The Return of the Real

The Return of the Real

The Avant-garde at the End of the Century

Book - 1996
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MIT Press
Hal Foster discusses the development of art and theory since 1960, and reorders the relation between prewar and postwar avant-gardes. Opposed to the assumption that contemporary art is somehow belated, he argues that the avant-garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative practice in the present.

In The Return of the Real Hal Foster discusses the development of art and theory since 1960, and reorders the relation between prewar and postwar avant-gardes. Opposed to the assumption that contemporary art is somehow belated, he argues that the avant-garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative practice in the present. And he poses this retroactive model of art and theory against the reactionary undoing of progressive culture that is pervasive today.

After the models of art-as-text in the 1970s and art-as-simulacrum in the 1980s, Foster suggests that we are now witness to a return to the real—to art and theory grounded in the materiality of actual bodies and social sites. If The Return of the Real begins with a new narrative of the historical avant-gard, it concludes with an original reading of this contemporary situation—and what it portends for future practices of art and theory, culture and politics.



Blackwell North Amer
The Return of the Real presents an original reading of art and theory over the last three decades, with special emphasis to the controversial connections between the two. It also rethinks the relation between historical avant gardes and neo-avant-gardes. The result is an authoritative genealogy of art and theory from minimalism and pop to the present, with important ramifications for prewar studies as well.
Against the cliche that contemporary art and theory are condemned to historical pastiche, Foster argues that the avant-garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative work in the present. And he poses this retroactive model of art and theory against the reactionary undoing of progressive culture that is so pervasive today.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1996
ISBN: 9780262561075
0262561077
9780262061872
0262061872
Branch Call Number: 701.18 FOS Dorcas
Characteristics: xix, 299 p. : ill. ; 23 cm

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