The Great Greenbergian Shibboleth

“…consciously or not, interest is posed against the great Greenbergian shibboleth quality.  Whereas quality is judged by reference to the standards not only of the old masters but of the great moderns, interest is provoked through the testing of aesthetic categories and the transgressing of set forms.  In short, quality is a criterion of normative criticism, an encomium bestowed upon aesthetic refinement; interest is an avant-gardist term, often measured in terms of epistomological disruption.  It too can become normative, but it can also license critical inquiry and aesthetic play.”

Hal FosterReturn of the Real, pg. 46.

Conforming to the Avant Garde

“…in 1983 Craig Owens detected a similar posture among neo-expressionists, who were also confronted with the contradictory demands to be avant-gardist (“as innovative and original as possible”) and to be conformist (“to conform to established norms and conventions”.)” – Hal Foster, The Return of the Real

30 years later seems like dance/performance art/ live art (whatever you want to call it) is dealing with the same issue