“Europa is ingesloten tussen zuivere logica en gitaar” De historische avant-gardebewegingen en het Europese moderniteitssyndroom



This contribution uses the concept of “Europe” as a synecdoche for
“modernity.” The point of departure is Antonio Negri and Michael
Hardt's postulate that one can distinguish two Europes and two modernities.
Modernity is, on the one hand, the historical tendency towards
totalization and exclusion, and on the other hand, the opposite penchant
for fragmentation and anarchic liberative thinking. On the basis of this
duality, one can talk of a syndrome of modernity, a cultural condition
that is determined by the coincidence of two views on sovereignty (self-determination
and self-coercion). The article relates the theorem of “two
Europes” to Gilles Deleuze's concept of difference (which inspired
Negri and Hardt's work) and to Mikhail Bakhtin's theses on carnivalesque
folk culture. In addition, it considers historical Avant-garde
movements a radical affirmation of modernity's anarchic and fragmentising