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The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  621 ratings  ·  17 reviews
For the past thirty years, Hal Foster has pushed the boundaries of cultural criticism, establishing a vantage point from which the seemingly disparate agendas of artists, patrons, and critics have a telling coherence. In The Anti-Aesthetic, preeminent critics such as Jean Baudrillard, Rosalind Krauss, Fredric Jameson, and Edward Said consider the full range of postmodern c ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by New Press, The (first published 1983)
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Zut Alors
Modernity- An Incomplete Project
Jürgen Habermas


The Discipline of Aesthetic Modernity
Aesthetic modernity is characterized by attitudes which fin a common focus in a changed consciousness of time. The purpose of things vanguard and avant-garde is to find uncharted territory. This is in conflict with modernist notions of the myth of progress, in tune with classical and Enlightenment sentiments. Because the avant gard focuses on the unknown and lack of concrete futures, modernity holds interest in t
...more
Nick
I really enjoyed the Fredric Jameson essay and regret not knowing about him during my stint in Santa Cruz, where he heads up the history of consciousness. In his essay, called something like"Post-modernism and Consumer Society" (I no longer have the book), he breaks down two defining features of post-modernism: pastiche and a second more unique facet where he describes the way in which post-modernist work may be experienced as dislocated from linear history.

This second facet is likened to the wa
...more
Sarah Taylor
Feb 27, 2008 Sarah Taylor rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: art historians, artists, intellectuals
Recommended to Sarah by: my advisor
This is one of the best books on postmodern theory out there. It didn't make me want to hit my head on anything, and actually clarified a few issues for me. A must read for anyone curious about postmodernism or writing about American art since 1940.
Daniel
"For as long as there has existed a separation between the ordinary life of laymen in the West, (that is, in those countries pursuing the imperatives of European democracies), the outcome of such pursuit has been deemed "civilized" in the concrete forms of knowledge, welfare and security, then the definition of Postmodernity will be the subject of tremendous debate. This was outlined by Habermas, Jameson and Saïd in this book some 30 years ago. However, their promises such as the fulfillment of ...more
Anna
This text has moments of brilliance, but is largely overshadowed by excess bulk. Personally I only found the essays by Fredric Jameson, Edward Said and Rosalind Krauss to be of any real relevance today. The other six essays are written in an extremely dry manner and a couple are not particularly coherent. They're not all bad, I found valid points in each one, but for the most part they just created bulk in what could have been a strong collection of essays.
Elison
For a student beginning his foray into Postmodernism, this was the primer for me, though to call it a primer would be a bad description. The essays cover all types of media, from literature to sculpture to architecture, each author having a slightly different spin on how to (un)define Postmodernism. Check it out.
Rob
Sep 01, 2007 Rob rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "Quick! What the hell is this PoMo you speak of?"
Shelves: college, own
Collection of essays on postmodernism and various examples thereof. Consumed this particular text during my 2000-2001 stint at SMCM, working my way through my SMP, trying to create reasonably plausible art students in my novel.
Lindisblue
Great info on (still) current philosophy with all those subtle French guys and their fellow travelers. Is this this still hip? Depends how smart your peeps are.
Ryan
this is a great collection of essay from many art theorist. It really explains the last 20 years of art and culture.
Siobhan
I can't remember why I liked him so much, but I definitely did. Someone, please, fill me in.
Lisa
The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture by Hal Foster (1983)
David
Some of this is more hulabaloo but at the time fascinating ideas.
Mr. Pe Mr. Pe
this book is great i recommend this to everyone
Ploetzly
i didn't finish it, but it was good ...
Curt Bozif
Oct 08, 2007 Curt Bozif rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: thinkers and people still trying to figure out the 80s
I learned tons of shit.
Matt
what is art?
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Hal Foster is a Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University specializing in 20th century art.

Note: for the comic book artist, see Harold "Hal" Foster.
More about Hal Foster...
The Return of the Real: Art and Theory at the End of the Century Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes) Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics Compulsive Beauty

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