Metal Guru: “Underground City XXI – CONSTITUTION” (Urbi et Orbi)

Idea for an interactive ideological machine

Every state has always liked to celebrate martyrs and institutionalize their martyrdom, and this is a basic difference between we - artists who will never forget that gaining freedom is a deep anthropological-ontological process requiring concrete action - and authorities wanting to reduce it to symbolic lamentation and escapism. Thus, we advocate that the power of art and the discourse of artistic reflection be the fundamental constitutive power of the social order, regulated by the constitution of the future Underground City XXI. This free city-state is designed as a work of art, with basic elements of sustainability and universality, in which we will invest selfless, but also inclusive, energy, as the only guarantee of excellence. This basic principle will be fused by the economic, health and general socio-political processes that will regulate relations between the citizens of the Underground City and its administration. They will certainly be based on the basic humanistic criteria of equal and inviolable rights for all, regardless of gender, race, political or religious affiliation. The main goal of such systematized relations will be guided by the principle of creating a creatively stimulating atmosphere, so that the individual and collective potentials of the citizens of the Underground City are fully realised. Future residents must feel this underground organism of the city as a living being that sustains them materially and elevates them spiritually and creatively. L.A.E. XXI does not want or agree to anything less than that. Join us in achieving this goal!

Artistic concept:

To paraphrase Ludwig Wittgenstein: what we presently consider merely phantasms and nonsense can in the future evolve into cognitive paradigms that will describe the new world. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal uttered a great truth when he said: "People just want someone to rule over them decently." it is obvious that the need for a 'beloved dictator’ will not vanish so quickly – as contemporary elected leaders demonstrate. These two basic premises comprise the conceptual foundation of this work. We hold that the 19th and 20th century gave birth – but only in an ideological sense - to two pamphlets that in terms of ‘decent governance’ seem optimistically promising. They are the “Communist Manifesto” by K. Marx and F. Engels and the “Statute of the Kvarner Regency” by Gabrielle d’Annunzio and Alceste de Ambris. Is it possible to combine socialist self-government with monarchist principles of government? History has shown that the monarch can be fragmented into the particularity of the Party with considerable ease, only to be resurrected in the process as a "Beloved Leader" or a "Big Brother". Since we have been working, for over a quarter of a century, on the project of building a futuristic Underground City in the tunnels of former Istrian coal mines, connecting the towns Labin, Rabac, Raša, Vinež and Plomin 150 m below the ground ... we believe - in order to achieve the seemingly impossible task of attaining the common good - that it should be structured by what we regard as the highest achievements of human thought. Viewed superficially, the two pamphlets are diametrically opposed: one characterised as leftist and the other as proto-fascist. Therefore, the Constitution of the Underground City, visually symbolized by a crossed hammer and pick on a communist hammer and sickle on one side and the coat of arms of D'Annunzio’s Kvarner Regency on the other, symbolises the city freed from all ideologies. It belongs to both worker and the artist. It is time to rise above every ideological dialectic of red vs. black. Movements and ideologies are null and void, and since they arise from the splendour of the individual, they should perish in it as well. Wake up and give all the power to the artists! In all honesty, only one question remains: do you want a State that is envisioned as a work of art? As a work in which you can also participate?

Metal Guru (2021), © L.A.E. XXI 2021

This project is co-financed by the Foundation Kultura nova.