Back to THE HISTORY OF THE FUTUREFall 1999/ Winter 2000

Friday, October 8, 1999 The Age of Avant-Garde Innocence:
William Wegman and Man Ray; Michael Smith as Baby IKKI.

A gay man reminded me that Postmodernism arose from Feminist theory, and the hulking presence of the Vietnam conflict. Some of the central ideas of the late 70s were that equality for women was within reach; that wild experimentation was America's most important product; that although concept was still king, now the personal was political. It was within and without the doors of places like Alanna Heiss' Idea Warehouse (on Reade Street) and later the Clocktower (on Leonard), the Kitchen (on Broome Street) and Franklin Furnace (on Franklin), that artists expressed their absurdist ideas--work that critiqued and laughed in order not to cry. We thought this age of avant-garde innocence would never end: The gains made by women would stick, the respect garnered by the American avant-garde abroad would be upheld at home, artists were deserving of financial and spiritual support. OK, we were wrong.


 |  thotf menu  |