Disabled Avant Garde
Works with Live Art Danmark
2014 “Institutional Classics” at Hitparaden 2
The performance “Institutional Classics” mimics the format of a pop concert, with the stars of the show, Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson taking center stage with their faces covered in black and white make up reminiscent of the style the band KISS uses, and surrounded by their band of musicians. Their program consists mostly of rather long versions of classic children’s songs like “The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round” or “Old McDonald Had a Farm”, with the melodies heavily distorted into a very weird free form of punk, because Aaron, the lead singer, is deaf.
About the Group
The Disabled Avant Garde’ (aka ‘DAG’) is a satirical arts organisation formed by the 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.
The work of The Disabled Avantgarde sadly ended when Katherine Araniello died in 2019, but their performances live on on their website. This showreel is an adequate introduction to their work.