Friday, September 18, 2009

The Vitalist Manifesto

Vitalist Manifesto

Art is for us life, and life is art. In our art we seek to express life and create life.

We believe in the constructive qualities of art, and in the creation of more life. We believe in life, joy, and beauty. We believe in the attainment of higher states for man, and in the participation of art in this process.

Nothing in life is alien to us. We have seen life from bottom to top and from East to West, we know life. We know pain and joy. We know happiness and despair. We know wisdom and stupidity. We know all of life, and all of life is dear to us. Even troubles are a part of life, and must be faced if they are to keep their place in the big picture.

For how dear all of life is to us, some things take precedence. These are the things which embodies most life, the things which create the most life. These things are Joy, Beauty, and Warmth. They are the core of life and the start of life. They are the source of greatness.

Joy, Beauty, and Warmth reach out to others. They do not know any difference between big and small, and they seek to help all. Nobody seeks in vain when these are near. Joy, beauty and warmth come from the center of the soul and are the choice of the soul. Joy, beauty and warmth are our destiny and future.

We seek in our art to reach deep into the well of the Universe and bring to light the secrets which we know are there. We seek the highest Spirit, and we wish to partake in the universal creating.

We fear nothing, and we stop for nothing, for we have felt the wind of freedom on our faces, and we follow its call like its true children.

Eolake Stobblehouse
Copenhagen, 1992


Below is the original Danish version, which I wrote while working in a group of visual artists in the early nineties.

Vitalistisk Manifest

Kunsten er for os livet, og livet kunsten. Vi søger i vor kunst at udtrykke livet og at skabe livet.

Vi tror på kunstens godgørende virkning, og på skabelsen af mere liv. Vi tror på livet, glæden og skønheden. Vi tror på opnåelsen af højere niveauer for menneskeheden, og på kunstens deltagelse i denne process.

Intet i livet er os fremmed. Vi har set livet fra bunden til toppen, og fra øst til vest; vi kender livet. Vi kender smerten og glæden. Vi kender lykken og ulykken. Vi kender visdom og dumhed. Vi kender livet, og hele livet er os kært. Selv sorger er en del af livet, og må ses i øjnene, hvis de skal beholde deres plads i det store perspektiv.

For hvor kært hele livet os end er, er visse ting dog vigtigere end andre. Disse ting er dem, som indeholder mest liv, de ting, som skaber mest liv. Disse ting er glæden, skønheden og varmen. De er kernen i livet og kimen til livet. De er kilden til storhed.

Glæden, skønheden og varmen rækker hænderne ud og søger andre. De kender ikke forskel på stort og småt, og forsøger at hjælpe alt. Aldrig søger nogen forgæves, når de er i nærheden. Glæden, skønheden og varmen kommer fra sjælens centrum og er sjælens valg. Glæden, varmen og skønheden er vor skæbne og vor fremtid.

Vi søger i vor kunst at række dybt i universets brønd og fremdrage de hemmeligheder, vi ved findes der. Vi søger den højeste ånd, og vi ønsker at tage del i den universelle skaben.

Vi frygter intet, og vi stopper ikke, for vi har mærket frihedens vind på vort ansigt, og vi følger dens kalden som dens sande børn.

Eolake Stobblehouse
København 1992


Aniko said...


TC [Girl] said...

Beautiful, Eo. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. :-)

Anonymous said...

You could have written something much shorter, like this: "We can't tell the difference between good and bad, between what is art and not art, so our manifesto can be summed up in two words: anything goes."

Aniko said...


I am always wondering why people would go to blogs they don't like. I mean... I already don't have enough time to visit the ones I like, the ones that inspire me.

Why would one go to a blog (s)he does not like and take the time to leave a message ? And not even to have a discussion on a point, but just to leave a message without a name, that kind of means: "I am leaving my opinion, but I don't care about yours".

Just curiousity.

Anonymous said...

could you say more about this group of artists who were into vitalism in the beginning of the nineties in copenhagen? who, why and how?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It was called Undergrunden (The Underground). It was a half-dozen unknowns painters/sculptors.

I wrote the manifesto, and it was enthusiastically received, but whether there ever was a real group movement around it, I doubt.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I guess there is no information on it anywhere? You should check out the danish artistgroup from the early 1900"hellenerne fra refsnæs" in the exibitionbook "Livslyst" and Sven Hals's article and definition on the subject vitalism in Kritik 171, p. 1-7. It is interesting readings. Your Vitalist Manifesto sounds like a pastiche of works by Walt Whitman. What were your inspiration at that time?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Purely out of the blue. I did not even know that the word "vitalism" existed before that. I simple wanted to express a new-found desire to make positive and "warm" art, where before I was often quite negative.

I don't know any of those sources. Are they on the web? Do you have links?

Anonymous said...

I even think Niels Lyngsø made a poem close to the title.

There are alot of Emerson in it too.

Anonymous said...

there are lots on readings to go for. but most of it is in books.

but first of all, if you haven't read walt whitmans "song of myself" yet, please do. it will change your life.

here is descriptions of the articles from "livslyst":

the magazine "kritik" can be found in any danish library. so if you return one day...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Tak for det.