01 January 2008

Beyond Modernism

From Lee Siegel's "The Blush of the New" (a review of Peter Gay's Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond), NYT Sunday Book Review, 12/30/07:

We have exhausted Romantic individualism, and we have twisted the uniquely individual, modernist escape from the self into "self-expression."

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"99 Cent," chromogenic color print by Andreas Gursky (1999).

Expression is everywhere nowadays, but true art has grown indistinct and indefinable.

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"Iraq Female Mujahadeen," by Scott Nelson, WPN (Baghdad, 2004)

We seem now to be living in a world where everyone has an artistic temperament -- emotive and touchy, cold and self-obsessed -- yet few people have the artistic gift.

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"Ecataepec," C-print by Scott Peterman (Mexico City, 2006)

We are all outsiders, and we are all living in our own truth.

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"A US soldier swims in the south fork of the Euphrates River,
Ar Ramadi," by Joel Preston Smith; from Night of a Thousand
Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq

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