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Pigulevskij V., Mirskaya L.

The sirens’ song: the avant-garde on the verge of the symbolic

The modern search for the avant-garde is a pursuit beyond the symbolic reality. In the postmodern situation culture is interpreted as a text, that is, layers of images, signs, platitudes, clichés, signals, codes falsifying the reality. The man is drawn into the relation of sale, into an exchange of signs, and into a symbolic consumption. Therefore, the avant-garde is looking for a way to the true reality and an authentic man. Experiments with objects began in the art of Dada. However, the movement to the things themselves remained a manipulation of signs. The boundary of the symbolic is a touch of the human body and the flesh of the world. The human body is completely covered with signs. His pre-predicative existence is found in bodily practices thanks to the voice and the ability to «see how» rather than to «see what». The voice is the living present, a bodily discovery of a transcendental life, and the phenomenon is speech, singing, writing. The voice represents an essential connection between «logos» and «phone». Performances, installations and experiments with human corporeality are aimed at breaking the symbolic. Trends of feminism and posthumanism show interest in natural sounds, noise, scream, disease, suffering, death, taboo food, dirt, garbage, sewage, miasma, blood, ecstasy and perversions. The avant-garde discovers new meanings on the verge of pairing the subjectivity of the body and the material world.

Key words

avant-garde, voice, phenomenon, sound, symbol, sign, meaning, irony, body.

For citation

Pigulevskij V., Mirskaya L. The sirens’ song: the avant-garde on the verge of the symbolic // South-Russian musical anthology. 2019. № 4. PP. 5–11.