The notion of postmodernism gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as an attempt to historically delimit a new set of artistic practices that seemed out of joint with modernism's chiefly formal concerns. However, it remains unclear to what extent postmodernism names a break with modernism, its crisis, the extension of its main concerns under new social-historical conditions, or simply a modish term with little or no analytic purchase on the real. Through a discussion of three now classic texts of so-called postmodern theory—Lyotard's “What is Postmodernism?,” Jameson's “Postmodernism and Consumer Culture” and Krauss” “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”—in this session we shall assess not only what is meant by this concept and its relation to the avant-garde, but whether it still names what is distinctive about our artistic present.
ABOUT THE MACHETE GROUP
The Machete Group organizes workshops, mini-seminars, reading groups, screenings and other events open to the public that have as their general focus the intersection between artistic practice and its theoretical articulation. The guiding proposition of the Machete Group is the claim that practice without theory is empty and theory without practice is blind. The goal of the center is to engender a rigorous and open atmosphere outside a strictly academic context that encourages autodidacticism, a willingness to question all forms of mastery and specialization, and the desire to think critically about artistic practice in an historically, socially and politically astute manner.
Monthly workshops run by Alexi Kukuljevic and Gabriel Rockhill with invited artists and intellectuals organized around select writings and works of art.