Art Quote for the Day

17 March 1986

Crime fills the world, so absolutely that we could go insane out of sheer despair.  ( Not only in systems based on torture, and in concentration camps: in civilized countries, too, it is a constant reality; the difference is merely quantitative.  Every day, people are maltreated, raped, beaten, humiliated , tormented and murdered- cruel, inhuman, inconceivable. )  Our horror, which we feel every time we succumb or are forced to succumb to the perception of atrocity ( for the sake of our own survival, we protect ourselves with ignorance and by looking away), our horror feeds not only on the fear that it might affect ourselves but on the certainty that the same murderous cruelty  operates and lies ready to act within every one of us.

I just wanted to put it on record that I perceive our only hope – or our one great hope- as residing in art.  We must be resolute enough in promoting it. – I was interrupted just as I was detecting something like hope in the very realization that this cruelty is present in everyone – as if this very fact could be the starting-point of betterment, a key to the possibility of doing something.

Gerhard Richter – The Daily Practice of Painting


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