A Bit About Anti-Art

What is anti-art anyway? Can anti-art even exist? Isn’t anti-art still art?

These are all good questions. Anti-art is obviously still art. It exists within the cultural context of the art world and it cannot exist without art. Before one is tempted to be smugly dismissive of the anti-art movement though, one needs to consider that just as anti-art exists within the world of art – art cannot exist within the broader context of culture without its own opposite – which is anti-art. So, anti-art must exist, even it it is a part of the art world. This is akin to the idea that post-modernism requires modernism to exist or there would be nothing for it to be “post”.

OK, so in a nutshell, anti-art is still art but anti-art does exist. So what is anti-art anyway? I like to think of anti-art not so much as being “against” art, but as being more of an “antidote” to the dominant culture of art. Anti-art is art at the margins. It is art that exists independently of the dominant commerce driven art world. It exists even independently of the dominant so-called anti-art of the academic world (even if many artists involved with anti-art are a part of that world). Anti-art is art that exists and is created purely at the desire of the artist, for the edification of the creator. It does not depend on approval from anybody else. It doesn’t even require the approval of other anti-artists. This does not mean that communities of like-minded creators cannot exist. Artists or anti-artists, or anti-art artists are still human – are still social beings. Why should they be excluded from broader communities?

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Allan Revich is an artist and musician living in Victoria, BC, Canada. Artwork includes traditional media including ink and paint, as well as intermedia such as websites, performances, and event scores. Musical activity includes blues bands playing harmonica and lap steel guitar, as well as playing ukulele, guitar, and flute. His books, Headline Haiku 2006, Headline Haiku 2007, and Fluxus Vision are available internationally on Amazon.com and its affiliates, as his most recent collection of poems, "Flux You!".

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