Postmodernism artists based their work on multiplicity by adapting to various modes of conveying their message. The styles adopted in the artwork were a revival of the ancient styles. Likewise, there was cultural relativism in the sense that the pieces of art were based on the culture or the traditions of the people. The behaviors of the people and the conditions that existed during the period were often captured in the arts.
The post-modernism era artists emulated the modernism or ancient art styles. There are ethical injunctions as artists use alteration to come up with their new forms of art. Various critics have also emerged with definitions of modernists and postmodernism. The modernist, counterparts in art emphasised on depth and determinacy while on the other, hand post modernist artists placed more emphasis on surface and indeterminacy. In his analysis, Jameson on his account of cultural products of poster modernism, claimed that there was emotional numbing or “waning of affect” that characterized the subjectivity exhibited in the post modernism. While on the other hand, modernism invoked the artist’s inner depths as a bulwark and alienated the external world. This means that the modernist artist had to dig deeper into the meaning of their art. They did the reasoning and thinking. Postmodernism artists only manipulated the visual surfaces and codes as they assumed that their sensibilities were formed out of the representations. Therefore, the culture of retro styles evidence in the postmodern era contributed to the loss of historical awareness.
Postmodernism artists, therefore, used various mediums such as photography and drawing to create their pictures. Most of their ideas came from previous works. Photography was highly adopted in their artwork. The photos were altered to represent the artists own views. For instance, Americans artist Cindy Sherman work, 69 untitled films still produced between 1977 and 1980 is clear evidence. In these pieces of art, she threads her persona through codes of clothing, setting, lighting, and composition filched for 1950s American B-movies. Therefore, she used alterations on the movies photos to represent femininity as a construct rather than something innate.
Paining during the postmodern was frequently attached to Sigmar Polke. In the painting, appropriation was highly adopted. Appropriation was a technique in which an original picture or photograph was altered. This caused loss of originality, uniqueness and caused complication and even contradiction as the piece of art could not be easily differentiated from its original. Issues of authenticity as well as a authorization emerged. This appropriation was done from mass media images and intermingled with the high cultural illusions. Therefore, there was interplay between painting and photo related practices. Even though, in 1970s, painting was not in demand but figurative painting was being practiced, painting resumed in 1980s and therefore was used on various projects. The post modernism time saw alterations and additions of features on previous forms of art. For instance, Hans Haacke painted a photograph of the then prime minster of Britain Margaret Thatcher with oil. She added some features in the photo to convey the social and economic interest that were of concern during the period of 1979 and 1983. Photographs were also theorized alongside other visual artifacts such as body casts and writings that helped to ensure that the author conveyed the right messages.
Therefore, in conclusion, postmodernism era has seen significant changes in the artworks. Most of the artists used the current information and pictures to modify in order to help them convey the messages about the social, economic and political views of the day. These forms of art has therefore caused a challenge in determining the originality of the piece of work, has caused contradictions and even complications by focusing on surface value.
Post modernism: theories and practices in the 1980s
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