The Avant-Garde and the Everyday investigates two overdetermined terms in cultural theory: the avant-garde and the everyday. In so doing, I hope to demonstrate points of contact between the two ideas. Specifically, I hope to show that the avantgarde, in its mode of challenging and questioning authority and institutionalized discourses, is engaging in a complex project of reclaiming everyday life from corporatized mass-culture.
To accomplish this goal, I situated my investigation of avant-gardeist practice in the site of New York rock band The Velvet Underground as a specific instantiation of the avant-garde. I analyzed the theories of Peter Bürger’s Theory of the Avant-Garde and located The Velvet Underground as a neo-avant-gardeist critique of the institutional culture of music. This was compared against Henri Lefebvre’s Critique of Everyday Life and Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life as a way to explore the issues of the avant-gardeist critique. Other sites of inquiry included Joseph Branden’s article “My Mind Split Open” and Victor Bokris’ Up-Tight for information about the practice of The Velvet Underground as it was interpreted by the people who were involved at the time.
I believe that I demonstrated that Peter Bürger’s theories of the avant-garde are too narrow; he locates the avant-garde in only two sources, both of them aesthetic. It is my contention that the avant-garde is much more broad and explicitly political in its aims.
|School:||Bowling Green State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Modern literature, American studies, Performing Arts|
|Keywords:||Avant-garde, Everyday life, Velvet underground|
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