Icon of the new
|Justine Frischmann @ Sensitive Skin|
Petr Fischer on the paradoxical image of America for Europe @ Eurozine.
"Business–Answer–Solution" reads the advertising banner of the subsidiary of a foreign company in the centre of Prague. At first sight, the banner is not particularly interesting, in this case meaning that it is not particularly surprising. Surprising things are those that capture our attention, that shock us in their particular way. This corporate motto repeats the famous, infinitely repeated mantra of aggressive global capitalism, its focus purely pragmatic: give us a problem and we will come up with a solution that profits both you and us. "Win-win capitalism", one could say in today's international newspeak. What is interesting – in other words disconcerting – is the fact that the banner covers the window of a small shop situated directly behind the National Museum, a building that – as in every other European city – symbolizes a certain perception of historicity cultivated on the old continent at least since the nineteenth century. The National Museum preserves the history of the Czech nation, and the people who work in it analyse and reflect on Czech national existence, its peculiarity, uniqueness, difference or connectedness. This activity is not governed by the pragmatic slogan of performance, of completed things, of faits accomplis; rather, it is ruled by a different three words, directed at thinking and its incessant, uncertain movement: Discussion–Question–Searching.read more