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					 POSTMODERNISM




Rene Magritte, The Treachery of Images
        The (Post)Modern Crisis
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

 William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming (1920)
     Modernism and Postmodernism

●   Both styles are FORMALIST: as
    much concerned with how a story is
    told, as the story itself. Both feature
    fragmentation, self-referentiality,
    irony, doubling and pastiche.
     Modernism and Postmodernism

●   Postmodernism has many different
    definitions, depending on which art
    is being discussed. Pomo is
    different in architecture, for
    instance, than it is in film.
            POSTMODERNISM

Postmodernism: unlike Modernism, Postmodernism
starts from the assumption that grand utopias are
impossible. It accepts that reality is fragmented and
that personal identity is an unstable quantity
transmitted by a variety of cultural factors.
Postmodernism advocates an irreverent, playful
treatment of one's own identity, and a liberal society.
                                  http://www.ffotogallery.org/th-edu/glossary.htm
                  POSTMODERNISM
Some features of postmodern styles:
Nostalgia and retro styles, recycling earlier genres and styles in new
contexts (film/TV genres, images, typography, colors, clothing and
hair styles, advertising images)
"...the disappearance of a sense of history, the way in which our
entire contemporary social system has little by little begun to lose its
capacity to retain its own past, has begun to live in a perpetual
present and in a perpetual change that obliterates traditions of the
kind which all earlier social formations have had in one way or
another to preserve... The information function of the media would
thus be to help us to forget, to serve as the very agents and
mechanisms of our historical amnesia" (Jameson).
Culture on Fast Forward: Time and history replaced by speed,
futureness, accelerated obsolescence.
 TRADITIONAL                 POSTMODERN

    ENCLOSED                  OPEN
UNSELFREFERENTIAL        SELFREFERENTIAL
UNSELFCONSCIOUS           SELFCONSCIOUS
 BELIEF IN VALUES       DISBELIEF IN VALUES
     (SINCERE)                 (IRONIC)
SINGLE NARRATIVE       MULTIPLE NARRATIVES
   (“Single Coding”)       ("Double Coding")


   (Pretends to be)
     OBJECTIVE              SUBJECTIVE
                    TRADITIONAL         POSTMODERN
                     (REALIST)
                                      NO REALITY, ONLY
     SIMULACRA         REALITY      PERCEPTIONS, COPIES
[JEAN BEAUDRILLARD]                     (SIMULACRA)


                    SUSPENSION OF    NO SUSPENSION OF
 Paris, Las Vegas     DISBELIEF          DISBELIEF

                                      PAST AND PRESENT
                      HISTORY
                                            SAME

                    INDIVIDUALISM      MASS-PRODUCED
                                        INDIVIDUALISM
                                    (“These jeans are you!”)
        REALIST                    POSTMODERN
         ACTUAL                       VIRTUAL
Distinction between “High       No distinction: all views
 Art” and “Low Art”             equally valid (and invalid)
Celine Dion, Rolling Stones,   David Bowie, rap, hip-hop,
            etc.                  Madonna, Eminem
        CBS News                    The Daily Show
   King of the Hill, Lost      The Simpsons, Family Guy
     Drew Carey Show               Drew Carey Show
 Sound of Music, LOTR            Adaptation, American
                                    Beauty, Scream
                  TRADITIONAL
At best: Meaningful, engrossing, moving

         At worst: Deceptive, sentimental




              POSTMODERN
           At best: Playful, curious,
                   startling

     At worst: Detached, nihilistic, sexist,
                 despairing,
             homophobic, racist
                     Double Coding: Film
●Knight's Tale: Medieval setting, Queen's We Will Rock You song
●Moulin Rouge: Victorian Paris setting, Smells Like Teen Spirit song

●Run Lola Run, Sliding Doors: Playing with different possible scenarios

●Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich:

Reality is fragmented, memory unreliable, past and present indistinguishable,
identity uncertain
●Shrek: Princess fights like martial-artist, cross-references to Disney
                    Double Coding




                                      Britney: Both Innocent and
                                          Not That Innocent

Madonna: Both Virgin and Not-Virgin
                                  Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory




Matt Groening,
The Persistence of the Simpsons
Yo Mama's Last Supper
     Renee Cox (1996)
                       Postmodernism




         Andy Warhol,
Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan), 1985   Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup, 1968
                     Postmodernism




Roy Lichtenstein, Untitled, 1968




                                   Charles Ray, Untitled, 1991
          The Self-Referential Text
But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
                   -- Shakespeare, Henry V
 Self-Referentiality


   Lisa: “Don’t worry, Bart. It seems like every
week something odd happens to the Simpsons.
My advice is to ride it out, make the occasional
smart-aleck quip, and by next week, we’ll be back
to where we started from, ready for another
wacky adventure.”
                   “Homer Loves Flanders,” The Simpsons
 Self-Referentiality




   Seinfeld: A sitcom in which nothing happens,
about a man named Jerry Seinfeld, played by
Jerry Seinfeld, who writes a sitcom in which
nothing happens.
The Postmodern Hero




       Postmodern heroes in
          realist narratives
                              Double-Coding
                               (Doubling)
●   Double-coding is the practice of creating a work of art
    that speaks to two different audiences in different ways.
●    For example, Animaniacs, Shrek, Toy Story and the
    classic Bugs Bunny cartoons are double-coded - they
    have many references that a child won’t get but will
    amuse an adult.
               Double-Coding (Doubling)

●   Other examples are
    things such as hip-
    hop, which will use
    an old song as the
    basis for the new
    one, and the Sprite
    ad showing an
    athlete who both
    sells the product,
    and pops up top
    deny selling the
    product.
                               Geico Tiny House ad
                      Pastiche
●   Can mean either a (satirical)
    imitation of another work, or a
    “hodge-podge” of different styles
    all thrown together in one work.
●   Family Guy is often a pastiche of
    other TV, film and musical
    genres or specific work, to the
    extent that any given episode
    may have no other meaning.
  Pastiche

Richard
Hamilton,
"Just What Is
It That Makes
Today's
Home So
Different, So
Appealing?”
1956
                              Kitsch
         …theorists…have… linked kitsch to
   totalitarianism. The Czech writer Milan Kundera, in
   his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984),
   defined it as “the absolute denial of shit.” His
   argument was that kitsch functions by excluding
   from view everything that humans find difficult to
   come to terms with, offering instead a sanitised view
   of the world in which “all answers are given in
   advance and preclude any questions.”

         In its desire to paper over the complexities and
   contradictions of real life, kitsch, Kundera
   suggested, is intimately linked with totalitarianism.
   In a healthy democracy, diverse interest groups
   compete and negotiate with one another to produce
   a generally acceptable consensus; by contrast,
   “everything that infringes on kitsch,” including
   individualism, doubt, and irony, “must be banished
   for life” in order for kitsch to survive. Therefore,
   Kundera wrote, “Whenever a single political
   movement corners power we find ourselves in the
   realm of totalitarian kitsch.”
(wikipedia.org)
Kitsch




         Margaret Keane, Wistful, 1978
Margaret Keane
Kitsch
Anne Geddes (1956-)   Kitsch
  Kitsch




LOL Cats
Collectible Plates
“Collectible”
 Figurines
                      Kitsch: Jeff Koons




                                         Jeff Koons, Michael and Bubbles, 1988
                                                Sold for $5.6m in 1991.
Jeff Koons, Ushering in Banality, 1988
                 Kitsch: Jeff Koons




Jeff Koons, Elvis, 2003   Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994-2000
                     Kitsch: Jeff Koons




Jeff Koons, Pink Panther, 1988    Jeff Koons, Puppy, 2000
       Sold for $1.8m
Kitsch: Thomas Kinkade




      Thomas Kinkade, Lamplight Lane, 1999
 Mark
 Ryden




Sophia's
Mercurial
Waters
 Mark
 Ryden




Buffy the
Vampire
Slayer
Mark
Ryden




The Meat
Train
              Mark
              Ryden




Inside Susan (1997)
               Mark
               Ryden




Saint Barbie
“Disneyland exists in order to hide that it is the "real" country, all of "real" America that is
 Disneyland.... Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the
 rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer
           real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation.”
                      Jean Baudrillard-- Simulacra and Simulation p. 12-13




                                                                               Epcot Center

				
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