The Half-Life of the Avant-Garde: Introduction

Theory, Culture and Society 37 (7-8):53-70 (2020)
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This introduction to the special section ‘The Half-Life of the Avant-Garde: 50 Years On from 50 Years On’ explains why the section is conceived to look back at the century since the First World War. It is designed to offer ways of rethinking the concept and the role of the anniversary, where the First World War constitutes the memorialized event. The organization of the section follows the movement between often hidden or submerged forms of continuity. It attempts to think some of the aesthetic and technological legacies and inheritances of the First World War in its durational 100th anniversary through a specific temporal strategy most succinctly captured in the phrase ‘50 years on from 50 years on’. The entry point is the middle of the 20th century, allowing contributors to work backward and forward by examining links between the three separate temporal frames. The consistency but also the strangeness of critical practices, as world history passes with its violent climaxes and depressions, has unique contours in each frame, with Dada providing an exemplary through-line.



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On Photography.Susan Sontag - 1978 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):514-515.
The Spectacle of Data: A Century of Fairs, Fiches, and Fantasies.Shannon Mattern - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (7-8):133-155.
The Return of the Real.Hal Foster - 2001 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59 (1):103-105.

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