Sunday, January 31, 2010
The term Postmoderism came into general speech in the 1970’s. It has been defined by critic Howard Risatti as a movement that “insisted on the impure, on the mixing and matching of...qualities as well as forms, styles and materials.”(1) The development of Postmodernism can be seen as a backlash against the subjectivity, purity, and detachment of Modernism. With the rising social discontent caused by the Vietnam war and the cultural revolution spurred on by multiple human rights movments, Modernism's perceived detachment from the cultural turmoil taking place left artists feeling dissatisfied. Postmodern artists lost some of the supreme idealism of their Modernist brethren, and as a result work produced during the mid 70's and onwards was generally more narrative, concerned with contemporary events and distinctly political in its scope. In this same vein, a key defining point of Postmodernism has been the overt criticism of any accepted social doctrine. The Guerilla Girls provide salient examples of this type of narrative criticism.
Postmodernism followed in the footsteps of the dadaists and Duchamp; postmodern artists were concerned with creating a more cross-disciplinary approach to making, which resulted in a movement that was more democratic in its scope. Unlike Modernism, Postmodernists did not seek to create a universal style, or try to find a visual language that spoke for everyone. Instead, they embraced their cultural and historical limitations, using these situational certainties to attack such loaded political subjects as sexual orientation, gender discrimination, racial tensions and American foreign policy. This resulted in a proliferations of different genres of Postmodernist art work such as Feminist Art, Body Art, and Land Art. There is some debate regarding whether we have left the era of Postmodernism; this is certainly a possibility, yet it begets the question that if we have in fact left Postmodernism behind, what doctrine do we now follow?
a proliferations of different genres of Postmodernist art work such as Feminist Art, Body Art, and Land Art. There is some debate regarding whether we have left the era of Postmodernism; this is certainly a possibility, yet it begets the question that if we have in fact left Postmodernism behind, what doctrine do we now follow?
1. Howard Risatti, “Metaphysical Implications of Function, Material, and Technique in Craft”. 33
Some Postmodern Artists
Some Postmodern Critics/Art Historians
Jorge Luis Borges
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The increased emphasis on communication technology as well as an increasing awareness of the finite nature of our natural resources seem to present themselves as some of the most significant changes in our collective cultural consciousness within the last decade. The rise of the Slow Movement in Britain and the subsequent growth of the DIY (do -it-yourself) movements, while drawing from the historical precedent of the Arts and Crafts movement and the political content of the Postmodern period, are unique to the last decade in their current form. Growing dissatisfaction with the sterility of the public environment has caused many artists to take on public art projects in order to reclaim public space. Graffiti, site specific sculpture, public art and DIY all fall under the scope of the larger movement I will call Community Reclamation Projects.