Machine Ghost

The contemporary vs. the postmodern

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I’m currently reading Osborne’s Anywhere or Not at All in which he has a fascinating discussion about the differences between what literary theorists (or critical theory, more generally, and Jameson more specifically) call “the postmodern” and what art historians and art critics (two groups at odds, but that’s a different post all together) call the “the contemporary.” Is there a way to negotiate these differences, Osborne asks? Is there a difference at all? Where I’m at in the book (~20 pgs in) Osborne has identified 3 periodizations of contemporary art. It is the second with with I’m most obsessed with right now:

This is a periodization that conceives contemporary art as beginning some time in the early 1960s, in that ontological break with prevailing object-based and meduim-specific new-avant-garde practices carried out by a range of new types of work, of which performance, minimalism and conceptual art appear, retrospective, as the most decisive. From this point of view, contemporary art is post-conceptual art” (19).





Written by kimlacey

July 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

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