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Metamodernism and Altermodernism

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Another stance that takes a position between modernism and postmodernism is metamodernism. It was proposed by Robin van den Akker and Timotheus Vermeulen in 2010. They suggest a sensibility that is both looking for universal truths and political relativism.  The term meta refers to Plato’s metaxy or ‘middle ground’. What they are pointing to is the fact that there are elements of good and truth in modernism and postmodernism, but both are equally floored, that there may be another way, a third way.  One theory that has recently been suggested is Altermodernism.  It’s an attempt at contextualising contemporary art made as a reaction against commercialism.  The Tate Britain’s fourth Triennial exhibition was titled Altermodernism, which was curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. “[Altermodernism is] a movement connected to the creolisation of cultures and the fight for autonomy, but also the possibility of producing singularities in a more and more standardised world"(Bourriaud, 2005). It is described in terms of the end of postmodernism, the expanding formats of art, cultural hybridisation and travelling as a new way to produce forms. As an artist I can identitfy with travel and cultural exchanges and making it an important part of the art process.