Remaking the Body Politic Anew through Mob and Gang
King Mob Echo and Up Against the Wall Motherfucker (1968-1970)
The aim is to analyse how the British, radical avant-garde collective King Mob (KM) and the American Up Against the Wall Motherfucker (UAWMF) developed an idea of the body rooted in the Gothic and Romantic imagery of the monster and the mob that emphasised the revolutionary potential of ugliness. The body bridged aesthetics and politics, co-extensive with organisational principles that confronted society at large. On the one hand, KM viewed the ugliness of the mob as a physical force whose imagery was strong enough to destabilise the State, while on the other, UAWMF understood the hostility of society towards the body of the hippie as the locus point of a new identity and discourse for it.
Keywords: Aesthetics and politics • Avant-garde • Gothic • Neo-avant-garde • 1960s radicalism • Revolutionary avant-garde