Du Zhenjun’s Collages: A Critical Voice Against Globalization

Contemporary art has not given us as yet many interesting works criticizing capitalist globalization. This is not because occasions and issues that could attract the attention and the sensitivity of radical artists were missing; on the contrary, globalization, with its large and growing contradictions, gave – and gives – rich material for inspiration. The very historic defeat and retreat of progressive movements and ideas during the last decades, after the dissolution of the USSR in 1990, however, went side by side with a parallel waning of progressive art. The result was a domination of colorless “lifestyle” vogue, all that apolitical and conformist subculture parading through the windows of bookstores and TV screens in recent years. Hand in hand with this went, of course, the abstract post-modernists constructions at the Biennales, destined to further the commodification of art and satisfy the elitist cravings of the newly rich.

Greece, in particular, with the great leftist traditions that arose from the National Resistance movement, is a striking example of that process. During the post-war period, the cultural values of the left were represented by world renowned artists. Suffice it to mention poets like Ritsos, Sikelianos, Anagnostakis; writers like Kazantzakis, Tsirkas, Varnalis; composers like Theodorakis, Loizos and so many others. Today, on the other hand, it is doubtful if we could cite just one name of comparable eminence. And the situation is…

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