Appendix 1

The crisis of the late Renaissance that created a culture of the problematic within Italian Mannerism in 16thC is similar to the 20thC of Modernism and Post Modernism. albiet on a smaller scale. Large empires and city states became split down the middle as with the vast Catholic and Protestant clashes. The birth of sexual diseases on a vast scale helped undermine private confidence and increased insecurity of the citizen. A economic crisis also occurred from shift of investment away from some manufacture to living off rents from real estate. The growth of institutionalisation as the individual became a ‘small cog’ in a large machine of production. There was the notion that entropy and the energy of nature was spiralling downward. Everything seemed to be loosing any ontological  and cultural centre that it once had. Much social and cultural life and was felt to be ‘in pieces’. The domination of bureaucracy over the individuals life and the anonymous death in large numbers of people from armies marching back and forth across the land also added to general insecurity. The destruction and sack of major cities was sensed to be an assault on cultural identity. New research is showing that the persona of artists and writers etc became preoccupied with ‘the stranger’ (Pontormo, Rosso, Beccafumi, Parmigianino, etc as well as the poligraphi writers Lando, Franco and Doni etc) They also possessed the ‘strangers existential sense of exile’ and they each went on to do problematic cultural experiments with eclectic styles and to anti- classical sentiments.Many artists and writers became obsessed with meta-psychological issues and themes, which could be seen as the emergence of a aspect  of modernism. Especially in  pyschological areas of intropection, narcisism and solipsism. Each of the above factors and others reflected much uprootedness,  depression, alienation in social and cultural life and psychological estrangement, which is similar in both the 16thC and 20thC and 21thC and appears to be intensifying expotentially See A Hauser,’Mannerism’ Belknap Press of Harvard Uni, London and USA.,1965.

PS.Notes; Many of the elements of alienation within Contemporary Western Society have expanded dramatically on many levels.World Wars, depressions, recessions,wide spread sexual deseases,ecological crisis and the vast  emigre experience have created a culture of the problematic and of dislocation and displacement. Estrangement within Art and Post modernism often arises in using an aesthetic of 'the strange or the wierd''  that is reified on one lelel as a phantasmagoric, novel or as formal  principal for recognition among some of  the professional and dissident middle classes(now described as 'globetrotters,well read and brand aware') of what is fashionably 'in' as against, that which is 'out,' but  lacks a demystifying energy.It is an escape from real mysteries.It  fact, it exists 'to mystify' and create diversions as meangingless idiolects for the mere sake of ephemeral taste.This is a Contemporary/ Mannerist type art based on eclecticism and pastiche. Recently there has been a move towards creating a novelty art based on childrens supposed perceptions of their world, but this - with its megacultural technologcal emphasis, also seeks to fill an ontological void. The diversions of escape are wide spread and  ubiquitious.Few artists within the culture name the  vast new issues. Abstract theory also comes to dominate creative praxis.Most importantly within this estranged aesthetic unusual  and common things are portrayed as mystifying people and  there is little radical challenge of the big issues  through personalisation, nor via the political precesses  is seen to be possible.

 There are also estrangements arising from the extensive world of advertising and its popular images based on cliches and stereotypes They are both opposite sides of the same homeless cultural phenonema. as mentioned above. Cultural fragmentation is rife.The mass media of never -ending utterance  is really talking itself and its readers to death. It is a culture of false idols,empty headed celebrities and ephemeral spectacle.Where have all the real heroes gone that can challenge contemporary fate? 

 Possibly the unfolding Julian Assange phenomenon is an  important cultural step in a new direction of real challenge against the anonymous forces, that control peoples lives within late Capitalism.

Jamison is suggestive in seeing this abstract,  invisible  energy of extreme estrangement as arising from the totalitarian 'function of money' in late capitalism: the mediator and dominator of all things and people.Money becomes ossified  as a kind of frozen desire, that distorts all relationships and processes.In a time of extreme crisis this frozen desire inverts and transforms ends into means, truth into paradox,beauty into ambiguity,presence into things  and the world into surreal dreams etc.

Thus, within Contemporary and Post Modernist  and Popular art (of  both new kinds of  high and low culture) here is new evidence of late modern  kinds of estrangements at work within a culture of confusion, inversion and waste, that runs historically and roughly parallel to the world of dissipated, disfunctional and imploding finance.

Art is always a  part of culture and is a complex mirror of its times. 


Site by GMAC Internet Solutions