The tenth art. A small essay about the cosplay

The last decade of the millennium now behind us was the podium of the take-off of the supermodels so apostrophized. Everybody recapitulates this, provided they were born happily before 1980; only phenomena like Paulina Porizkova, known from Anna… Exile New York, or the iconic-singular Grace Jones, then the trouvaille of the anticipatory-visionary German Peter Brodbeck and his five-part gynaecium Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Cindy Crawford. These ultra-mannequins left the small coin behind and reached a level of creation never before seen … … … …

One should not judge an essay like this by its first four phrases. Even copywriters sometimes love the masquerade, even if it is only the bloodless and pretentious kind of some of our pathetic feature writers ∑:) The myth of the supermodels has gone down, that much is certain. There are a lot of models today, but all of them – and I’m willing to put up with appearing unfair after many sides here – are simply models. That means: all the pictures and photos of them have exactly the charm and charisma that the people behind the pictures simply lack. Normally every encounter with a model is a disenchantment and therefore a disappointment. In the picture still the goddess of seduction, in reality only Lieschen Müller. The art of staging models is and was a perfect interplay of many masters: Stylists, light technicians, outfitters, make-up artists, hairdressers and of course the photographer. The model phenomenon is one of the last great triumphs of photography, THE art of the 19th century.

Cosplay is THE art of the 21st century. Why? Cosplay goes beyond the art of comics, and, as we all know, comics, as the ninth art, is the unification and surpassing of the classical eight visual arts: painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, architecture, photography, film and television. The comic gives back to the artist the possibility of sole authorship, which the development of film and television has snatched away from the author. The comic strip, unlike the great mass media, is thrifty, or at least it still is to the extent possible. Anyone can make his or her own “film” using the medium of the comic and reach a mass audience like television, which in YouTube, Amazon Prime and Netflix has merely presented itself with a new face but has essentially always remained television. The comic gives back to the individual the great potential to create what film and television can only achieve in a tremendous effort by a large number of people: to take the viewer on a visual journey through time and space, with the colours of painting, the sculptural plasticity of the dynamics of movement, the clear lines of drawing, the deep blackness of graphics, the tectonics of panels … And the comic can also do this in a way that reaches the masses, something that first photography, then film and then television were able to make possible for art in the 20th century.

Cosplay is necessarily the tenth visual art, the art of the 21st century. What distinguishes a cosplay artist? She no longer takes the viewer along on a journey, she herself sets out on a journey into a world that she only imagines at the beginning of her journey. The cosplayer pretends to be. Strangely enough – and this says a lot about the German mentality – doing things as if has a bad reputation here. To call someone a hypocrite is one of the deepest insults that bourgeois thinking knows. But the cosplayer doesn’t care about it and pretends to. And she does it with full justification, because it is one of the oldest wisdom, which is in the words: “If you can’t be it, then pretend to be it!” The longer you pretend to be the one, the more you practice in the manner, action and character of the role you want to play. The longer your path and the more persistent your patience – inevitably you will actually become more and more who you pretend to be. In truth, this is the very path that has made heroes and muses out of dreamers and enthusiasts from time immemorial.

To come back to the model: the pictures of the models are always more charismatic than the models themselves. Pictures of cosplayers, however, no matter how skilfully and professionally they are made, they always and inevitably remain colourless and empty behind the artists themselves, who pretend to reflect them; at least when the art of the cosplayer has reached a certain degree of maturity (by the way, this is what the educated citizen calls the height of creation 😉 A true cosplay artist has an aura, i.e. an aura that cannot be photographed, simply because the photographer does not capture it. The photographer always thinks only in pictures, while the cosplayer has long since fulfilled her role. She brings them to life, and this time NOT in the literary sense, but literally. She is fantasy made flesh.

Perhaps the epigenetics in the bodies of the master artists of the tenth art are already beginning to program the small hidden cartilage tip hidden in the auricle of every human ear into a truly manifest elf ear … if anything, the tenth art could only be surpassed once: this would be realized in the ultimate artist who no longer incarnates an imaginary role, but awakens that within herself to BE, which she herself IS in REALITY. The perfection. Rien ne va plus.