This essay considers the systems of value that undergird the employment of quirky objects in scholarship and argues that quirk historicism is another iteration of modernism in its attachment to estrangement and theatricality as modes of critique. In doing so, the essay asks why it is that “bad art” is so much easier to co-opt into scholarship when it’s safely in the past.
Bad Art, Quirky Modernism
Aoife Monks is a Reader in Theatre Studies in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of The Actor in Costume (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and co-author of Readings in Costume (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). She has also written numerous articles about contemporary performance for journals such as Theatre Journal and Modern Drama and is consulting editor of Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge).
Aoife Monks; Bad Art, Quirky Modernism. Representations 1 November 2015; 132 (1): 104–111. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2015.132.1.104
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