Logic of Postmodern Art and the Deconstruction of Reason - Part One

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					Logic of Postmodern Art and the Deconstruction of Reason - Part One
Postmodernism which is self criticism of modernity and cultural
philosophy of capitalism owed much to Marxism to defy Marxism itself. I
have already written one article on Deluge and tried to establish the
fact that Postmodernism has nothing to do with people but to work for the
interest of capitalism. It does not assault on capitalism but provide
logic to it that how it can evolve itself more structured and more
cleverly that it could encapsulate the revolutionary intelligence in its
fold. And it can be seen in the postmodernist philosophy and art.
Postmodern aesthetics does not assault on capitalism but provides it the
clues of exploitation and makes it aware of the coming dangers. An artist
investigates violence in his or her media just to show that it can be
harmful to the system in which art is an aspect that plays a role. It
does not assault on the system that is responsible for the violence.
Postmodern art deceives the consciousness of art, its truthfulness and
responsibility to the people. Art is irresponsible say postmodernists.
Irresponsibility is derivative of autonomous and self promotion and is
being regarded as necessary evil for the progress. This all goes against
people at large; it's a culture of dominance and deceiving. Culture in
which people are no where, culture which is a tool for hegemonia claims
itself progressive! The Monopolistic hold on culture, which forbids
anything that can not be grasped, necessarily refers us back to what has
already been produced in the past claims itself progressive? Its
progressiveness is so wide that it retains everything non-progressive
from the past.
Postmodernists reject every art form that seeks any truth beyond the
relational truth of living world without thinking that it is because of
that one progresses. In arts it was applied and propagated. Suddenly
great modernists became non-progressives because they don't contribute in
the capitalist exploitation mechanism. So some other art form was needed
that could be usable as well as inspirational. Video art has all this
because it uses all the possible media in creating expressiveness;
expressiveness is what is needed.
Video art that is being spread and propagated as postmodern does nothing
but dilutes reality in a certain time frame. Fredric Jameson says, "Video
is temporal art, the most paradoxical appropriation of subjectivity
(subjectivity that wants freedom from obligations) are observable in the
experience of time itself." As fiction was invented by modern bourgeois
to propagate their comfort philosophy of life and to dilute the real life
problems so as video; there is very little difference in both. Like
fiction novels in video too there is fictitious element that sublimates
something and dilutes something, for which it has come into existence.
Jameson says, " fiction is what is in question here and it can be defined
essentially as the construction of just such fictive and foreshortened
temporalities which are then substituted for real time we are thereby
enabled momentarily to forget?"
Then there comes the validity of narrative encapsulating which it tries
to capture reality in fictive mode and translates it into a subjective
experience. This narrative was always in work against people as Marx has
identified and prophesized about its demise by itself (its non-
progressiveness amidst all its progressive talks). This is Marx who had
identified it first and tried to counter it with his dialectical
materialism. He emphasized on the deconstruction of its ideology which
has nothing humanitarian in true sense of the word. He himself blew
German ideology which was at that time ideology of ruling class.
Therefore, Narrative has to be understood because it's an art that
captures human freedom in a frame then exploits it for the greater
benefit of the exploiters. Deleuze's philosophy contains this kind of
trickery since he meters everything sublime from the angle of usability.
Thus Expression the most sublime aspect of humans becomes trickery and
subject to be exploited in evolution of capitalist mechanism. Adorno in
his book "culture industry" has demolished these kinds of exploitative
aesthetics and philosophy which is based on a pleasure principle that is
always a flight from the 'last remaining thought of resistance'.
Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering
even when it is shown. Postmodernism too could not transcend it because
by rejecting experience of pleasure in absolute sense it puts it in a
spatial presence beyond past history and future destiny. Deleuze calls it
schizophrenic experience (Heroic experience) which is very close to
Nietzschean concept of eternal return. Postmodern art follows this
aesthetics and tries to create this aesthetic experience through
documentary films, Video art, installation art, etc. Nothing has been
changed except positioning. This positioning of already existent and
invented truth in a new frame is interpreted as progressive and new but
in reality progress has not been made. Postmodern art is political -
aesthetical because it follows materialist aesthetics in which sublime is
considered from usability point of view. Almost every postmodern art has
one element that is to show its usability. Paintings are made for
advertisement industry; video art is made for film and TV industry. From
aesthetic point of view it shows its usefulness and very much sponsored
by industries. It has nothing aesthetical and sublime; a value which has
been considered profane and sacred to artist. Ammanuel Levinas attacks it
very strongly and it must be attacked because for it everything is a
commodity kind of thing in which there is a possibility to create
Bill Henson an Australian photographer artist by photographing child's
nude bodies and by recreating a fake child porn atmosphere as a subject
for his photography has shown us how far postmodern art can go. It has to
do business this is all concern of post modern art. There are some
galleries and artists involved in creating this kind of business
environment in the name of creativity and expression. if we consider it
as a form of the age we would say that the visual language of postmodern
art does not transcend Surrealism rather it's a return of surrealism; an
art form and aesthetic which was already rejected by great artists and
aestheticians and philosophers of the west. Walter Benjamin declared it
bourgeois poetic politics he wrote "for what is the program of the
bourgeois parties? A bad poem on spring time, filled to bursting with
metaphors. The socialist sees that 'finer future of our children and
grandchildren" in a society in which all act 'as if they were angels' and
anyone has as much 'as if he were rich' and every one lives 'as if he
were free'. Of angels, wealth, freedom, not a trace- these are mere
images. And stock imagery of these social-democratic associations?". By
this mockingly written lines Benjamin shatters these social-democratic
thieves poetic politics. Benjamin and after him Adorno have shown us that
how surrealism tried to dilute the real issues of life through their
poetic phantasm. History of art has shown us that how the great painter
Salvador Dali became dollar Dali by selling his spirit and concern to
millionaire ladies.
Postmodern art can be distinguished from surrealism from only one point
of view that it goes beyond textual and subjective and tries to form a
visual culture in which every possible form is embedded. In this visual
culture visual overpowers content and becomes content itself. Its
rejection of sublime of modernist art in which theory held it from behind
and linking of it to the current production mechanism thus becoming the
part and parcel of industrial production shows how far it can go. In
postmodern art aesthetics has loosed its autonomy. It is a death of art;
because it has diluted freedom and the spirit of art. In postmodern time
image has become a commodity hence to expect a negation of commodity
production from it is vain. It's a falsity to claim it a democratic art
form; it has nothing democratic. Fredric Jameson comments that "all
beauty today is meretricious and the appeal to it by contemporary pseudo-
aestheticism is an ideological manoeuvre and not a creative resource." At
least in modernism art was saved from commodification and in it a certain
freedom was enjoyed and at certain extent truth was sought after.
Postmodern art that is being declared a cultural propaganda of capitalism
is nothing else then a project set forth to capture and humiliate the
humanity. Antonio Negry's logic that in postmodern modern era society
would not be ruled and controlled with law and enforcement agencies but
by controlling of human's biological instincts is just one example of
postmodern anti-humanistic thought. The logic behind the rejection of
reason can be traced in it.
Author is an art critic and writer of three books ' contemporizing
Buddha', ' Hindu Tantra Yoga' and 'Concerning The Spiritual In Art-an
Indian modern art perspective'. He has been awarded with 'Lalit kala
Academy Scholarship Award' for art criticism in 2005. Currently working
on a book 'Buddhist tantra yoga'. He lives and works in Delhi India.

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