Claire de Mortimer Painting

I’ve made a Facebook page just for my paintings.

A like, follow and share will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Landscape. One year.

This is a four minute video about Landscape, time, plots of land, consumption and compartmentalisation.

Watch “A YEar 4mins_1” on Vimeo:

Modernism to Post Modernism.

Modernism had its certainty, the knowledge that man makes meaning of a thing, any thing, and, from this, man is free to make his own choices and create his own meaning (Jean-Paul Sartre). Binary oppositions defined meaning, juxtaposing relationships between one thing and another, such as rules of human relationships (Levi-Strauss): Rich, Poor; Male, Female; Black, White. This stand point offered a certainty; it defined the hierarchy of person and place. This idealism provided a ‘knowing’ that demonstrated that all men were free men. This was a relatively new idealism, considering the abolition of slavery, and rationale behind the demonstrations of the Luddites during the industrial revolution (REF).

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Modernism grew from the rise of the ‘common’ man, it created the middleclass. This is seen in Ingres portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin (‘Louis François Bertin’, Ingres), seen in the man’s directness of the gaze and gravitas. The Ruling class and politicians, shocked by their defeat in the ‘socialist’ revolutions in America and France, engaged philosophers such as Marat to introduced the idea that they, the rulers, were friends of the people. Marat was martyred for this cause and beatified by David in The death of Marat ( (David, 1793) This depiction could be interpreted as a hope, a desire for simplicity in an increasingly complex world.

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A more cynical analysis could be to view it as mere political propaganda, to control the masses, to hide the complicity and, ultimately, duplicity of that great societal system. Societies’ knowledge of the atrocities of the First and Second World Wars meant the end of that naivety, the end of that implicit trust. With the realisation of our barbarity came the examining and questioning of how this could have happened. Such that the tenants of our knowledge; those of language and systems of thought, of how we construct our reality only through concept and word were looked at again.

Word, or rather, the meaning of a word, changes with respect to its associations over time (Kant in Anderson. 2009.). A discussion with signs, metaphors and metonymys, that have influence both, in our current interpretation of them and in our understanding of then in past. For example, the current vogue of using the abbreviation ‘LOL’; this term, ten years ago, had no meaning. Today it has at least two meanings. In twenty years time it may be obsolete, or be the short cut term to describe the generation that started using it. LOL will probably not mean then what it means today. The metanarrative of one-size fits all explanation to everything and to anything and everyone was rejected (Appignanesi. 2007; 2003.) The metanarrative is reductionist and denies complexity.

Thus, Modernism developed into Postmodernism, as if from a childish state into that of the angst ridden teenager. The challenge of Postmodernism, has lain in not necessarily knowing what the precise question to be answered is. But rather, that assumptions have been made, in any standpoint and from all frames of reference. It is from looking at these assumptions that a series of questions are started to be formulated. Thus, meaning is created taking into account culture and other social formations. Postmodernism not only allows us, it encourages, us to explore and question constructs in any ideology; such that, to have fixed ideas, or didactic frames of reference or structures, is viewed as undesirable (Clark.1992.). However, in claiming an almost moral preference for this non-fixed, or fluid discourse it in itself is a contradiction of post-modernism. In this lies some of the paradox of post-modernism.

Meanings of actions are constantly being subverted by other actions that, in changing the context of the former actions, changes their meanings. This is why postmodernists celebrate ironic, parodist, and campy renditions of conventional behaviors as politically liberating (Butler. 1993.). If Marx lamented that history repeats itself twice—first as tragedy, second as farce—postmodernists revel in the same process.” (Anderson. 2009.)