[-empyre-] IsModernityourAntiquity? acoldcompress
Dear Empyreans, thankyou for this discussion:
I'd like to reintroduce myself: I'm a theatre/artperformance practitioner,
videomaker and performancewriter from New Zealand.
Was antiquity the sort of hypermarket we've made of modernity? Did the
medieval renaissance of the 13th C. or the second humanist renaissance
appropriate in quite the way we do? Is the analogue possible historically
(i.e. does it belong to history)? or in the context of its already
modernised form as historicity?
Dirk is right in foregrounding a taxonomic interest in modernity, where a
cultural taxonomy is practically all that can hold our interest. I think
this is because pomo has made of us aesthetic modernists, in the same as we
used to talk about aesthetic Catholics. The more faith wanes in Art - this
waning itself a product of the loss of grasp on our imaginations of the
grand humanist project, civilization - the more atavistic we become: Art
returns to the fetishisms prefigured in the avant-gardes.
On the periodic table, Bloom can locate us, by virtue of our sense of loss,
specifically, of 'belatedness', amongst the late Romantics. This can be
right. Hasn't Courbet already entered the discussion? But this is never
going to wholly answer the question, behind the question, because it also
can't be right, because it handles of such a small (class of) spectra of
experience, endeavour and affect.
I would be inclined to reiterate Christophe's more pessimistic view:
historicity as an everlasting state. But there is also a recursion to
vitalism here - it takes the same form as that decline from Capitalism to
Consumerism: it is from genealogy to lineage. I'm thinking here of Dirk's
A final note: the 'latency' in a period of its approaching antiquity may by
analogy be termed its indolence as it is in pathology. By extension:
modernity is the designer pathology we visit upon ourselves, antiquity in
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