Subjectivity And Identity Self Awareness


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Focusing upon the body of art that was considered oppostional, by Hal Foster and other influential critics, we consider the possibility of critically engaging with the culture of late capitalism. Featured artists include Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger and Sherrie Levine.

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Subjectivity And Identity Self Awareness

  1. 1. Postmodernism in Art: An Introduction<br />Subjectivity and Identity –self awareness<br />
  2. 2. Subjectivity and Identity –self awareness<br />Society, Schizophrenia and Pastiche<br />Against Pluralism: Defining an oppositional postmodernism.<br />Case Studies: Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Cindy Sherman, Paul McCarthy.<br />Conclusion: What ever happened to postmodernism?<br />
  3. 3. Society, Schizophrenia and Pastiche<br />“If, indeed, the subject has lost its capacity ... to organize its past and future into coherent experience, it becomes difficult ... to see how cultural productions of such a subject could result in anything but ‘heaps of fragments’ and in a practice of the randomly heterogeneous and fragmentary and the aleatory.” (Jameson [1984]1993, p.25)<br />
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Schizophrenia <br />Jameson used the word schizophrenia, not in a clinical sense, but to describe a ‘break down in the signifying chain’ which ‘constitutes meaning’ (Jameson [1984] 1993, p26 ) “When”, he continues, “the links of the signifying chain snap, then we have schizophrenia in the form of a rubble of distinct and unrelated signifiers”. (ibid.)<br />Nam June Paik (1963) Exposition of Music – Electric Television<br />Nam June Paik (1993) In-Flux House.<br />
  6. 6. Nicholas Reig (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth<br />
  7. 7. Duane Hansen (1988) Tourists II<br />
  8. 8. Society, Schizophrenia and Pastiche<br />“We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces – reinforces – the logic of consumer capitalism; the most significant question is whether there is also a way in which it resists that logic.” (Jameson [1982] 1985, p.125)<br />
  9. 9. Against Pluralism: Defining an oppositional postmodernism.<br />Against Pluralism: Defining an Oppositional Postmodernism<br />
  10. 10. Against Pluralism: Defining an oppositional postmodernism.<br />“... Postmodernism is not pluralism – the quixotic notion that all positions in culture and politics are now open and equal. This apocalyptic belief that anything goes, that the ‘end of ideology’ is here, is simply the inverse of the fatalistic belief that nothing works, that we live under a ‘total system’ without the hope of redress...” (Foster [1983] 1985, p. Ix.)<br />Against Pluralism: Defining an Oppositional Postmodernism<br />
  11. 11. Against Pluralism: Defining an oppositional postmodernism.<br />“In opposition... a resistant position is concerned with a critical deconstruction of tradition, not an instrumental pastiche of pop – or pseudo - historical forms, with a critique of origins, not a return to them. In short, it seeks to question rather than exploit cultural codes, to explore rather than conceal social political affiliations.” (Foster [1983] 1985, p.x.)<br />Against Pluralism: Defining an Oppositional Postmodernism<br />
  12. 12. Jenny Holzer<br />1983 Abuse of Power comes as no Suprise (T-shirt modelled by Lady Pink) Shown in New York. Part of the Truisms series.<br />
  13. 13. Jenny Holzer<br />1986, Protect me from what I want. From the Truisms series. Spectacolor electronic sign. Times Square, New York<br />
  14. 14. Jenny Holzer (2006) In London<br />
  15. 15. Barbara Kruger<br />1989 Untitled (Your body is a Battleground)<br />
  16. 16. Barbara Kruger<br />1981-3 Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face)<br />
  17. 17. 1991Mary Boone Gallery, New York<br />
  18. 18. Sherrie Levine<br />After Walker Evans (1981)<br />
  19. 19. Sherrie Levine<br />(1991) Fountain / After Marcel Duchamp<br />
  20. 20. Cindy Sherman<br />Unititled Film Still #14, 1978<br />
  21. 21. Cindy Sherman<br />Untitled Film Still # 10, 1978<br />
  22. 22. Cindy Sherman<br />Untitled # 408, 2002<br />
  23. 23. Paul McCarthy<br />Santa Chocolate Shop, 1997<br />
  24. 24. Conclusion: What ever happened to postmodernism?<br />“I supported a postmodernism that ... advocated artistic practices not only critical of institutional modernism but suggestive of alternative forms – of new ways to practice culture and politics. And we did not loose. In a sense a worse thing happened: treated as a fashion, postmodernism became démodé.” (Foster [1996] 2002, p.206)<br />“Etymologically, to criticise is to judge or to decide, and I doubt if any artist, critic, theorist, or historian can ever escape value judgements. We can, however, make value judgements that ... are not only reactive but active ... not only distinctive but useful. Otherwise critical theory may come to deserve the bad name with which it is often branded today.” (Ibid, p. 226)<br />
  25. 25. References<br />Foster, H (1985) (ed.) Postmodernism: A Preface, in Postmodern Culture. London, Pluto Press.<br />Foster, H ([1996] 2002) What ever happened to postmodernism? In The Return of the Real. London, MIT Press.<br />Heartney, E (2001) Postmodernism. London, Tate Gallery Publishing Ltd.<br />Jameson, F ( [1982] 1985) Postmodernism and Consumer Society, in Postmodern Culture. London, Pluto Press.<br />Jameson, F ([1984] 1993) Postmodernism: or, The Cultural Logic or Late Capitalism. London, Verso.<br />