Friday, June 22, 2012


Anti-art is a loosely-used term applied to an array of concepts and attitudes that reject prior definitions of art and question art in general. Anti-art tends to conduct this questioning and rejection from the vantage point of art.[1] The term is associated with the Dada movement and is generally accepted as attributable to Marcel Duchamp pre-World War I, when he began to use found objects as art.[2]
An expression of anti-art can take the form of art or not.[3][4] In general, anti-art rejects only some aspects of art. Depending on the case, "anti-artworks" may reject conventional artistic standards.[5]
Anti-artworks may also reject the art market, and high art. Anti-artworks may reject individualism in art.[6][7] Anti-art may reject "universality" as an accepted factor in art, and some forms of anti-art reject art entirely. Depending on the case, anti-art artworks may reject art as a separate realm or as a specialization.[8]
Anti-art artworks may reject art based upon a consideration of art as being oppressive of a segment of the population.[9]
Anti-art artworks may articulate a disagreement with the generally supposed notion of there being a separation between art and life. Indeed, anti-art artworks may voice a question as to whether "art" really exists or not.[10] "Anti-art" has been referred to as a "paradoxical neologism,"[11] in that its ostensible opposition to art has been observed concurring with staples of twentieth century art or "modern art," in particular art movements that have self-consciously sought to transgress traditions or institutions.[12] Anti-art itself is not a distinct art movement, however. This would tend to be indicated by the time it spans—longer than that usually spanned by art movements. Some art movements though, are labeled "anti-art." The Dada movement is generally considered the first anti-art movement; the term anti-art itself is said to have been coined by Dadaist Marcel Duchamp around 1914, and his ready-mades have been cited as early examples of anti-art objects.[13] Theodor W. Adorno in Aesthetic Theory (1970) stated that "...even the abolition of art is respectful of art because it takes the truth claim of art seriously."[14]
Anti-art has become generally accepted by the artworld to be art, although some people still reject Duchamp's readymades as art, for instance the Stuckist group of artists,[2] who are "anti-anti-art".[15][16

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