Aesthetic Revolutions and Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Movements
Aleš Erjavec is Research Professor in the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the author of Postmodernism, Postsocialism and Beyond, and the editor of Postmodernism and the Postsocialist Condition: Politicized Art under Late Socialism.
Raymond Spiteri, 2015. "From Unitary Urbanism to the Society of the Spectacle: The Situationist Aesthetic Revolution", Aesthetic Revolutions and Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde Movements, Aleš Erjavec
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The Situationist International (SI) sought to resume the project of an aesthetic revolution initiated by the interwar avant-garde movements such as Dada, surrealism, and Russian constructivism. However, any attempt to resume the project of the interwar avant-gardes, either by established movements like surrealism or new movements like Cobra, struggled to establish a viable relationship with oppositional political groups, thereby limiting their activities to the cultural field. The SI responded with a critique of the existing forms of artistic endeavor and political action. Their goal was to replace art with an active, passionate engagement with everyday life. The SI initially pursued this goal through unitary urbanism and the construction of situations; these goals were later eclipsed by a rigorous critique of the spectacle as the principal obstacle to the realization of the Situationist aesthetic revolution.