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"Avant garde" has become a ubiquitous label, eclectically applied to any type of art that is anti-traditional in form. At its simplest, the term is sometimes taken to describe what is new at any given time: the leading edge of artistic experiment, which is continually outdated by the next step forward.

C.D. INNES, Avant Garde Theatre: 1892-1992

On the surface the avant garde as a whole seems united primarily in terms of what they are against: the rejection of social institutions and established artistic conventions, or antagonism towards the public (as representative of the existing order). By contrast any positive programme tends to be claimed as exclusive property by isolated and even mutually antagonistic sub-groups. So modern art appears fragmented and sectarian, defined as much by manifestos as imaginative work.

C.D. INNES, Avant Garde Theatre: 1892-1992

In avant garde drama ... primitivism goes hand in hand with aesthetic experimentation designed to advance the technical progress of the art itself by exploring fundamental questions: What is a theatre? What is a play? What is an actor? What is a spectator? What is the relation between them all? What conditions serve this best?

C.D. INNES, Avant Garde Theatre: 1892-1992


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