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Transcript of Postmodern Pluralism
"In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes" - Warhol Postcolonialism: a specifically postmodern intellectual discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialism philosophers :ideas & faces
Ferdinand De Saussure:
(1926-1984) Julia Kristeva(1941- ) Jacques Derrida
(1930-2004) Gilles Deleuze
Felix Guattari (1930-1992) Jean Francois Lyotard
(1924-1998) Jean Baudrillard(1929- ) Fredric Jameson
(1934- ) Theorist that dealt with the specific theories of human language.
Language is limited by the context in which it is spoken in, and thought is limited by the language that the thought is concieved in. "Death of the Author"
meaning must be translated purely in a cognitive format, without the author's intent influencing the viewer.
favored photography, because the author was removed from the work, reframed-reality
Desire drives the world.
One must recognize the desire in viewing experience.
listen, read, & interpret the art object, not the author's intent.
Most influential poststructuralist philosopher.
Deconstructionist critic: understanding and misunderstanding are part of eachother
meaning for things didn't exist before language. Rejects rationalism, yet maintains an optimism towards dynamic human creativity and it's positive effect on society. joined forces with Deleuze
rejected realism, embraced ambiguity, impermanence, contradiction, nonidentity He thought that there existed a gap between experience and language
Art symbolises the and brings realization to the gap between the two. meaning has shifted from author to viewer
Abjection: focus on cultural taboos and defiled subject matter as a way to keep society on a neat pathway, Kristeva wants those princples questioned & rejected. Wanted to reinstate certain culture restraints that had been eliminated by the postmodern movement, putting objects back into a framework of design and understanding instead of allowing for free form association and critique. sign systems in the Media-Age have taken on a status of hyperreality, resulting in disengaged humanity. Richard Rorty
(1931- ) vocabulary is a tool
nothing can have truth value, only a level of effectiveness in a chosen meaning.
reconfiguring language has the potential to change society. Focused on the ambiguity of language
Using philosophy to build up the "self"
Text -> Text vs Text -> Reality
Focus on surrealism, permeating the higher reality Cindy Sherman: Lorna Simpson: photographs with words photographs Paul McCarthy: Performances, Videos and Sculptures Most of her works are photos, but considers self mainly a performance artist. Lives in NY, typically uses self as subject in various guises—idea of “no self” to be photographed.
Protesting against idea of “one self per person”
Connection to philosophies—photographs are texts that produce mythology. Characters are signifiers; neither the roles she plays nor the actresses she assumes are freestanding. Asserts “femininity” is a construct rather than innate or natural. Large black and white photographs accompanied by words. Typically show African-American woman in white, faces not shown. critics say:
work is a “language of stereotypes…sees clearly and precisely how prevailing cultural stereotypes operate against one’s sense of individuality, choice and freedom. Examines how our daily lives are structured by words and pictures”
draws on Foucault’s assertion that societies impose social control over the body, including by surveillance to say Simpson resists representations of black female bodies as debased spectacles—clothes models, not displayed for viewers pleasure or mastery, by not showing faces Simpson mirrors society’s refusal to know black women as individuals, uses fragments of bodies to discuss vulnerability and domination, indicate limits of representation of black women’s experience. “Deconstructing” language in works- says words are inadequate, they fall short and don’t really describe. Studied works of black writers, they said things in silence. Informed by “identity”, “the other” and especially “difference”
Whiteness is a signifier for power American based artist in LA. Uses strange media—food standing in for human bodily fluids. Makes drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, films, videos, sculptural installations and performances. Lately, projects are films of himself and sculptures, usually large and inflatable. critics on McCarthy:
“shocked not only at how abject and totally sicko his art can be, but at how few people seemed offended by it, and how many appeared mesmerized”
retrospective, compares McCarthy’s method to C.Sherman in assuming different guises and roles to explore myths and stereotypes in American popular culture. McCarthy’s work relies on actual or implied narratives as a first level of content which he uses to explore 4 main issues in his works 1. Perception/illusion 2. Fusion of body, architecture and object 3. Violating boundaries and inverting polarities ie inside/outside, animate/inanimate, male/female, real/virtual, natural/artificial 4. Use of repetitive, obsessive, expressive actions McCarthy says: "I have no use in conventional language, only when it is an appropriation to illustrate something else. Language is architecture an institution for repression. I/we can’t talk seriously.”
Postmodern Pluralism and Artists: offers artists freedom of subjects and styles without fear of retribution from a narrow critical community. Figurative painting has returned, narratives have a newfound legitimacy, and overtly politically based art is rampant—and all is accepted, shown, sold and collected.
Postmodern Pluralism and Artworks: many postmodern works of art are intentionally made to trouble notions of beauty. “The self” willingly or unwillingly becomes aware of “the other” and “difference” and what is “good”. PoMo ideas can be devastating to long-held ways of viewing the self, the other, the world and truth. Critics and historians determine what is “good art”
Postmodern Pluralism and Audiences: greater variety of artworks, will find things to appreciate and also to find odd, strange, disgusting or not what they consider “art”. Have to learn/accept that all art is more or less theory dependent. conclusion: