A roaming performance by the Disabled Avant Garde creates an image of both dependency (worthless) and generosity (worthy), through taking from and giving back to the general public. A fun, playful yet sharp reflection upon the redistribution of wealth at a moment when disabled people’s economic well-being is being politically ‘reviewed’.
Responding to the theme of ‘personal culture’ the DAG do a ‘take’ on what would have been their main career prospect, as disabled people, had they not been born into the UK Welfare State: begging.
They offer a twist though, a reversal by which they not only attract the public’s generosity, but also redistribute the fruits of their panhandling back to them.
Thus, for a brief moment in time, the DAG establish the perfect economy of 100% recirculation of the public coin, within the artistic context of the Tate Turbine Hall’s one-day ‘alternative city’.
During this day, they will roam through the event’s visitors, politely inviting (ie: begging for), alms for their tin. When a suitable bulk of currency has accrued, they will simply reverse the process and circulate to give the money away again, to anyone who wants it.
Reverse Mendicants is a reflection upon the redistribution of wealth at a moment when disabled people’s economic well-being is being politically ‘reviewed’. This performance sees the Disabled Avant Garde create an image of both dependency (worthless) and generosity (worthy), through taking from and giving back to the general public.
The Disabled Avant Garde’ (aka ‘DAG’) is a satirical arts organisation formed by the disability artists Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson. Their concern is to create contemporary art (video and performance) that might cause confusion and inspire debate through humorously distorting or subverting traditional stereotyping of disability. That is, the Disabled Avant-Garde’s work is an intervention into society’s perceptions and expectations of disabled people that often defines them by their impairments. The DAG follow the social model of disability then and their work fits the category of ‘crip humour’, being both pitch-black and self-knowing.