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We Have Never Been Postmodern

Stuart Jeffries’ new book charts a lively history of postmodernism from the 1970s to the millennium through a discussion of pivotal artworks, pop cultural figures, cultural theorists and political events. But are we really still living in ‘postmodern’ times?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Artist Jeff Koons unveils seated ballerina inflatable sculpture at Rockefeller Center on May 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

T. J. Clark’s Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (1999) opens by imagining an archaeologist in the post-apocalyptic future surveying surviving remnants of modernism. If they gazed at a Picasso painting in isolation from its original social context, Clark asks, ‘What forms of life would future viewers reconstruct from this material?’ […]

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