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A Proposal for the City of New York, the Avant-Garde, and Current Art Practices - Essay Example

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This essay explores Wodiczko’s Homeless Projection: A Proposal for the City of New York and situates it within the broader avant-garde and historical contextual process. Observable throughout all of Wodiczko’s works are elements of the historic avant-garde, coupled with the socially-engaged leanings of Brecht…
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A Proposal for the City of New York, the Avant-Garde, and Current Art Practices
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A Proposal for the City of New York, the Avant-Garde, and Current Art Practices

Wodiczko himself seems particularly tied to the revolutionary Situationist International, often referencing them in regards to his work. The Situationists incorporated Marxist ideology and combined the sense of political ideology and art. It originated in the late 1950s as a critique of capitalism. With regard to its social and artistic avant-garde structure, it harkens back to what Poggioli sees in The Theory of the Avant-Garde as the beginning of the avant-garde. Poggioli identifies the artistic origins in 1870s France as, “…the connections between the political left and the literary left were sufficiently clearly defined and important to a generation that experienced “L'Année Terrible,”” L'Année Terrible being a series of poems by Victor Hugo that fused contemporary French political concerns regarding the Franco-Prussian War with literary avant-gardism. Indeed, many writers have identified the early connections between artistic and intellectual movements and the desire to institute progressive social reforms. Linda Nochlin quotes art critic Théophile Thoré, who wrote in 1855, “Art changes only through strong convictions, convictions strong enough to change society at the same time.” In the early 19th century Henri de Saint-Simon suggested that to change modern society it would be only necessary to organize intellectuals and artists and join then with engineers and inventors. ... Read More
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