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Statements (1971)
Bernar Venet

After having executed my first works presenting High School Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Industrial Design (1966), I decided in 1967 on the disciplines I would exploit for the following four years:

For each discipline, an expert advised me on the subjects to be presented. Those subjects were selected by their Importance.

I did not present Mathematics as Art; but Mathematics as Mathematics.Art only exists on the level of creation. Creation only appears at the moment of true historical contribution. After this, the artist’s activity ends up being a production of variations extraneous to the problems of art.

Just as artist “Y” can copy artist “X” who has created a work of historical importance, so artist “X” can also copy his own period of creation. Both cases are useless, sterile efforts and the resulting work does not merit consideration as art.

I do not present my work as art, but I present mathematics and other scientific disciplines for what they are, i.e., pure knowledge as such. My proposition is: Cultivez-vous, Exploitez-vous, Eliminez-vous. (Educate yourself, Exploit yourself, Eliminate yourelf.) I have set myself a four-year work schedule, which is coming to an end. Then I have to stop my work as an artist. I have no other choice in the matter.

January 9, 1971