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is said to be to “modify consciousness” and “raise awareness” through critical reflexivity and the permanent questioning of our assumptions. Discuss by making reference to the postmodernist works of one of these artists: Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Banksy.
The term postmodern literally talks about the time after the modernist movement, describing the era of which arose from modernism in the late 20th century. The movement initially began with architecture where the blandness and simplicity of the buildings created during the modernist movement were gradually replaced with more unconventional inspiring buildings, this necessity to break away from the modernist movement slowly filtered through into most aspects of art, literature, drama and design and later the postmodern sought to also conquer, question and react against the modernist ideals, trends and pre-made assumptions. Postmodernist critical theories have now filtered through into many divisions of our culture, and hold a seemingly strong influence within art itself. The term for art produced after 1950 was called ‘contemporary art’, still not all contemporary art is postmodern; this postmodern art form was merely a sub-division of its genre. Many of the postmodern artist, like the architectures looked to dissolve the divisions among art, popular culture and the media as well as rejecting the distinction between high and low art with the attempt of deconstructing social structures. With the use of their art they aimed to destroy and eliminate all of the ingredients that society believed were necessary for the world and by this they had hoped to overcome as well as deconstruct the modern worldview and all of the assumptions that sustained it. This encouraged a mix of new ideas that juxtaposed and rejected the mainstream modernist ideologies. One literary critic who has very much shared his opinions on the subject of postmodernism in reference to the arts is Fredric Jameson. Jameson is commonly known for his claim that postmodernity is somewhat characterised by pastiche, he argued that parody had been replaced by pastiche and also argued that many of the works within postmodernism seem to have a subsequent lack of ‘depth’. According to Jameson postmodernism (especially within art and culture) can be Page 1 of 8
Jameson refers to this type of postmodernism as "blank parody" without any political satire. without the aim of improving it or making things better. Page 2 of 8 . But it is a neutral practice of such mimicry. According to Jameson. he suggested that there are two ways of dealing with postmodernism one of which was to ignore the problem and continue producing artwork that adhered to the capitalist ways. and the second being to make people aware of the situation. One artist in particular who is well known for his paradoxical work is Banksy. idiosyncratic style. was completely the opposite. Their artwork is satirical and ironic. In the opinion of Jameson this pastiche is trivial and banal. The secondary type of postmodernism. 1991. his work is anti-establishment 1 Jameson Fredric Postmodernism. amputated of the satiric impulse. Primarily there was the implication that some types of postmodernism were bad and this bad postmodernism was the type of postmodernism that simply followed the need and wishes within our capitalist consumer society. the imitation of a peculiar or unique. and raise awareness by using their art. the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism Durham. with no relation to society of the economy. without any of parody's ulterior motives. This. and they have manage to position themselves in a way that detaches themselves from a capitalist viewpoint. pastiche has replaced parody in the postmodern age "Pastiche is. capitalist.[Type the company name] 2 [Type the document title] characterised in two different ways. speech in a dead language. like parody. the wearing of a linguistic mask. or. and can therefore share their artwork as if they were an on looking observer who can produce parodies that question the premade assumptions that have been laid out by the modernist movement. according to Jameson characterised bad postmodernism and simply had no meaning behind it. Duke University Press. for capitalist’s sake. devoid of laughter"1. Page 17. it is completely capitalist. Many of the developing postmodern artists that broke onto our scene in the 1980’s have been recognised for their ability in being able to detach themselves from the commodities and capitalism of the bad postmodern and by doing so have gained success. Banksy is a graffiti artist who broke onto our streets in the 1980’s aerosol boom.
using his graffiti techniques on any and many blank canvases. During his works Banksy has made it very blatant that he does not wish gain fame or profit from his pieces. Swindle magazine banksy the naked truth. and subversive which makes it not so easy to forget his paintings. I'm just trying to make the pictures look good.’3 From this we can see Banksy’s true admiration for what he does. so many people are going to become famous that one day everybody will end up being anonymous for 15 minutes. ethical. and they say. Banksy originally began his career as a free hand graffiti artist yet by the year 2000 he progressed to using stencils. I'm not into fashion. The Times. and cultural 2 3 Collings Matthew Banksy's ideas have the value of a joke. I'm not into trying to make myself look good. "I want to be famous. The pictures generally look better than I do when we're out on the street together. Banksy’s originality is extremely prolific. and bridges of cities and towns across the world. His stencilling is eye catching not only upon a first glance but because of the artistic humour and logic behind all of his work the images are ones that stay with us for a while and leave us to question and to think about what we have just seen. His art works portray political. I think Andy Warhol got it wrong: in the future. ‘He always conveys a message though his images’2. Unlike the work of such artist like Andy Warhol he uses artwork as a way of portraying his critiques on society. nor does he wish to gain any sort of critical acclaim because of this Banksy’s true identity has remained anonymous and he suggests that it will always remain that way. ‘I have no interest in ever coming out. and the reasons why he creates his artwork. Banksy’s work is continually omnipresent. 28/01/2008. Banksy. witty. Shepard. Fairey.[Type the company name] 3 [Type the document title] and anti-capitalist. London. Thought to have originated from his hometown of Bristol. I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is. zoos. The anonymity of Banksy means we can treasure a greater appreciation of his works because of. he decorates walls. You ask a lot of kids today what they want to be when they grow up. Issue 08 Page 3 of 8 . the fact that Banksy remain anonymous mean that his work is appreciated for it’s true greatness rather than the glorification of the fame that were to go with it." You ask them for what reason and they don't know or care.
html Page 4 of 8 .html 6 http://www. t-shirts and copies of his work are continually being sold online and around the world in many different countries.. 4 5 http://www.08/bansky. and some of which have appeared in galleries. Banksy doesn’t sell his graffiti work however in a capitalist and consumer society it is almost impossible to escape away from the commoditisation. his work is therefore truly a replication of his beliefs and a way of raising awareness to political issues that he feels deeply about. It is made quite clear. More recently Banksy has sold some pieces of work. Banksy may be an extraordinary unconventional artist.wired. The art shows a satirical side of politics. and not for the money or adoration..html http://www. “I don’t do proper gallery shows” he says “. art should not be about commercialism. I never go to the openings of my shows.com/wired/archive/13. This simply proves that there is no way that one can officially escape the realms of capitalist post modernity.. but about making a point. This could be his own personal suggestion that art as a corporation is wrong.com/wired/archive/13. All I know about what people think of my gear is what a couple of my friends tell me. yet Banksy does not profit from this.wired.[Type the company name] 4 [Type the document title] aspects of the society. “I don’t do anything for anybody anymore.wired.com/wired/archive/13. In some ways it’s a shame. He does not sell pictures of his graffiti or do exhibitions in commercial art galleries..”5 Banksy has also been quoted saying that he wants to “show that money hasn’t crushed the humanity out of everything”6 . and I will never do a commercial job again. often reflecting rebellious irony and criticisms against tradition that desatirize the sphere of art and culture. and I don’t read chat rooms or go on MySpace.08/bansky. Banksy’s art work on the street is a critique on capitalism and consumerism in art and the economy. many prints . is for the love of what he does. They can be amusing or thought provoking. cuz I’m sure I’d have had a good time doing posters for that frozen yogurt company in Hawaii.. that the reason Banksy produces his art. but he still has to sell some of his painting in order to maintain money to survive.08/bansky. but either way his personality just shines through within his work. culture and ethics.I have a much more direct communication with the public”4.
It is continually condemned by city councils all over the world." 8.[Type the company name] 5 [Type the document title] Banksy work on the street.. situated just off Oxford Street in the heart of London. ‘1984’ Edition: reissue. This leaves us to question whether or not Banksy’s artwork is a display of vandalism and whether he is breaking the law or whether Banksy is merely reinforcing 7 Orwell.’Big Brother is watching you’7.. This image is a perfect example of the anti-establishment and anti-capitalist images that we are used to seeing from Banksy. 1990.If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London. It leads us to question how efficient these cameras really are. right next to a CCTV camera. Published by Signet Classic. The image depicted to my right is a perfect example. Page 2 BBC news Friday. "I take the view that this is graffiti and if you condone this then what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city? . it has been sprayed onto the side of a huge building. if they are not being used efficiently? Or is Britain turning into a ‘Big Brother’ society comparable to that in the famous novel by George Orwell ‘1984’. ‘One nation under CCTV’ is the logo. although attractive and thought provoking. sprayed at almost 23 feet high upon the side of a building.stm 8 Page 5 of 8 . with fans of Banksy’s flocking to take a peek.bbc. still remains illegal and has been classed a graffiti. 24 October 2008 15:56 UK http://news. the mural had become somewhat of a tourist attraction. The mural is ironic and somewhat humorous. it raises a number of important questions regarding the state of public space within a capitalist society. if at all they are being used? Are they a waste of society’s money. George. and for what purpose they are being used.Mr Robert Davis spoke on behalf of the council when the removal of the mural was condoned. He suggests that Britain and the government have become a nation consumed by CCTV cameras and the necessity to know everything and be able to track societies every move.uk/1/hi/england/london/7688251. Before this painting was ordered to be removed by Westminster city council. Yet it is ironic that one can get away with painting this image right next to two big security cameras.co.
He proves just how passionate he feels not only about his art work. on the streets right in the heart of the situations and where it will be regarded by the people who it means the most too. He does this by his somewhat humorous and ironic graffiti. and creating art for the people who will appreciate the most. not only in Britain but all over the world. It seems bizarre how there can be two such different. One could say that he wishes to gives across a message with his work. whereas of the opposite opinion it can be viewed with such a vulgarity. How in one light people can share a deep appreciation for his work. it means all those who see it can escape into this imaginary paradise. a paradise. Banksy work shows a great awareness of the political issues at hand right in the heart of the situation where it matters the most. and by even attempting to paint on the division wall Banksy could have been putting his life in jeopardy. signalling that there is hope. but about ‘raising awareness’ or ‘modifying consciousness’ of the political situations at hand. and if they do then it means that Banksy has succeeded in doing his job correctly. sanctuary. upon his work. such opposing views. even if for a split second. The mural portrays a grand crack in the bordering wall and within the realms of the crack Banksy has depicted a beautiful image of a beach. and successfully portraying his messages. and leave us thinking and Page 6 of 8 . There is no doubt that his work makes us question our capitalist assumptions. One recent example of this is the murals that Banksy did in Gaza on the wall of the Israeli and Palestine border. In conclusion we can see that through the works of Banksy it is evident that he not only Modifies our consciousness of the political situations but he also likes to raise our awareness of current issues.[Type the company name] 6 [Type the document title] our rights to freedom of speech and to question the establishment. There has been great conflict between these two countries for many years. with children playing with buckets and spades. and not in a materialistic manner purely creating art for those who will simply pay the highest price.
Word count: 2. With Banksy’s work he does not look for fame or glorification.496 Page 7 of 8 . something that would have been greatly applauded by many critics including Fredric Jameson.[Type the company name] 7 [Type the document title] criticising the society in which we live. his work is a parody. he is an anonymous onlooker who has the desire to make a point and push change. through the medium of his art.
the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. [book] Howe.wired. 1991.August 2005. ‘1984’ Edition: reissue. the most wanted man in the art world. Issue 13.com. Jeff.’ First he turned back alleys into galleries.[Type the company name] 8 [Type the document title] Bibliography BBC News ‘council orders Banksy art removal’ Friday. http://www. [journal] Fairey. Matthew. Swindle magazine ‘Banksy. the naked truth’ [journal] Fredric. London.’ Wired magazine. Then he hacked the MoMA and the Met. 1990. ‘Banksy's ideas have the value of a joke’. 28/01/2008. 24 October 2008 15:56 UK [online] Collings. Postmodernism. Published by Signet Classic. George. [book] Page 8 of 8 .08 . Durham. [online] Orwell. Duke University Press. The Times. or. Shepard. Jameson. Meet Banksy.
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