Brave New Avant Garde is a collection of essays that ask the question: what is an adequate model of contemporary avant garde practice and what are its theoretical premises? Brave New Avant Garde stands in opposition to the view that radical practice has no other future than its reduction to the workings of the free market in the form of the simple process of cultural production or to variations on the cultural politics of representation. Today's avant garde, formed in the wake of the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of the anti-globalization movement, represents a counter-power that rejects the inevitability of capitalist integration. The way out for artists in today's world of creative industries is defined in these pages as a psychoanalytically informed sinthomeopathic practice.
gathers up what remains of the avant garde’s once-vaunted radicality
and hurls it into a whirling Žižekian accelerator. Like a “pervert’s
guide” to contemporary art, Brave New Avant Garde reveals
a multitude of interventionist practices and rapidly revolving dark
particles that in light of recent events in Tunisia and Egypt no longer
appear exotic, but instead vibrate prognostic, as if heralding the dawn
of a sweeping phase change in twenty-first century art and politics.
this critical tour de force, Marc Léger successfully exposes
the contradictions that animate contemporary art and that govern
the actions of those who “participate in the game of culture” in the age
of neoliberalism. And yet Léger is not content to simply critique, he
also proposes alternatives through the medium of his concept of a
sinthomeopathic cultural praxis, the product of a successful act of
balancing on and moving along a pro-avant-gardist tightrope woven of
recent politically and socially engaged art practices.
James Léger’s informed and thought-provoking analysis of critical art
practices and related theories provides essential orientation for anyone
looking for ways to resist and subvert what Peter McLaren has defined
as the two thieves of capitalism and representative democracy.
Marc James Léger: Brave New Avant Garde. Essays on Contemporary Art and Politics