Sixty to the Sixties" or: "Postmodernism in a Historical Perspective | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Sixty to the Sixties" or: "Postmodernism in a Historical Perspective

Total Hours
Semester B
Course Day
Time 14:00 - 17:00

What are the profound changes that have taken place in the concept of culture since the 1960s?

The 1960s were a watershed in thinking about culture (in the broadest and narrowest sense of the word alike) and with some implications of the change we live to this day. Among the changes that took place in the 1960s are the following processes:

1. Attack on Matthew Arnold's concept of "culture" - "culture" as a "civilizational" force - a concept that has been dominant in the Anglo-American tradition at least since the mid-19th century.

2. Attack on the Freudian concept of "sublimation".

3. A questioning of the representational function in the arts.

4. Loss of theoretical interest in drawing a line between "high" versus "low" in the arts.

5. An atmosphere of "reconciliation" between culture and the market, in contrast to the emphasis on the tension between them that prevailed in the thought of culture and art from the end of the 18th century.

5. Accelerated technological and medial changes that have caused a variety of theoretical issues to arise: the relationship between original and copy; Back to a kind of ancient "tribal" situation, followed by questioning of the "enlightened" values ??of the 18th century and more.

6.  The rise of a cynical conception of the arts as a competitive force field and an internal game absent from an external “object”.


Some of these developments were "baptized" during the 1970s under the name "Postmodernism". The seminar will discuss these conceptual developments that took place in the 1960s and 1970s. We will trace the winding path of the development of the concept of "postmodernism", which was created in order to unite under it the variety of these developments. We will try to understand the current state of culture in light of the conceptual developments that laid the foundation for it. Finally, we will present some of the current directions of thought that seek to find new ways to think about culture.