The Idea of the Avant Garde

The Idea of the Avant Garde - exhibition and seminar


NeMe and curator Marc James Léger are pleased to invite you to the opening of the exhibition The Idea of the Avant Garde on September 28, 19:30, at the NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol.

The exhibition The Idea of the Avant Garde is premised on the view that the theories and practices of the avant garde have an increased importance in these times of global political, economic and social crisis. Tracing diverse histories and proposing new trajectories, the works in the exhibition present an international, inter-generational and interdisciplinary forum on the idea of the avant garde today.

The exhibition includes artists who have either contributed to or were discussed in the books edited by Marc James Léger, The Idea of the Avant Garde – And What it Means Today (Manchester University Press, 2014) and The Idea of the Avant Garde – And What It Means Today, Volume 2 (Intellect and NeMe, forthcoming).

The participating artists are The Aaron Burr Society, Zoe Beloff, Zanny Begg and Elise McLeod, Bill Brown, Thanos Chrysakis, Chto Delat, Class Wargames, Marc Couroux, Critical Art Ensemble, Chris Cutler (Art Bears), Gustav Deutsch, Julie Doucet, Marco Fusinato, Charles Gaines, Jean-Luc Godard, Gavin Grindon, Kathleen Hanna, Theodore Harris, Carla Harryman and Joe Raskin, Mark Hutchinson, The Julie Ruin, Mary Kelly, Vitaly Komar, Bruce LaBruce, Laibach, MAP Office, V. Mitch McEwen, Jonas Mekas, Not An Alternative, Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp, Pussy Riot, Jamie Reid, Oliver Ressler, Dread Scott, Semiotext(e) and Gregory Sholette, with posthumous homage to Pauline Oliveros and Mark E. Smith.

The opening of the exhibition will feature performances by Evi Demetriou, Petros Konnaris, Arianna Marcoulides and Eleftheria Socratous, commencing at 20:00.


On September 29, from 10:30 to 16:00, NeMe will host a Seminar on the idea of the avant garde, with guest speakers Marc James Léger, Evanthia Tselika, John Roberts, Andreas Panayiotou and Richard Barbrook. This will be followed by a Class Wargames event from 16:00 to 19:00, hosted by Class Wargames member Richard Barbrook.


Marc James Léger is curator of the exhibition The Idea of the Avant Garde at NeMe and editor of the two volumes of The Idea of the Avant Garde – And What It Means Today (Manchester UP, 2014; Intellect and NeMe, forthcoming). His presentation will address the premises and reception of these projects within a broader theoretical framework for thinking about avant-garde praxis in the context of the hegemony of a post-ideological global petty bourgeoisie.

Evanthia Tselika is a visual arts researcher, visual art producer and arts educator. She is Assistant Professor and Programme Coordinator of the Fine Arts Programme at the University of Nicosia. Her practice-led research is focused on the role of conflict resolution in relation to socially engaged art practices. Her talk will address the ways in which artistic practices have been used in the context of the ethno-nationally divided city of Nicosia as a tool for conflict transformation and dialogue.

John Roberts is Professor of Art and Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton. He research are includes art theory, cultural philosophy, and art and political philosophy. He is currently leader of the Research Cluster ‘Art, Philosophy and Social Practice’ in the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 2015 he published Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde, the most important text on the subject since Peter Bürger’s Theory of the Avant-Garde. He has also worked as an art critic and curator, with major exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery and the Venice Biennale.

Andreas Panayiotou is Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism, Communication and Mass Media at Frederick University, where he teaches courses in Sociology, Cultural Studies and Communications. His interests include the deciphering of dialectical forms in the interaction of social structures and social movements within the world system. His talk will be about ‘Guy Debord and Marshall McLuhan in Chiapas,’ with a focus on uneven development in the intersection of communication technology and radical practices.

Richard Barbrook is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster. His book Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to the Global Village is the winner of the 2008 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book of the Year in the field of media ecology. He is founding member of the Class Wargames collective and author of Class Wargames: Ludic Subversion Against Spectacular Capitalism (2014).

After his lecture presentation and the open discussion, Barbrook will introduce Guy Debord’s Game of War, a wargame designed to teach the proletariat with fight and win the class war, and will present the Class Wargames film. The Class Wargames collective defines itself as an “avant-garde movement of artists, activists and theoreticians engaged in the production of works of ludic subversion in the bureaucratic society of controlled consumption.” After the film a match will be held with as its theme the creative class vs. the activist class.


Introduction: 10:30
Morning presentations: 11:15-13:30
Lunch: 13:30-14:30
Afternoon presentations: 14:30-16:00
Discussion, Q&A: 16:00-16:30
Class Wargames: 16:30-19:00

Calendar and venues

Round table discussion: 18:30-21:30, 21 September 2018
venue: Fine Arts Building, University of Nicosia, Michail Georgalla 29, Egkomi, Nicosia

Workshop: 17:00-20:30, 22 September 2018, led by Marc James Léger and Cayley Sorochan
Exhibition Opening: 19:30, 28 September 2018
Exhibition Duration: 28 September – 26 October 2018
Opening Days / Times: Tuesday-Friday: 17:30-20:30, Saturday: 10:00-13:00
Seminar: 10:30-16:00, 29 September 2018
Screening: 18:00-22:30, 17 October 2018
venue: NeMe Arts Centre, Corner of Ellados and Enoseos streets, 3041 Limassol, Cyprus


NeMe would like to thank the Department of Culture of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, Alphamega, and Medochemie for their support.

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