Subversive affirmation is an artistic performance that overemphasizes prevailing ideologies and thereby calls them into question. Simultaneously with affirmation, the affirmed concepts are revealed, and artists distance themselves from those concepts. Strategies of subversive affirmation include over-identification, yes revolution and paradoxical intervention.
According to Inke Arns and Sylvia Sasse the methods of subversive affirmation have been developing in Eastern European art since the 1960s. Subversive affirmation was initially chosen because of necessity to conform to the socialist ideology adopted deliberately. In the late 80s these tactics were carried over to Western art and activism. The term "affirmation" was introduced by Moscow conceptualists to describe Vladimir Sorokin's novels. Sorokin exaggerated serious realism in the style of the 19th century novel or in the style of socialist realism.
- Inke Arns & Sylvia Sasse. Subversive Affirmation. On Mimesis as Strategy of Resistance. Editorial, spring 2006 issue of Maska, Ljubljana
- Sylvia Sasse and Caroline Schramm. Totalitäre Literatur und subversive Affirmation. Welt der Slaven, 42, 1997, p. 306-327
- Inke Arns and Sylvia Sasse. Subversive Affirmation. On Mimesis as Strategy of Resistance. In: Irwin: East Art Map, London / Ljubljana 2005
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