Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Moderate View

In admitting appropriation and pastiche into the canon of acceptable strategies, “materials”, we have regressed as a culture to the mental age of adolescence- emulating as a defense mechanism for half-baked outright invention.

The postmodern is mannerist. We are walking down a blind alley with the explosion of globalization and cross cultural acceptance. We have walked into a trap that we have lived through before. With the recent explosion of the net worth of Chinese contemporary art the assumption of the mannerist role is complete. The trends and media of abstract and figurative work have become shadows of their former selves since the 1990s and a reevaluation of the means and goals of art is necessary. We were supposed to be moving faster. We were supposed to be past this sort of thing. Guess not. Much as the Mannerist period in Italy in the 16th century relied upon the imitation and re-configuration of the Renaissance masters, postmodern art has garnered the valued attributes of appropriation and pastiche to fill the space since a truly original individual has labored in the name of art.

Where the two differ is in historical respect to allegory- Mannerism differed not from the previous era in their use of the strategy, whereas postmodernism’s allegory is the invention or resuscitation of a method seen little in modernism’s graveyard of symbols.


Artifice said...

Hey Sean
Congrats on the mention in the NY mag.
that is awesome. I hope you are doing
well. We should catch up sometime.
David Waddell