The avant-garde is an artistic movement that includes all those innovative and progressive artistic trends that break with the status quo.
It comes from the French medieval word avant-garde, which refers to a small group of soldiers whose function was to explore the terrain before the advance of the bulk of the army. In this way, it is said that avant-garde art is ahead of its time.
Its origin in the art field is still highly debated. Some establish its provenance in Dadaism, characterized by being an anarchic movement that breaks with traditional forms of art and aesthetics.
Others place its birth in May 1863, when impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were rejected at the annual Paris Salon for not complying with the canons of the time.
In response, the artists decided to open and exhibit their paintings at the Salon des Refusés. And thus, was born modern painting.
Regardless of its cradle, all of the avant-garde movements, dating from the first decades of the 20th century in Europe, share transgressive characteristics: they appeal to freedom of expression, disobey creative parameters, have an experimental character, and disagree with tradition and values of the time.
Avant-garde 20|XX: Deconstructing the avant-garde
Avant-garde 20|XX is a concept album composed of various popular rhythms of the Latin urban genre, including reggaeton, trap, Brazilian funk, dembow, reggae, pop, and experimental fusions.
This multimedia work tells the story of Avant-garde, a utopian land dominated by El Jowry, the most powerful entity in the world of the Els. El Jowry protects the Avant-garde from a fearsome threat: El Soddy.
El Jowry chooses an Avantgardian named Jowry Savana and makes him the most influential artist in this world so that, through music, he can keep the society entertained and save this place from destruction.
Through this audiovisual narrative, Avant-garde 20|XX offers a satirical lens for observing mass culture in the 21st century and invites contemplation and reflection on aesthetics and modern values.
Among the songs on the album are Manifiesto: Se siente, Muñequita and Préndeme en llamas.
Each one shows avant-gardism and / or sarcasm regarding popular culture:
Manifiesto: Se siente
Manifiesto: Se siente is a representation of the avant-garde as a promotion of radical social reforms. Let’s compare the essay “L’artiste, le savant et l’industriel” by Henri de Saint-Simon with Manifiesto: Se siente. Let’s compare the essay “L’artiste, le savant et l’industriel” by Henri de Saint-Simon with Manifiesto: Se siente.
In this essay, where the term avant-garde is applied for the first time to an artistic realm, Saint-Simon urges artists, scientists, and industrialists to become leaders in society to guide people towards transformation.
Sain-Simon believed that the power of art was the quickest and most immediate path to social, economic, and political reform.
Along the same lines, Manifiesto: Se Siente recognizes the identity and cultural diversity of Latin America, its history and struggle. It calls for the unity and homogeneity of people under the same emblem and recognizes Latin American figures for their influence in the fields of arts, politics, and science.
“Incandescent is the courageous blood, in the cry of the town, in the voice of the people who shout with a strong forceful soul, breaking Llorente’s vase; Latinos united, because united even death cannot stop us! Keep it in mind, we are going to change the course of luck… Time to wake up! Persevering and always strong!”“
Préndeme en llamas
For its part, Préndeme en llamas is a parody of vampire stories, a key example of popular culture.
This song presents, to the rhythm of Latin trap, the story of a couple of vampire lovers who, tired of eternity, decide to observe the sunrise after a last night of passion and extravagance.
In turn, the vampires represent the superficial ideals of today’s society, based on material goods and luxury. “Model for me, light up the party for me, roll it and give it to daddy,your clothes are allBulgari, today we are rolling in the red Ferrari”
Préndeme en Llamas illustrates the point of the American art critic Clement Greenberg in his essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch, when he explains that, historically, the avant-garde culture has opposed the dominant culture, rejecting mass culture, a product of industrialization and capitalism.
Mass culture is criticized through the same medium it represents: a banal rhythm whose purpose is to alienate with superficial letters, representing current values.
We create to destroy, and we destroy to create. That is Avant-garde 20|XX.
Are you beginning to understand our satire? What would be your analysis for the song, Muñequita?