Thursday, 3 November 2011
Before discussing post modernism, let us first look back to the Modernist movement beginning just after the first world war. Modernism embraced a sense of optimism and progression. As discussed in my previous post, there was an attitude within the modernist movement that technology could save us, and approaches such us experimentation and form over function were encouraged. Post modernism almost counteracts this whole Modernist idealism. Post modern artist raise the question 'why experiment?' there's a much more pessimistic view within post modernism that believes technology has not saved us, neither has the Modernist approach to art and culture. Post Modernism isn't all about the new, and artists believe they can recycle the existing to create new art work. An example of this would be Jean Tinguely's 'Homage to New York' produced in the 1960's. This installment was created to be exhibited outside the museum of modern art, and was made from discarded and then recycled items. The work was more famously produced to self destruct, making a statement that technology is flawed and it cannot save us, completely going against modernist views.
Artist such as Roy Litchtenstien, took this idea of recycling other media to the extreme. He took frames from comics, enlarged them and displayed them as Art in a Gallery. A famous example would be the piece 'This Must be the Place,' which displayed a frame from a superman comic. This approach raised the questions 'why isn't this comic strip important? Why shouldn't it be displayed as art?' The entire Las Vegas strip is seen as a post modernist city, as everywhere you look, a landmark from another part of the globe can be seen. Robert Venturi took interest in the strip as styles clashed and jared, and much like post modernist works, broke the rules. It is not only art and architecture that are seen as taking a Post modern approach, but also music. The Hip-hop genre 'samples' existing music to create new songs. This whole recycled media approached embodies a view that most things have in fact been done, and why shouldn't we re-use to create new ideas and new art work?
Many post modern art forms also aim to mock the Modernist approach and poke fun at the pretension behind it. One of the works I found amusing was 'Artist's Shit' by Piero Manzoni, where the artist literally defecated into tins and auctioned them off for ridiculous prices to art collectors. This really makes a statement against the hype behind modernism and the view that anything can be considered as art. It really laughs at the new ideas approach.
Relating more to my course 'Digital Films, Games and Animation,' a great example of Post Modernism in film is 'Blade Runner.' The negative vision of the future suggests the idea that technology will not save us. In the movie we have these replicants (artificial humans which are virtually indistinguishable from real humans) who have turned rouge and have become a threat to humans. The whole look of the film is very dark and grim, it always seems to be set at night time, and the city in the future isn't sparkling clean but dingy and bleak. The Film Noir style in which the film is shot again shows that the director is not looking for a completely new approach, and at the same time is paying homage to the classic genre with his futuristic vision.
So where does Post Modernism bring us in terms of digital films games and animation? It seems that the movement has a much more honest approach, and is not reaching for new innovative ideas. There is the feeling of undermining Modernism, and producing work that tends more to basic human needs of colour and excitement moving away from form over function. There is also a more graphical approach, linked to advertising and computer graphics. When we produce our own media, if we consider post modernism, we can be more extravagant and expressive. If we were to take on a strict modernist approach, our work could end up very restricted and to the point. In Conclusion, the post modernist approach does not become restricted by what has already been done, or what is slightly irrelevant. The movement allows much more freedom to express and create, with no real rules and restrictions.