The Idea of the Avant Garde

The Idea of the Avant Garde - workshop


NeMe and Marc James Léger, curator of the exhibition The Idea of the Avant Garde, have the pleasure to invite you to participate in an interactive workshop led by Marc James Léger and Cayley Sorochan.

A scholar of critical cultural theory, Léger will facilitate a discussion on contemporary art practices in relation to the idea of the avant garde and what it means today. Sorochan’s engagement with critiques of digital culture will help to orient the workshop towards questions concerning the role of participation in artistic practice.

In an age in which some consider the notion of the avant garde to have been made obsolete by the deterritorializing flows of networked biocapitalism, where only the state and transnational corporations can effectively direct social change, these interactive workshops will discuss the relationship between art practice, politics and changing socio-economic conditions. Responding to changes in the field of cultural theory and practice, these workshops will provide an opportunity for artists to discuss the contradictions, potentials and limits of critical cultural praxis.

Participation in the workshops is free and participants will be encouraged to present and discuss their work and concepts.

Date: Saturday 22 September, 2018, 17:00-20:30 pm
Venue: NeMe Arts Centre
Language of the workshop: English

Please register by calling 25372675

Brief Bios

Marc James Léger is an independent scholar living in Montreal. He holds a PhD in Visual & Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. He is the recipient of several academic awards, including a 2016 Canada Council for the Arts award for Curators and Critics. He has presented his work internationally and gave the keynote address at the Valand Academy for the 2014 Biennial in Gothenburg, Sweden. Léger is an experienced museum professional and has worked for the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilisation (Canadian Museum of History). He was director of Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester and has a background as an amateur artist, with exhibitions in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2014 he was invited by the Quebec City Biennale to edit the catalogue for Manif d’Art 7, a city-wide exhibition dedicated to the theme of global art and activism. He is author of Brave New Avant Garde (2012), The Neoliberal Undead (2013), Drive in Cinema: Essays on Film, Theory and Politics (2015), Don’t Network: The Avant Garde after Networks (2018), as well as the forthcoming Vanguardia: Socially Engaged Art and Theory.

Cayley Sorochan holds a PhD in Art History & Communication Studies from McGill University, where she has been active as a department representative on various student association committees. Her thesis project, The Participatory Complex, develops a critique of the political function of ‘participation’ in online culture, social movements and consumerism. She published the first critical essay on the flash mob phenomenon in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. She has also published in Reviews in Cultural Theory, Estudos Ibero-Americanos and Seachange Journal. She contributed book chapters to Marxism and Urban Culture (2014) and The Participatory Complex (2016), and co-edited a special supplement on the 2012 Quebec Student Strike for the journal Theory & Event. She also holds a BFA from the University of Lethbridge, where she was recipient of the student gold medal for the Arts and Humanities Faculty.


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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