Nicolas Bourriaud is the curator of a new exhibition at the Tate that claims postmodernism is dead.  In this month’s Aesthetica he states:

“It’s not the binary opposition between the two [local and global] but the constitution of trajectories and itineraries which is actually leading to a kind of new photographic vision of art and of the world itself”

The theory behind this may be old news – post structuralism called for this collapse and reinvention over 40 years ago, and film and dance are among the ways in which artists have tried to experiment with these ideas.  The cultural era itself, however, remained visciously self-referential.  Almost at the same time as the birth of deconstruction, an art scene totally dependent on caricaturing what had come before exploded, holding mirrors to other mirrors, and evolving into a dog chasing its own tail ever more furiously.

Furthermore, the “progressives” that have tried to break through  unfortunately have always been reviewed through postmodern lenses.  How do we create new meaning without previous reference points?  A clean slate erases all meaning, so how do we give birth to the first “thing” in a new community?

It will be interesting to see how Bourriaud attempts to overcome this.  I involuntarily detect similarities between his (new) name and  Baudrillard.  Connotations follow, and expectations are high.

Altermodern: Tate Triennial 2009 runs until 26 April.

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