Postmodernism

Then I was finnished with one of my first exams here back in Norway after my Erasmus-semester abroad.
The exam was in the course “Media and popular culture”. An interesting course, with many different thoughts from different scientists. From the culturalism, to the Freudian psycoanalysts to structuralism and Postmodernism.

The good thing about this course is that the exam-method gives the opportunity to develop some ideas and get to know the litterature on the subject which you have to write the text. Instead of sitting three hours in a classroom, this exam is given over three days. So last Monday I got the message that I’m going to write about postmodernism or feminist views on popular culture. Since I knew something more on the first topic, I choose that and on Thursday I delivered my views on postmodernism and popular culture. Instead of just keeping my ideas to myself I want to share them with you. So here are some of the things I wrote about.

First the term postmodernism. The term is a combination of post – after – and modernism, so its a reaction to the modernism. It is also a lot more, but first the term-part. As modernism as a style and direction within art grew old, it lost the provocing and revolusinary pinch that it had in the beginning. In the beginning the modernist artist, example Dali and Picasso, provoced the former victorian-classical style where moral taboos, big skin-chairs and a politeness form were important. It came with a new style which oposed thoose ideas and was seemed as a fresh breath and provocing, then again, one gereration later. This was accepted into the institutions and thaugh at the universities. The “best” of the modernism had transfered into a high-modernism.

This is one of the main anchors in the post-modernism. When many of the former tradition had a segregation between high- and massculture this is different from postmodernism which is not operating with the ideal of a high culture. The high culture, quoted the mass culture when it used part of it in its work, but in the postmodernistic works are the quotes incorporated so its difficult to draw a distinguised line between them.

Postmodernism as a term, was first used in the 1870s, but it is first in the late-1950s and in the 1960 is is more frequently appared. At this point the second world was had come to and end and there were some technical, but also ideological changes. One of these changes was the death of the meta-narratives. The metanarratives are ideas which are big-stories, it could be the idea of an ultimate ideology which covers any situation, it could be the idea of finding the ultimate pattern of how humans behave. The goals for sciene were no more the ideals and the thruth, rather skills and performativity. One example of an ultimate idea could be Matthew Arnolds definition of arts as «(i) the ability to know what is best; (ii) what is best; (iii) the mental and spiritual application of what is best, and (iv) the pursuit of what is best.»

New technology did also play a part, new medias and ways to experience them altered the definition of arts. New mass medias arrised, where some of them introduced a new way to percept the reality. The technology also altered, mainly by making it easier, the ways reproduction of a creative work was done.

Jean Baudrillard Hyperrealism could be applied to this fact. His theory is that if there are no longer a distinction between original and copy. e.g. You have the same experience watching a movie or listen to a record in Oslo as in Trondheim. It does not matter if the work is an original or a copy. The experience is still the same. This void of distinction he calls the hyperreality. The real and the simmulation of the real implodes, and the simmulation can be experienced as more real than the reality itselfes.

Another phenomen linked to the postmodern art is the presens of pastiche. A pastiche is as a form of expression near linked to the parody, but without the parodys sarcasm and stinch of critisism and laughter. It is e.g where Austin Power has a lot of expressions from the James Bond movies, its clear and you can see it, but it does not have the parody element.

Well, the paper had some more things as well. But translating the whole paper and all the arguments in it lasts too long. Therefor I just quit it here.

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