Modernism and Post Modernism
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between the modernism and post modernism? It seems like it would be easy to describe what they are by the words and what they are usually associated with. Yet, it’s actually a lot different then your thinking. Modernism is the movement in visual arts, music, literature, and drama, which rejected the old Victorian standards of how art should be made, consumed, and what it should mean. Modernists want the absolute truth in everything. While on the other hand, Post Modernism is relating to, or being any of several movements (as in art, architecture, or literature) that are reactions against the philosophy and practices of modern movements and are marked by revival of traditional elements. By explaining a few things in detail I hope to show you a few things in contrast between the two in order to help you understand better.
If modernists want the absolute truths in everything, do you think the human body would be something to work on? If you look in chapter thirty-four on pg. 871, you see figure 34.2 Fit for Active Service. What is going on in this drawing you might ask? Well it looks as though the fat German doctor is pointing out something to perfect with the skeleton. As you read through the text that describes what is being done it points to the army doctor pronouncing the skeletal cadaver “O.K.”, hence, fit to serve in combat. The panel to the time to bring a skeletal cadaver in and figure out what would be good for the war and combat on the human body. Definitely looking for the flaws and how to perfect them to make themselves stronger. There seems to be no need for mistake in what they are doing and proceeding this way will fix any misconceptions they may have with the human body and war combat.
A man once lived by the name of Wilfred Owen and he wrote of the waste of human life and resources in the events of war. He also felt that is was overly barbaric to involve oneself with war. When you read through his poem reading 6.7, he explains to you the horror and reality of what is actually going on in the battlefield. The first few lines give you the feeling of what the men are going through. Line five and six explain that, “Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, but limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind”. Owen points out that there is no beauty in dying for your country and that it is all a lie on what has been made a reality for many. What’s ironic about it all is that the poet died in combat at only 25 years old. Thus, making it that much more real in what he is trying to push across the minds of other people with this poem. It’s not just another poem it’s reality.
Postmodernism shows its face in many ways. One painting that I picked that you might find interesting is figure 36.2. Betye Saar portrays what looks to be Aunt Jemima in a fashion that goes completely against what she was first introduced as being. When you think of this famous face you would think of walking into a cozy kitchen and pouring syrup on your pancakes, but here she is seen with a rifle next to her side in a complete difference from the as it’s put in the text “mammy” stereotype. Along side of her in an effort to break the chain of descriptions whites were making, Robert Colescott creates parodies of famous paintings in which whites are recast as their stereotype blacks were. Starting the shots back at what modern people portrayed in some art.
After World War 1, jazz came to full fruition as an art form. It was argued that jazz was the product of place and not race yet as it is said on page 923, the role of African-Americans in the origins and evolution of jazz is indisputable. Looking at figure 36.4 King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, you see the elements of jazz and how it came to be that it was primarily a performer’s rather then a composers art once again pushing further from the norm of modernism. It had a wide range of Euro and Afro-American concepts including harmony, melody, and tone color. As in modern music there is a beat that is followed but with jazz there was a term made called swing. This is described as the practice of playing just off the beat whether slightly ahead or behind. There is more and more to read into what jazz really is and the further you read the more you see it is a total opposite of modern music.
Still wondering what Modernism and Postmodernism are? Modernism is the movement in visual arts, music, and literature. While Postmodernism are reactions against the philosophy and practices of modern movements including these arts, music, and literature. I have explained four different viewpoints of mine describing the difference between the two in the period in which they were active during these eras. Differences between the Visual arts, literature, and music have all been touched in these paragraphs to help you understand it better. It can be kind of difficult to understand what truly was going on during these times. I believe this should relieve some of the pressure of what exactly you are looking for.