Abangoardia in/posiblea : hitz egingo dugu MAVOz? = El vanguardismo im/posible : ¿podemos hablar de MAVO? = The im/possible avant-garde : can we talk about MAVO?
Is a longstanding research project that thematizes the Japanese art group MAVO (1923-1926) and the Korean poet, architect, and artist Yi Sang (1910-1937). It looks into the im/possibilities of non-Western avant-gardes in geographical, political, and aesthetic terms, problematizing supposedly “universal” yet specifically Western forms of avant-gardes. Equally, the project explores the Japanese deeply ambiguous relationship with Japanese imperialism by engaging with, for instance, MAVO’s “barracks” projected after the 1923 Tokyo Earthquake, the disaster which the Japanese state used to accelerate the imperial modernization of the city. Yi Sang’s anti-colonial “paralanguage,” which emerged from his quintessential experiences of colonial modernity, is interwoven with this intervention in the reception of MAVO.