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The Significance of Post-Modernism on Bruce Nauman in the 1980's Essay

  • Submitted by: adammcgowan
  • on September 20, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 3,475 words

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Below is an essay on "The Significance of Post-Modernism on Bruce Nauman in the 1980's" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Using specific examples, discuss the significance of post-modernism during the 1980's for an artist of your choice.

Post-modern, by its very definition, is hard to pin down. There is no unified theory, or even a coherent set of positions. A number of ontological questions are raised when contemplating the post-modern. Is it something that is definite? If so, what are its forms, its effects and its place?[1] It is an ideology that rejects ideas of modernism. Post-modern theory rejects the existence of any ultimate ideals. It denies the certainty of assumed scientific and objective efforts to explain reality. Critic Rosalind Krauss states that post-modernism is a “break from the aesthetic field of modernism”[2]. To begin to develop a grasp on the fabric of the 'post-modern', we must first try and understand its roots in modernism. Modernism was an evolution in a variety of fields, and based itself heavily on the perceived notion of progress. It rejected past ideals of conservative realism. Modernists believed that the weight of outdated philosophies and systems were holding back potential cultural development. For many, modernism opposes the hierarchical structures of society and is characterised by innovation and dynamism There are many discourses of modernity, as there is with post-modernity. As theorized by Marx, “the modern is the epoch that follows the middles ages, or feudalism”[3].   Post-modernism is widely believed to have been born at the end of the second world war, however, historians David Somervell and Arnold Toynbee in their writing 'A study of   histoy'[4],   suggested the concept of the post-modern period began as early as around 1875, to delineate a fourth stage of Western history, and the 'modern'. On this account, western civilisation had entered a new period of social anarchy, distress and cultural revolution. Significant Aesthetic changes emerged in the avant-garde movements and bohemian subcultures of the late 19th and early 20th century, which...

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