Monday, January 08, 2007

Postmodernism and Zaha Hadid: Finding Meaining In Fragmentation

Postmodernism describes a movement, a broad change in the approach to rendering Art in every medium be it literary visual or architectural that arose in response to the formalism inherent in Modernism.

While Modernism did allow that in a new age the world of ideas and beliefs were becoming increasingly more fragmented it tended to project the change as tragic, and so the representations of Modernism have often suggested a feeling of loss at the passing of form. Postmodernism, on the other hand, has celebrated the fragmentation and explored its essential chaos in all its varieties.

has grown out of the work of many key contributors to the movement.
Jean Baudrillard
introduced the idea of Simacrula where every representation was in itself seen as a version of something else.(Katsclass.2006)

Roland Barthes suggested the true art came in understanding the references rather than trying to grasp a singular meaning because that was an intrinsically false way to pursue the essential relativism of all artistic endeavour.(Katsclass.2006)

Jacques Derrida took this further in his analytical approach of Deconstructionism, where the aim was to take apart artistic representations and reveal their essential constructed nature, full of biases that reflected the pervasive beliefs of society at the time of creation and the assumptions of tradition.(Katsclass.2006)

In Architecture, Postmodernism
like the visual and literary arts celebrated the the ornamentation and additons that did not follow the requirements of tradtion but rather worked as need suited. There was use of pastiche and a combination of styles.

Zaha Hadid is a true exempar of the
the spirit of Postmodernism.This Iraqi born Architect has carved a unique niche for herself in the upper echelons in the world of Architecture becoming the first female recipient of the prestigious Pritzker prize .(Hadid, 20006) .

Bucking tradition in every sense as a female born outside of the western tradtion Hadid has taken the ideas of Constructionism, an offshoot of Postmodernism that in itself was inspired by Russian Constructionism, in a new direction.(Hadid, 20006)

The Constructionists believe that there should be a fragmentation of parts that should be loosely associated rather than governed by strict rules. They reject the exclusive use of the cube and right angle and favor the diagonal.(Hadid, 20006) The underlying movement is to introduce novel associations that are not grounded in the assocations of space and placement. The overall effect is intended to challenge the expectations of the viewer and offer new perspective in the changes.

Her first great success came at th
e Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio(Hadid, 20006). There she introduced a surprising design for the galleries in a series of floating tubes which could be moved around and where ramps seem to angulate to their destination. It is in keeping with her idea that the indivdual parts should be seen in new ways, creating a mobile futuristic mood.

She now continues to have success with new large project such as the at Wolfsburg in Germany
and the

MAXXI Contemporary Arts Centre in Rome. (Hadid, 20006)

Katsclass. Postmodernism. Hadid, Zaha. Designing Modern Britain - Design Museum Exhibition

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