By Robin Blyn

Since the Eighteen Nineties, American artists have hired the humanities of the freak express to check significantly alternative ways of being. the result's a wealthy avant-garde culture that reviews and demanding situations capitalism from within.

The Freak-garde traces the humanities of the freak express from P. T. Barnum to Matthew Barney and demonstrates how a kind of mass tradition leisure turned the foundation for a noticeably American avant-garde culture. Exploring quite a lot of writers, filmmakers, photographers, and artists who've appropriated the humanities of the freak express, Robin Blyn exposes the stressful strength of human curiosities and the needs they unharness. via a chain of incisive and sometimes startling readings, Blyn unearths how such figures as Mark Twain, Djuna Barnes, Tod Browning, Lon Chaney, Nathanael West, and Diane Arbus use those wants to suggest choices to the self sustaining and repressed topic of liberal capitalism. Blyn explains how, instead of grounding progressive subjectivities in imaginary nation-states blameless of capitalism, freak-garde works manufacture new subjectivities via exploiting potentials inherent to capitalism.

Defying traditional knowledge, The Freak-garde eventually argues that postmodernism isn't the demise of the avant-garde however the heir of an important and generative legacy. In doing so, the ebook establishes leading edge techniques to American avant-garde practices and embodiment and lays the basis for a extra nuanced figuring out of the disruptive power of paintings below capitalism.

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