contemporary art/photography: another note

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In an earlier post I raised the issue of what contemporary art/photography is as distinct from modernist photography. I did so by exploring Terry Smith's Contemporary Art and Contemporaneity article in which he said that this was an art that turns on long-term, exemplary projects that discern the antinomies of the world as it is, that display the workings of globality and locality, and that imagine ways of living ethically within them.

An example of contemporary art photography is this picture by cookie poppets of a derelict, burned out cafe in an industrial area of Liverpool in Great Britain:

altfotnetcookiepoppets.jpg Smith goes to say that this consists of:

Slight gestures, feral strategies, mild subversions, small steps. To which purposes and in the names of which values? These questions can still be posed and be answered In brief, it seems to me that at least four themes course through the heterogeneity that is natural to contemporaneity. All of the artists mentioned, and the thousands more of whom they are representatives, focus their wide-ranging concerns on questions of time, place, mediation, and mood.

They make visible our sense that these fundamental, familiar constituents of being are becoming, each day, steadily more strange. The familar world that we live in is becoming
The familiar world that we live in is becoming in a different way to that of early 20th century when  modernism arose  from the avant-garde's response to industrial, urban capitalism. Today it is the processes of globalization that are making the familiar landmarks of our industrial world strange. Smith says that:

"Multeity," "altertemporality," and inequity are not only the most striking features on any short list of the qualities of contemporaneity; they are at its volatile core. Unlike Baudelaire's famous markers of modernite┬┤, they are not the symptoms of a deeper stability or an entry point to its achievement... In the aftermath of modernity and the passing of the postmodern, they may be all that there is.
This is why there is no longer any overarching explanatory totality that accurately accumulates and convincingly accounts for these proliferating differences. The particular, it seems, is now general.

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Sauer-Thompson published on March 15, 2009 7:28 PM.

contemporary art/photography: a note was the previous entry in this blog.

haphazart abstractions - modernist / post-modernist? is the next entry in this blog.

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