Artists and architects in may 1968
an aesthetics of disappearance
The anar-artist Robert Filliou, whose work reaches back to Dada and forward to the Fluxus movement in the 1960s, was the first to voice the judgement that "art is what makes life more interesting than art". As such he was one of few to have got right to the artistic core of May 1968. And what did he find? Disintegration, or the "disappearing" of art, of the artist, of the art object. His words, and versions thereof, have had an extraordinary impact. Indeed, they have become some of the very bywords of contemporary art, which we have to understand as a genre in itself that came into being approximately 40 years ago.1 The birth of contemporary art from within May 68 is one of the more significant paradoxes of this moment and its consequences.2
Violeau, J. (2011)., Artists and architects in may 1968: an aesthetics of disappearance, in J. Jackson, A. Milne & J. Williams (eds.), May 68, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 263-278.
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