Extracurricular  /  Seminars

The Great Refusal: The Neo-Avant-Garde Then and Now


Friday, 21 May, 8:00 – 10:00 PM

As with our previous treatment of post-modernism, in the following session we shall approach the notion of the neo-avant-garde not merely as a historical designation or a particular theoretical fashion, but as an attitude and orientation towards the present that inspires artistic practices today, practices that position themselves critically and aspire to the legacy of refusal for which the avant-garde stands. Our discussion shall center on the manner in which the contemporary artistic concerns framed by Seth Price's “Dispersion” and David Joselit's “Painting Beside Itself” renew the set of problems and issues addressed – according to Hal Foster's account in “What is Neo about the Neo-Avant-Garde?” – by artists in the 1960s. These texts shall serve as a springboard to further interrogate what it might mean to refuse to be an apologist for what exists.

In addition to Alexi Kukuljevic and Gabriel Rockhill, New York based artist Sean Paul will also be present to facilitate the discussion.

Download Hal Foster PDF (2.2 MB)

Download David Joselet PDF (280 KB)

Download Seth Price PDF (4.8 MB)

ABOUT THE MACHETE GROUP
The Machete Group organizes workshops, mini-seminars, reading groups, screenings and other events open to the public that have as their general focus the intersection between artistic practice and its theoretical articulation. The guiding proposition of the Machete Group is the claim that practice without theory is empty and theory without practice is blind. The goal of the center is to engender a rigorous and open atmosphere outside a strictly academic context that encourages autodidacticism, a willingness to question all forms of mastery and specialization, and the desire to think critically about artistic practice in an historically, socially and politically astute manner.

Monthly workshops run by Alexi Kukuljevic and Gabriel Rockhill with invited artists and intellectuals organized around select writings and works of art.