In 1969 a group of artists, critics, museum workers and others formed the Art Workers’ Coalition (AWC). One of their many achievements was to force the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to have a free admission day – to democratize access to the musuem’s collection. So it is fitting that last night, during MoMA’s “Free Friday" (February 17), a group of a few dozen protesters – joined at times by hundreds of other attendees – erupted in protest in MoMA’s lobby – demanding the removal of Larry Fink from the board.Fink, CEO of BlackRock, Inc., is also a member of President’s Stratigic and Policy Forum – a collection of “business leaders” who advise the revaunchist Trump administration. The protesters have rightly taken a position against any normalization of the Trump presidency.Read More
Alex Pullman claimed to have been abducted by aliens. While aboard their spacecraft he had the following visions of the future. The bombs and missiles of World War Three were frozen above the world's cities just as the UFOs arrived. Later that day long-dead communards reappeared as zombies and ghosts – walking anachronisms in the streets of each city and town. The "Evicted Art Blog" will, over the coming months, share Pullman's account of his visions.Read More
The model of “self-taught genius” ignores the social genius of Darger’s Child Slave Rebellion. After all, Darger’s work was shaped by the very real instructors of his life; his kind father, his brutal treatment as a ward of the state of Illinois, the “dead-end” proletarian job that awaited him in adulthood. It is no accident that Darger’s epic illuminated manuscript is, at its core, about a rebellion of child-slaves. Nor are his transgender heroes necessarily a mere accident of individual genius or naïveté. Maybe they are glimpses of the future emancipation that could not yet be articulated.Read More
Consumer Grade Film is a U.S. Midwestern collective of filmmakers focusing on low-budget, socially-conscious projects. Our current works in progress include the short, Ubercreep, the feature length film, In Circles, and the YouTube channel, VHS Girl. We are open to collaboration with other filmmakers focusing on similar content.Read More
One of the problems of the weak avant-garde is in its tendency to reject the spiritual and existential origins of art itself. This dynamic can be found both among would-be “art entrepreneurs” and among progressive artists (who wrongly believe their role is to demystify art and all that surrounds it). Both, in the end, are the Thomas Gradgrinds of contemporary art.
The Austrian art critic and Marxist Ernst Fischer, building on Frederick Engels’ “The Role of Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man,” invoked art’s pre-history in his 1959 book, The Necessity of Art. Largely a polemic against the cultural policies of “communist” Eastern Europe, Fischer attempted to describe how the origins of art were “magic” – the product of a great leap forward in human consciousness. The mastery of tools produced in humans a social knowledge – the abstraction and generalization of the world.Read More
The strong images of the dominant culture offer no way out for the proletarian subject. Likewise the weak images of much of the academic avant-garde offer very little. The solution, for the class-conscious artist, is to connect weakened art and a weakened working-class to universal and totalizing aspirations. In my opinion the strong-weak image is the mode of the popular avant-garde. And historically it has come from outside the art world as often as within it – and sometimes both, in the work of the Wild-Style graffiti innovators of the 1970s and the punk rock DIY posters and zines of the 1970s and 1980s. Raymond Pettibon, highly influenced by William Blake and Goya, was central to the early punk visual aesthetic, producing art for his brother’s band, Black Flag. The tension between “weak” and “strong” inherent to his work was summarized by Pettibon himself when he argued, “I am really asking is for you to look at Gumby with the same kind of respect that you would if it was some historical figure or Greek statue.”Read More