HISTART 497-005

CANCELED Upper Level Seminar:
The Political Legacy of the Avant-Gardes

Tappan 210
T 10:00am - 1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

This class has been canceled as of August 15, 2023

Art today is in many ways shaped by the legacy of the avant-gardes. The avant-gardes arise after the devastations of the First World War and aim to link artistic experimentation (already a hallmark of modernism) to a utopian commitment to bring about a radically new, and better world, in other words to politics. In order to achieve these goals, the avant-gardes to formulate themselves into movements of political solidarity, and they rely on the force of the manifesto, a combination of theory and aesthetics with a high dose of poetry, to empower their experiments with what they believe is political force. We will explore the rise and practice of the avant-gardes in detail, including their gravitation to new media and their aims of consciousness raising–visual, cognitive and political. And we will continue on to study the legacies of the avant-gardes in post-World War II American artistic practice: the American interest in identity politics framed as the critique of representation, the creation of solidarities, resistance to the domination of the art world as a financial form. Throughout the question will be: does political aspiration measure up to what a work of art actually accomplishes, and how does one tell.

HISTART Concentration Distributions: Modern and Contemporary, Europe and the U.S.