A QUEST FOR HUMANITY
« Just watch people hurrying busily through the streets. They seem preoccupied, look neither left nor right, but have their eyes fixed on the ground like dogs. They rush straight ahead, but always without looking where they are going, for they are mechanically covering a well-known route, mapped out in advance. It is exactly the same in all the great cities of the world. Modern, universal man is man in a hurry, he has no time, he is a prisoner of necessity, he does not understand that a thing need have no use; not does he understand that fundamentally it is the useful thing that can become a useless and overwhelming burden. If one cannot understand the usefulness of the useless and the uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art; and a country in which art is not understood is a country of slaves and robots, a country of unhappy people who neither laugh nor smile, a country without mind or spirit; where there is no humor, where there is no laughter, there is anger and hatred. »
Eugène Ionesco, Notes et contre-notes, 1962.
In a world of utilitarianism, a hammer is worth more than a symphony, a knife more than a poem, a spanner more than a painting, because it is easy to understand the efficiency of a tool, but it is more difficult to understand what music, literature or art can be used for. In L'utilità dell'inutile , Nuccio Ordine writes in the conclusion of the introduction: "If we let what is useless and free perish, if we renounced the fertility of the useless, if we only listened to the siren song of the lure of gain, we would only end up forming a sick and memory-deprived community which, all distraught, would end up losing the meaning of life and the sense of its own identity/reality. And, once dried up by the desertification of the spirit we would then find it hard to imagine that the ignorant homo sapiens could maintain the role that he is supposed to play: to make humanity more human...”
Walker Evans, Beauties of the Common Tool 1955
Nuccio Ordino, L'utilità dell'inutile, 2013
Eugène Ionesco, Notes et contre-notes, 1962