So I’ve been doing a bit of research on the internet to find a good explanation of postmodernism that is relatively straight forward to understand and I came across this handy video done for the Victoria and Albert Museum.
It was quite amusing that the first artist who was interviewed stated that although postmodernism had been explained to him many times, he still didn’t understand it and thought that it very probably meant bewilderment. That definitely rang a bell with me.
What resonated with me was one of the interviewees commented that art that was made during the modernism period was structured and the artist had a truth or story to convey with a specific meaning which the reader/audience was meant to discern. Contrary to that in postmodernism the artist makes the art (whatever form it is), he/she may have a specific meaning in mind, but it is up to the reader to put their own interpretation on it based on their cultural background and experiences. Do I hear echoes from Barthes’ The Death of the Author’ here? Indeed!
In postmodernism, there are no absolutes – really anything goes. Postmodernism is the counterweight to all the movements that preceded it or the umbrella term for rethinking those movements. It is a freedom of spirit and pluralism, a release from constraints. Pandora’s box is open and everything is out there – thanks to the advent of the internet.
Postmodernism [webcast, online] Contr. Human. Dir. Federico Urdaneta, London, UK, 2011. 12 min 42 secs. https://vimeo.com/29949854 (accessed 11 August, 2015)