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Defining postmodernism is notoriously difficult but, for the sake of this essay, I will focus on three of the main proponents of the movement: Jean-François Lyotard, Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard, and their texts The Postmodern Condition, The Death of the Author and respectively. I aim to show how their theories were adopted and applied to criticism of the visual arts during the late 70s and early 80s, in this case to ’s collection of photographs: Untitled Film Stills.
Postmodernism in art essay - Shikshitbhartiya
Many of the essays pinpoint the stagnancy of teaching methods today and discuss the reductive parameters enforced by the current curriculum. The radical tone that echoes through the entire series of papers is unmistakable. Throughout the book, postmodern theory informs the polemical debate concerning new directions in educative practice. Contributors shed new light on a postmodern view of art in education with emphasis upon difference, plurality and independence of mind. Ultimately, the paper provides a detailed insight into the various concepts that shape and drive the contemporary art world and expands the debate regarding the impression of postmodern thinking in art education.
"High culture" is a term used to describe traditional fine arts, such as painting and sculpture. The term is commonly employed by the art critic to evoke class, quality, and authenticity. It is also used to distinguish types of art media and disciplines from the "low," "kitsch," or popular culture of mass-produced commodities, magazines, television, and pulp fiction that took America by storm in the post-war consumerist boom. In his definitive essay 'Avant-Garde and Kitsch,' Clement Greenberg warned the modernist avant-garde against association with what he considered philistine outpourings. Greenberg proposed instead that artists' concerns should be reserved for an art that could transform society. The postmodernists, in response, embraced the "popular" wholeheartedly and made it central to their work. Pop artists recreated the mundane objects of consumerism, but used humor and irony to transform these into gigantic soft forms (Claes Oldenburg) or into cultural icons (Andy Warhol) while the Minimalists used industrial materials to create repetitive forms reminiscent of the industrial production line. The "popular" emerged as both the subject and the medium for many artists and commercialism was embraced. This focus on "low" culture stretched the definition of art, while also providing social critique.The counterpart, then, to the familiar post-industrial and postmodern visions of social reproduction founded on service labour, the creative industries and the fashioning of consumer experiences in the advanced societies of the North has been the ebbing visibility of material production over the last thirty to forty years in those same countries. While commodity chains have proliferated exponentially, their links have become both more numerous and more fragile as a result of such trends as the dissociation of brand ownership from factory ownership, and the relocation of factory work to ad hoc, clandestine Export Processing Zones in the global South as well as subterranean sweatshops in the North. One significant consequence of this has been the expansion of an ever larger industrial labour pool for capital’s ever more itinerant hand to grasp, and the rapid growth of a global reserve army of labour; an underpaid ‘precariat’ whose insecurity is the flipside to the cherished autonomy of the cosmopolitan freelancer. Art historian Benjamin Buchloh, in an extensive essay that appends the Fish Story publication, has observed the historical collusion of visual culture in this scheme, remarking that: