by Johannes Goransson on Jun.28, 2011
[Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle sent me the following post in response to recent discussions about the avant-garde.]
If You Kill for Money, You’re a Mercenary
If You Kill for Pleasure, You’re a Sadist
If You Kill for Both, You’re a Ranger
There is no avant-garde. It was a military term, where the rearguard* covered a rout. The arts emphatically do not conduct themselves on military models (we don’t use Reaper drones). Even armies & enemies have abandoned toothless tactics. The U.S. army now farms out unlicensed work to Black Water, al-Qaeda runs on a franchise base, each cell independent. Nobody takes point, there is no battlefront (Art hardly has a public); most opposition gets bought off, and we hire their experts when they’re done.
“Prudence is an old maid courted by incapacity.” (William Blake)
The arts today are close to pacts: nobody move, nobody gets hurt. No dark horse is going to break through unforeseen, there’s no real competition, we’ll let you win the next one, hold your positions; you will still get paid.
Poetry is unrequited love.
* Here Perloff means not art, but the university.