Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Social Realism in the Twenty-first Century?

Part XIV of a series about the possibility of a rebirth of Social Realism in the Post Postmodern (Popomo), based in part on my several LATE NIGHT readings of “Notes on Metamodernism” by Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker. *1


According to my research on the Post Postmodern, Popomo, Metamodern, whichever or whatever, there can be no such thing as a resurgence of Social Realism in the Twenty-first Century.

The alter ego asks. "Why is that, John?”

If I look at Vermeulen and Van den Akker’s notion of the Metamodern, any revived Social Realism would have to be suspended in a state of oscillation somewhere between and/or among Modernist idealism, the Postmodern jaded approach to the world, and the Metamodern/Hypermodern/Post Postmodern conflicted political/social/religious global Twenty-first century cultural systems and practices. These must include the dirty energy versus clean energy dichotomy subsumed within idealized global capitalism, idealized East versus West religious practices, idealized global democracy, and an idealized global open society. As a product of my time and place, I am at once jaded and idealistic. I want Art with social concerns to be visible everywhere, but I also watch Governor Paul LePage (R) stealthily rip down the labor mural in the Maine Department of Labor, and I know that the democratic state is in danger of irreparable damage from such ideologically motivated and sanctioned bullying behavior. I do know that a few artists like Banksy and Denis Peterson are making art that is clearly related to the Social Realism of the past. As a product of the Zeitgeist my own artwork, “The Waterworks,” is an idealistic plea for saving our oceans, and fresh water resources from the ravages of dirty energy and the seemingly built in human propensity to destroy everything and anything we touch.

“Sounds like your caught between a rock and a hard place, John.”

“Yes, dear alter ego. I continue to ‘HOPE’ despite all the nay saying and my own negativity, a totally Metamodern position.”

*1 Vermeulen, Timotheus and Van den Akker, “Notes on Metamodernism, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture eISSN 2000-4214, on the Web at http://www.aestheticsandculture.net/index.php/jac/article/view/5677/6306, Viewed Wednesday, 7:57 PM, May 4, 2011. This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Responsible editor: Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

*2 Cochrane, Andy, “Banksy Postmortem” at The AV Club, http://blog.theavclub.tv/post/banksy-postmortem. Posted September 18, 2006, viewed by John 9:40 AM EDT, Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

1 comment:

Betsy Grant said...

I heartily support your plea to save the oceans and fresh water sources from the destructive aspect of human nature. Your love for the gift and beauty of nature is obvious. I also enjoy your "discussions" with your alter ego. You have a creative writing style.