5
   

Are we at the height of postmodernism?

 
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Dec, 2008 04:43 pm
@spendius,
Can you explain that a bit more?
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:59 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I'll see what I can do Queenie. Tomorrow. I've been a bit busy. I know I should put you first but what with one thing and another, a bloke's work is never done, I sort of got waylaid. How could I forget you.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 07:03 pm
@spendius,
Anyway--it's Friday night and I expect you'll have other things on your mind. Just watch out for post-coital euphoria. That isn't post modern.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 10:44 am
Could we say that the notion of the c-list celebrity, or the reality tv show is really postmodern? As in, it promotes relative values- challenges instituted forms of stardom based upon talent, takes the piss out of celebrity using irony…
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 10:51 am
Are we at the height of postmodernism?

Given that "post-modernism" is an embarrassingly low cultural point, i am bemused to see a question about whether or not we have reached the "height."
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:28 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
You certainly could say that Queenie.

You could say those things take the piss out of the audience. Or you could say, as I would, that they psychoanalyse the audience and thus provide, through the agency of ratings, a guide to future devolopments in the field.

They search for the mass G-spot, which Christian thinking has had on the back burner, and that those who resist them are essentially neurotic.

Philippa Pullar in her beautiful book Consuming Passions, a must read for any educated person and a key to other interesting works, wrote-

Quote:
Since the desire for food was a necessary function and could not be ignored, many people tried to disguise it with different breeches. Some ---ladies especially---recognized eating as being a beastly, but necessary function of the body, like visiting the lavatory; a business to be endured as little as possible in public, and never discussed.
Quote:


She is also there alluding to sex. And opening the floodgates of food porn.

You might have noticed, if you view the genre you refer to carefully, that references, either direct or tangential, though not tangential enough to pass over the heads of the average Comprehensive school product, to those mundane aspects of our biology which we share with animals like pigs and dung beetles are a constant theme and that those references come thicker and faster as the commercial breaks approach in order to have the viewer more alert to receiving the important messages, many subliminal, which the latter contain.

If your tutors at The Slade have set you to a project along those lines it could be that they are looking for ways to escape the bind modern art is in which they can't admit without having the edifice demolished around their heads.

"Post-modernism" means nothing to me. It's just a buzz word.

Today, as I was a bit bored, I placed a small wager on the gold price. I bet it up at $898.5 at a quid a point with a stop loss function at $878.5 and $918.5. Which means I could only lose or win £20. I then sat back and watched the screen for a bit. Any up movement was coloured blue and any downward movement red. They flicked from one to the other by the second as trades around the world in gold were fed into the electronics at the speed of light and on each move a display shows me how my bet is doing. At one point I was £4.50 down and at another £1.40 up. It was a pretty quiet day today with no invasions, earthquakes and whatnot and I am now, 5 hours later, losing £1.38. Though it might have changed by the time you read this.

It is possible to engage in this futile activity on any share, commodity or currency values and, I wouldn't mind betting, unemployment, death rates and other such ephemera.

That's modern. I shudder to think what post-modern will look like.

Andy Warhol did say that money was the only art form now. Way back. And starting from a sick bed in a dirt poor shack he left close to a billion's worth of cash and assorted paraphernalia after he died from the residual after effects of close range gunshot wounds to the chest administered by a rabid feminist in his office. And some real primitive self-portraits.

I wouldn't put any of that in your project though because your tutor will pull your knickers down and smack your little bottie. You should humour your tutors.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:33 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Given that "post-modernism" is an embarrassingly low cultural point, i am bemused to see a question about whether or not we have reached the "height."


Very droll Set.

That epigram about the usefulness of a muck-cart at a wedding could not be more apt. It would probably take 20 years, assuming it could be done at all, to get your knowledge of art to the point where it might be possible to start teaching you anything about it.

Queenie is a student at The Slade. Not in a queue at your butcher's shop.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 03:25 pm
@spendius,
The Slade? Nice guess, but wrong. I'm somewhere much more postmodern than that, Spends. Emin, Hirst, Lucas, Riley...
And also, I know I talk about it a lot but I'm not doing art (although I did do art foundation). This post was just out of general interest really.

And thank you for your response-
Quote:
I shudder to think what post-modern will look like.

Tampons? Laundromats?

Hmm, anyway, you know I only just got that Warhol quote, after all the times you've quoted it at me. What an idiot I am. I always thought he stated that as some kind of weird fact, but obviously it was an critique of the art of the era. That guy was so ******* clever.

I do humour my tutors, to a certain extent.
You know, I'd like to say Postmodernism is a buzz word, (I mean I think Set has a strong point, really) but then I'd be placed in the same category as those who weren't ready for Picasso, Duchamp, anyone new etc. But then, if postmodernism is really an end of a linear progression in art, then I don't suppose this matters.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 04:22 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I thought you had said you were a Sladian. Crosswires I guess. Sorry.

Warhol's remark was a critique of society. And not a negative one. The art of hype. And a triumph of form over content. Society become less stratified.

I don't think Set had any point. We are what we are. There is no judgment. I don't feel embarrassed or that any cultural low point has been reached. Set is a snob looking down his nose. It makes him feel better.

A big football match is great art.

The architecture of the Gulf States and China is taking the dream further.

What are you studying then. Is it Brit Art? I assumed you had dropped music. What's your part time job?
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 04:37 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
if postmodernism is really an end of a linear progression in art, then I don't suppose this matters


Most forms of postmodernism are built on the realization that there never was a linear progression in art to begin with; or, if there was, that it is no longer terribly important. It's one of the few ways, I think, in which postmodernism is actually different from modernism rather than an extension of it.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:52 pm
@Shapeless,
A gallery of empty canvases do you mean? The empty centre.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:59 pm
@spendius,
No it's ok, I probably mentioned interest in The Slade when I still hadn't made up my mind what to do... I haven't dropped music, it's just this year I'm not doing performance, (although still keeping it up.) I'm mainly doing composition and cultural analysis/aesthetics.

I have two jobs. One serving fat-cats champagne, another as a piano teacher. The second earns more money, but the 1st grants me access to a load of places i'd never get to see otherwise.

What do you think about the triumph of form over content?

What do you think about sport in relation to culture as opposed to art in relation to culture?

I agree we are what we are. Maybe 'postmodernism' made this more obvious...


The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 06:01 pm
@Shapeless,
What do you mean there was never a linear progression?
What about Varese's comment about the 'chains of revolutionaries?'

I think it was more the realisation that it could not go on indefinitely... but you know a lot more than I do.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 06:23 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
What do you mean there was never a linear progression?


I mean just that: there was never a linear progression. What there has been are certain narratives of history that have been privileged over others, and whose artworks are therefore more canonical than others. But any doubts about whether one can find a linear progression in art can easily be allayed by comparing music's academic canon (since you mentioned Varèse) with its performing canon--i.e. the music you read about in textbooks versus the music that gets performed in concert halls. The farther you get into the twentieth century, the less those two canons overlap. Both institutions have been following different paths for the last century, which puts the lie to the notion of one "linear" narrative.

Don't get me wrong: many artists believed there was one (and should be one). The "progress" model of history, which general historians discredited a long time ago, has taken a long time to die in the historiography of the arts. It's the model that once made atonal music look like an historical necessity and rendered tonality obsolete. But everyone knows atonality never killed tonality, just as abstract art never killed representational art, just as free verse never killed formal verse, just as progressive values never killed conservative values, and so on. The two have always existed side by side. "Linear progressions" can be posited only by plucking one narrative from many and treating it as the standard. As you mentioned, postmodern art has tended to blur the lines between different categories, which while producing dubious results in actual artworks has had the laudable effect of discrediting the progress narrative of history.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 06:25 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
(although still keeping it up.)


You told us that already Queenie.

Quote:
What do you think about the triumph of form over content?


Well- content has been wrung out. So there's only form left. As in evolution there are endless fascinating possibilities. For example --my mate Vic has two daughters. ( I know- I do pray for him.) The youngest has been living with a bloke for 8 years. They own a house, or at least in partnership with a bank, which is a branch of government now. They have two kids of 4 and 5 years, ( I pray for them too.) Anyway--she has announced, out of the blue that they are to be joined together in holy wedlock. In Turkey. She has invited her relatives. 16 of which have so far accepted. Vic is divorced from the dragon matriarch who lives now with a right wassock who is on invalidity benefit. Obviously Vic has been invited and he asked my advice what he should do. I suggested he have her sectioned under the Mental Health Act or that she voluntarily checks into a clinic to have her head straightened out.

But I'll admit that her control freakery is a species of post-modernist performance art at the grass roots. The relief of boredom.

I would want ten grand for a week in ******* Turkey and this silly bunch of cuntilevered ego freaks are shelling out to go.

Quote:
What do you think about sport in relation to culture as opposed to art in relation to culture?


The former is funded by the free choice of millions. The latter by a conspiracy of thieving wankers swigging free wine and shagging each other.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 06:54 pm
@Shapeless,
Quote:
What there has been are certain narratives of history that have been privileged over others, and whose artworks are therefore more canonical than others.


I'm guessing you mean patriarchal narratives.

There's certainly a linear progression in techniques. One could hardly have managed some American art without cheap decorator's paint and a bicycle or oxy-acetelyne kits or electronic amplification. And economic surpluses are a factor too. Think of Hurst without formadlehyde. Pericles wouldn't have bothered with that I think. I can't imagine La Boheme, as we will see it next week live on telly, before heaving diva's bosoms and modern stage craft were invented. Who wants music in books?

You might think, Shapely, of changing "progress" to "destined direction". There is no discrediting of destined direction. Nobody really knows what "progress" means.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 07:22 pm
@spendius,
Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind. It goes without saying that certain artworks or techniques followed from predecessors, but that can be true without espousing an "evolutionary" model of stylistic development. It's the model that makes us still characterize monophonic medieval chant as a "simpler" form that begat the more complex instrumental music that followed it, and that the former was the necessary embryo from which the latter "grew"--even though the most cursory historical investigation shows that non-monophonic instrumental music existed alongside medieval chant all along, existing on very different paths rather than on a neat evolutionary chain.

I used the word "progress" because that is exactly the word that composers (for example) used. It is the word Schoenberg used in his essay "Brahms the Progressive," in which he (Schoenberg) claimed precedence in the Great Masters of the past, implying that Brahms's example led in only one historically legitimate direction (namely, to atonality). That essay has inadvertently served as the model of academic musical historiography for most of the twentieth century, which has helped to perpetuate the myth of "progress."
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 08:37 am
@Shapeless,
My ignorance then comes from having been taught Modernism by a succession of works in chronological order, and then Postmodernism as a set of interlinking themes.
It was more the attitude that formed the linear narrative... it's just I have never been aware of works that did not fall into that narrative, since they've been somewhat ignored.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 11:08 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
As a performer, PQ, I'm sure you were aware on some level that there were a few composers that the modernist narrative leaves out: Puccini (despite being the composer of the only 20th-century Italian operas in the active repertory), Rachmaninoff, Britten, etc. These names will sometimes be given a perfunctory nod in music history textbooks, but only as exceptions to the rule. They are not seen as innovators, and so they are not considered modernists. It's not a coincidence that two of these three composers I've just named were opera specialists: opera in general has not fared very well in the academic canon. In fact, the only time I ever encountered Britten in college was for The Turn of the Screw... and we didn't even listen to any singing! What the professor cared about was the silly tone row (a glorified circle of fifths) in one of the interludes. That says a lot about the modernist narrative.

You're right that postmodernism lends itself more to "interlinking themes," but that is only because postmodernists have been more receptive to such a thing. Interlinking (as well as unlinked) themes have been there the whole time. Composers who have straddled both lines are rarely recognized for having done so. Hindemith, who wrote 16 operas, is considered historically important only for his highfalutin notions of Gebrauchsmusik, a term he himself renounced after a few years. The narrative has even affected the way we've canonized pre-20th century composers. Reading the standard textbooks, you'd never guess that Haydn, "The Father of Symphony," wrote more operas than Mozart did.

I understand that historians and teachers have to be selective about what they present for practical reasons, but it's only been recently that we've begun to look at what their selection criteria have been and started to care about what they leave out.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 02:36 pm
@Shapeless,
As I understand PMism it is a movement which rejects the institutionalised framework which defines what is within the frame as special and valuable. Such assertions, made by a self selecting bunch of approved persons, are intended to separate their mysteriously chosen objects from all the other objects in our culture.

But when the "gallery" applies a price tag to its chosen exhibits it removes that separation from the other objects in the culture. Mops or brake pads say. Or chewing gum.

It is the institutional declaration of the uniqueness and specialness of its chosen objects which gives these esoteric objects their value. If an ordinary mundane object is chosen to be "framed" by the mutual appreciation society, which includes favoured critics, a pile of bricks say, it becomes valuable per se . PMism questions the legitimacy of this elite to bestow value on objects simply by choosing to do so because it is anti-art and, human nature being no different in these respects in thieves' kitchens or dinner parties and receptions, corruption is inevitable.

The classic case I know of is when the Guggenheim Museum prevented Haacke's "Real Time Social Systems" being in one of their exhibitions. (1971).

It was alleged to trace the connections between some Guggenheim trustees and badly maintained slum tenement ownership and thus called into doubt the respectability of those members. Haacke's work met the same fate with the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne because it traced a link of a board member to the Nazi party through previous ownership of a picture they exhibited.

PMism challenges any sort of bureaucratic control over art.

Modernism challenged "patron" art because it was made to legitimise the existing power structures. It challenged accepted concepts of beauty in pictures like Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and it was content to leave surface representation to photography. Cubism sought to represent the geometrical arrangements that scientists were discovering in matter at the molecular level. The female nude became lumps of flesh and threatening. Representation of underlying reality was sought.

But basically a response to photography.

There was an incident similar to the Haacke one when it was realised that a tapestry copy of Geurnica was hanging on the wall behind Mr Colin Powell when he was speaking in favour of the Iraq war at the United Nations. The tapestry was covered over with a blue cloth and some pretty flower arrangements.

As with football and rock and roll formal training is out of court. When Bob Dylan was asked if he played golf he replied that he didn't because he had heard you had to have lessons. Right there is the difference. Bankers have lessons but the Wall Street wizards play it with brains. No contest eh?

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/15/2021 at 06:45:02