From the 15th of November 2011 to the 15th of January 2012, the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in New York will host a small group exhibition dedicated to metamodernism: No more modern: Notes on metamodernism. The exhibition, curated by Jake Yuzna with the assistance of Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker, includes video works by Pilvi Takala (Easy Rider, 2006), Guido van der Werve (Nummer Twee: Just because I’m standing here doesn’t mean I want to, 2003), Mariechen Danz (Knot in Arrow, 2011), and Benjamin Martin (Move along, 2009). Copies of Notes on metamodernism’s foundational essay, ‘Notes on metamodernism’, first published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Culture in 2010, will be distributed freely.
Below is an excerpt from the museum’s programme description. If you happen to be around, do come and have a look.
In the past decade, theorists have attempted to tackle the question of what comes after modernism and post-modernism. Only recently a new terminology has emerged to situate and explain recent developments across current affairs, critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, cinema, music and literature: metamodernism.
Introduced as an intervention in the post-modernism debate by cultural theorists Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker in their 2009 essay “Notes on Metamodernism,” metamodernism asserts that the 2000s where characterized by the return of typically modern positions without altogether forfeiting the postmodern mindsets of the 1990s and 1980s.
Showcasing this emerging discourse, the cinema program No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernism pairs cinema works, all produced in the 2000’s, with free copies of Van den Akker and Vermeulen’s essay. Hailing from different countries, these artworks all illustrate Van Den Akker and Vermeulen’s tenants metamodernism being “a continuous oscillation, a constant repositioning between positions and mindsets that are evocative of the modern and of the postmodern but are ultimately suggestive of another sensibility that is neither of them. A discourse that negotiates between a yearning for universal truths but also an (a)political relativism, between hope and doubt, sincerity and irony, knowingness and naivety, construction and deconstruction.”
Van Den Akker and Vermeulen suggest that the metamodern attitude longs for another future, another meta-narrative, while simultaneously acknowledging that that this future or narrative might not exist, or materialize, or, if it does materialize, is inherently problematic.
Even this program’s title, No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernsim, oscillates between a proclamation of earnest desire to break from the history of modernism while also acknowledging the irony in the impossibility of such a quest. Together these works present this recent skeptical, but hopeful, turn in critical theory and cultural production. No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernism showcases a sampling of works that present a new perspective in contextualizing our world in the new millennium.
No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernism will be on view in the Theater at MAD all day during normal museum hours, with occasional interruption by additional programs
No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernism is organized by Jake Yuzna, Manager of Public Programs with assistance from Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker.
No More Modern : Notes on Metamodernism is presented in response to the exhibition Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design on view from Oct 11, 2011 – January 15, 2012
Image: Mariechen Danz, Knot in arrow. Video. 2011.