It was not a lot a change in style or philosophy as in sensibility. This new sensibility, Sontag wrote, “sees everything in quotation marks” and “converts the intense into the frivolous.” Although the condition of the world appeared ever extra critical—the Cuban Missile Crisis had just taken place—a younger technology within the Western democracies had decided that the proper response was to be even much less serious, to throw up one’s palms and confront the world with irony.
These had been the principal arts involved with the making and adorning of palaces and church buildings, and the tendencies they codified quickly labored their way down through the ornamental arts—ceramics, textiles, and the like. And they maintain their inherited prestige, though the ground beneath their toes has modified dramatically. Such projects, real or imaginary, returned the spotlight to the human physique. But this was hardly the body that was, as Hamlet put it, “like a god in apprehension.” Rather, it was a ravaged and wounded thing, degraded and defenseless. One can almost understand the popularity of the ghastly flayed and “plastinated” bodies exhibited by Günther von Hagen, the notorious corpse artist, in his touring “Body Worlds” exhibition.1 Unlike the degraded victimhood on show in most examples of abject artwork, his figures evoked dynamic action and freedom, and a minimum of a shard of hope.
One of the longest articles on this website, at 9,000 phrases, this guide is packed with advice from main art and design colleges around the globe. Human … Read More