Postmodernism and visual culture LECTURE

 

POSTMODERNISM- define and describe visual culture since 70s, response to mass production, consumerism, identity, gender, modernity

MODERNISM- reject ‘ECLECTICISM’ (conceptual artists look back at past styles to give an educated artistic response) due to NEW AGE OF MACHINES AND TECHNOLOGY- reject national etc styles, claim to be international style of the future (‘brave new world’ improve human condition) believed new forms of expression for new age, new modern style based on ‘form follows function’. Break from tradition, value of novelty and originality, reject decoration

Utopian clothing- neutralise class, status and gender- no historical references

MODERNISTS- impose ideals on society, disregard for popular taste

THE GREAT DIVIDE- tension between HIGH CULTURE and POPULAR CULTURE (noted by ANDREAS HUYSSENS to be great divide)

POST-WAR CONSUMERISM & POP ART- consumer culture thought to be positive- employment income and purchase of power- POP ARTISTS acknowledged the power of consumerism within society- mass production

Value of commodities no longer dependent on labour needed to produce

VAN GOGH vs WARHOL- peasant shoes, hard work, tangible reality and random collection of dead objects

Disappointment with MODERNISM- particularly ‘failures’ in modern architecture

MODERNISM- design principles in BAUHAUS Germany 1930s, celebrate materials/technology, truth to materials, form follows function, simplicity

POSTMODERNISM- post WW2, question cultural values, high culture v popular culture, consumer society, historical motifs for new designs, complexity

METANARRATIVE- MODERNISM- e.g RELIGION, SCIENCE, CAPITALISM, MODERNISM- ‘absolute truths’

MARXISM- fair and equal distribution of wealth, dismantle bourgeoisie- revolution, example of metanarrative

MODERNISTS- each age one style- POSTMODERN- hybrid of style, collage recycle quotes parodies of old styles

POSTMODERN- ornate acceptable again, COMPLEXITY, CONTRADITION, AMBIGUITY replacing MODERNIST SIMPLICITY, RATIONALITY, PURITY

FINE ART AND ADVERTISING- encouraged to present multi-layered meaning to appeal to mass audience for diff levels of knowledge- GREAT DIVIDE CLOSING

GRAFFITI- LOW CULTURE, incorporated popular fashion branding

POSTMODERNISM and INTERTEXTUALITY- every piece response to other works, IMPLICIT OR EXPLICIT

PARODY- COPY with SATIRICAL impulse

PASTICHE- BLANK PARODY, lost humour, imitation of style, eg speech of dead language, NEUTRAL PRACTICE

BARBARA KRUGER- what we buy/consume that gives us identity- DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN 1985- wears Susans jacket and is mistaken for her

CINDY SHERMAN- takes on roles, same person different identity, never see real cindy Sherman, parodies self portrait, draw attention to fine art tradition of women being object

ADBUSTERS- Canadian group 1980s, change the way information flows, change corporations wield power, way meaning is produced in society- reworked familiar brands, draw attention to multinational corporations in America, critical of exploiting workers in poor countries

POSITIVE REACTIONS POSTMODERNISM- healthy variety, freedom of choice opposed to uniformity of MODERNIST, CROSS FERTILISATIONS of ideas, AMUSING, HIERARCHIES BROKEN DOWN

NEGATIVE REACTIONS POSTMODERNISM- unhealthy obsession with past and misunderstood past, SHALLOW AND SUPERFICIAL, STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE, sign of divided society incapable of producing consensus

IMPORTANCE OF MASS MEDIA POP CULTURE SHAPE SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS

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