Tim Hinck's thoughts on music and life- There is a lady living across the street from me. She is dying of cancer. I have never seen anyone so full of life and energy. She loves to work outside in the flowers and grass of her yard. I can see her savoring every sunny day... the way she stands up from planting a flower bulb with such satisfaction on her face and claps the dirt from her gloves with resolution. I want to be like that lady.

Location: Schalkwijk, Utrecht, Netherlands

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


(organ keys from 1680; Cappel, Germany)

Remodernism is a word for the current feelings and ideas of many artist (and musicians) these days. Many artist have had enough of flashy, shallow post-modernism and are ready to move on. For ages, artists have struggled to relate their art to the experience of everyday people. I guess the aim is to try to have everyone appreciate their art more fully, and then go out and buy it. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to do this while still maintaining artistic integrity: producing works which are profound and important, honest and effective. Post-modernism was a "nice try" in its efforts to make art real by deconstructing all of the assumptions of the past. It tried to erase the distinctions between serious and commercial art; between Eastern and Western art; between specific forms or styles. What you see in a post-modern gallery is a lot of collage and pastiche and giant campbell's soup cans. I think this quote (ref?) really sums up the post-modern idea: "The music of modernity, however, was viewed primarily as a means of expression while the music of postmodernity is valued more as a spectacle, a good for mass consumption, and an indicator of group identity." This was really a movement for the 20th century... a movement for the Global Community.

It's when you take a step back and look at something in wide-angle that you sometimes discover just how terrible it is. Post-modernism tried so hard to connect with the people that it forgot that the best way to connect with people is to be a real person yourself... so have real goals and address real issues. You have to have ways to evaluate art... because if there is no such thing as good or bad art, then there is no such thing as an artist in comparison to a man. It's time for artists to get serious about their work again. This is something that, thankfully, most musicians and painters and other artists are doing. Remodernism is one fancy word for this new focus. Like all great movements in history, this one probably is barely a definable movement at all, and it certainly doesn't agree with itself. In fact there are many things about Remodernism to turn and flee from, but I think it has some good points:

(from a Remodernist Manifesto:)

3. Remodernism discards and replaces Post-Modernism because of its failure to answer or address any important issues of being a human being.

4. Remodernism embodies spiritual depth and meaning and brings to an end an age of scientific materialism, nihilism and spiritual bankruptcy.

7. Spirituality is the journey of the soul on earth. Its first principle is a declaration of intent to face the truth. Truth is what it is, regardless of what we want it to be. Being a spiritual artist means addressing unflinchingly our projections, good and bad, the attractive and the grotesque, our strengths as well as our delusions, in order to know ourselves and thereby our true relationship with others and our connection to the divine.

10. The making of true art is man's desire to communicate with himself, his fellows and his God. Art that fails to address these issues is not art.

"Today's art [post-modernism] is not art. Its working methodology is to think of something which is not art and to call it art. This is exactly Duchamp's ideology." (Billy Childish and Charles Thomson)

Of course all artist get off on bashing the styles and revelations of the previous generation, but I sincerely believe that with the death of post-modernism we have witnessed a serious close-call. I hope we never again see the day when some idiot slaps two subway cards and a cat skeleton on plywood and says "what does it mean to you?" ... or when someone records their intestinal noises and calls it his new symphony. It's time for anyone who calls themselves an artist to wake up every day and paint and paint and paint.

(Katherine Gardner, Susan Finlay's Statement of Intent):
"As Camberwell art students... it is easy to become bogged down in a quagmire of post- modernism, intellectualising bad objects under the pseudo-intellectual guise of satire. We say death to irony. [Remodernism] has our full attention and admiration... We are sincere - none of this pretentious non-art. We are sensitive, creative people. Why should we be dull, repetitive and mainstream, when there is the opportunity to be brave and original."


Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

I think I like this notion of remodernism. Of course, I'll have to hear and see some of its products to decide completely, but I always thought the idea of "post-modernism" to be a ridiculous one. "Modern" by dictionary definition is that which has to do with the present, or something that is experimental. There can be no post-modernism; the idea trying to be expressed in that term is already encompassed in the word "modern." "Post-modernism" may as well be called "futurism," which is a presumptuous and silly idea because no art or music can occur in the future -- only in the present, as the artist creates it or the consumer consumes it. Now, I realize the term is merely a journalistic expression meaning no more than "that which comes after 'modernism,'" but I submit that it is a poorly chosen name for it. I think "little aesthetic valuism" would be a more fitting term.

5/24/2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger Ijsbreker said...

yes. and another way which "post-modernism" contradicts itself is in its claim to be ANTI-art. the idea that nothing is art and everything is art. by using the label anti-art you are automatically acknowledging the existence of an art. anyway, all this wouldn't matter if the end product didn't look so sleazy and unthoughtful. yes, i think i'll adopt "little-aesthetic-valuism" as my new name for this trash.

5/24/2006 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a beautifully written blog.

thank you for sharing it with us. i would like to copy and post it to the remodernism blog on myspace... i hope you dont mind.

thank you for your words...

kind regards...

matt bray

5/24/2008 2:54 AM  
Blogger hamlet279 said...

Great stuff! You might enjoy reading some of my ideas on the subject of Remodernism: see Carson Collins at redbubble; I host the Remodernist Painters' Group there. Also see The Ocean Series blog.

6/29/2008 11:39 PM  

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