current, movement (in art)

> ρεύμα

According to the seventh – and last – definition given in the New Hellenic Lexicon of Emmanouil Kriaras et al, the noun ‘current’ could mean ‘a tendency within a literary or artistic movement’. A similar meaning is given to the word ‘movement’. However, a current is different from a movement in the following important way: a movement is always organised and is usually accompanied by an artistic (but also often socio-political) manifesto which is co-signed by likeminded artists; at the same time, in the case of a current, its expression comes first, and its theoretical analysis follows, in such a way that artists might be opposed to it and react to their categorization by theorists. Moreover, even though in the case of a movement things are clear and there is a general sense of agreement between theorists, in the case of a current one often observes even disputes not only between theorists, who approach it differently, but also between ordinary spectators, who might not accept a term at all and who might be completely against the theoretical approaches proposed. An obvious example is that of the ‘theatre of the absurd’, introduced only a few decades ago, that is much discussed during conference presentations and discussions that never lead to safe or at least generally acceptable conclusions; rather, it is only the time that has passed that gives us an opportunity to form a detached judgment about artistic expressions and enhances our ability to position ourselves critically towards such artistic expressions.

Author: Spyros Petritis 
Translator: Efrosini Protopapa