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Lecture

VPAB05H3 Lecture Notes - Cindy Sherman, The Public Burning, Populism


Department
Arts Management
Course Code
VPAB05H3
Professor
Alan Stanbridge

Page:
of 3
VPAB05 Nov 16th Lecture
Umberto Eco on Postmodernism
“The postmodern reply to the modern consists of recognizing that the past, since it cannot really be destroyed, because
its destruction leads to silence, must be revisited: but with irony, not innocently.”
- we have avant garde always moving forward
- as you move forward, you meet a wall/blank state
- you need to recognize the past
- don’t just turn back to the past and completely imitate that, (there is that in contemporary culture) but in post-
modernism, there is an ironic engagement with the past. Turn to the past, and find material you can use to move
forward and innovate. But innovation seems to become impossible…. Jameson tells us this (more pessimistic view
compared to Eco)
- if unlike the avant garde modernist, deals with the past..”As Barbara cartland…” not wanting to sound like her, but
address it and engage it ironically, not pretending to be innocent
“In the same artist the modern moment and the postmodern moment can coexist, or alternate, or follow each other
closely.”
- reject Jameson
- Modernism is not dead and replaced by postmodernism
- Don’t want to hear “the postmodern era”… not such a thing says prof
- Modern and postmodernism can coexist
“The postmodern discourse… demands, in order to be understood, not the negation of the already said, but its ironic
rethinking.”
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Defining Characteristics of Postmodernism
Irony
Parody/pastiche
Intertextuality
Appropriation
o Taking something and making it yours
Eclecticism
o Pulling on various different things
Juxtaposition
o Taking one thing and putting it next to
another, often different and distinct things
usually results in compare and contrast
Self-reflexivity
o Art of being aware of itself unlike
modernism where artists feel they are only
the conduit, inspired by a muse, not
knowing where their art comes from
Fragmentation
o Pieces of a bigger picture
Hybridity
o Mixing two or more; fusing things together
Plurality
o Many voices
Ambiguity
o Unclear, meaning is not obvious
o Not looking at it for meaning
Provisionality
Populism
Playfulness
Andy Warhol
Campell’s soup
Elvis Presley in one of his western roles
Marilyn Monroe
- Presenting these things in a different light
Roy Lichtenstein
Disney
Comic books
“The melody haunts my reverie”
War comics
Jeff Koons
Michael Jackson and Bubbles
Trashy souvenir things.. Jesus and robot rabbit
String of puppies
(ready-made art)
Barbara Kruger
Soviet imagery, Feminist perspective
Slogans..
Cindy Sherman
Puts herself in costume and makes narrative.. references to movie and newspaper images that we kinda recognize and
don’t
Komar and Melamid
Soviet imagery
Relationship with past..
“Post-Art series
“America’s Most Wanted”
“Canada’s Most Wanted
“America’s Least Wanted”
“Canada’s Most Wanted
AT&T Building New York
Philip Johnson 1979-84
- Ambiguous
- Combining different notions of architecture
- Taken from past, little pit on top
Gehry House
Los Angeles
Frank Gehry 1979
- Juxtaposition
- Unlike materials put together to create something new
Sainsbury Wing
National Gallery London
Robert Venturi 1991
- Pastiche
Neue Staatsgalerie
Stuttgart
James stirling 1983
- Use of colours
Piazza d’italia
New Orleans
Charles moore 1976-79
- Referencing of past but with mix of coolurs, lights up at night with neon lights, mixing of ideas
Disney building
Burbank
Michael graves 1985-91
- Ironic engagement with past
The Brother’s Grimm
Sleeping beauty
Snow white
Fairty tales fro home and nursery (1812-1857)
Stolen from Disney, original stories were kinda whack..
Compare with moden Disney stories
Donald Barthelme
Snow white 1967
Prof liked it,jameson said not to like it… he thought why?
Robert Coover
The public burning --