Avant-garde and contemporary art: the social perception of the value of a work of art

“Art is fatally threatened by a society which only excites it in the auction room, and abstract logic strips the world of its sensible quality.”

Terry Eagleton

the avant-garde, El “Avant-garde art”, Which emerged at the beginning of the last century, fed on rejection and criticism of traditions to transcend its historical time in a new creation. This art, revolutionary and revolutionary, Typical of modernity and therefore close to turbulent times when anything was possible, in contrast to current fashion, or “Postmodern art”.

The shift from avant-garde art to seemingly preserved postmodern art a dissenting attitude, but still consistent with its introduction to the circuit of daily consumption. Transformed into a whole subculture, the critic is nothing more than a fad or a way of life in which the rebellious attitude finds no difference with the false fullness of a joyful life which preserves the established order of things. .

The fact that postmodern art does not aspire to surpass society does not mean that it is based on the conventions of the established order for its production, since this one operates rather by creating a lack in the society which it tries to fill by means of its creation. It is not a question of denying society as a holistic whole, but of opening up to it gaps, material or spiritual needs which must be occupied by the new work.

But looking back to establish a comparison with the current artistic development, it must be said that, despite a vocation for social utopia, Avant-garde art tends to become an intimate creation, made by and for the author himself. On the contrary, postmodern art, in the absence of any social commitment, is stripped of any idealistic will which transcends the established order of things, it is a creation in continuous projection outward: it only makes sense when it is spread and consumed.

This is explained by the fact that artistic creation, arrogant by the industrial designers and advertising agencies, which are no longer in the hands of virtuosos for whom the mass production of the work of art would have invalidated its own artistic condition: each work, to consider it as art, must be unique and unique. Attend the consideration for which art is associated with the sublime, and this with the exceptional.

The popular art in which fashion becomes, with the pop art as an exhibitor, he left us cans of soup (Campbell) Until the soup. Screen printing, in fact, is a technique whose main characteristic is reproductive viability. Likewise, fashion, in its broadest sense, alludes to these repetitive tendencies, whether to dress, to consume or, ultimately, to behave.

like that, if the avant-garde was part of “high culture”, a reason for distinction, fashion as an epiphenomenon of “mass culture” is homogenized by nature, Losing the abstraction that art could demand from the avant-garde and become a product of the most mundane and secular: the past art of temples, with reference to museums or theaters in which acts of worship were performed, on the television screen, in which each advertisement is in itself an entire creation.

It is true that fashion as such does not constitute a new typology of art.Unlike the avant-gardes which were artistic movements of a certain period. In reality, fashion is an allusion to customs, which is not limited to the artistic field, which mark a specific time or place, so we can say that fashion was something, no longer contemporary with the avant-garde, but very prior to them.

However, it happens that today all art is fashion. In the artistic field, the influence of postmodernity means that the trends do not hinder the development of the previous avant-garde in which there was a gradual development in line with a socially and technologically revolutionary century, because for the moment fashions trends are, on several occasions, regressive.

Tracing the past to rediscover its attributes, as well as probing the future to anticipate its epithets, fashion establishes a velvety, unresolved present that is known to expire: contrary to avant-garde art, claimed to be the spearhead of a socio-political process whichToday’s art is designed to fade, for it is only by creating transient and perishable trends that the goal is to create spikes in consumption with each new appearance.

In other words, the fashion short cycle requires instant and massive sales of short and heavy use items so that novelty occurs in the market. kitsch knowing that sooner or later it will become kitsch. And given the economic return by force, current artistic trends are biased and not ecumenical., As they seek to find niche markets to occupy, in order to then reinvent themselves.

From this it is clear that, while avant-garde art is that of minorities aspiring to reach majorities, fashion art is that of majorities aspiring to become minorities. And without motivation, fashion looks for influences here and there, it doesn’t matter: how can postmodern art accompany society if it is essentially skeptical about the existence of an objective reality and therefore the possibility of it. transform.

And since postmodernity not only does not provide, but denies, the judgments on the qualitative elements, necessary to define the social reality but also the reality of the work of art under criteria of good or bad, of beauty or of beauty. ugly, everything what remains as a guiding principle is the amount. The principle that the more people the art reaches (the more it is sold) the better it will be, makes this art eminently an art. commonplace. Such is the condition of mass art or popular art.The work that was once claimed, sometimes as anti-art, today takes the form of any milestone devised by (and assimilated by) the art market..

Anyway,the psychological process by which the landmark comes to conceive of itself as a work of art lies in the fact that the piece has no value in itself and is always subject to a factor external to its realityLike, for example, the quote that the author realizes based on conventionalisms to a questionable degree. Thus, just as advertising does not sell bar soap but the idea of ​​beauty, contemporary art tends to offer itself as an interface to an object, even to an experience, essentially symbolic.

But an art which, while being considered subjective and open to all kinds of interpretations, requires external recognition is in itself contradictory.. The current work of art can also be seen as a mixture of images, sounds and words present in any area of ​​our daily life. In this case, the work would be everything and, in its turn, would be nothing (the performance is that work which, resisting entering the commercial circuit through which exchange value circulates, is ephemeral by its own idiosyncrasy).

It seems that the avant-garde died strangled by the plastic rings of the packets of soda cans and its body was buried under liters and liters of plastic paint which, superimposing one color on another, came to form a mound from which he spawned the new work. art, born directly from the earth and not from the flowers that grow from it. Maybe the ultimate goal of art is nothing more than its lack of purposeSo that, as a silent critic of instrumental rationality and market values, Gage acquires the autonomy of value as its finality, the reverse of capitalist utility.

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