Avant-Garde Art Manifesto

In the age of hyper-capitalism, the tentacles of the corporate world extend further into our lives than ever before.

The words once used to signify creative rebellion – difference, controversy and provocation – have been co-opted and fetishised.

Art categories are used to sell coffee, promote tech products and entice property buyers to galleries in areas ripe for gentrification.

A hundred years ago, newspapers and magazines would regularly carry the polemical manifestos of avant-garde artists.

The major movements of the 20th century – Dada, Fluxus, Futurism, Surrealism – started with artists’ statements of intent, often using inflammatory prose.

The bourgeoisie are always ready to accommodate the aggression of the avant-garde and canonise its works of resistance. Today’s dissident artist is tamed by turning him/her into a celebrity.

The avant-garde cultural battle consumes itself. Increasingly narcissistic, art has become the celebration of individualism.

The avant-garde is part of the spectacle, in which smug liberals can ride the trend wagon. Challenging society’s mores has become a fashion statement. Warholism is the dominant form.

The contemporary avant-garde reflects the vulgar, commodified, institutionalised, deliberately outrageous art world.

The bourgeoisie have faith in western values. What better way to shake that faith than evoke the inculcation of those values?

Western dissident artists turn their manifestos into artworks. Without further doubt. WDA will quickly be appropriated. We chase our tales. Let’s settle for ludicrous. I play the WDA. []

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