[The Seven by Nine Squares home page] [YAWN 14] [Art Strike 1990-1993]

The Abolition of Art

The primary function of the "abolition of art" is to destroy all the cultural mythologies whereby the powers-that-be crystallize the image of their superiority, their own intelligence; art is the armchair in which the State sits for its own pleasure.

Now, it is quite clear that the difference between the Abolition of Art and all the previous attempts at ideological destruction (Dada in particular) is that I consciously and deliberately allied the elimination of esthetic values to the necessity and possibility of social revolution.

Let us have no illusions about it: most "art critics" are going to carry on as if art were not abolished, as if art couldn't be abolished; most "artists" are going to continue to believe in the "artistic" character of their production; most gallery-goers, art lovers and, of course, buyers are going to ignore the fact that the abolition of art can really occur in the actual time and space of a pre-revolutionary situation like that of May 1968. It is essential that the minority advocate the necessity of going on an active art strike, using the "machines" of the culture industry so that we can more effectively set it in total contradiction with itself. The intention is not to end the rule of production, but to change the most adventurous part of "artistic" production into the production of revolutionary ideas, forms and techniques. [Alain Jouffroy, What's to be done about Art?, published in "Art and Confrontation", New York Graphic Society Ltd., 1968]