Re: [-empyre-] Is Modernity our Antiquity? -a brief historical divertissement

Actually, the remark Thomas is responding to, is from Lucio Agra - I just forwarded it.

But this is interesting. Modernity... isn't this an idea that goes back to the 'battle of the Ancients and the Moderns' -- that
politically charged theme of Absolutist France, to the beginning of Romanticism? The moderns were the Romantics: Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa. Or could someone (Thomas?) correct me?

And even further, we may imagine that modernity as a style of consciousness begins with the very Italian sense of time to which Thomas here alludes: a sense of time as a series of feedback loops so that, for example, you, the artist in the Renaissance, could 'recapture' the greatness of the imagined "Ancients" and here I mean the dreamed of paintings of Praxiteles, the extant sculptures in the rubble of the Roman Forum: you could revive these formal gestures as a pure referent to the world of Antiquity, thought of as a pluralist, pagan, non heterogenous mash. Ironically you could revive them to glorify your patrons (Pope Clement, the Medicis, the Sforzas) within a superficially Christian visual dramatic narrative; ah, but all this becomes very convoluted with the coming of the Counterreformation in Italian painting so I should leave off here. Just thinking: that we plunder "Modernity" as it were, as if, we were still among the greats of that distant past (Schwitters, Klee).--

also re English, by the way: please feel free if you wish to post in French or other mainstream languages, as -empyre- is very broad in elocution :-)


On Mar 2, 2006, at 5:37 PM, Thomas Schmidt wrote:

Hello List,

This is my first post on the list, so i'll start by introducing myself. My
name is Thomas and I'm a graphic-designer based in Paris, so, please excuse
my English.

Le 2/03/06 5:40, « Christina McPhee » <> a écrit :

I've been sustaining - as a rather
personal point o view - that what separates modernity to
contemporaneity has to do with a kind of gap, established 'round the
80's when something great was expected but never happened

Doesn't it seem that the relationship we have to those words, modernity and
contemporaneity, is of a completely different nature?

Modernity, as an art period (whether or not it has come to an end, which is
beyond my reasoning) can be thought of as bounded to the external
socio-technological factors of its time, such as the great technological
discoveries of the late 19th century, marxism etc., whereas contemporaneity
can only be related to our own self, in that contemporaneity, for a lack of
proper wording "travels" with us.



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