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Everyday
• Lumpen, abject, dingy, ugly, lo fi, trashy, anti-
  idealistic, everyday, scatalogical, shitty, bits and
  bobs, vulgar, grotesque, regressive, infantile,
  dissaffirmative, negative, pathetic, uncanny,
  shocking, transgressive, the return of the
  repressed, formless.....




                                                1
‘another wasted twenty four hours?’




                                2
• “The Situationist's agreed that consumption was assuming
  an unprecedented significance in the post war period, but
  they used this position to argue for an extension of the
  notion of the proletariat to include all those who
  experienced a loss of control over their lives, whether as
  consumers or producers of commodities. They applied the
  marxist conception of alienation to every area of everyday
  life and argued that the development of capitalism
  entailed the extension of the means, the objects, and the
  intensity of alienated experiences. For the situationists, no
  area of experience is free from the permeation of
  capitalist relations of production and consumption; the
  members of capitalist societies are reduced to the level of
  spectators of a world which precludes their participation.’


• Sadie Plant, ‘What is Situationism? A reader’ editor Stewart
  Home

                                                       3
• “What prevents what we say on the
  construction of everyday life from being
  recuperated by the cultural
  establishment…is the fact that all
  situationist ideas are nothing other than
  faithful developments of acts attempted
  constantly by thousands of people to try
  and prevent another day from being no
  more than twenty four hours of wasted
  time’.

• Raoul Vaneigem
• From ‘Basic Banalities’ in Situationist
  International Anthology
                                            4
““Critique for Lefebvre
                                 does not celebrate
                                 everyday life, banality or
                                 ordinariness in their own
                                 terms. Critique for
                                 Lefebvre means
                                 identifying the
                                 possibilities that are
                                 present in everyday life
Looking for moments of rupture   rather than simply
                                 confirming as
                                 unalterable what already
                                 happens to exist.”

                                 Alex Law, Variant
Everyday Art (?)
•   From the mid 90’s onwards there was an
    obvious desire amongst many artists
    (specifically in Britain) to transform the
    conditions of arts consumption, production
    and display -specifically in relation to the
    experiences, pleasures and pains of the
    everyday.




                                                   6
Reasons for this shift
• Extended 1980’s postmodernist leveling of old
  cultural hierarchies (high art and low culture)
• A reaction against the academic, over
  intellectualised, distanced role art and the artist
  had come to adopt in 1980’s culture. A belief
  that artists had become detached from
  everyday culture (their own and others).
• New times. In Britain the economic recession of
  the early nineties made the big budget slickness
  of ‘serious art’ appear ridiculous . Museum
  orientated work was out. Informal, lo-fi, trashy
  work and collective activity, was in.
• Popular culture boom - intellectually, popularly
  and technically. Popular culture becomes
  ‘respectable’ (Professors of Pop) , Cool
  Britannia ‘renaissance’ in music, fashion etc.
  New technologies like the video camera and
  computer become ‘domestic’.
                                                        7
Artists -’Everyday People’
• During the 90’s a different kind of identity for the
  artist appeared -fans rather than ‘critics’. Instead
  of subjecting their ‘guilty’ pleasures to a
  theoretical mauling, artists began to publicly
  admit their love of everyday pop and pap .

• “The new art incorporates the commercialised
  pleasures of the popular without embarrassment
  or intellectual distance” (John Roberts)               Barbara Kruger

• The product of heavily theoretical art school
  education these questioned the role of theory in
  art. Theory was tested in the everyday.

• ‘Meaning it’ replaced irony and camp

• The work was often far more inclusive view of
  popular modes of culture and popular modes of
  attention (see the appearance of humour in art
  during this period)..
                                                                          8
                                                          Tracey Emin Sarah Lucas
Everyday artists
Unapologetic, guiltless ‘fans’
        of ‘trash’.


  “So much contemporary
    British art can’t take
seriously the seriousness of
         serious art”

           Dave Beech

       Everything magazine
“The high theoretical demands of
post conceptual art rewritten by
critical postmodernism out of
French post structuralism seemed
to prevent any effective
engagement with the alienated
boredom's, frustrations and
pleasures of the culture that artists
experienced on a daily basis”

John Roberts
‘Domestic Squabbles’
in Who’s Afraid of Red. White and Blue
edited by David Burrows
Criticisms of -’dumbing down’ celebratory’
• Dumbing down. British art specifically
  during the 90’s is guilty in its ‘playful
  romps’ with ‘everyday, popular
  culture’ of dumbing itself down in
  order to become one more product
  within the global entertainment,
  spectacle led culture.
• Crucially for Stallabrass and others,
  this ‘attitude’ was deeply anti
  intellectual - that by becoming ‘fans’
  of the popular, artists were betraying
  their role as distanced critics and
  observers of society
• Inverted snobbery -this was a nothing
  more than shallow anti-intellectual
  posturing- a dose of slumming it -see
  ‘Common People’ by Pulp.

                                              11
• Abjection and the Everyday




                               12
Abjection - “a condition in which subjecthood is troubled, where meaning collapses”
•   The abject is a complex psychological,
    philosophical and linguistic concept developed
    by Julia Kristeva in her 1980 book ʻPowers of
    Horrorʼ.

•   The abject consists of those elements,
    particularly of the body, that transgress and
    threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety.
    Kristeva herself commented 'refuse and corpses
    show me what I permanently thrust aside in
    order to live'.

•   In practice the abject covers all the bodily functions,
    or aspects of the body, that are deemed impure or
    inappropriate for public display or discussion.
    Originally the abject had a strong feminist context,
    in that female bodily functions in particular are
    'abjected' by a patriarchal social order. In the 1980s
    and 1990s many artists became aware of this
    theory and reflected it in their work. In 1993 the
    Whitney Museum, New York, staged an exhibition
    titled Abject Art: Repulsion and Desire in American
    Art,
“it is not lack of cleanliness or
health that causes abjection
but what disturbs identity,
system, order. What does not
respect borders, positions,
rules. The in-between, the
ambiguous, the composite. “

Julie Kristeva
“The Powers of Horror: an essay on abjection”




    http://www.tate.org.uk/onlineevents/archive/julia_kristeva/
•   Modernist       •   Postmodernist
•   Purity          •   Hybridity
•   Transcendence   •   Grounded / embodied
•   Rationalism     •   Irrational - return of the
                        repressed




                                          15
Anti idealist / Carnivalesque Tradition




                              Jacques-André Boiffard (1903-61): Big Toe, 30-Year-Old Male
                              Subject (Gros Orteil, Sujet Masculin 30 ans), 1929; Silver gelatin
                              print; 31 x 23.9 cm; Centre Pompidou, Paris. Musée national
                              d'art moderne – Centre de création industrielle. Gift of Mme
                              Denise Boiffard (Paris) in 1986. Photo © Bertrand Prévost,
                              CNAC/MNAM Dist. RMN                    16
“The resulting trajectory of
Acconciʼs compulsive
ejaculations effected a
literal cum-shot in the face
of the transcendent
cleanliness and geometric
order of the then
ascendant aesthetic of
minimalism, tainting the
purity of its precious bodily
fluids with his venereal
discharge. “

Douglas Fogle
“A Scatological Aesthetics
for the Tired of Seeing”
Chapmanworld catalogue



                   17
• Abject art
• In the 1990’s many artists staged
  regression as an expression of protest and
  defiance.
• In works which were often grotesque,
  dysfunctional and ‘deviant’ they parodied
  and mocked the values and figures of
  ‘straight’ authority / the ‘civilised’ world.
• Art in the nineties was full of the dejected
  and rejected, mess and scatter, dirt and shit.
• A ‘rearactive’ assault on classic dualism (mind
  body split) and the unhealthy repression and
  sublimation endemic in society.
                                             18
•   1993 exhibition featuring the work of
    Helen Chadwick, Dorothy Cross, Nan
    Goldin, Rachel Evans, Sue Williams,
    Nicole Eisenmann.




                                            19
Helter Skelter: LA Art in the '90s, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1992

Charles Ray
Raymond Pettibon
Lynn Foulkes
Jim Shaw
Paul McCarthy
Nancy Rubins
Mike Kelley
“They like yoga we like speed”
                  Paul McCarthy




                                  21
Scatological, slacker aesthetic
“Signs of physical and
mental retardation and
congenital ‘stupidity’ cut an
abreactive line through the
official and intellectual
languages of dissent,
producing a grim
mockery of critical
Postmodernism's claims to
social intervention.’

John Roberts
Domestic Squabbles
In Who’s Afraid of Red, White and Blue edited by
David Burrows
Pg. 43
“I think an adolescent
attitude is the attitude of
the humorist, like
somebody who knows
the rules but doesn’t see
any reason to be
involved in them. The
adolescent period
interests me the most.
Modernism usually
valorizes childhood,
childishness or insanity –
something that’s
supposedly pre adult. But
then adult art has to get
involved in questions of
faith and belief, and I
don’t have any faith or
belief, so I don’t want to
make adult art. I’d rather
make adolescent art”.

Mike Kelley
“The result is an art of lumpen forms (dingy
toy animals stitched together in ugly masses),
lumpen subjects (pictures of dirt and trash)
and lumpen personae (dysfunctional men).
Most of these things resist formal shaping [..]
or social redeeming.”

Hal Foster ‘Return of the Real’ pg. 164




“the worst and trashiest stuff that the main culture abhors”
MIke Kelley
“the sense of modern
masculinity as an
extended adolescence
draws on what might
be called the
feminisation of
masculinity. In this
work it is as if the link
between hysteria and
powerlessness in
women’s art of the 80’s
has shifted to that of
the experience of men”
John Roberts “Domestic Squabbles”
• “I knew I wanted to appropriate
  Disneyland in some way, the
  park , the sculptures and
  landscapes. The fake
  Matterhorrn, it was so
  American, an all-white sterile
  environment and promotion of
  colonial purity.”

•   Paul McCarthy




                    26
Critique of....

“Kelley and McCarthy are
presumably pointing to
American social pathology
– the absurdity, even
lunacy of American
behaviour – but to perform
it, to project oneself into it
is not exactly to gain
perspective on it to
perform is not to work
through it, but to let
oneself be worked over by
it”.

Donald Kuspit
The Philistine - The 'counter-intuitive' philistine, returns the cultural debate to the problems of the
    persistence of power, privilege and symbolic violence

•   Anti professional “to unsettle the bureaucratic
    smoothness of critical postmodernism, particularly now
    it has become the official ideology of our wider digital
    culture” (Roberts, J)
•   Anti decorum “the use of popular cultural forms,
    expressions and emblems as gestures of proletarian
    and philistine disaffirmation. “(Roberts, J)
•   Guiltless immersion in the everyday pleasures of
    popular culture..…”Unlike the American and British
    media art of the early '80s and the Goldsmiths
    generation of the late '80s, these artists see the
    everyday and its representations as something they
    inhabit and work from as a matter of course.” - the
    ordinariness of culture - “a refusal on the part of artists
    to feel shame about engaging in the everyday through
    the abject.”
•   An embodied viewer “Talking dirty and showing your
    bottom for the sheer delight of it, has become a
    proletarian-philistine reflex against '80s feminist
    propriety” (Roberts, J, )
Bank
       “The zombies in "Zombie Golf" are
       not aliens but the avatars of class
       dissidence and the philistine refusal
       to separate the cognitive categories
       of the everyday (Does this pleasure
       me? What function does it serve?)
       from the experiences of art. This,
       however, does not mean the zombie
       installation mocks the pretensions of
       the work on display (Dave Beech,
       Maria Cook, Peter Doig, Sivan Lewin,
       Adam Chodzko, Martin Creed,
       Matthew Higgs and John Stezaker),
       but that it questions its right to exist
       untroubled by the realities of social
       division which produces the
       separation between art and
       aesthetics, bodily needs and
       experiences.”

       John Roberts “Mad for it!”
Chapman Brothers
Wim Delvoye




          32
Thomas Hirschhorn




'Substitution 2 (The Unforgettable)' - Thomas Hirschhorn, 2007
Mixed media installation, Overall: 325 x 562 x 940cm (128 x 221 1/4 x
370in)

                                                                        33
http://www.stephenfriedman.com/artwork/hirs_the_unforgettable_13.jpg
34
ʻLa Chica del Tiempoʼ - Thomas Hirschhorn, 2006                                                      35
Paper, plastic foil, adhesive tape, adhesive sticker, prints, point ball pen, felt-marker, 89 x 84 cm (35 x 33 in)
Erwin Wurm




             36
             34
37
38
39
36
Olaf Breuning
from abysmal to promising




                            40
41
42
43
http://web.mac.com/olafbreuning/photos/Photos.html




                                                     44
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46
47
48
49
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Everyday Abjection in 1990s British Art

  • 1. Everyday • Lumpen, abject, dingy, ugly, lo fi, trashy, anti- idealistic, everyday, scatalogical, shitty, bits and bobs, vulgar, grotesque, regressive, infantile, dissaffirmative, negative, pathetic, uncanny, shocking, transgressive, the return of the repressed, formless..... 1
  • 2. ‘another wasted twenty four hours?’ 2
  • 3. • “The Situationist's agreed that consumption was assuming an unprecedented significance in the post war period, but they used this position to argue for an extension of the notion of the proletariat to include all those who experienced a loss of control over their lives, whether as consumers or producers of commodities. They applied the marxist conception of alienation to every area of everyday life and argued that the development of capitalism entailed the extension of the means, the objects, and the intensity of alienated experiences. For the situationists, no area of experience is free from the permeation of capitalist relations of production and consumption; the members of capitalist societies are reduced to the level of spectators of a world which precludes their participation.’ • Sadie Plant, ‘What is Situationism? A reader’ editor Stewart Home 3
  • 4. • “What prevents what we say on the construction of everyday life from being recuperated by the cultural establishment…is the fact that all situationist ideas are nothing other than faithful developments of acts attempted constantly by thousands of people to try and prevent another day from being no more than twenty four hours of wasted time’. • Raoul Vaneigem • From ‘Basic Banalities’ in Situationist International Anthology 4
  • 5. ““Critique for Lefebvre does not celebrate everyday life, banality or ordinariness in their own terms. Critique for Lefebvre means identifying the possibilities that are present in everyday life Looking for moments of rupture rather than simply confirming as unalterable what already happens to exist.” Alex Law, Variant
  • 6. Everyday Art (?) • From the mid 90’s onwards there was an obvious desire amongst many artists (specifically in Britain) to transform the conditions of arts consumption, production and display -specifically in relation to the experiences, pleasures and pains of the everyday. 6
  • 7. Reasons for this shift • Extended 1980’s postmodernist leveling of old cultural hierarchies (high art and low culture) • A reaction against the academic, over intellectualised, distanced role art and the artist had come to adopt in 1980’s culture. A belief that artists had become detached from everyday culture (their own and others). • New times. In Britain the economic recession of the early nineties made the big budget slickness of ‘serious art’ appear ridiculous . Museum orientated work was out. Informal, lo-fi, trashy work and collective activity, was in. • Popular culture boom - intellectually, popularly and technically. Popular culture becomes ‘respectable’ (Professors of Pop) , Cool Britannia ‘renaissance’ in music, fashion etc. New technologies like the video camera and computer become ‘domestic’. 7
  • 8. Artists -’Everyday People’ • During the 90’s a different kind of identity for the artist appeared -fans rather than ‘critics’. Instead of subjecting their ‘guilty’ pleasures to a theoretical mauling, artists began to publicly admit their love of everyday pop and pap . • “The new art incorporates the commercialised pleasures of the popular without embarrassment or intellectual distance” (John Roberts) Barbara Kruger • The product of heavily theoretical art school education these questioned the role of theory in art. Theory was tested in the everyday. • ‘Meaning it’ replaced irony and camp • The work was often far more inclusive view of popular modes of culture and popular modes of attention (see the appearance of humour in art during this period).. 8 Tracey Emin Sarah Lucas
  • 9. Everyday artists Unapologetic, guiltless ‘fans’ of ‘trash’. “So much contemporary British art can’t take seriously the seriousness of serious art” Dave Beech Everything magazine
  • 10. “The high theoretical demands of post conceptual art rewritten by critical postmodernism out of French post structuralism seemed to prevent any effective engagement with the alienated boredom's, frustrations and pleasures of the culture that artists experienced on a daily basis” John Roberts ‘Domestic Squabbles’ in Who’s Afraid of Red. White and Blue edited by David Burrows
  • 11. Criticisms of -’dumbing down’ celebratory’ • Dumbing down. British art specifically during the 90’s is guilty in its ‘playful romps’ with ‘everyday, popular culture’ of dumbing itself down in order to become one more product within the global entertainment, spectacle led culture. • Crucially for Stallabrass and others, this ‘attitude’ was deeply anti intellectual - that by becoming ‘fans’ of the popular, artists were betraying their role as distanced critics and observers of society • Inverted snobbery -this was a nothing more than shallow anti-intellectual posturing- a dose of slumming it -see ‘Common People’ by Pulp. 11
  • 12. • Abjection and the Everyday 12
  • 13. Abjection - “a condition in which subjecthood is troubled, where meaning collapses” • The abject is a complex psychological, philosophical and linguistic concept developed by Julia Kristeva in her 1980 book ʻPowers of Horrorʼ. • The abject consists of those elements, particularly of the body, that transgress and threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety. Kristeva herself commented 'refuse and corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live'. • In practice the abject covers all the bodily functions, or aspects of the body, that are deemed impure or inappropriate for public display or discussion. Originally the abject had a strong feminist context, in that female bodily functions in particular are 'abjected' by a patriarchal social order. In the 1980s and 1990s many artists became aware of this theory and reflected it in their work. In 1993 the Whitney Museum, New York, staged an exhibition titled Abject Art: Repulsion and Desire in American Art,
  • 14. “it is not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection but what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite. “ Julie Kristeva “The Powers of Horror: an essay on abjection” http://www.tate.org.uk/onlineevents/archive/julia_kristeva/
  • 15. Modernist • Postmodernist • Purity • Hybridity • Transcendence • Grounded / embodied • Rationalism • Irrational - return of the repressed 15
  • 16. Anti idealist / Carnivalesque Tradition Jacques-André Boiffard (1903-61): Big Toe, 30-Year-Old Male Subject (Gros Orteil, Sujet Masculin 30 ans), 1929; Silver gelatin print; 31 x 23.9 cm; Centre Pompidou, Paris. Musée national d'art moderne – Centre de création industrielle. Gift of Mme Denise Boiffard (Paris) in 1986. Photo © Bertrand Prévost, CNAC/MNAM Dist. RMN 16
  • 17. “The resulting trajectory of Acconciʼs compulsive ejaculations effected a literal cum-shot in the face of the transcendent cleanliness and geometric order of the then ascendant aesthetic of minimalism, tainting the purity of its precious bodily fluids with his venereal discharge. “ Douglas Fogle “A Scatological Aesthetics for the Tired of Seeing” Chapmanworld catalogue 17
  • 18. • Abject art • In the 1990’s many artists staged regression as an expression of protest and defiance. • In works which were often grotesque, dysfunctional and ‘deviant’ they parodied and mocked the values and figures of ‘straight’ authority / the ‘civilised’ world. • Art in the nineties was full of the dejected and rejected, mess and scatter, dirt and shit. • A ‘rearactive’ assault on classic dualism (mind body split) and the unhealthy repression and sublimation endemic in society. 18
  • 19. 1993 exhibition featuring the work of Helen Chadwick, Dorothy Cross, Nan Goldin, Rachel Evans, Sue Williams, Nicole Eisenmann. 19
  • 20. Helter Skelter: LA Art in the '90s, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1992 Charles Ray Raymond Pettibon Lynn Foulkes Jim Shaw Paul McCarthy Nancy Rubins Mike Kelley
  • 21. “They like yoga we like speed” Paul McCarthy 21 Scatological, slacker aesthetic
  • 22. “Signs of physical and mental retardation and congenital ‘stupidity’ cut an abreactive line through the official and intellectual languages of dissent, producing a grim mockery of critical Postmodernism's claims to social intervention.’ John Roberts Domestic Squabbles In Who’s Afraid of Red, White and Blue edited by David Burrows Pg. 43
  • 23. “I think an adolescent attitude is the attitude of the humorist, like somebody who knows the rules but doesn’t see any reason to be involved in them. The adolescent period interests me the most. Modernism usually valorizes childhood, childishness or insanity – something that’s supposedly pre adult. But then adult art has to get involved in questions of faith and belief, and I don’t have any faith or belief, so I don’t want to make adult art. I’d rather make adolescent art”. Mike Kelley
  • 24. “The result is an art of lumpen forms (dingy toy animals stitched together in ugly masses), lumpen subjects (pictures of dirt and trash) and lumpen personae (dysfunctional men). Most of these things resist formal shaping [..] or social redeeming.” Hal Foster ‘Return of the Real’ pg. 164 “the worst and trashiest stuff that the main culture abhors” MIke Kelley
  • 25. “the sense of modern masculinity as an extended adolescence draws on what might be called the feminisation of masculinity. In this work it is as if the link between hysteria and powerlessness in women’s art of the 80’s has shifted to that of the experience of men” John Roberts “Domestic Squabbles”
  • 26. • “I knew I wanted to appropriate Disneyland in some way, the park , the sculptures and landscapes. The fake Matterhorrn, it was so American, an all-white sterile environment and promotion of colonial purity.” • Paul McCarthy 26
  • 27. Critique of.... “Kelley and McCarthy are presumably pointing to American social pathology – the absurdity, even lunacy of American behaviour – but to perform it, to project oneself into it is not exactly to gain perspective on it to perform is not to work through it, but to let oneself be worked over by it”. Donald Kuspit
  • 28. The Philistine - The 'counter-intuitive' philistine, returns the cultural debate to the problems of the persistence of power, privilege and symbolic violence • Anti professional “to unsettle the bureaucratic smoothness of critical postmodernism, particularly now it has become the official ideology of our wider digital culture” (Roberts, J) • Anti decorum “the use of popular cultural forms, expressions and emblems as gestures of proletarian and philistine disaffirmation. “(Roberts, J) • Guiltless immersion in the everyday pleasures of popular culture..…”Unlike the American and British media art of the early '80s and the Goldsmiths generation of the late '80s, these artists see the everyday and its representations as something they inhabit and work from as a matter of course.” - the ordinariness of culture - “a refusal on the part of artists to feel shame about engaging in the everyday through the abject.” • An embodied viewer “Talking dirty and showing your bottom for the sheer delight of it, has become a proletarian-philistine reflex against '80s feminist propriety” (Roberts, J, )
  • 29. Bank “The zombies in "Zombie Golf" are not aliens but the avatars of class dissidence and the philistine refusal to separate the cognitive categories of the everyday (Does this pleasure me? What function does it serve?) from the experiences of art. This, however, does not mean the zombie installation mocks the pretensions of the work on display (Dave Beech, Maria Cook, Peter Doig, Sivan Lewin, Adam Chodzko, Martin Creed, Matthew Higgs and John Stezaker), but that it questions its right to exist untroubled by the realities of social division which produces the separation between art and aesthetics, bodily needs and experiences.” John Roberts “Mad for it!”
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  • 33. Thomas Hirschhorn 'Substitution 2 (The Unforgettable)' - Thomas Hirschhorn, 2007 Mixed media installation, Overall: 325 x 562 x 940cm (128 x 221 1/4 x 370in) 33 http://www.stephenfriedman.com/artwork/hirs_the_unforgettable_13.jpg
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  • 35. ʻLa Chica del Tiempoʼ - Thomas Hirschhorn, 2006 35 Paper, plastic foil, adhesive tape, adhesive sticker, prints, point ball pen, felt-marker, 89 x 84 cm (35 x 33 in)
  • 36. Erwin Wurm 36 34
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  • 40. Olaf Breuning from abysmal to promising 40
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