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The Political Aesthetics of the Armenian Avant-GardeThe Journey of the 'Painterly Real', 1987-2004$
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Angela Harutyunyan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089534

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089534.001.0001

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Suspending the ‘painterly real’: ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96

Suspending the ‘painterly real’: ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96

(p.103) 3 Suspending the ‘painterly real’: ACT’s procedures of ‘pure creation’, 1993–96
The Political Aesthetics of the Armenian Avant-Garde

Angela Harutyunyan

Manchester University Press

The chapter is dedicated to the conceptual artist group ACT. Its historical investigation of the group’s aesthetic strategies attempts to situate them within those structural changes that took place in the aftermath of independence following the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and defined the trajectory for this decade. The chapter investigates, describe and critically revisits the social and cultural context defined as one of a ‘crisis of negation’. Further it analyses those spaces and possibilities that emerge in the gaps between ‘pure creation,’ and are made operational throughout the group’s existence, and the intensity of everyday life in Armenia in the mid-1990s. It argues that the concept of ‘pure creation’ emerges in the clash between autonomous art, and the intensity of turbulent transformations affecting everyday life. It is this clash that transforms the agenda of ‘pure creation’ into a political-artistic program that rhymes with the positivist assumptions of the post-Soviet liberal democratic state.

Keywords:   ‘pure creation’, liberal democracy, autonomous art, positivism, post-Soviet, crisis of negation

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