Sunday, December 7, 2008

Postmodernism in Pop Culture

"The disappearance of a sense of history, the way in which our entire contemporary social system has little by little begun to lose its capacity to retain its own past, has begun to live in a perpetual present and in a perpetual change that obliterates traditions of the kind which all earlier social formations have had in one way or another to preserve... The information function of the media would thus be to help us to forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanisms of our historical amnesia" (Jameson).
Postmodernism in its most easily identifiable form seems to be the re-hashing of retro styles or nostalgic subject matter. Normally in the form of parody or tribute, it is the recycling of an idea to identify or create new meaning to a concept. These combinations sometimes seem very unlikely and usually involve a blend of "high" and "low" art. For example, I cite Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" parody of Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Time."
This is most commonly seen in: 
  • Film/TV genres
  • Photographic images
  • Typography
  • Color
  • Clothing
  • Advertising images 
  • Hair styles

Postmodernism is "history" represented through nostalgic images of pop culture, fantasies of the past. History can become the style, and historical representations blend with nostalgia. The end result is dependent on the original concept, but in the process develops its own narrative.


Michelle Elkin said...

History always repeats itself! I really like the indian with the mohawk and then the punk rocker, I never thought about the history of the mohawk, thats really neat!
I think its interesting how pop-culture takes artwork and redoes it like the simpsons did. Cool examples!!

k-k said...

Thanks for penning this blog post. Both informative and entertaining really a good read for me.

Cindy Dy said...

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