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An Incomplete Project? Art and Politics After Postmodernism

Postmodernism challenged the institutionalized modernism of the mid-20th century, offering more radical forms of social discontents and cultural practice. It meant unmasking the values of progress as involving ideologies of the political status-quo, the problems of which were manifest to a new generation in the 1960s. But, more recently, postmodernism itself has begun to age, and reveal its own concerns as those of the post-1960s situation of global capitalism rather than an emancipated End of History.

In 1980, Jurgen Habermas, on the occasion of receiving the Adorno prize in Frankfurt, predicted the exhaustion of postmodernism, characterizing its conservative tendencies. Habermas called this situation the “incomplete project” of modernity, a set of unresolved problems that have meant the eventual return of history, if not the return of “modernism.” How does Habermas’s note of dissent, from the moment of highest vitality of postmodernism, help us situate the concerns of contemporary art in light of society and politics today?

Join Platypus for a teach-in and conversation on Habermas's 1980 essay "Modernity-An Incomplete Project".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 @ 4:30PM

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
112 S. Michigan, Room 920

Recommended Reading:
Jurgen Habermas "Modernity – An Incomplete Project" (1980)

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