The priority of radical revolutionary art, revolutionary politics, and revolutionary social thinking, all encompassed in the very term “avant-garde” is a contemporary non-sequitur. Whatever lofty direction Fourierist critic Laverdant saw in 1845 as a vanguard against the forces of wholistic conservativism, seems about as appropriate today as that romantic notion of arts-for-arts sake. Where is the idea of the artist as an outcast from society, rejected and misunderstood by a philistine, bourgeois social, economic, religious and technological order? Artist as martyr might surely exist, at least in the artist’s mind, but the artist as éclaireur (scout - as in ‘scouting out a path to the future’); this is a notion more fit for history books or the persuasive hawking of an art dealer. is the modern artist participating in that artistically, politically, and socially progressive notion of avant-garde? Or is this just a welcome to the new rear-garde?
|Keywords:||Avant-garde, Radical Politics, Courbet, Documenta, Modern Art, Saint-simon, Fourier|
Chair, Computer Graphics and Interactive Media, University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa, USA
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