Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The post-modern condition is characterised by: exhaustion, pluralism, pessimism, disillusionment with the idea of absolute knowledge.
MODERNISM: expression of modern life, technology, new materials, communication.
POST MODERNISM: reaction to modern life, technology, new materials, communication.

According to Charles Jencks modernism died on the 15th July 1972 at 3:32 pm.  Starting with the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe development, st. Louis-symbolises the death of the modernist dream.
POST MODERNISM:the only rule is that there is no rule!
Starts as a critique of the international style, ideas developed by Charles Jencks 1977
Park Hill (Sheffield) opitimised everything that was wrong with modernism.

Examples of post modern art:
James Stirling - Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany 1977

Post-modernism- trying to do opposite of modernism, rebels to the principles modernism layed down.

-J F Lyotard 'The Post Modern Condition' (1929)
incredulity towards metanarratives.  Metanarratives= totalising belief system
RESULTS: Crisis in confidence - anxiety about where the world is going.

MODERN MOVEMENT: (dominant post war)
-utopian ideals, truth to materials, simplified aesthetics

ROBERT VENTURI (1972) Las Vegas- post modern city:  A freedom to let styles clash, found liberating, post modern artists could learn a lot from Las Vegas.  'I like elements which are hybrid rather than 'pure', compromising rather than 'clean', distorted rather than 'straight-forward', ambiguous rather than 'articulated', perverse as well as impersonal...' from Jencks, C & Kropf, K (1977 Ed)

Andy Warhol-Marilyn Monroe diptych (1962) a meditation/comment on the way society makes stars.
marshall mcluhan- Advertising is the greatest form of modern art., art increasingly turns to advertising.

CRISIS IN CONFIDENCE: but also freedom, new possibilities, questioning old limitations: women, sexual diversity and multicultural.
Jamie Reid:Sex Pistols,punk design, distinctly post modern attitude.
An inconclusion:
A vague disputed term, post-modernist attitude of questioning conventions post modernist aesthetic multiplicity of styles and approach.
-Shift in thought and theory, investigating 'crisis in confidence' -space for new voices.

in conclusion: 
• A vague disputed term

• Po-Mo attitude of questioning conventions (esp. Modernism)
• Po-Mo aesthetic = multiplicity of styles & approaches
• Shift in thought & theory investigating ‘crisis in confidence’ Eg. Lyotard
• Space for ‘new voices’
• Rejection of technological determinism? 

• Initially born out of optimism, an aspirational
reaction to World War 1, with a view to harnessing technology to improve people’s lives
• Ends up doctrinaire, almost blind obedience to rules, above all
–Form Follows Function 
some overlap
Modernism: Expression of:  Modern life /Technology / New Materials / Communication [Modernity]
Postmodernism: Reaction to:  Modern life /Technology / New Materials / Communication [Postmodernity] 

1917 - German writer Rudolph Pannwitz, spoke of ‘nihilistic, amoral,
postmodern men’
1964 - Leslie Fielder described a ‘post’ culture, which rejected the elitist values
of Modern Culture 
1960s beginnings
1970s established as term (Jencks)
1980s recognisable style
1980s & 90s dominant theoretical discourse
Today: Tired & simmering 

• after modernism
• the historical era following the modern• contra modernism• equivalent to ‘late capitalism’(Jameson) • artistic and stylistic eclecticism
• ‘global village’ phenomena: globalization of cultures, races, images, capital, products 
• Postmodernism has an attitude of questioning conventions (especially those set out by Modernism)
• Postmodern aesthetic = multiplicity of styles & approaches
• Space for ‘new voices’ 

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