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  • Transformation/Transmedia/Transfusion

    Hans Hayden

    Chapter from the book: Hayden, H. 2018. Modernism as Institution: On the Establishment of an Aesthetic and Historiographic Paradigm.


    Transformation/Transmedia/Transfusion considers the changes that have affected the normalised historiography and narrative of Modernism from the end of the 1950s onwards. It was then that the conflict over the right to formulate the nature of the problem became acute once more in the art worlds of Western Europe and the United States. A struggle in which the established view, which emphasised to a great extent the boundary between art and the surrounding world, was opposed by various “open” strategies aimed at bridging this very cleavage. This analysis leads on to a concluding argument concerning the paradoxical position of the avant-garde as an “institutionalised counter-culture” and the extent to which the alternative aesthetic and epistemological viewpoints labelled “postmodernism” have managed to call into question and to delegitimise both this position and the institutionalised narrative of Modernism. This challenge did not involve a simple dismissal but should be understood instead from two diametrically opposed viewpoints: one of which attempted to demonstrate how the new forms of pluralism within the art world meant that the phenomenon of the avant-garde had become impossible, while the other sought to re-establish the oppositional and antagonistic position of the avant-garde in contemporary society. Both sides of this discussion may, however, be considered as the logical outcomes of the dilemma that is the hallmark of the historical process in this study: what happens when a counter-culture becomes integrated into the dominant one?

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    How to cite this chapter
    Hayden, H. 2018. Transformation/Transmedia/Transfusion. In: Hayden, H, Modernism as Institution. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bar.3

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Sept. 20, 2018


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