Post-postmodernism

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Post-Postmodernism is a general term used to describe new developments emerging from Postmodernism. It is a positive idea that faith, sincerity and trust can be better for society Postmodern irony. Postmodernism is a way of thinking about culture and thought. It often challenges the certainty and authority of vital areas of our lives. However, as an almost sixty year-old term many do not think it is relevant to how we live our lives now and suggest a positive, earnest look at the world we live in. The term Post-Postmodernism was initially coined by seminal cultural theorist Alice Sanders in her magnum opus 'The Shadow of the Rainbow'.

History[change | change source]

Modernism began in the late 19th Century as a rejection of tradition and an attempt to see the world differently. It is associated with the Enlightenment. Events such as World War 2 and the Great Depression made many feel Modernism had failed. This led to Postmodernism, which is cold and skeptical of the grand narrative of Western Society. This grand narrative is explained by Jean-François Lyotard as something [1]. Postmodernism is a very broad term that cannot be defined by specific themes. It is an all-encompassing way of thinking.

Postmodernism is seen as a theory for explaining 20th Century culture. With the 20th Century now behind us and a new century beginning, many have suggested that Postmodernism is outdated in our current world. Advances such as the Internet, Mobile Phones and Television have changed the way we live, making the world a smaller place but also making communication and interaction with things around us less intimate. Post-Postmodernism takes this as a key reason why a return to sincerity and authentic expression is the way forward for the 21st Century.

Definitions[change | change source]

Post-Postmodernism is a very new idea that is still forming. There are many different ideas about how Post-Postmodernism could evolve and shape culture.

Liquid Modernity[change | change source]

Zygmunt Bauman uses the term Liquid Modernity to refer to the freedom of ideas, information and people. It draws upon the global nature of society. Distinct cultures, ideas and categories are meeting and fusing in the 21st Century. It has been called "a world of fragmented and incommensurate identities and personae"[2]. Liquid Modernity is a powerful reaction to Postmodernism as it states that through privitisation and the global economy, we are now free to determine our own existence and path in the world.

Metamodernism[change | change source]

In 2010 Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin Van Den Akker wrote an article called 'Notes on Metamodernism' that characterised life today as an oscillation between the realism of Postmodernism and the idealism of Modernism. They believe the two can work together, and that modern culture is based on navigating these oppositions. They list [3] as opposing forces that a big variety of artists, theorists and creatives constantly alternate between.

New Sincerity[change | change source]

Jesse Thorn's public radio show The Sound of Young America put forward the phrase 'New Sincerity'. Thorn says that some people and things in modern life are so entertaining and genuine that they can only be enjoyed sincerely, without irony. Using Evel Knievel as an example, he says[4]: "Here is a real man who feels at home as Spidey on the cover of a comic book. Simply put, Evel Knievel boggles the mind." New Sincerity is a popular culture movement that shares many ideas with post-postmodernism.

Performatism[change | change source]

German-American Slavist Raoul Eshelman wrote in his book Performatism, Or the End of Postmodernism that many new cultural documents present viewers with simple, identifiable characteristics that are powerful. By making us aware of the artificial and set conditions of a piece of work, he believes we can have a genuine, sincere experience. His main example is the film American Beauty.

Altermodernism[change | change source]

As an art movement, Altermodernism is a reaction to what Nicolas Bourriaud calls 'the standardisation of culture'. It was first discussed at the Altermodern Tate Triennial. In his manifesto Bourriaud says that [5]"Increased communication, travel and migration are affecting the way we live". He calls contemporary existence "a cultural landscape saturated with signs". This means that we are overloaded with information and overlapping of cultures and ways of living. Bourriaud believes art is a way to create new pathways and find meaning in modern society.

References[change | change source]

  1. Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1984, reprint 1997. Translated by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi.
  2. Jennifer Craik, The Face of Fashion (London 1994) p. 8
  3. Vermeulen, Timotheus and Robin van den Akker. "Notes on metamodernism", Journal of Aesthetics and Culture" 2010.
  4. Jesse Thorn, "A Manifesto for The New Sincerity," February 17, 2006.
  5. Tate Triennial: Altermodern Manifesto - http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/altermodern/manifesto.shtm