Tracing Modernity: Manifestations of the Modern in Architecture and the City

Tracing Modernity: Manifestations of the Modern in Architecture and the City

Tracing Modernity: Manifestations of the Modern in Architecture and the City

Tracing Modernity: Manifestations of the Modern in Architecture and the City

Synopsis

From the seventeenth century until today, the 'modern' has served as a key category by which to understand an ever-changing present. Art and architecture have played a key role in this pursuit as the means by which the modern was to manifest itself. The essays in this new anthology trace the 'modern' project through its many forms in order to understand contemporary culture in a deeper sense than discussions of 'modernism' and 'post-modernism' usually offer. Drawing on architectural and urban history as well as philosophy and sociology, the book outlines the complex and conflicting roots of modernity by tracing its manifestations in architecture and the city.

Excerpt

What modernism was

Art, progress and the avant-garde

Arnfinn Bø-Rygg

'…the memory of the present…'

Charles Baudelaire

'To be modern is to know what is no longer possible'

Roland Barthes

A justified scepticism has spread in aesthetic discourse regarding concepts of universality and historical evolution, linear chronology and homogenous periodisation. This scepticism is directed in equal measure against artists' own self-understanding and against historical description relying on such vocabulary. This is particularly true in the case of the modern avant-garde, insofar as it contained, in its very concept, ideas of the superiority of the new and the notion that it is possible today to determine which art is 'ahead', thus to help map out the future. But does this partly justified criticism mean that history - what Hegel called 'the fury of disappearance' - has outplayed its role?

History is itself a modern product. History, modernity and art are contemporary and intertwined concepts, and we cannot have one without the others. the very history that made art possible also generated modernism in art, in which the past itself became a problem. When today - from an allegedly postmodern vantage point - we historicise modernity or declare ourselves to have reached a postmodern state, this itself is a modern impulse. the cunning of history is possibly even greater than the cunning of reason.

Modernism as historical construction

In general terms 'modernism' refers to an international tendency that came to expression in western literature, theatre, music, visual arts and architecture in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and continued to dominate twentieth

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.