A few words about “postmodernism”.

If I had to name the primary characteristic of “postmodernism” it would be fragmentation. Fragmentation of unities whether those unities are/were real or mystified.

Some examples:

1. The dissolution of the Soviet Union.
2. The dissolution of the Bell System.
3. Perhaps the dissolution of majorities (the election of Mr. Bush being the most obvious example).
4. In philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche’s madman’s proclamation that “God is dead.” questions the basis of a shared cultural belief in God (Christianity).
5. In architecture: rebellion against “form follows function”, concrete and glass boxes and a move toward a juxtaposition of styles.
6. In photography: the revival of alternative processes, the concept that photographs can be read, deconstructed (Susan Sontag), exploration of ethnic and gender (self-referential) issues and challenging “Modernism’s elitist and exclusive view of aesthetic formalism and the autonomy of art” (Linda Hutcheon).

From my viewpoint “postmodernism” has certainly upset the apple cart, but I’d say it’s anti-elitism is very evident.

JP