The Europe that was Lost – Thoughts on Central and Eastern European Modernism
2. In Vilnius. Lithuanian “la Belle Epoque” and the Birth of Polish Constructivism
38 The attack on the groups behind the Düsseldorf exhibition were as reckles- sas well as being bitingly sarcastic having an almost desperate tone of bitterness against these groups, according to the signatories consisting of only intriguing thieves and power-mad capitalists openly mocking the very idea of international co-operation and which at the same time expressed a mental attitude which, ex- tended in time, would result in the death of the European thought as such, as one did not have to follow any “normal” concepts of truth any more, but only utilitarian considerations. The manifesto was a pure and undisguised indictment against “these parasitic growths that feed themselves on the blood of life and yet remain barren”, these forces usurping power by stealth and intrigues, these croaking frogs in the stinking swamps organizing international exhibitions only to be received in the luxurious saloons of the wealthy or to enjoy the company of the big collectors – no, we know what this bell has tolled and always will toll. We will settle somewhere else: not in that swamp. No. Houses on piles are not for us, and we dislike swamp mists and vapors. The earth will have its way with us. We seek for ourselves a place on this earth where the air is pure and the soil is fertile. The arth will lend us its strength, and we shall lend it ours. Farewell, you frogs.64 The uproar in Düsseldorf and Berlin showed what ought to have been obvious already...
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