The Revolutionary Tendency: Dada, Situationist International and the Radical Avant-Garde

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Michael JODAH KENNY, York University, Canada
At the intersection of art and politics lies the radical avant-garde – art-based social movements that push the boundaries of art and culture. Foremost amongst these movements are Dada and Situationist International. Subversive, questioning of societal norms and anti-authoritarian in nature, these movements have helped to shape modern art and politics through their ideas and tactics. Examining the beliefs, artistic techniques, and personal lives of the members, this paper argues that there exists a confluence of ideas that between Dada, Situationist International and modern social movements. This paper concludes by challenging Peter Bürger's Theory of the Avant-Garde and its notion of the failure of avant-garde by arguing that these movements continue to influence culture and our ideas of what art and politics is and ought to be.