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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The opening of the Outsiders Festival - Adelaide 2010


The Outsiders Festival is a celebration of
"works produced by people who for various reasons have not been culturally indocrinated or socially conditioned"...
"Working outside fine art "system" (schools, galleries, museums and so on), these people have produced, from the depths of their own personalities ... works of outstanding originality in concept, subject and techniques.
They are works which owe nothing to tradition or fashion."
Michel Thevoz, Curator of the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne

The 2010 edition of the Outsiders Festival, hosted by the West Torrens Auditorium is a collection of 110 works of 21st Century Outsider Art from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Canada, The United States and Argentina.
The 21st Century Outsider Art has been better described as Neo-Outsider Art by Dr. Melissa Westbrook:
"Neo-Outsiders have emerged from the same melting pot as Art Brut, Outsider, Visionary and Folk Artists. They are largely self-taught and their work exhibits many of the stylistic features of more traditional Outsiders. Like Jean Dubuffet, they are critical of the establishment and the pitfalls of the Insider commercial gallery system. This, however, is where the similarities between Neo-Outsiders and Outsiders end. Excluded by Outsider purists for incorporating cultural references in their work and utilising social media to communicate and exchange ideas/images, Neo-Outsiders find themselves isolated from their predecessors. Nor are they welcomed into the coveted world of Insider art as Neo-Outsider art does not readily comply with current aesthetics or conceptual theories.
Neo-Outsiders have a unique and individual voice because they:

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define themselves as Outsiders. Unlike traditional Outsider artists they are not “discovered” by a cultural elite and operate beyond the Insider/Outsider dichotomy.
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actively incorporate cultural, literary and philosophical discourse into their works.
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often bypass the traditional commercial gallery system by selling their own works and organising their own exhibitions online.
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seek to exchange ideas and thoughts with other artists all over the globe via social media. Neo-Outsiders believe that great art is not brought about through isolation but is a fusion of personal thoughts/images and external influence. They also recognise the difficulty of achieving complete isolation in today’s image-centric, postmodern world."
Dr Melissa Westbrook - Oxford - www.neo-outsiders.com

The festival closes - 26 September 2010