Thursday, December 6, 2012

Postmodernism, Baroque Universe of Styles, Art Jungle

Modernism paved the way towards the world in which we live in now.  Based on often Utopian ideations, its sense of the artistic progression of world transformation was unceasingly historical.  History was something made by great minds who were fully conscious of their doings.

Postmodernism took that and flipped it, deconstructed it, parodied it, made it ironic and well, like Martin Kippenberger, made you wonder "why" in the first place.  As the Talking Heads said, it "Stopped Making Sense".

Why?  Well, the high end postmodern academic critique sliced, diced and disintegrated any sense of subjective worthiness, all the while building a hyper-capitalist art world empire.  You had to be in the know and if you had money to spare, it was all fair game and didn't really matter any way.  Like they say, all is fair in love and war, right? 

Well, not exactly.  In the end, intertexuality breeds more excuses to regurgitate more stylistic fancies and tangents.  As is evident by the plethora of artists and styles today, there has never been an end to artistic aspiration either.  As we can see, after postmodernism, it is hard to understand what it is all about however.  To me and to whatever degree as I have stated before in other writings, there is a baroque quality (a "Virtual Baroque") to the art world today.  This may be merely superficial and unimportant to recognize, but I mean it in the sense that if you take the overall visual field at this point, it is an overgrown jungle of ideas, representations, styles, genres and derivations.

The thing is, is that postmodern parody is over, as is the need to be ironic.  I hate to hear every time a painting gets critiqued that it doesn't pass the art world taste test due to its perceived sincerity or seriousness.  However, even if it is sincere, it doesn't change the fact that it lives out its existence in a universe like pool of visual expressions.  To some degree this relationship with all the other art "out there" makes it simply meaningless.  It is ironic still how anyone can take art seriously at all.  However, in postmodernism this was the artifice and now that is tired too.

What I think is that it is beautiful to see all this art.  It means something...however vague, regarding the fact that visual culture ceases to die.  What I believe is that we are in fact bringing new levels of meaning to all of it.  Artists are even more sophisticated than before and educated.  So many artists have MFA's today for example and although this is not a requisite to making great art, it is a testament to the level of knowledge and sophistication that is out there.

We are increasingly challenged by the attempt at some level of meaning.  Cutting through the jungle means simultaneously adding to its overgrowth.  It will not only grow over, but more ferociously than before.