will demanding dear and rigorous forms.
The demands of contemporary life place the principle of economy in the forefront.
The principle of economy results in a great simplification of means — that is why the artist’s handiwork is reduced to a minimum through mechanization.
Hand-made forms contain in themselves graphological deviations, characteristic of individual artists, but mechanical production gives complete objectivity to form.
The method of mechanization is directly in contact with technology.
Utilitarian considerations in production technology achieve results similar to those of aesthetic considerations.
We confront the problem of the aesthetics of maximum economy.
[Originally published in Blok no. 1 (March 8, 1924)]