AL 5, summer 1983, p 6.


What is Avantgardism?

Can be considered an avantgarde act that Miklós Erdély, György Jovánovics and János Major exhibited a coat?

The word avant-garde means “vanguard”.

Avant-garde artists cannot be content with the beaten track of established aesthetic rules; they rather aspire to reveal new aesthetic fields and create new aesthetic categories.

The art of the great avant-garde masters (e.g., Picasso, Mondrian, Le Corbusier) is appreciated all over the world. Avantgardism has defeated prejudice and is gaining esteem among more and more people.

In spite of this, avantgardism seems to be problematic, and the main source of the problem is the essence of avantgardism itself, its fundamental requirement: the continuous aspiration to the new.

That is to say: the avant-garde artist restricts her/himself and all other avantgardists with the creation of each new work, because no one of them can make anything similar ever again.

In this way, although it started as the art of freedom, destroying taboos, avantgardism sets more and more limits on itself with each new work of art.

I consider the coat that we exhibited together an attempt to set avantgardism free.

This work of art contains no novelty.

Exhibiting a piece of clothing is nothing new. Claes Oldenburg exhibited trousers in 1962. There is nothing new in three artists signing a single work of art. The Kukryniksy collective is a well-known example.

An objet d’art accompanied by a text that interprets the problems raised by it is not new, either, as it is the main characteristic of conceptual art (Joseph Kosuth).

And there is nothing wrong in this, either, because there is also nothing new in that there is nothing new in it.”