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VISA1006 WK10 Postmodernism

In the 1980s, culture seemed to be spent - everything had been done; but then at the end of the 1980s the postmodern crisis came to a head.

Kit Messham-Muir

on 4 October 2017

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Transcript of VISA1006 WK10 Postmodernism

Look at these two art works, and in groups of two-to-four students, consider the following questions:

What has Sherrie Levine done with this work? And how does this compare to what Walker Evans did with his work?

What statements might Levine be making by rephotographing an earlier image by Walker Evans?

Is Levine's work a 'readymade' like Duchamp's Fountain 1917, or it is something else?

Would Levine's work have been possible in 1936? How might it have been received at that time? What was different about 1981 that 'enabled' this work to be considered a legitime work of art?
Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981
Walker Evans, Sharecropper's Wife, 1936
Sherrie Levine
Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimus, 1950-51
Richard Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, 1956
The Postmodern Crisis
[The] death of ideologies (Lyotard); of industrial society (Bell); of the real; (Baudrillard); of authorship (Barthes); of man (Foucault); of history (Kojeve) and of course, of modernism (all of us when we use the word post-modern).

Yves-Alain Bois “Painting: The Task of Mourning”, Endgame: reference and simulation in recent painting and sculpture: September 25-November 30, 1986, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1986) 29
Sherrie Levine Check No. 2, 1986
...are about death in a way: the uneasy death of modernism.

Sherrie Levine Sherrie Levine, quoted in ves-Alain Bois “Painting: The Task of Mourning”, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press (1986)
Imants Tillers,
The Nine Shots, 1985
Matthys Gerber, The Origin of the Earth, 1992
the underbelly of modernist art - painting after modernism.

Matthys Gerber
“Hot Market”,
Rolling Stone (1992), #473, 56
Richard Prince
Richard Prince, Untitled (cowboy), 1989
Richard Prince, Untitled (cowboy), 1996-2002
Jeff Koons
Richard Prince, Untitled (three women looking in the same direction), 1980
Richard Prince, Untitled (girlfriend), 1993
Richard Prince, Untitled (Jokes), 2006
Richard Prince, Untitled (Jokes), 2000
David Salle
Patrick Cariou, from 'Yes Rasta' series, 2000
What were Mr. Prince’s intentions in re-using the Rastafarian pictures taken by the French photographer Patrick Cariou and why did he choose them? For the sake of parody? For criticism? Or did he just pick something that inspired him, for reasons as difficult to plumb as any those of many postmodern artists?

Randy Kennedy,
'Apropos Appropriation',
The New York Times,
28 December 2011
Richard Prince, from 'Canal Zone' series, 2008
Patrick Cariou, from 'Yes Rasta' series, 2000
Richard Prince, Untitled (Jokes), 1989
Sherrie Levine, After Duchamp, 1991
Kim Ryrie and Peter Vogel with the Fairlight CMI
Mellotron 1962
Fairlight CMI 1979
Yellow Magic Orchestra,
Jean Michel Jarre, Zoolook, 1984
Jeff Koons' Rabbit
in the 2007
Day Parade,
New York
Jeff Koons,
Rabbit, 1986
Jeff Koons,
BMW Art Car,
Jeff Koons, Puppy, 1992
Jeff Koons, Winter Bears, 1988
Jean Baudrillard
The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it.

Jean Baudrillard,
Precession of the Simulacrum, trans. Paul Foss and Paul Patton, Art & Text #11 (1983) 3
If any symptoms can be 'produced' and can no longer be accepted as fact of nature, then every illness may be considered as simulatable and simulated, and medicine loses its meaning since it only knows how to treat 'true' illnesses by their objective causes.

Jean Baudrillard,
Precession of the Simulacrum,
trans. Paul Foss and Paul Patton, Art & Text #11 (1983) 4
Fredric Jameson
The world is filled to suffocating. Man has placed his token on every stone. Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged. And we note that the picture is but a space in which a variety of images, not of them original, blend and clash. A picture is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of culture... We can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original. Succeeding the painter, plagiarist no longer bears within him passions, humors, feelings, impressions, but rather this immense encyclopedia from which he draws. The viewer is the tablet on which all quotations that make a painting are inscribed without any of them being lost. A painting's meaning lies not in its origin, but in its destination. The birth of the viewer must be at the cost of the painter.

Sherrie Levine, 'Five Comments' (1982), Blasted Allegories: An anthology of artists' writings, Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press (1987) 92-93
Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans, 1981
Andy Warhol, Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980
Vincent Van Gogh, A Pair of Boots, 1887
The waning of affect
Greed is Good
greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

Gordon Gekko, Wall Street, Directed by Oliver Stone, 1987
David Salle, Tragedy, 1995
1980s Fashion
David Salle, Demonic Roland, 1987
David Salle, Sextant in Dogtown, 1987
David Salle, Satori Three Inches Within Your Heart, 1988
Cindy Sherman, Untitled (film still) #21, 1978
Cindy Sherman, Untitled (film still) #13, 1978
Cindy Sherman, Untitled (film still) #54, 1978
Thomas Ruff
Thomas Ruff, R. Huber, 1988
Thomas Ruff, Woman Black Shirt, 1988
Thomas Ruff, Girl with Flower Shirt, 1987
Because of the..critical attack it launches on the tradition that precedes it, We might want to see the move made in Levine's work as yet another step in the forward march of the avant-garde. But this would be mistaken. In deconstructing the sister notions of origin and originality, postmodernism establishes a schism between itself and the conceptual domain of the avant-garde, looking back at it from across a gulf that in turn establishes a historical divide. The historical period that the avant-garde shared with modernism is over.

Rosalind Krauss, 'The Originality of the Avant Garde and Other Modernist Myths, Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press (1987) 170
VISA1006 Introduction to History of Art and Design
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Week 10: Postmodernism
Assoc Prof Kit Messham-Muir
Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood, 1976
Source: http://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/3216/malcolm-mclaren-the-definitive-punk-visionary
Vivienne Westwood,
Pirate Ensemble
, 1981
Source: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O75527/pirate-ensemble-vivienne-westwood/
Memphis Group
1980s Graphic Design
Ettore Sottsass (Memphis Milano),
Carlton Room Divider
, 1981
Michele De Lucchi (Memphis Milano),
Lido Sofa
, 1982
Neville Brody, Face Magazine Cover, 1984
Neville Brody, Face Magazine (contents page), May 1982

Katherine McCoy, Cranbrook Graduate Program poster 1989
Terry Jones, I-D Magazine (cover), 1985
David Smart (XL Design), Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1983
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