“READY-MADE ARTIST AND
HUMAN STRIKE,” OR FROM
AUTONOMY TO STRIKE
It is time to make known that these days the force of gravity oppresses only
fools, fat people, and abstract painters, or rather concrete painters, as many
of them like to define themselves, concretely revealing their non abstract
ineptitude in art. . . . Philosophers warn governments that the world is about to
be blown up, that it is about to explode like an enormous fermenting tomato.
“Interplanetary Art Manifesto,” Il Gesto (1959)
To exist from outside the system amounts to revolution. . . .
Mass production mentality forces him to produce a single object that
satisfies the market to the point of saturation. He is not allowed simply to
create the object and then to abandon it to its destiny. He has to
follow up on it, justify it, introduce it into the channels of distribution,
turning himself as artist into a substitute for an assembly line.
Germano Celant, “Notes for a Guerrilla War” (1967)
What is new is the autonomy of their participation in spite of
and because of their exclusion from direct production.
Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Women and Power of Subversion
of the Community (1972)
I will try to trace here the ways disparate contemporary cultural (political)
tendencies, latent yet persistent, derive from strategies, tactics, and aesthetic
gestures forged in battles for autonomy against cultural colonization in Italy