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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Featherstone on Postmodernism  

2009-02-26 20:39:38|  分类: 后结构理论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Featherstone, Mike. “Postmodernism and the Aestheticization of Everyday Life.”

Modernity and Identity. Eds. Scott Lash and Jonathan Friedman. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. 265-90.

270

       For Adorno the increasing dominance of exchange value not only obliterated the original use-value of things and replaced it by abstract exchange-value, but it left the commodity free to take on an ersatz or secondary use-value, what Baudrillard was later to refer to as ‘sign-value.’ The centrality of the commercial manipulation of images through advertising, the media and the displays, performances and spectacles of the urbanized fabric of daily life therefore entails a constant re-working of desires through images. Hence the consumer society must not be regarded as only releasing a dominant materialism, for it also confronts people with dream-images which speak to desires, and aestheticize and de-realize reality (Haug 1986: 52; 1987: 123). It is this aspect which has been taken up by Baudrillard and Jameson, who emphasize the new and central role which images play in the consumer society which gives culture an unprecedented importance. For Baudrillard it is the built-up, dense and seamless, all-encompassing extent of the production of images in contemporary society which has pushed us towards a qualitatively new society in which the distinctions between reality and image become effaced and everyday life becomes aestheticized: the simulational world or postmodern culture.

271

       In his earlier writings on the consumer society Baudrillard developed a theory of the commodity-sign, in which he pointed to the way in which the commodity has become a sign in the Saussurean sense, with its menaing arbitrarily determined by its position in a self-referential set of signifiers. In his more recent writings Baudrillard (1983a, b) has pushed this logic even further to draw attention to the overload of information provided by the media, which now confront us with an endless flow of fascinating images and simulations, so that ‘TV is the world.’ In Simulations Baudrillard (1983b): 148) states that in this hyperreality the real and the imaginary are confused and aesthetic fascination is everywhere, so that ‘a kind of non-intentional parody hovers over everything, of technical simulating, of indefinable fame to which is attached an aesthetic pleasure.’ For Baudrillard (1983b: 151) art ceases to be a separate enclaved reality; it enters into production and reproduction so that everything, ‘even if it be the everyday and banal reality, falls by this token under the sign of art, and becomes aesthetic.’ The end of the real and the end of art moves us into a hyperreality in which the secret discovered by surrealism becomes more widespread and generalized. ‘We live everywhere already in an “aesthetic” hallucination of reality’ (Baudrillard 1983b: 148). [J. Baudrillard. Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.]

271-2

       Baudrillard (151): “And so art is everywhere, since artifice is at the very heart of reality. And so art is dead, not only because its critical transcendence is gone, but because reality itself, [272] entirely impregnated by an aesthetic which is inseparable from its own structure, has been confused with its own image.”

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