Modern Art: Does It Reflect the World of Today?
I have often heard—and taught it myself—that modern art is an expression of our time. It shows the end of belief in a coherent system, the end of utopianism. It shows the fragmentization, disorientation, and relativism in our world today. Various worldviews collide with one another and smash each other to pieces; that’s what modern art tries to express.
There’s a lot of truth to that, although in actual fact we still have many utopian dreams in the world today, and different worldviews colliding doesn’t always mean that they get smashed to pieces. What doesn’t kill a worldview makes it stronger. Often worldviews get harder, more definite, less open, more fundamentalist in the face of opposing worldviews.
Isn’t that happening at the moment as much as the relativization of worldviews? Just look at the fundamentalist religious groups versus the New Atheism, both of which—like the prophets of old—set their foreheads harder than flint.
So, I propose that modern art does not truly reflect our world today. It only reflects part of it. That’s why I suggest a different name for it. But more about that in my next post.