Modernism and Postmodernism- who cares?


When I heard any word even remotely like modernism, renaissance, fauvism, post modernism, and basically any word with “ism” at the end  I automatically dread having to listen to information about it because it goes in one ear and out the other.  But in this class I actually learnt some stuff about modernism and postmodernism which I normally would have blanked out.  We started off talking about modernism and how it began at the time of the industrial revolution when everything was industrialised and a microcosm of modern life.  I never quite knew the definition before but that lecture taught me that modernism completely dismisses anything that came before it and people were making things from modern materials and making them very minimalistic.  I would say modernism is very independent because it has the attitude of being original and different from everybody else and the competition of trying to be the next one to come up with a new outstanding idea that was never heard of before.  Even though modernism is independent I would also say its dependant in other aspects for example, modernism is obsessed with knowing about itself, where we come from and where we’re going.  Psychology and sociology was formed in the modernism period because of his sort of thinking.  These practises’ also started challenging religion and questioning old values and ideas.  Modernism developed a strong interest in the future; in moving forward and believing we were going somewhere.


Postmodernism doesn’t really follow any guidelines like modernism does.  It doesn’t say new is wrong, old is better or religion is the way forward.  With postmodernism anything goes!  Some traits of postmodernism is the principal that it’s always about you and how you see things, it’s not about the thing itself it’s about how you see it and in some case’s how you interpret it.   Here are the characteristics of postmodernism:

Shallowness-   An example of this is the Blair Witch Project, we know nothing about the characters or why their camping out and have no intentions of wanting to find it out; we are more interested in what’s going to happen to them next.  No depth to our interest in the story.  Another example of this characteristic was 9/11.  The thing we remember most about that tragedy wasn’t the people being killed or how it was making America paranoid and therefore destroying itself from within.  The thing we remember most is the scene of the airplanes going into the buildings and how immoral it is that some people would say it’s the best postmodernism piece of art yet.

Intertextuality- This is the blurring of distinctions between genres.  A great example of this is Pulp Fiction; it combines a range of films.

Non-linear Narrative- Emphasis on fragmented forms and random seeming collages of different material.  Example of this is the Twitter Novel where you can jump about from different pages and the information is still readable.

Knowing-ness- You always know you’re doing something.  Tendency towards reflexivity, self-consciousness.  We can get away with things because people know were intentionally doing it.

Minimalism- Letting a simple idea stand on its own.

Anything goes- A rejection of the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture.  Both depends on choice of materials used to produce art and in methods of displaying and consuming art.

Art is good in their own right depending on their field.­­


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: