The Avant-Garde is deader

by Cynthia Wands

“the avant-garde is deader than last year’s short-in-front, long-in-back skirts”….


Than last year’s skirts?

I appear to be far far away from the Avant- Garde and those who write about it.  I came across the above mentioned quote from an article today:

The Clyde Fitch Report: The Death of the Avant-Garde and Other Urban Legends

I remember sitting through weird performance arts pieces over the years: John Cage concerts at Wesleyan University, and Merce Cunningham dance performances in New York, the incredible THE WAY OF HOW performances in Berkeley in the 1980’s, Rachel Rosenthal shows, and strange happenings in the Ivy Substation and Highland Grounds.  But I never considered them “Avant-Garde”.

They seemed to be honest constructs from the artists to the audiences. Even if I didn’t appreciate the monotony and self absorption of a John Cage concert (a four hour concert with kitchen utensils was the last and ultimate test of my endurance with him), I learned a lot about courage and authenticity from those weird performances.

I don’t feel that I’m much in sync with the referenced “performative events” (I guess they aren’t called performance art pieces any more). And I can see, I’m really okay with that.
















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