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Title: There is no authority but yourself : political autonomy, collective art practice, Crass and anarcho-punk visual conventions in the work of Gee Vaucher
Author: Binns, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6280
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2019
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This research was instigated due to a dearth of critical literature on the work of the distinctive and influential artist and designer, Gee Vaucher. This thesis maps the importance of her work to contemporary visual culture, while tracing its antecedents in avant-garde art movements, namely Surrealism, Dadaist photomontage and British Pop Art. It also maps the significance of her work to radical art production during the 1970s and its influence on punk graphics and contemporary protest and street art, and further investigates how political and creative autonomy has been integral to Vaucher's practice. This is facilitated through an exploration of anarchistic, countercultural and subcultural constructions of meaning within specific historic, socio-economic contexts. This study has been facilitated through in-depth interviews with this artist, and by being granted access to an archive of her original work. The methodology has also necessitated the creation of an extensive database of Vaucher's visual material for Crass as well as design work produced by other artists in anarchopunk and related punk sub-genres. The first main contribution to knowledge is the identification of design tropes and themes that characterise anarcho-punk, and the revelation of Vaucher's pivotal role in both defining and refining its aesthetic. This research highlights Vaucher's focus on the societal oppression of women, a preoccupation that distinguished her work from wider analyses of power provided by her overwhelmingly male contemporaries. The second contribution to knowledge is the development of a ground-up methodological approach, involving the accumulation of a vast quantity of punk and anarchopunk fanzines (1977-84), to chart the evolution of an anarcho-punk narrative, articulated through a conversation between Crass (the collective) and the fanzines. This research model can be applied to the study of other artists and collectives that are predicated on their self-definition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: UAL
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Design for Graphic Communication