Duchamp Deceased: The Passing of Postmodernism

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This paper uses art, literary, and integrated cultural and critical theory to argue that powerful transnational phenomenon mark the birth of a transnational era and the final passing of the Duchampian debate that defined the 20th century. This global paradigm shift is manifest both visually and metaphorically in Obama’s multi-ethnicity, clear language, optimistic outlook, and non-hierarchical modes of operation in the world:
• dissatisfaction with the semiotic reduction of meaning to simplistic polemic options
• rootedness in shared dialogue/input and rejection of the modernist monologue/output model
• call for maturity and rejection of postmodern adolescence, cynicism, distrust, and loss
• embrace of 21st c. tools and constructive operations of intertextuality and intermediality

Shepard Fairey’s iconic poster is emblematic of the paradigm shift and the challenges faced in realizing this nascent worldview and its correlative style in the arts, since it speaks to a transnational negotiation of the multimedia tools of intermediality. The Obama administration disintegrated boundaries and welcomed grass roots creativity by taking as its sign the work of a street artist to signify its reaffirmation of inclusive democratic values. The battle that ensued in the public arena regarding issues of both the nature and legality of creativity mark the first efforts of this new era to heal and define itself.


Keywords: Duchamp, Post-Modernism, Transnationalism, Intertexuality and Intermediality
Stream: Arts Policy, Management and Advocacy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Pamela Smiley

Professor, English and Women's Studies, Carthage College
Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA

I began the women's studies program fifteen years ago when I began teaching. Interested in global issues of hermeneutics and post-modern theory, I have also taught in Korea, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

Carolyn Hudson

Assistant Professor, Art History and Women's Studies, Carthage College
Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA

I have taught Art History, Women's studies and theory for 25 years. I am particularly committed to interdisciplinary studies. I helped pioneer the interdisciplinary programs now at the core of my school's curriculum, and currently sit on the committee overseeing the required interdisciplinary team-taught symposium.

Ref: A09P0576