For those checking on the work of Jean Payens please see the bottom left tab (if you know of anything more on this remarkable man please contact us and feel free to share with others)
September 23, 2016: *Was our first post-postmodern event (held at a local college campus) went very well; this ultimately led to our opening of Reverie Art Gallery & Coffee/Tea House in June 2018.
Please see to the left as we have now opened our first gallery/coffee-shop combo
Welcome artists, writers and friends!
Crystal Bridges (where my wife worked for a while and we both are members) recently held an exhibit titled "State of the Art" - while it obviously did not make some of the in-roads we are attempting to, it did bring up a catchy phrase; namely the question: "What is the current state of the arts?" *This is where post-postmodernism has so much to offer instead of the same old "re-hashing" of the same (dry) postmodern "white-noise" that has been epoused for over a century now. The time is now for a change into something that I (as a philospher/artist/historian) can really dig into.
We just returned from Manhattan (where we lived for just under 3 years) from the 2017 National Poetry and Arts month. A headline caught my eye (though I wasn't that surprised): "The Last National Poetry Month Ever? - A look at the Art's downward trend" The headline read. The article went on to spell-out what I have long stated (and is the point of this site and our movement); namely that without an objective basis the Arts will disappear as we know them; moreover the Arts seem "out of touch with ordinary people"...
This site is dedicated to two concepts:
- To look at and encourage a new type of post-postmodernism amongst the arts
- To keep you updated on a new gallery/coffee concept that opened in Rogers, AR June 2018 - hopefully bridging many of the same concepts we sought to between the philosophy of Arts and Religion.
A simple, yet beautiful, 8 minute video that summarizes the heart of "post-postmodernism" and an invitation to all artists from noted-contemporary artist Makoto Fujimura (we have original Fujimura for sale at our gallery).
Mission Statement(s): What is “Post-postmodernism”?
Postmodern architecture provides a glimpse into the problems with postmodernism as a "whole"; while the exterior of the building (or art) is "postmodern" (relativistic) if you ask them if the buildings foundation was "postmodern" they will quickly answer: "Of course not! If it were the entire building would collapse!" (thus identifying the falty premise therein... Similary if you ask a postmodernist if there is a difference between an aspirin or poison they will quickly give you a non-postmodern answer (it is no different with the Arts which begs the question: "Why?")
The standard definitions of post-postmodernism are slowly being developed; and though they are not perfect, they do provide a good overview of how the term came to be used (and why we are desperately in need of further revolution into this post-postmodern concept).
*Also please watch the 10 part series by Schaeffer (we will also send you a copy upon request) as this (though somewhat dated) dives deeply into the concept and why it matters today in easily assessable terms. (It also not only takes you from the dawn of Western Arts but how we arrived to the modernism of the early 20th century and the postmodernism of the mid-20th century.
Post-postmodernism is a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture which are emerging from and reacting to postmodernism.
Most scholars would agree that modernism began around 1900 and continued on as the dominant cultural force in the intellectual circles of Western culture well into the mid-twentieth century. Like all eras, modernism encompasses many competing individual directions and is impossible to define as a discrete unity or totality. However, its chief general characteristics are often thought to include an emphasis on "radical aesthetics, technical experimentation, spatial or rhythmic, rather than chronological form, [and] self-conscious reflexiveness" as well as the search for authenticity in human relations, abstraction in art, and utopian striving. These characteristics are normally lacking in postmodernism or are treated as objects of irony.
We must move beyond the "white-noise" of postmodernism and its nonsense; and keep in mind this is not promoting religion per se, as modern art is not (as popularly believed) an art of unbelief. Instead it is an art of fragilized belief; an art of doubt and searching. Van Gogh has shown this struggle beautifully (as I outline in The Philosophy of Art) where in one sense his paintings speak to the deterioration of institutional Christianity within Europe, his art still encapsulates the struggle to retain vital inner meanings found within the Christian faith - Van Gogh and other 19th/20th century artists rightly & sharply criticized religious institutional structures but never the foundation of Christ like many think today. Even one like Kandinsky changed from pictorial to natural representation in his art but he never abandoned God as he describes here: "When I paint every nerve within me is vibrating in my whole body there is the sound of music, and God in my heart." This is no different with someone like Andy Warhol who always remained Catholic at heart and who's Last Supper beautifully captured Christianity in its 20th century degraded state. So Warhol (nor others) were anti-christian but instead their works were very much pro-Christian. (This is not meant as proselytizing but to simply push the arts world into a post-postmodern mindset).
Postmodernism arose after World War II as a reaction to the perceived failings of modernism, whose radical artistic projects had come to be associated with totalitarianism or had been assimilated into mainstream culture. The basic features of what we now call postmodernism can be found as early as the 1940s, most notably in the work of Jorge Luis Borges. However, most scholars today would agree that postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. Since then, postmodernism has been a dominant, though not undisputed, force in art, literature, film, music, drama, architecture, history, and continental philosophy. Salient features of postmodernism are normally thought to include the ironic play with styles, citations and narrative levels, a metaphysical skepticism or nihilism towards a “grand narrative” of Western culture, a preference for the virtual at the expense of the real (or more accurately, a fundamental questioning of what 'the real' constitutes) and a “waning of affect” on the part of the subject, who is caught up in the free interplay of virtual, endlessly reproducible signs inducing a state of consciousness similar to schizophrenia.
Since the late 1990s there has been a small but growing feeling both in popular culture and in academia that postmodernism "has gone out of fashion." However, there have been few formal attempts to define and name the era succeeding postmodernism, and none of the proposed designations has yet become part of mainstream usage.
For much more information on the topic, a condensed history of the arts as well as the birth of our new Gallery (opened Summer 2018) please get a copy of our book ($1.99 on Amazon or FREE if you request to your left):
So what does this mean for the arts? That is yet to be seen. However it will rule out much of the post-modernist mindsets that convey “all is subjective/relative and ultimately without meaning” since this would be a false notion if God does in fact exist as post-postmodernism would seem to necessitate. So artists such as Piero Manzoni and his “artist’s shit” (1961) which is a can of excrement recently sold for almost half million dollars would in-fact be ideologically “bankrupt” (as common sense has long told us already). *Many similar works of which are championed in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City (where I took classes and lived (in NYC) from 2010-12).
So that is it in a nutshell (though much more could be said of course). If postmodernism is true then Manzoni’s can of “artist’s shit” is just as valuable as the Mona Lisa since all art is subjective and without absolute or objective meaning; thus there is no grand-narrative of mankind and God or any other such thing. But with post-postmodernism we have finally moved beyond the bloodiest century of human century (the 20th) where we were all somewhat of a “lost generation” that was wrestling with purpose and meaning – and thus based everything on a nihilistic foundation (one that has mostly been recognized as blatantly false as we are now well into the 21st century). Again – I am a relative novice in the arts so I cannot say definitively; but what I can say (as both a trained philosopher of religion and classical historian) is that this should be a great time of rejoicing not only because the artist can play their music, write a poem, or paint on a canvas knowing that not only does their work merit “real/true/objective” worth and value, but so does their lives. True-truth does exist and thus a grand-narrative exists and this should instill each of us with a renewed passion and hope to do really good art (not shit).
Friend Makoto Fujimura for example (see tab to the left) as well as my young and very talented friend "Levi the Poet" (see video above) have not only embraced this concept of “post-postmodernism” and fused a spiritual foundation to their works, but they have done it in a way that both conservative (anti-arts) persons as well as liberal (anti-spiritual) persons sometimes dislike; but they have done this in a way that not only embraces post-postmodernism but seeks to unite both liberal/conservative (artists/spiritualist) together through the Arts which is at the heart of the post-postmodern movement which seeks to establish an objective basis for the arts.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
Munch described this work as being trapped on a bridge; trapped between going forward into an unknown horror and going back into a known one. What is the "horror" the artists of the 20th century knew? Much of it had to do with objectivity grounded in God (which they associated with religion/church/state); so Art has chose to stay in various "limbos" between modernism/fragmentaiton /surrealism/dadaism/post-modernism, etc. But as most artists knew then (and is our point/hope); it is time to cross this bridge back into objective reality - God provides a plausible foundation for this objective reality *but by being "post-postmodern" this woudl be God in the concept without "pope or prelate" so to speak. In other words the Arts threw out the "baby with the bathwater" when they attempted to rebel against the Church during the Enlightenment, and blame the World Wars on God, etc.; this is why from a philosophical/historical standpoint the Christian concept of God especially has never been stronger than it is today and the Arts (like Fujimura points out) should take advantage of this to usher in a great/new (commen sense) era.
The Arts, nor artists, have anything to fear; 2+2=4 so instead of assuming it can = something else, why not cross the bridge of subjective nonsense and help usher in a true venue into the arts?
Besides - God knows a century of post-modern nonsense is enough...
Gabriele Guercio's book Art as Existence, attempts to bridge some of the gaps we have been looking at, but unfortunately they do so while trying to maintain both subjective/relativism/postmodernism; which results in a train wreck of assumptions; this is why we must move "beyond" the abysmal "rut" the Arts have been stuck in for almost a century... (It is our sincere belief (which we have debated time and time again) that postmodernism will be looked back upon in the same light as logical-positivism is today; totally bankrupt). Guercio unfortunately attempts to assert that our own 20th/21st century paradigm (mostly that of postmodernism) is an accurate one; and then attempts to build upon this foundation - even recognizing that all is relative and owes a great debt to Nietzche (showing their ignorance of contemporary philosophy). So while we comend Guercio's attempt, we also feel it is truly "pissing against the wind"; and therefore in desperate need of further evolution/revolution into something of more substance (and less "white-noise")...
Jean Payens (see more to the left) commented from a very early stage the problems with postmodernism; while also echoing the truths of post-postmodernism (potentially) as follows:
They ask me what postmodernism is;
I stumble, but answer that it is a view that all truth is relative.
I am then asked what that is;
I answer that it is an era of the creative.
I am then asked what post-postmodernism is;
I am forced to answer that it is a 180 degree turn back to truth as non-relative.
I am then asked what that truth is;
I am forced to conclude that we are back to God as the truth;
Non-relative but also non-religious...
A very unique look at modern filmography and theology by Jerry Walls.
It is our deepest desire, hope and prayer to encourage this vision of post-postmodernism and unity through the arts while helping not only the “believer to think and the thinker to believe” but for the “artist to believe and the believer to do art”. ;o)
Please let us know if we can be of any help or assistance.