postmodernism

Protest on the Runway

In 2014 Karl Lagerfeld was critiqued for using feminist protest in his Chanel runway show.  The immediacy and profound meaning of protest imagery was coopted to sell clothing.

guardian chanel.jpegimage from The Guardian

In an interesting twist this year there was a return to actual political demonstration on the runway.  Last month , a young model / musician named Raury staged a real protest in the middle of Dolce and Gabbana’s runway.  Dolce and Gabbana have dressed Melania Trump and anticipating the controversy, sold a shirt that said “#Boycott Dolce and Gabbana,” mocking the idea of boycotting.  Raury wrote “I am not your scapegoat” and “Give me freedom” on his body.  In an interview with GQ, he stated “Me, as a young man from Stone Mountain, Georgia, the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan, I really felt this mockery of boycotting. Who knows, if boycotts didn’t happen, if Rosa Parks and M.L.K. didn’t step up…who knows if I would even exist. Boycotting matters. Boycotting is real. Dolce’s entire campaign says it’s not real.”Dolce & Gabbana - Runway - Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018image from Time

Postmodern Tunnel Ceremony

In “Switzerland tunnel: The oddest moments of the opening ceremony” the BBC seemed flabbergasted by the bricolage of symbols used in the show.  Arguably postmodern, various representations of Swiss culture were spliced together without continuity, with a variety of cultural levels and moods throughout:

  • “milk floats drove in a procession”
  • “In the middle of all of this, an actor sat down, looked rather underwhelmed by everything, and ate his lunch”
  • “A topless woman decked as a bird hovered above actors representing the nine construction workers who died” while “there were lots of people rolling around in white underwear”
  • “The ibex, that is native to the Alps, played a prominent part in the ceremony,” and possibly simulated sex

video from Dark Horse News (warning: contains nudity)

Postmodern Epic Chicken Fight

Postmodernism is difficult to define.  Technically, postmodernism is a historical condition coming after modernity.   In more abstract terms, it is a way of seeing, an attitude.  In “Postmodern: Roots and PoliticsTodd Gitlin lists the following as qualities of postmodernism:

  • indifference to consistency and continuity
  • splicing of genres, attitudes, and styles
  • blurring, juxtaposing stance, cultural levels, moods
  • disdains originality, instead uses copies, repetition, re combinations
  • blasé tone and a sense of exhaustion
  • pleasure in play of surface, search for depth as nostalgia
  • constant change, progress is obsolete, history collapsing
  • end of grand theory
  • no definable truth or authenticity
  • identities are fragmented, disconnected, constructed
  • borderless mass media with mass culture, omnivorous consumption

Nearly all of these qualities can be found in the television show The Family Guy, and specifically this clip titled “Epic Chicken Fight.”