The avant garde is dead, or so the story goes for many leftists and capitalists alike. But so is postmodernism an outmoded paradigm in these times of neoliberal austerity, neocolonial militarism and ecological crisis. Rejecting ‘end of ideology’ post-politics, Vanguardia delves into the changing praxis of socially engaged art and theory in the age of the Capitalocene. Reflecting on the major events of the last decade, from anti-globalisation protest, Occupy Wall Street, the Maple Spring, Strike Debt and the Anthropocene, to the Black Lives Matter and MeToo campaigns, Vanguardia puts forward a radical leftist commitment to the revolutionary consciousness of avant-garde art and politics.
Das Kapital Oratorio to the political limits of the Black Lives Matter and MeToo movements as forms of ‘victim politics.’ In contrast to Simon Critchley’s notion of an ‘ethics of commitment’ and Nizan Shaked’s particularist and identity-based approach to conceptual art’s ‘synthetic proposition,’ I draw on Marxist theory in order to better appreciate the limits of postmodern pluralism as a means to confront the problems of global capitalism. Prole art threat Judith Butler’s notion of the performative
Many creative intellectuals have written or spoken of their pilgrimage to meet the English/Mexican, surrealist-associated artist and writer Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) as being a profound encounter. Since her death in May 2011, there have been a profusion of creative responses to her and her work, from theatrical productions to experimental performances, from electronica to folk music, and from fashion photography to curatorial projects.
This survey or curating of Carrington unpicks why artists, writers and performers, especially creative women, have become preoccupied with making work in her legacy. Such fixations and fandom move beyond mere influence, offering a way of approaching art-making and political themes as an attitude or Zeitgeist. The study focuses on the ways in which Carrington is recycled, in the writing of Chloe Aridjis and Heidi Sopinka, the conceptual art of Lucy Skaer and Tilda Swinton, and the performative practice of Samantha Sweeting, Lynn Lu, and Double Edge Theatre in order to speak to current feminist and eco-critical campaigns such as #MeToo and Writers Rebel.
The book’s feminist-surrealist emphasis proposes that it is Carrington, and not one of the central players in surrealism like André Breton and Max Ernst, who is chief in keeping the surrealist message alive today.
). While the well-known tale explores father/daughter incest and disguise, Sweeting adapted the story to speak to her own experiences of non-consensual sex with paternal figures in the artworld and experiences from her time working at a home for sexually abused girls in Singapore. Bestilalia might be seen to operate between Carrington's second-wave feminism and that of #MeToo. Weisz Carrington writes that “Leonora was often inspired by animal skins. This became a recurrent theme in her work and was often associated with transformation.” 20
That the majority of actors are women or those who identify as gender non-binary further speaks of the role model the artist has become in the age of #MeToo. 3 Carrington's aesthetic recipe offers both matriarchy and de-hierarchy, both being useful strands of revisionary thinking for the promotion of minority views. In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton's concession speech (2016), Klein henceforth resolved to have a woman and/or gender non-binary person cast in the lead role in all Double Edge productions as an act of
associated with transgressive art-making, and it is striking how historical surrealist artworks by women in the 1930s and 1940s have become topical and instructive in the age of #MeToo (founded by American activist, Tarana Burke) and other campaigns of empowerment for marginalised voices, such as Writers Rebel (co-founded by Chloe Aridjis). 55 In 2007, Natalya Lusty was already aware that the literature of Carrington and photography of Claude Cahun “raise questions that although once considered more marginal to modernism
politics. Contemporary political campaigns like Black Lives Matter and MeToo transform the experience of victimisation directly into demands for accountability, a process that tends to reproduce the political and structural frameworks within which structural violence takes place. Against ‘victim politics,’ I argue for a democracy without guarantees that rejects various solutions to the rise of the political right: masochistic self-culpabilisation, appeals to civil society, scapegoating and nihilistic destruction. I explore Marxist literature for concepts with which to
and extravagant cross-breeds where even human figures seem feral” (2018). Found interview footage of Carrington appears to discipline her intermittently as a ghostly super-ego: “You are trying to intellectualise something desperately and you are wasting your time!” 67 After its release to wide critical acclaim in 2018, Female Human Animal became seen as strikingly topical for its contemporaneity with the #MeToo campaign. 68