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modernism redux



In case you are wondering about the next Documenta theme I've been on the Empyre list doing the intellectual equivalent of Curly from the Three Stooges doing the early floor spin (pre hip-hop) without going anywhere.

Here's the question:

"Roger Beurgel, the artistic director of Documenta 12, has posted this new formulation of the Documenta topic for March,
Is Modernity our Antiquity?
This is the first question. It is fairly obvious that modernity, or modernity’s fate, exerts a profound influence on contemporary artists. Part of that attraction may stem from the fact that no one really knows if modernity is dead or alive. It seems to be in ruins after the totalitarian catastrophes of the 20th century (the very same catastrophes to which it somehow gave rise). It seems utterly compromised by the brutally partial application of its universal demands (liberté, égalité, fraternité) or by the simple fact that modernity and coloniality went, and probably still go, hand in hand. Still, people’s imaginations are full of modernity’s visions and forms (and I mean not only Bauhaus but also arch-modernist mind-sets transformed into contemporary catchwords like “identity” or “culture”). In short, it seems that we are both outside and inside modernity, both repelled by its deadly violence and seduced by its most immodest aspiration or potential: that there might, after all, be a common planetary horizon for all the living and the dead.""

And Here's one of my many responses;

From Wikipedia:

"Influential theories and theorists include:

* Edward Gibbon essentially placed the blame on Christianity, saying Christianity sapped the will of Roman "civic duty" (that is, military service); and made the populace less interested in the worldly here and now and more willing to wait for the rewards of heaven.
* Henri Pirenne published the "Pirenne Thesis" in the 1920s which has remains influential to this day. It holds that the Empire continued, in some form, up until the time of the Arab conquests in the 7th century.
* Historians of Late Antiquity, such as Peter Brown, have turned away from the idea that the Roman Empire "fell". They see a "transformation" occurring over centuries, with the roots of Medieval culture contained in Roman culture. This is a gradual process with no clear break.

Theories tend to reflect the eras in which they are developed. Gibbon's criticism of Christianity reflects the values of the Enlightenment; his ideas on the decline in martial vigour were a warning to the growing British Empire. In the 19th century socialist and anti-socialist theorists tended to blame decadence and other political problems. More recently, environmental concerns have become popular, with deforestation and soil erosion proposed as major factors, and epidemics such as malaria also cited. Ideas about transformation with no distinct fall owe much to postmodern thought, which rejects periodization concepts (see metanarrative). What is not new are attempts to diagnose Rome's particular problems, with Juvenal in the early 2nd century, at the height of Roman power, criticizing the peoples' obsession with "bread and circuses" and rulers seeking only to gratify these obsessions."

One could say that antiquity survived in the form of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman empire until the Turks finally overan it in 1453.

Music is an interesting art form because it tends to evolve more quickly than other cultural forms. Musical styles and tastes change rapidly as well. In the range of music being listened to there's perhaps 500 years that the modern ear has patience with.

There's some confusion as to when the Rennaissance started in Europe. The notion is that "classical" forms of science, art, philosophy, architectecture etc.. were rediscovered or re-introduced to Europe. Some say the Renaissance began in the 1300's.

The Arabs claim that their colony in Spain, Al-Andalus started the Rennaisance in Europe by transmitting the knowledge the Arabs got from antiquity. The height of Al-Andulus was 912-961 c.e.

I received a catalog in the mail. It looked like a slim monograph of an artist's work. The cover is a photograph of a women in a black above the knee cocktail dress looking into a swimming pool in the back of her Richard Neutra 1957 modernist home. At fist I thought it was a photographers monograph. Some neo-punk redo of 1960's American suburban fantasy. the upper left hand corner title says," distinctly modern." The lower right corner says, "Americana Manhassett. 1956 - celebrating 50 years - 2006. Manhasset is a shopping maul in Long Island, New York.

Inside are fashion shots of women and men in stunningly beautiful clothes in front of modernist buildings. It's a nostalgia for the 1960's American technological Utopia.

Recently the U.A.E tried to take over the operations of the ports in the US. The Global one percent that actually owns the world didn't see anything odd about this. CNN began to do a series of reports on Dubai which is called, "The Las Vegas" of the Middle East. Dubai is so wealthy from oil money that they have built islands in the shape of palm trees in their harbor to create homes and condominiums. They are building the tallest building in the world in downtown Dubai which is experiencing a huge building boom.

The actual forces of the modern world, the "Libertie, Equalitie, Franternitie," of the French and American Revolutions are in a battle with Neo-Midieval forces of multinational globalism.