Message - Re: After 20 Years of Postmodernism

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Posted by  Paul Malo on September 28, 2002 at 06:10:37:

In Reply to:  Re: After 20 Years of Postmodernism posted by Hilary on September 28, 2002 at 02:53:12:

I suppose it's a matter of semantics. The "Modern" in art and architecture--and in Western culture generally--was that period of optimism about inevitable evolutionary progress through science and technology--the "Brave New World" of Futurists. The tragic events of the twentieth century dimmed that vision. When science produced the atomic bomb, the mushroom clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the grave of Modernism.

What happened, and is happening, after Modernism is, in my view, all postmodern. There are two architectural styles, unfortunately, associated with the the lable Modern and Postmodern, but those styles are not coincident with the periods necessarily. Meier is still doing Modern buildings, but those buildings are really postmodern now, because the style no longer represents the world-view of the period in which it evolved, but has become a period style, like Georgian or Neoclassism.

There is no real postmodern style, because there is no consensual postmodern world-view. Instead we get a menu of options, and our cities become architectural zoos of exotic specimens--like Foster's latest contribution to London. I wouldn't call that a Modern building, but rather "postmodern."

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