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THE CULTURE OF MODERNISM. FROM TRANSGRESSIONS OF ART TO ARTS OF TRANSGRESSION

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THE CULTURE OF MODERNISM. FROM TRANSGRESSIONS OF ART TO ARTS OF TRANSGRESSION
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  Volume 3 Numero 3 automne 1998 * hiver 1999 FRONTIERES, TENSIONS ET SIGNIFICATION/ TRANSGRESSIONS 7 PRESENTATION DU NUMERO • PRESENTATION GOran Sonesson et Marie Carani 9 THE CULTURE OF MODERNISM. FROM TRANSGRESSIONS OF ART TO ARTS OF TRANSGRESSION Goran Sonesson 27 LE SURVOL HISTORIQUE: DE L'HISTOIRE DU PROGRES UNIVERSEL A L'HISTOIRE COMPLETE DE LART Olga Hazan 39 LA RHETORIQUE DU CONTOUR OU COMMENT CREER DES FRONTIERES ET COMMENT LES TRAVERSER Francis Edeline (Groupe µ) 51 BREAKING DOWN THE REALIST BARRIER Marie Carani 67 SEMIOTIQUE TOPOLOGIQUE ET SEMIOTIQUE PLANAIRE: CONVERGENCES ET DIVERGENCES Louis Hebert · 89 UN ESSA D'ANTHROPOLOGIE PSYCHO·SEMIOTIQUE: LE CAS DE LART ET DE LA PENSEE BERBERES Nadia Kajjou 105 LE SENS INCARNE DANS LES SENS Fernande Saint-Martin 119 POiETIQUE DE LA SCULPTURE ACTUELLE: LA FIGURE DE L'OURS CHEZ L'ARTISTE MICHEL SAULNIER Claude-Maurice Gagnon 141 UNE DESCRIPTION DE LA RECEPTION D'IEUVRES D'ART. LES SCULPTURES DE CRIN DE PIERRmE BLOCH Marie Renoue 155 RESUMES • ABSTRACTS Ce numero sur les frontif res et les tensions comme transgressions a ete prepare sous la responsabilite scientifique de Gi:ran Sonesson (Universite de Lund) et de Marie Carani (Universit. Laval). This issue that focuses on borderlines and tensions as transgressions has been put together by Giiran Sonesson (Lund University) and Marie Carani (Universit8 Laval). • •• 5  M emism as a cultural phenomenon, and the possibility of its having been succeeded by something else, often called Postmodernity, is rarely discussed in semiotics. The whole issue is usually given over to the so called Postrnodernist (or, srcinally, Poststructuralist) theory, which, in spite of its name, has a very tenuous theoretical stance. It will be suggested in the following that this phenomenon is better understood from the point of view of semiotics and that we are already in possession of at least part of the necessary theoretical equipment required to do so. Semiotics, it will be argued, as it has evolved from Russian Formalism, through Prague structuralism, to the Tartu School, is not only theoretically capable of handling Modernism, it has, in fact, been, as the French say, its compagnon de route. Also, it will not part company with Postmodem ism, for the simple fact that the latter, in spite of its self-understanding, is only a new phase of Modern ism according to this researcher. MODELS FOR A HISTORY OF MODERNISM History, it is ordinarily claimed, lies outside the purview of Russian Formalism, and it is sup- © VISIO 3 3 automne 1998 hiver 1999 9-25. THE CULTURE OF MODERNISM. FROM TRANSGRESSIONS OF ART TO ARTS OF TRANSGRESSION Goran Sonesson Lund University posed that only at its latest stage, at the point of transition to Czech structuralism, was a theory of history or evolution supplied by the collaborative efforts of Jakobson and Tynjanov (1928). Yet, a theory of history- of the history of perception, to be more specific -is clearly implied already by one of the central thesis of Formalism (as formulated by Sklovskij and, more particularly, by jakubinskij). According to this thesis, the habits of perception which are acquired in our ongoing everyday experience of standard language and of other standard ized media (as, in the case of pictorial art, non artistic pictures), habits which are thus automa tized", are disrupted by artistic creation and are thereby made strange or actualized for us. Moreover, these habits, when they have hardened into standardized artistic forms, are again trans gressed by the invention of new ways of artrnaking. THE HISTORICITY OF FORMALISM In this respect, as in inany others, Formalism may well have formulated, not a theory of art outside history, but of the art of its time, that is, emerg ing Modernism, created by friends of the Formalists such as Malevich, Kandinsky, Tatlin, Chlebnikov, • •• 9  • Frontieres tensions et signification Brik, Majakovskij, Meyerhold, etc., and even by the Formalists themselves in another incarnation, as in the case of Eisenstein and the early Jakobson (cf Steiner 1984). The Prague structuralists, who took over, specified, revised, and extended the theories of Russian Formalism, certainly entertained similar rapports with the contemporary Czech avant-garde, that is, with Karel Teige and Poetism (cf Deluy ed. 1972). Thus the Formalist model, as well as its later Prague school version, is implicit ly, if not overtly, historical, not only because it sup poses a sequence of changing perceptual habits, but more fundamentally, as it is historically dated, because it reproduces the conception of art pre supposed, and even explicitly formulated by the exponents of Modernism. f the dialectics of art described by Formalism is really identical to the so-called mechanism of Modernism, there must have been a time when it was not yet a correct description of art; and we may thus be justified in asking ourselves whether, as the prophets of Postmodernity submit, it could also cease to be such a description. It should be clear that Modernism, and there by the applicability of the Formalist model, has a beginning, not perhaps as far as the divorce from the standard medium is concerned, but as to the ever-repeated dialectics of "struggle and reformation" (in the terms of the Prague theses) applied to established artistic forms. It is not only that "the character, direction, and scale of this reformation vary greatly", as Jakobson and Mukarovsky put forward in the Prague theses, but, although refor mations must have taken place before the advent of Modernism, that they were not the order of the day: in other words, the breaking of the norms did not then constitute the meta-norm of all artistic work. n the case of painting, for instance, there may have been a guiding idea, a common endeavor since the Italian Renaissance that aspired to ren der ever more perfectly the appearances of the visual world; progress in art , to quote Susy Gablik, was thus conceivable. But it is wrong to think that there could be a similar progress in abstraction; rather, following the dialectics formu lated by the Formalists, each new generation of Modernists found themselves, in Michael Fried' s terms (as quoted by Singerman 1989: 158), under the obligation to work through the problems ••• 10 "thrown up by the art of the recent pasts", thereby creating new problems for the next generation of artists to work on. Once the machine of Modernism has been put in motion, however, there is no escape from it, and therefore there can rightly be no Postrnodernism, if not as a (misnamed) phase of Modernism. This is not only because a lot of properties usually ascribed to Postmodernisn1 are already present in Modernism. There are at least two, more fundamental reasons for rejecting the claims of Postmodernism, one of which is simply semantical, the other properly semiotic. The semantic, that is, purely linguistic reason, has to do with the fact that the word modern must be taken as an instance of the category of shifters (as defined by Jespersen and Jal(obson), that is, as a word whose meaning refers to the act (for instance, the time and place) of its own enunciation (cf. Sonesson 1978a). Thus, the time span included in the do main of reference of the word modern must comprehend the moment when the word is pro nounced. Modernity always seems to be running ahead of us, whereas we unavoidably seem to lag behind by an inch. Some modernisms, of course, become objectified in history: for example, the new philosophy of the Middle Ages or Perrault's les modernes struggling against Ies anciens no longer seem particularly modern to us. But they continue to encapsulate the time of enunciation when they were truly modern. The second, purely semiotic reason, why there can be no end to Modernism, is that its mechanisni, as described by the Formalists, once started, can never cease functioning. Trying the break out of the tradition of the new , the art work confirms to the very mechanism of that tradition, which con sists precisely in transgressing the norms set up by the art forms preceding it. Even if Postrnodernity consisted in returning to the ways in which art was created before Modernism was invented (which is only true, and only to a certain extent of Postmodernist architecture), this could only be understood, after Modernism, as a break with the earlier, temporary, modernist norm, and thus as a new phase of Modernism - that is, it could only be interpreted in that sense, as long as Modernism was remembered and not lost too far back in the past. If however, as Lyotard has often suggested (see, for instance, Appignanesi ed. 1989), Postrnod ernism can be said to srcinate before, or at the same time as Modernism (which does make sense in terms of the properties often ascribed to it), it is simply a misnomer. THE LYOTARDEAN PARADOX AND THE TWO VERSIONS OF MODERNISM Lyotard' s paradoxical observation, and the claims of Postmodernism become understandable, however, in the North American context, where the image of Modernism was very much influ enced by Clement Greenberg's writings on the Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Wilhem de Kooning. According to Greenberg, the Modernist work of art was essentially a critical discourse applying to earlier works of art and its methods required it to avoid dependence upon any order of experience not given in the most essentially construed nature of its medium (Greenberg quoted in Rorimer 1989:129). Indeed, more recently, Greenberg himself has set up an opposition between Modernity and Postmodernity, quoting in part, in the latter case, the same artists and movements which are the heroes of Lyotard, many of which are contemporaneous with, or anterior to his Modernists: Duchamp and other Dadaists, certain aspects of Surrealism, and Pop Art (see Tomkins 1988:7f). The result is a curious amputation of the Modernist movement, two of its most important early constituents being Dadaism and Surrealism, both of which also left their imprint on such an emblematic European Modernist as Picasso, the Modernist par excellence of popular opinion. Yet, it may perhaps be said that there were two, in some respects divergent ingredients of early Modernism: on the one hand, an inivard movement a tendency to reduce art to its smallest denominator, that is, to highlight, under aesthetic focus , in Prague School terminology, the minimal proper ties of the art work as a thing; and, on the other hand, an outward movement tending to include ever further properties, objects, and spheres, in the world subjected to the aesthetic function. 1 What came to evolve, under the name of Modernism, in the United States, was mainly the first endeavor (with The Culture of Modernism • the exception of Pop Art). When the second tendency began to predominate in the United States (and, thanks to its cultural hegemony, in the rest of the Occidental world), it was baptized Postmo dernism. Also, Duchamp, the Dadaists, the Surrealists, and contemporary Postmodernists, have all had to work through the problems "thrown up by the art of the recent pasts", but these problems have been created, not by an ever finer isolation of the intrinsic properties of the work of art, but by the out ward expansion of the art sphere, and the evermore comprehensive absorption of other objects, events, and spheres into it. Although it is con cerned with culture, rather than with the art sphere per se, and although it may not have been developed with any particular artistic movement in mind, the Tartu School model of culture is perfectly apt to analyze this aspect of Modernism, as I have suggested elsewhere (see Sonesson 1992a). And, in spite of Michael Fleischer' s (1989) mis guided criticisms to the contrary, it is precisely because it conceives of culture subjectively, that is, from the point of view of the insider opposing himself to those posited outside, that the Tartu model can be used to analyze the successive expanding movements of Art, or Modernism, as that of any other cultural movements or spheres. MODERNISM - AN UNENDING STORY Let us now recapitulate, in order to add some details, while applying and adapting the models already referred to in this discussion. What I have termed the Mechanism of Modernism may be con ceived of as a particular application of what Husser (1966: 331) termed Time Consciousness, in which, at each moment of time, some earlier mo ment is retained, while another is expected to occur, or as Husserl states, is protained. This model has been used, and revised, by Mukarovsky (1974) and Veltrusky (1977), in their studies of lite rature and drama and also by myself, when endeavoring to render the workings of a percep tual hypothesis filling in the lacking details of everyday experience (Sonesson 1978a, 1978b). I have used it lately even more generally as a substitute for the much limited notion of isotopy, so as to render the idea of an interpretational scheme, present in the work of Schutz, Piaget, Bartlett, and . . 11  • Frontieres, tensions et signification contemporary cognitive psychologists (cf Sonesson 1988, 1996a, and Fig. 1). o to ·. . .ti/2 . R (to iii 2) to/1 "-.. "-. A to/2 =R (to in 12) t0/3 FIGURE l. A SCHEMATIC DESCRIPTION OF TIME CONSCIOUSNESS (FROM HUSSERL 1996, AS ADAPTED IN SON ESSON 1978A,B) TIME CONSCIOUSNESS AND ISOTOPY According to the critique of that notion of iso topy which I have set forth in detail elsewhere (Sonesson 1978b, 1988, 1990a, 1992a, 1996a), this concept, introduced by Greimas, and used, among others, by the Groupe µ (1977, etc.), presupposes the return, at time t2, of an event expected at time tl, which, at some level of abstraction, is identical to the event occurring at time tl. There is a break of norms, according to this conception, if instead another event, categorically different from the event at tl, occurs at time t2. To my mind, rhetoric, as the art of transgressions, should be much broad er: it should also include the occurrence at time t2 of an event which is identical to the one occurring at time tl, when a different event is expected. In that regard, the rhetoric of Modernism is really of the latter kind: it makes us expect, at time tl, that the work of art created at time t2 will be different from that existing at time tl. Of course, even the expectancy of something different occurs inside a framework of familiarity and of things taken-for-granted: we expect, among other things, that the new work of art, however different, will be of the kind to which Modernism has accus tomed us to. Thus, the real surprise would be the occurrence, at time t2, of a painted altarpiece n the style of the Middle Ages or even of a painting like those which won awards at the French Salons during the last century, when, at time t1, a Modernist work of art is expected to appear. • • • 12 What the Formalist model says, then, is, in sum, that every new event at time tl will tend to become the norm n vigor at time t2, a norm which is applied and obeyed, only to be transgressed at time t3 when a new event occurs, which is then made the norm at time t4, and subsequently con tested by yet another norm at time t5, and so on indefinitely. Clearly, this mechanism has a begin ning, but no conceivable end. What finally happens, however, is that newness itself becomes something well-known and familiar: in terms of isotopic theory, non-iterability is iterated, the non-expected is expected. That which, on a lower level of generality, is forever new, is, higher up on the ladder of abstraction, always the same. Thus, at last, that particularly modern sentiment, diagnozed by Berman (1982) and before him, of course, by Marx, that" all that is solid melts into air", tends to disappear. Newness becomes a frozen gesture. The habits of perception are never really upset. Postmodernism, in this sense, is Dadaism in alarmist quotes: Dadaism as theatre. We will see the importance of this possibility later on. THE NORMS AND TRANSGRESSIONS OF MODERNISM Let us now look, briefly, at what the Prague School extension of this model (cf Fig. 2) can be made to say about Modernism in art. As I have noted elsewhere, the Modernist norm came to require in time the abandonment of pictorial repre sentation mimicking the appearances of the visual world, and thus, by implication, the central role played by the human figure, thus denying another norm in vigor (in the Occidental world, but not, for instance, in the Islamic one) since the prehis toric cave paintings and petroglyphs.' This description, to be sure, is particularly apt as an analysis of Greenberg' conception of Modernism. As Frank Stella has testified (cf Tomkins 1988:141ff), at the time of his art studies, it was simply unimag inable to make a painting which was not abstract. Indeed, when de Kooning started painting female figures, however caricatural, Georges Mathieu demanded his expulsion from New York's Artist's Club for having betrayed the abstract cause, that is, for having broken the norm of American Modernism (cf Tomkins 1988:137ff). The fact that de Kooning was not excluded apparently illus- trates Mukarovsky's claim that not all norms acquire the force of law. NORMS aesthetical norms and aesthetically deformed nonns Canon .L Repertory of V exemplary ....,._ works Work II- rte ad SIGN CONCRETISATION filling n oi empty places, determination of dominant structures [ Sc ; perceptual agent-critic Aesthetical objet material vs intentionality [ 52: perceptual agent FIGURE 2. SCHEMATIC RENDERJNG OF THE PRAQUE SCHOOL MODEL (AS RECONSTRUCTED N SON ESSON 1992A. FILLED ARROWS INDICATE DIRECT INFLUENCE; OUTLINE ARROWS STAND FOR MORE COMPLEX INTERACTIONS) But even before abstraction became the norm (itself broken by de Kooning, Pop Art, etc.), Mod ernism, in its heroic beginnings, put artists under the obligation of giving up a particular mode of pictorial rendering which had been the norm in the West, at least since the Renaissance 3: that is, the striving to render the appearances of the perceptual world ever more perfectly, and the value attributed to progress in that endeavor, which, together with over values, have no doubt been a regulatory idea of most Occidental art unto, and in a way includ ing Impressionism. Thus, the two·" giants" of Eu ropean Modernism, Matisse and Picasso, never, or . only passingly gave up depiction entirely, but the value regulating the kind of art they produced, and for which their works became exemplary, did not require any perfect rendering of visual appear ances, but, on the contrary, stressed the reinterpretation and resegmentation of perceptual reality. No doubt, Surrealism, Hyperrealism, and Pop Art, never gave up depiction as a norm, but there ceased to be a value for them in striving for further perception. Indeed, with the exception of Surrealism, they all depicted other depictions, or simulat ed their effect.' Yet we should not make too much of the abandonment of depiction: inside Modernism, other norms have been set up, and overridden. Thus, Abstract Expressionism created a norm, not only of abstraction, but also of a particular kind of expressivity, the exemplary works of which are The Culture of Modernism • perhaps Jackson Pollock's action paintings, and, to a lesser extent, those of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. Complying with that norm as far as a certain kind of abstraction was concerned, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns already deviated from it in showing less "expressiveness" and more discipline, while Johns even allowed for some amount of depiction, but only of things which were themselves flat, like the canvas (see Tomkins 1988). As Mukarovsky (quoted by Galan 1986: 36) noted, every work of art contains an affir mation of some (aspects of) earlier works of art, together with a negation of others. This observation can also be verified by later Modernist movements: Frank Stella's abstraction is even more studied than that of Rauschenberg and Jolmsi as for the more confirmed Minimalists who followed him, such as Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Sol Le Vitt, their work may be seen to retain the simple geometric forms found in early European abstraction (notably that of Malevich, Arp, etc.), yet without the latter's claim of conveying a higher symbolism. At least at the level of intentions, there is a curious contrast be tween, for instance, the esoteric conceptions of Malevich and Kandinsky, and Stella's pronouncements that his work is "based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there" (quoted in Tomkins 1988: 31; cf Sandqvist 1988). Interestingly, this is the same opposition which was found between two groups of poets using meaningless phrases, poets which were contemporary with the Russian Formalists, the zaum poets, for instance Chlebnikov, who shared Malevich's ambitions and others, such as Krucenych, who only relied on the sound effects as such (cf Steiner 1984: 144ff). The use of ordinary, functional objects and the inclusion of photographs and written texts found in Conceptual Art, Pop art, and other transitory movements, may be said to hark back to Dadaism, Futurism, and Cubism. Yet the strictly regulated manner of their appearance in these former art forms would seem to owe something to Minima lism, and contrasts with the apparently chaotic and random character of their appearance in collages, and as ready-mades.' A text, a photograph, and a ready-made object, all referring in different ways to a chair, are included in Joseph Kosuth's One and three chairs: the instructional context mi- • •• 13  • Frontieres, tensions et signification micked in this work, as well as the ascetic ar rangement of verbal texts found in the works of John Baldessari and Laurence Weiner, as well as in the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher, are very far from the spirit of Dadaism. It is easy to see also that "pattern painting" reacts to, but nonetheless complies with some of the norms set up by Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism: but, against the asceticism of these movements, it reclaims the right to create more complex and more prolific ornaments, inspired by textile decoration, calligraphy, and Islamic art; yet often it remains abstract. To the extent that these pattern artists ·retrieve the possibilities of depiction, they do not follow the lead of the Western tra dition, but prefer a more awkward, and to our eyes rather caricatural rendering that is derived from the styles of Persian miniature and Chinese Vase painting (in the case of Brad Davis) or from Mayan sculpture (in the case of Joyce Kozloff). Some recent artworks really consist of a meta language regarding the transgressions of art into non-art and vice-versa. No doubt, this was al ready partially intended by Duchamp' s sovereign gesture of placing an urinal in an art exhibition. More recently, Alfredo Castro and Hans Anders Molin invented a kind of meta-meta-language of transgressions: their works, consecrated as art works by being exhibited in an art gallery, were later transferred to a shopping centre. If these indexicalities, that is, the protentions or retentions of the transference, are thus included in our experience of art works, they are actually about the relationship of the art sphere to the rest of the pub lic sphere. THE MEANING OF THE AESTHETIC FUNCTION AND THE NOTION OF EXEMPLIFICATION Another aspect of the Prague School model must be noted here: the fact that it requires the spectator to collaborate in the creation of the work of art. Such a collaborative effort must of course always take place in order for the art work to be transformed into an aesthetic object; in this pro cess, empty positions in the structure are filled in by the receiver's knowledge, and the dominance of the structure is determined (this is, the Husserlean translation of the object into a series of noemata). Yet, it is interesting to note that, while ••• 14 Marcel Duchamp also insisted on the active role played by the receiver in the creation of a work of art, going well beyond the filling-in of empty spaces and the determination of the dominance, later Modernist art, in particular Minimalism, proclaimed that there was nothing left to do for the beholder (or perceiver), as expressed in Stella's pronouncement quoted above. One of the things to which this perceiver is supposed to collaborate, in the Prague School model, is the determination of the aesthetic function. Indeed, by putting the emphasis on certain properties of an artifact to the exclusion of others or, rather, by highlighting some properties while downplaying others, the artist may transform any object into a work of art and any perceiver may actually choose to look upon any artifact, and even a product of nature, as an art object simply by taking an aesthetic stand regarding it. It is as if it was to underscore this point that Duchamp accom plished his famous act of placing an urinal in an exhibition context. By moving their objects back into the artless world, Castro and Molin added a further ironic dimension to that experience. There is an ambiguity in this characterization of the aesthetic function, which is never fully resolve however in the Prague School model (cf. Sonesson 1992a). ls there some property of the uri nal, never before perceived, which, in itself, is worthy of sensuous or even of sensual, contem plation, or, alternatively, which, once highlighted, comes to refer to some further property which is of intrinsic interest?; or, is the task of the aesthetic function simply to pick out some indifferent property and single it for observation, that is to say, is the "aesthetic" property of the object simply ascribed to it? And, if so, is the intent of this act simply to extend the sphere of art? The same question may be framed with reference to what Goodman (1968) calls exemplification: that is, when an object becomes a sign for a property which it also possesses.' Contrary to what Goodman claims, however, objects rarely exemplify properties they have; more usually, as in the case of Goodman's cupcake in the bal<er's shop, or the tailor's swatch, they signify a category, or a class of things having the same properties as they have, or even a single other thing having some of the same properties; they may even exemplify themselves, as a painting in an art exhibition. 7 Yet, it is precisely in the case of the aesthetic function that an object may come to exemplify one of its properties as such: for instance, when a painting by Yves Klein exemplifies that particular shade of blue associat ed with Yves Klein's work (cf. Sonesson 1989a); or when a work by John Baldessari titled A work with only one property (which consists of a canvas with this text written in acrylic paint) may come to exemplify by contrast, the property of having many properties (without these innumerable prop erties being specified), Since Goodman sees exemplification as a symptom of the aesthetic, this would seem to imply that he takes aesthetic prop erties to be among those possessed by the object itself; yet he also claims that we should never ask "what is art", but only "when is art", which seems to suggest that such properties are not possessed, but only secondarily ascribed to art works. THE CONQUESTS OF MODERNISM The answer to this conundrum in probably that there existed earlier some properly aesthetic, that is, sensuous properties which made artifacts eligible as works of arts in the human Lifeworld (though sometimes these properties were difficult to dis_cover, and were often perceived only when no longer deformed by some prevailing norm), but that Modernism inverted this relationship and ascribed the property of being a work of art (no longer properly called aesthetic properties) to artifacts in cluded in the artistic sphere. Since a work of art, according to this interpretation, only possesses the property of being a work of art once it has been moved inside the sphere recognized as being that of art, it cannot be said to signify any property it possesses, but only a property ascribed to it on the ground of its temporary relationship to other things (a relationship which, however, tends to stick to it in history: no matter how it is moved, Duchamp's urinal continues to be a work of art). In this case, we will simply say that the property in question is pseudo-exemplified. It is precisely because of this fact that Modern ism, or at least its later phase, is best understood using the Tartu School model, and substituting the opposition between art and non-art for that posi ted between culture and non-culture (cf. Fig. 3). The same rules of inclusion/ exclusion, translation, The Culture· of Modernism • impossibility of translation, and translation as deformation, will then be found to exist. Such a use of the Tartu School model is obviously reminiscent of the so-called institutional theory of art, but even in its recent, sociological, rather than philosophical, variety (see Becker 1982), the latter appears to be a much less potent theory, with much less conceptual machinery available (which is not only a disadvantage, whatever Fleischer may think). I am not familiar with any use of this model by the Tartu School members to study the relationship between art and non-art; yet, in order to adopt that model, the art world has simply to be conceived as a sub-domain, as a "sub-culture" inside the totality of Occidental culture, which, under the regime of Modernism, tends to absorb other "sub-cultures" in its domain. 8 CULTURE (Textuali ) Mechanism of text generation Accumulation of information + +[Mechanism of ranslation Exchange of information Repertory of texts Chaos Disorder Barbarism FIGURE 3. SCHEMATJC RENDERING OF THE TARTU SCHOOL MODEL {AS RECONSTRUCTED IN SONESSON 1992A) In that sense, it can be posited that much of the neivness of art under Modernism is, in fact, only a nezvness to art, while being well-known already in some other domain. Thus, for instance, Duchamp' s scribbled-over copy of Leonardo's Mona Lisa, does not constitute anything new in an absolute sense: caricatures of Mona Lisa, with a moustache and a pointed beard, had appeared before, notably a few years earlier in the comic review Le rire; what was new with L.H.0.0.Q., was that it was included in the sphere of art. The Tartu School model must however be complemented in one important aspect: non-culture, in this case non-art, is not only progressively absorbed into culture, that is, in art, but some elements forming part of earlier culture, or art, are later excluded. For a long time, this was the case of the pictorial • •• 15
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