Mannerism and the end of post-modernism

Maybe this aperçu from Peter Schjeldahl in the New Yorker explains why the noughties of this new millennium have been underwhelming. I want to live in the modern age, even if I have to go retro to do so!

… As the Mannerists toiled in the twilight of the Renaissance, so do we in relation to the modern age—the word “modern” having been torn from its roots to signify things that loom behind us.

Mannerist pose: a Bronzino nude, circa 1545-60.

He goes on to link mashup/remix culture and other cultural efforts to Mannerism:

The movie “Avatar” strikes me as Mannerist through and through, generating terrific sensations of originality from a hodgepodge of worn-thin narrative and pictorial tropes. Ours is a dissolving, clever culture of mix and match. We are ready for Bronzino.

But <whiny voice> “I don’t like Mannerism”.  The accelerating pace of technological change is a given in our society, even if art has trouble keeping up.  Maybe that’s why architecture manages (sometimes) to stay fresh—there are new technologies and techniques of making modern buildings in post-post-modern times even if some architects “only” use them to drape expressive forms.

he movie “Avatar” strikes me as Mannerist through and through, generating terrific sensations of originality from a hodgepodge of worn-thin narrative and pictorial tropes. Ours is a dissolving, clever culture of mix and match. We are ready for Bronzino.
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