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Author Topic: The Art Manifesto against Bourgeois Order
Ross J. Peterson
Babbler # 11657

posted 15 March 2006 09:21 AM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Are there babblers out there willing to pile onto a thread with the title above as a springboard for exploring past and present declarations of what art is and should be?
In case there are a few more than me, I quote from a manifesto below. Meanwhile I'm digging around in what a few Poles have written since the 1960s. If anyone knows of an explicit manifesto from any wing of social anarchism, it might stimulate even more discussion.
True art, which is not content to play variations on ready-made models but rather insists on expressing the inner needs of man and of mankind in its time –true art is unable not to be revolutionary, not to aspire to a complete and radical reconstruction of society. This it must do, were it only to deliver intellectual creation from the chains which bind it, and to allow all mankind to raise itself to those heights which only isolated geniuses have achieved in the past.
for an Independent Revolutionary Art
Signed: Andre Breton and Diego Rivera

Source: greg adargo [email protected];
HTMLMarkup: Nate Schmolze & David Walters for, 2001.
It is believed that the Manifesto was written by Trotsky and André Breton, although it was signed by Rivera and Breton.

From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
Babbler # 11657

posted 15 March 2006 10:53 AM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ni KANTOR ni KANTOR - Istvan or Tadeusz

If we were to explore noteworthy manifestoes ranged against the Academy and bourgeois Order, in alphabetical order, it would be difficult to reach Mayakowski because at least two Kantors, one Canadian the other Polish, would stand in the way with their diversionary declarations of what True Art Is. Hence we eliminate them in one sweep so that we can focus on ideas closer to Social Anarchism: ni Kantor ni Kantor becomes our initial slogan on this quest.

Istvan Kantor

If Istvan Kantor is known for his activities in the name of Monty Cantsin, he is equally known as the founder of the paradoxical anti-movement called Neoism.*

And Kantor's most carefully planned and notorious blood X action took place in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art in 1988, a performance Kantor dedicated to those who were beaten and arrested during the Tompkins Square riots that same year.

Istvan Kantor's art at its best is synthetic and cumulative, meaning that it brings together and layers a wide variety of idioms: performance, text, music, kinetic sculpture, historical film footage, computer animation and more.

-- Fado elist January 2005 --
The art-crime mastermind, recipient of the 2004 Governor General's Award, is temporarily back in Toronto from Berlin and will appear at the Drake on January 1 for a concert/performance integrating his new songs, video and action works.

He was arrested and charged by the Polizei in Berlin on Nov 30 after splashing some of his own blood on the white wall right behind a gold Michael Jackson statue at the Flick Collection.

Kantor is an artist-in-residence at the Podewil - Center for Contemporary Arts in Berlin-Mitte since Aug. 2004, creating new performances, videos, sound and robotic art, collaborating with local and international artists, working on site specific in-situ events throughout the Eastern part of the city.

[ 15 March 2006: Message edited by: Ross J. Peterson ]

From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP:
Babbler # 11641

posted 15 March 2006 11:00 AM      Profile for Khimia     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ni Kantor ni Kantor
Lets not forget Eddie Cantor, now that may not be Art but it sure is entertainment!

From: Burlington | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
Babbler # 11657

posted 15 March 2006 11:12 AM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
-==- Nor forget (to forget) Tadeusz -==-

-- -- Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990) was a stage director, creator of happenings, painter, scenery designer, writer, art theoretician, actor in his own productions, and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.

Kantor, known foremost for his work in theatre, is without a doubt one of the most emblematic Polish artists of the century, his work being deeply implicated with recent European history.

Although the main focus of this exhibition is his paintings and drawings, exhibited are also many of his theatrical props and objects as well as a collection of magnificient photographs by Maurizio Buscarino.

Texts by: Tadeusz Kantor, Lech Stangret, Anna Baranowa, Andrzej Turowski and Tom Skipp. /at/ekantor.html

- - Trespass notes --
His sensibility was formed by the European avant –guarde: to trace the stages of his development is to pass through many of the major movements in contemporary painting.

Dada provided what Kantor calls ‘fluidity’, and what he refers to as ‘the provocative presence of the object’, an important component in his brand of realism.

The afterlife of junk, wreckage is another manifestation of death: things become themselves somewhere between the scrapheap and infinity. /notes07.html

From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
Babbler # 11657

posted 15 March 2006 08:52 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Guardian Unlimited today HERE, the subject of theatre's broad challenges popped up today. Nothing stringently anti-bourgeois mind you, but a critical piece nonetheless as we would expect from this news source.


Every theatre is run by a white, middle-class, often Oxbridge, male artistic director. It's the writers who tackle issues and write non-white plays who are still on the edges of the mainstream because we are still seen by many as "other". It's to do with who and what we value in society.
Shelley Silas, London

--------------------------- The snips from the GI article below cover the key highlights.

Th(e) issue of risk dominates the theatre industry and is the cause of much conflict between writers and managements. Dominic Cooke appears to capture the mood among theatre bosses in suggesting that it's up to playwrights to take risks with their plays. Aleks Sierz, theatre critic and author of In-Yer-Face Theatre, concurs: "Shakespeare's plays are wonderfully weird. They mix the domestic and the epic, kings and paupers, fantasy and reality. By contrast, most of today's playwrights are timid, writing boring soap opera realism about 'me and my mates'." We should, he suggests, be writing "big-scale plays on spec".


Today's playwrights are a motivated, opinionated, highly intelligent, politically aware group of angry young men and women.

As Jonathan Meth points out: "Shakespeare not only wrote plays - he acted, produced and owned his own theatre. He had full access to the means of production."

In reality, we are a long way from Anarchist Theatre (and its social engagements) when a playwright is quoted in The Guardian today, saying, essentially, he didn't have to come to Canada to write up our realities, he googled us instead !!!

One theatre, God bless them, gave me seed money to develop an idea. The play was huge, ambitious, juggled big themes and was set in Canada over 70 years. Obviously it would involve a year of research and extensive travel. In the end, the money just about covered the costs of my coffee and internet bills for the six months of Googling I did instead.

Justin Young, London

From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
Babbler # 11657

posted 16 March 2006 11:30 AM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
khimia -==- at least you are interested in the entertainment side of art. -=- Cantor hmm? Eddie Cantor. If you can make connections with the 'k' sound konnekting Tadeusz and Istvan (or whatever) Kantor with Eddie, that gives me free reign to connect EC with just about anyone.

Which I will procede to do pronto. You see, people in this forum and elsewhere really are allergic to mixing politics and entertainment, culture (esthetics in this sense) and revolt.

People like Eddie Cantor have recycled and recuperated the true visionaries and rebels, the ones, for example, who had to hide their names in the credits of Hollywood films during the second red scare era. You get a taste, as well, of how the immigrant entertainers (1st & 2nd generation; Jewish and Catholic) distanced themselves from the Reds and Sacco and Vanzetti type immigrant anarchists. Not that the artists who avoided the blacklists in the US weren't any good.

I cannot figure out, archivally or in memory, how Jackie Gleason could do a skit on television like The Honeymooners with its workingclass working-poor naturalist thrust and then follow it with a Miami hotel chorus line act with leggy girls without names looking just like puppets!

Let's just sum up to say that in today's world our collective neural cortex has been so twisted by the sheer opportunism of small 'k' culture that any discussion of Art and Revolution or the history of manifestoes regarding the same . . anything on this order . . . just makes our head spins and gives many of us nausea.

I don't understand what deconstruction is all about in philosophy and semiotics, but regarding Eddie Cantor, I see him and his boys constructing a mythology of the past. Everyone does this. Yet at the time of the Al Jolsons, then the Graucho Marx's and the Charlie Chaplins (each being unique, I know) these entertainers were getting very rich while the mass of the populace around them was getting poorer. You see the disconnect? No? Well many more independent artists, even socialists, saw it at the time, saw it first in the 20s and more so in the 30s. Quite a few of the writers went expat and headed for Europe where, discovering the horror of fascism some (including, sorry to say, for a while, Emma Goldman and Canada's Morley Callaghan) turned toward less critically North American or individualist or even Christian humanist forms of salvation. But since none of these women and men of plastic art or letters could compete with the popularity of song and television, their inability to yell over the patriotic boom of the airwaves cast them into the realm of higher culture or marginalised revolt and relative incapacity to make a political impact through the art they practiced.

Try not to forget that the 'great cultural breakthrough' that contemporaries are expected to concur upon as to its significance is when Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to an anxiously awaiting No. Amer. audience over the airwaves.

I do agree with some who are still arguing that it was not the Beatles but an obscure manifesto that launched the group Students for a Democratic Society, a pamphlet entitled The Port Huron Statement, that should be seen as a watershed, at least as political struggle goes if not culture in the arts sense.

This is starting to be a personal blog, something not accepted by everyone on babble.

Where were / are we? Everything can be recycled and recuperated INSIDE a capitalist consummer society on the plane in which all of us are living (those who might read this). Any taking of a position, posturing it is called, above the melee with a manifesto for this or that will either be absorbed eventually or discarded as irrelevant doctrine by the many. This is especially true if it involves fifty-cent words like esthetics.

I am not convinced, however, that a manifesto in the arts that is both a summing up of common struggles outside the arts and a restatement of potential directions in which to go while associated and absorbed in those continuing struggles will necessarily be a document destined to be forgotten. Perhaps there is room to update important manifestoes and make them contemporary. Maybe what is elist as it becomes avant-garde in the arts can be scraped away from the intention and commitment of and toward revolt. That is why I threw open such discussion.

From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged

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