Post photography

Topic 6 :reflection on Post Modernism

“Emerge as specific reactions against the established forms of high modernism, against this or that dominant high modernism which conquered the university, the museum, the art gallery network, and the foundations.”                    Frederic Jameson

This week, a new concept was given to us–the postmodernism. The key characteristics of postmodernism are:

  • Blurring of high culture and popular culture (or mass culture)
  • Challenge of “grand narratives” (religion, science, etc.)
  • Challenge of what constitutes reality
  •  Problematizing of time and history
  • Death of the individual subject

It’s more about eliminating and questioning the old theories from many aspect that we should be critic about the past, in case of to summarize and improve. The mixing of genres(resulting in hybrid genres), the rejudge of the knowledge which was legitimised by a narrative govern class that there is no ‘real’, the alleged ‘reality’, the facticity between history and fiction, and the subjectivity is no longer true due to individualism and the individual subject are also illusions. All signs of postmodernism indicate a conception of ‘Nothing, or Everything’ in a postmodern society, which against all kinds of prescriptive form, to achieve humanism and rationalism. There should be no rules unless all of theses are our imagines that no one could prove. So, it overturned what we’ve learned before during this course,which is a Criticism and Deconstruction the whole. Well, what about the photography of postmodernism?

  • What does it look like?
  • How does it feel?
  • How can you tell ‘your’ story?
  • How do we challenge the meta-narrative?

In my perspective, for the final task of a post story-telling photography, the old way of the reality and form are no longer exist, belongs to the ‘Grand narrative’ the meta-narrative which should be break, we can create without any categories and any limits because we are doing pastiche and parody, owing to everything has been done. There is no originality anymore, nor subjectivity. Based on Jameson’s article, we are in the consumer age that the mass media has lead to the consequence of no history,  a ‘schizophrenic society’.

All the things we are doing today may be the paradox in the future.

By reading the book ‘After photography’, some concepts about future photo is mainly based on digital culture. Because the digital media has fundamentally altered the way we receive visual information, from anyone. As we are in the process of the digital age, ‘no longer the aggressive shooting of pictures controlled by one photographer, there is the possibility of including other, competing voices,  including those of the subjects. … In a world beset by critical problems and ambiguous boundaries, Ritchin argues that it is time to begin energetically exploring possibilities created by technological innovations, and to use them to better understand our rapidly changing world.’ (Fred Ritchin)

With the overturn of changing, when we have more intimate relationship with machine, the hyperphotography will continuing leads to synthetics and cyborgs. The way we conceptualize the world will also not be the same way, the artificial life. Photography, video, and painting may seem nostalgic in the evolving new universe of forms.

But within my work, I would try my best to think deeper rather than care about the photographing skills, many people have already been perfect at this for a long time, I think what I need to do is to break the boundaries of the normal design, and try what I can do, to do some works which would be a break through for me. Ahead to my post-modernity.

Abgelo Musco’s works gave me a profound impression while I was reading the book. He use the real human body to show a vast space scale, I can’t help to think and look more on his works, which combines both truth and fiction in a really touching way. I got the basic inspirations from him, is to use the subject differs from what you represent. It’s a bloody surreal photographic landscape which is between virtual and reality, thus matches the theme of the postmodernism—there is no real, truth, differences and individualism in the world.

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