Philosophical and Cultural Grounds of Destruction in the Texts of the Ukrainian Avant-Garde Artists


  • Olena Shchokina PhD (Culture), Associate Professor of the Department of Cultural Studies, Art and Culture Philosophy Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of Odessa National Polytechnic University. Main research fields: philosophy of art, cultural studies, art studies, Ukrainian Avant-garde, contemporary art



destruction, Avant-garde art, freedom, man, culture, art


The destruction is a specific frontier line of all the milestones in the history of culture, science, philosophy, and art. As a mighty annihilating power, the destruction enables separation, decomposition of the one and the whole. The Avant-garde, in fact, is a certain spawn and, at the same time, a consequence of the destruction. The destruction is an ideology and essence of the new consciousness, in general, and the Avant-garde culture of the early 20th century, in particular. The destructive consciousness is a spawn of youth, carelessness, total lack of principles, and eclecticism of cultural processes. Any theoretical grounds provided by innovators and pretend for the absolute method in exploring and practice of the Art, are the acts of the Art by themselves which arise from its denial. The idea of innovation as such, and the integrity of destruction created a ground for the philosophic theorising, paradoxes, and utopian thinking in the contemporary post-Avant-garde culture, philosophy, and art. When projecting the Avant-garde destruction to the processes in the contemporary art, it is worth of mentioning that destroying the ordinary manner of thinking, provocation of philistines and public, and clear declaration of the Avant-garde aggressiveness in manifests, public speeches, and cultural events demonstrate the strongly marked signs of destruction: the avant-gardists see the destruction as a necessary step to the unlimited freedom of personality; according to the Avant-garde theory, the concept of ‘destruction’ means destroying the traditional conservative ideas about the man’s social roles; the fast movement towards absolute symbols, absolute ideas, and internal perfection, to the absolute itself was at a large scale caused by, and cause the destructiveness of the avant-gardists’ philosophic views. The destruction appears in a contemporary, still post-Avant-garde culture as a specific philosophic game, a theatre. Roles in this game were predetermined in the period of ‘domination’ of ideas and concepts of the classic Avant-garde art of the early 20th century. Paradoxically, the destruction became one of stages of establishing the Avant-garde, a simultaneous demonstration of utopia of its ideas, and finally its decline. The destruction, as an extermination of any glimpses of dissent, was later reflected in the dictatorship of culture of the Soviet period.

Manuscript received 23.08.2020


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