Avant Garde Kitsch Essay

Avant Garde Kitsch Essay-81
As a form of media in both the material and instrumental sense, the art object is part of the informational network that obstructs rather than facilitates or clarifies our encounter with reality [1,2].At the same time, Warhol's paintings suggest that there is no such thing as an immediate experience of "reality" [1,2], and that no event or sensation exists that has not been passed through a variably visible screen of media systems.The Surrealist's celebration of the unconscious mind seems theoretically as well as politically tame in comparison to such audacious interrogations of high art as Warhol's Crash paintings, or, perhaps more to the point, the work of their contemporary, Marcel Duchamp.

Both installations require that the spectator read not only the entire scene around him, but also his presence in that scene as part of the artwork; he is thus compelled to acknowledge his material complicity in the structure of the artwork itself, as well as the medial nature of his own subjectivity.

By demonstrating how our experience of art is highly scripted by a series of cultural conventions, the installation piece deconstructs the assumption that an encounter with the aesthetic can ever be fully authentic, spontaneous, or unmediated.

For example, Stephane MallarmŽ's development of a multimedia poetics, one rigorously preoccupied with the audio-visual as well as legible status of the printed word, identifies him as a forerunner of experimentalists like Guillaume Apollinaire, F. As Schwitters wrote in Merz, the journal of the Merz movement, in 1921: The medium is as unimportant as I myself. Because the medium is unimportant, I take any material whatsoever if the picture demands it.

When I adjust materials of different kinds to one another, I have taken a step in advance of mere oil painting, for in addition to playing off color against color, line against line, form against form, etc., I play off material against material, for example, wood against sackcloth.

Foster, Hal, The Return of the Real: Art and Theory at the End of the Century. Huyssen, Andreas, "The Search for Tradition: Avant-Garde and postmodernism in the 1970s". 11 see Rosalind Krauss, "Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism," in October, Vol. 4 (2005) 14 Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 4-5.

Greenberg, Clement, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch." The Collected Essays and Criticism, Volume I: Perceptions and Judgments. ------------------------, "Towards a Newer Laocošn." The Collected Essays and Criticism, Volume I. 5 David Joselit, American Art Since 1945 (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2003), 72. 8 see Hal Foster, "The Crux of Minimalism," in The Return of the Real: Art and Theory at the End of the Century (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996), 35-70. 10 Marshall Mc Luhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), 314. 13 Sianne Ngai, "The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde," in Critical Inquiry, Vol.31, no.

The Minimalist vanguards of the 1960s and 1970s staged similar investigations into the multimedia encounter of art object, spectator, and viewing space.

Its interest in the spectator's sensation of (in Robert Morris' words) "establishing relationships as he apprehends [an] object from various positions and under varying conditions of light and spatial context"9 posits space and time themselves as meta-media, and human perception itself as a genre of aesthetic experience.

To include mass media images as part of an original work upsets conventional distinctions regarding what is and is not art, and suggests that the Kantian model of the art object's disinterestedness masks the unsettling reality [1,2] that all art is a form of advertising.

This ambivalent synthesis of high art and popular culture characterizes the work of artists affiliated with vanguards like Pop Art, Fluxus, and Assemblage.


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