Reading Response: The Modernist Era

I do not think that anybody should worry about being timeless but rather be concerned about doing the job at hand. -Page 44

The idea of being timeless is interesting as the term “canon” was loosely thrown in during one of my art history modules. “Canon” refers to an art piece that stands representative of achieving absolute effect in an entire generation of art makers, having an implicit timeless quality to it. For example, Duchamp’s Fountain or Picasso’s Guernica.

In the later pages, it is mentioned that there “has been a betrayal of Modern in the form of endless rationalisations about decoration, coupled with complaints about the coldness of Modern design” I find this quote itself tinted with probable faults/betrayal apart from the one aforementioned. In the short yet educational weeks placed under Lisa, we have learnt many traits of different art movements. And with that, terms like “decoration” and “rationalisation” and “coldness” themselves are intuitive for many opposing art movements. Art deco loved decoration and yet Constructivism hated it. Dada hated rationalisation yet the Impressionists revered it. Futurists loved the coldness of visuals yet performance artists loved the sensual and dynamism of human mediums.

Hence, we realise that there is this apparent paradox in art. Timelessness itself reveals the chance of betrayal, where we flip from one side of the coin to another. One visual trait we possess can be abandoned within the next decade. It is empowering to follow the quote, where we should finalise our works according to contemporary issues, instead of worrying if our artworks fit the bill of our contemporary cookie cutter.

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