Pick of the Day (Tomorrow Edition): Prairie Postmodern

Starting Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m., a new program is going to air on Access 7. It’s called Prairie Postmodern, and it’s mandate is to examine the Postmodern cultural condition in Saskatchewan.

In a nutshell, for those who aren’t up on their art jargon, Postmodernism works in opposition, or in reaction to, modernism. Modernism was big in the ’50s and ’60s, and championed the universal, the abstract and the unadorned. It impacted on all sorts of art forms, from visual art and architecture to music and dance. Eventually, though, some artists started rebel against Modernism and champion the importance of local cultures, histories and identities.

Tomorrow evening between 5-7 p.m. there’s a launch party for Prairie Postmodern at the RPL Theatre. Food and other refreshments will be served, so if you get a chance drop by.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

3 thoughts on “Pick of the Day (Tomorrow Edition): Prairie Postmodern”

  1. I love universalism (political, design) and it needs to make a comeback. I read this and ask “why?” some artists felt the need to rebel against modernism? The NDP got too “postmodern” and that’s why they barely existed in the 1990s.

  2. In the visual arts in Canada, the argument was made that modernist painting of the type practiced by the Regina Five, the Painters Eleven out of Ontario, and other abstract expressionists in places like Edmonton, Vancouver and Quebec, was a form of branch plant art imported from New York. So in the late 1960s, when artists like Greg Curnoe, Jack Chambers, Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland (and locally, Joe Fafard, Vic Cicansky, David Thauberger) started working in a postmodern vein that focussed on regional cultures, there was a strong element of Canadian nationalism (or at least rejection of American imperialism — economic, cultural, social, etc) attached to the movement. This coincided with the rise of the Trudeau Liberals, the Vietnam era, concerns about Canada having a branch plant economy, etc. So I guess modernism wasn’t necessarily regarded as being as universal as it ideally could have been.

    Later on, postmodernism did devolve a bit, I think, into an obsession with identity politics where artists, especially from marginalized communities, did work grounded strongly in their unique histories, cultures, etc. On one level, recognition and celebration of diversity is healthy and essential to the growth and evolution of human society. But too much fragmentation, as we’ve seen for the last number of years on the left in comparison with the more “united” right, has created a distorted political/economic climate.

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