The basics of the rough tone



About Kristian von Hornsleth, the Viking on the shores of Interland

Erasmons Sohn Charilaos, Lächerliches will ich berichten, Freund allerliebster! Hör, es wird dich freuen!


The basics of the rough tone may astonish one while it disgusts another. This is the attestation of their disposition and not harmful at all, as long as they are able to recognize the conditions a philosophical and artistic mind is surrounded by nowadays. These were the introducing words to my "Basics of the rough tone" back then in 1983. It was arguably no coincidence that 10 years later in a bar in Berlin I got to know the man who mentally tarred with the same brush sort of painted with the wrecker's ball. The Tsunami of the western crisis had flooded Denmark as well as Germany. The countries of the Eastern Block were more fortunate: they've already had their revolution.

The refined taste regarding thoughts and speech may be inherent to the philosophically spirited if they are among themselves. The others, this is us, have to fight a subtle combat; subtle because of the enemy, who is subtle, too. The deflation of meaning of the global symbiosis shows up as a jazzed nihilism that conceals the entire un-necessity of the social progression with its thousandfolded productions and insatiable revelries. Instead of walls we are forced by unlimited freedoms, instead of rifles we are shot with images. The soldiers of the regime wear no uniforms but come across with their naked bodies of the perpetual sexualization. The war is no longer about homelands, it is the war of the virtually networked Neo-Earthcitizens, and is fought with the means of the globalization. On this battleground around and in Interland we encounter the Futilists as artguerillas who operate with the remaining means of the partisan combat.
The reality of this western crisis has probably even reached those who act in sheltered districts or in the inner emigration. At no time in the history of thinking humans the imprint and the restraint of a period was so highly determined by the crowd and the masses; and where they don't take the matters of taste into their own hands, the opportunists and half-sized who are in the leading positions of politics, media, science, in all category groups of society, will make themselves to servants of servants. Here and now the rank of the refined taste is existentially endangered. The fine tone will be out of place, where such cultural turmoil at war is dominating.

Concerning fine arts you have to speak with the rough tone, using all means, forms and media that the present makes available. It follows correctly that if Kristian von Hornsleth makes use of the displaced artifacts of postmodern imagery to induce this reversement and that he, even more consequently, chisels the character of the unbounded voyeurism and the avaricious materialism of our days with loud types on the forehead: Rape Kill Steal Burn. This way the prudery of the simple man that accompanies the immoderate in the mediocracy of the western degeneration becomes apparent. Only this way a turnaround in the way of thinking (Heidegger) and therefore in art can be attained. The pretentious simplicity of the child people cannot understand a strong free spirit of this kind. So only the opposite is able to threaten it: The sweet and rotten atmosphere of affection, what an awful degradation and merciless judgment!

In total senselessness of current business, if there is any activity, then destruction is the only thinkable form of common hygiene and clearance. As to describe this in Nietzsche's words:
Of what is great one must either be silent or speak with greatness. With greatness, that means cynically and with innocence.

The old Chinese have an old strategy which says: Mime craziness without loosing the balance. Kristian von Hornsleth posses the absolute discipline that is needed for such an attitude. Because it's true: Only in total sovereignty and integrity of an inner autocracy there is the cognizance that allows the iconoclasm. Those who know Kristian Hornsleth, the non-smoker, non-drinker, the one who reviles white bread, non-pretentionist, those know about his inner and outer incorruptibility.

You can presume rightly that clarity and coolness of the northern see off Copenhagen's shore, which Hornsleth used to cross with his catamaran, opens the existing emptiness on which his artistic campaign is build up. Hornsleth does not only look like a Viking but also is one in the impact with which he attacks the shore of the cultural activities. He lives up the movement of his ancestors when he's driven to the American East- and West coast, to Asia and through the whole of Europe.

The warriors mentality and artistry match together, or don't they even call for each other? The wild poet Archilochos, also a sailor at the beginning of an occidental culture describes this designation in iambic verse

Sergeant to Enyalios,
the great god War,
I practise double labor.
With poetry, the lovees gift,
I serve the lady Muses.

You can draw a bridge trough the millenniums from the type forming transgression to the free artist in its true sense. Archilochos with his diatribe and contumeliousness, unreasonable demands, the one who does not mince matters and to whom nice appearance did not mean a thing. He probably had the same reputation as the scandalous artist Hornsleth today.

But this attitude without objection, this provocation does not end in itself. In fact this rough tone, the hard image is formed of an absolute, even naïve pathos. Let's see that this creation gets known as a necessity and therefore becomes culture. Only in the contrast of the Hornslethian art an effect of healthy emetic against abundance is developed, only worn on the collar of a New York broker or of a German member of the Bundestag R.S.K.B. changes into art as in Hornleths terms; only in the collection of an art lover and only there the Fuck You Art Lovers is allowed to flaunt and only in the moment when Shawne Borer-Fielding, the young wife of the Swiss ex-ambassadors in Berlin, is standing in front of her picture in an art gallery in Berlin, Hornsleth's signum "Fuck me Daddy" develops the full impact.

She should have bought it! Because only in buying Hornsleths' pictures there is the only possibility in reconciliation between the terror of the current nothingness and the creative destruction, exactly what art means.

In the finite state of the actual eon, on the battlefield of nihilism, answers from the futilist as from every artist, apart from the noble offer of buying, are not to be expected. For all programmatic desirabilties of a new composition apply Heidegger's words The passing of the last God. In the far eastern class rooms there will probably be pupils who find their inner self in these words. The others in the west follow the trace of all the Archilochos and Nietsches and Hornsleths. If the wind is blowing from the right side, than some day they will probably find NATO-tanks in service with lurid letters saying: R. K. S. B. Hornsleth 2014.

Micael Oelmann, publisher of 'Wirtsschaftsblatt' and philosopher, Düsseldorf

This text was published the first time in the book Fuck You Art Lovers Forever, 552 pages,
Kristian von Hornsleth, Futilistic Publishing, Copenhagen 2005.

You can buy the book here online in the webshop