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thesis / dissertation description
Contemporary art has been evicted from both Heaven and Earth—divorced from the promise of spiritual ascension (or existential truth) as well as the emancipatory impulses of modernity (Marxism, anarchism, etc.). The artist is constantly on the make, trying to become in actuality what they feel themselves to be in essence, trapped between a rigid social position and the fluidity and openness of the contemporary art object or gesture. Within that trap are unspoken truisms about what work can and cannot be: too didactic, too earnest, or too confrontational. Contemporary art suffers an unbearable lightness of being and an unbearable weight of becoming. The avant-garde art model has become institutionalized and “weak,” too often detached from the concerns and audiences that can revitalize that model. The first task is to re-orient avant-garde art production toward popular concerns, audiences and forms. This does not mean imitating the “strong” images of the dominant culture, but using the art space as a theatrical space, a social and spiritual platform, to valorize proletarian narratives: the narratives of those who hold the power to abolish capitalism and create a genuine democratic society. To that end I aim to introduce the reasons for, and criteria of, an “evicted art practice.” Emphasizing the shamanistic role of the artist, the character of art, and the temporal aspects of both.