[The Seven by Nine Squares home page] [YAWN 36] [Art Strike 1990-1993]


The Art Strike is located against closure, and yet, from an "individualist perspective," it has numerous parallels with the "final closure" of "death." Those who adopt art as a substitute for life will necessarily experience the Art Strike as a form of "death"; whereas communitarians, who recognise the productive role played by the "audience" within the cultural sphere, view the refusal of creativity as a means of opening up culture (and the mechanics of its production). Communists understand that "death," like "art" and "individuality," is the product of bourgeois ideology.

Since the Art Strike is so clearly located in opposition to closure (as well as philosophy, "death," etc.), there can be no theoretical summing up of the issues involved; the time for theorising the Art Strike will be after it has taken place. Here and now, it is not possible to resolve the contradictions of a group of "militants" - many of whom do not consider themselves to be artists - "striking" against art. For the time being, the Art Strike must be understood simply as a propaganda tactic; as a means of raising the visibility and intensity of the class war within the cultural sphere.

[Stewart Home, Art Strike Handbook, London, 1989