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UAL Research Online

There is no Authority but Yourself: Political Autonomy, Collective Art Practice, Crass and Anarcho-Punk Visual Conventions in the work of Gee Vaucher

Binns, Rebecca (2019) There is no Authority but Yourself: Political Autonomy, Collective Art Practice, Crass and Anarcho-Punk Visual Conventions in the work of Gee Vaucher. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Binns, Rebecca

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.

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Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: March 2019
Funders: UAL Studentship
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 09:35
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 09:53
Item ID: 14377
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/14377

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