imagine the sweetness
of reciprocity, begs
imagine the sweetness
of reciprocity, begs
a cap of night
cold and icy swept by tangles of wire
the unsettled courses the many empty hands
of the workers leaving empty factories
The student butterfly that flapped its wings in Paris, May 1968 led to an earthquake which shook factory walls across western Europe in the 1970’s. Out of the dust emerged an ugly snarling rodent called punk rock.
The 1970s in the UK was a time of open conflict. Strike leaders sent to prison and then freed by a massive strike wave, teenagers fighting in the streets against each other, against the police and against the army in Ireland, miners strikes, power cuts, three day week, women battling for equal rights, Tory government brought down. The working class – loud, proud and winning.Read more
Recently, one of Red Wedge's editors had the chance while in London to stop by the picket line at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. It was perhaps one of the more spirited and creative picket lines that he's attended in quite some time, particularly considering the bitter cold and the utter intransigence of management.
The Ritzy is part of the Picturehouse chain of cinemas in Britain, which presents itself as somewhat art-house but unpretentious (the Ritzy, for example, is currently showing Jim Jarmusch's latest film Paterson as well as Office Christmas Party).
We have reached the Hegelian endgame; the fusion of art and philosophy. Not quite, as Arthur Danto notes, a negation of art by philosophy but the fusion of both. The art object has become, it is claimed, a philosophical argument in itself. But it is a pyrrhic victory – a Twilight Zone ending for art history, modernism and the avant-garde.
Anything can be made into art. But there is a small army of theorists dedicated to parsing out what is and isn’t art. Anyone can be an artist – if they aren’t too attached to the idea of eating dinner. Art and philosophy have fused but in the absence of the social revolution that was meant to accompany that fusion. The result is a philosophical-art object that is profoundly weak. If the present model of serious contemporary art is a weak avant-garde, the solution is a popular avant-garde: a rapprochement between artistic experimentation (as art) and mass emancipatory politics.Read more
I want to address the theme of Proletarian and Revolutionary Art in the United States between 1928 and 1935; that is to say in the years of the so-called Third Period line in the tactics of the international Communist movement. Although the terms “Proletarian Art” and “Revolutionary Art” were often used seemingly interchangeably at this time — or even used in combination — they are not synonymous, and I will argue that the distinction points up tensions between different forms of art practice produced in the Communist Party’s orbit and to important intellectual confusions.
Before analyzing the theory and practice of this art and the reasons for its emergence and decline, something needs to be said about its genealogy.Read more
One could be easily forgiven for believing that theater is indeed “dead.” Every medium of culture and creativity struggles with issues of relevance and vitality, but the common conception of theater in particular seems to be one that has been most flagrantly geared merely toward parting tourists with their money. Of course, it’s not entirely true; the reality is far more complex. But the fact remains that there appears to be a gap between what we learn the live performing arts once were (or could be) and their present anodyne state. How is a play supposed to be relevant to working people? How can it be when it costs an arm and a leg just to go to one?Read more
In late May 2015 Red Wedge editors Alexander Billet and Adam Turl spoke at the Left Forum in a workshop on "Neoliberalism and the Importance of the Radical Imagination." The above audio includes the presentations by Billet and Turl as well as the discussion that followed — touching on how neoliberalism has narrowed the radical imagination, the relationship of labor to culture, as well as possible practical and aesthetic strategies for contemporary art and culture.Read more