Sophie Calle and Sophy Rickett–Post Modern Art

I think it is probably best to start with a definition of Postmodernism before commenting on the works of these two artists. The one below I found to be quite accessible. Mary Klages, from Colorado University describes it saying:

‘Postmodernism, like modernism, follows most of these same ideas, rejecting boundaries between high and low forms of art, rejecting rigid genre distinctions, emphasizing pastiche, parody, bricolage, irony, and playfulness. Postmodern art (and thought) favors reflexivity and self-consciousness, fragmentation and discontinuity (especially in narrative structures), ambiguity, simultaneity, and an emphasis on the destructured, decentered, dehumanized subject.

Postmodernism…doesn’t lament the idea of fragmentation, provisionality, or incoherence, but rather celebrates that. The world is meaningless? Let’s not pretend that art can make meaning then, let’s just play with nonsense.’

Rickett’s work most definitely fits into this category.  I have to admit that I am a little unsure of what artistic element she added to this work, I see her more as the curator of the work done by Dr. Willstrop. But when looking at the definition of Postmodern art, then I guess what she has done can identify her as the artist, but I think it should have two names on it as opposed to just hers. I feel in some way that she ‘took’ his work and by weaving a story around it and linking it to her own–though self-admittedly- unrelated experience and then putting it up in a gallery with the new narrative.

The work she has put forth here depends heavily on the story that goes with it, which is the Postmodern element.  The images themselves are quite interesting but it is her story that makes it come alive.  It still doesn’t sit well with me for some reason.  I am not sure why.  It is kind of like last night, to compare it in very simple terms–whilst carving pumpkins at our community center and my husband used a drill (the pumpkins in Turkey are lose-your-finger tough) and one of the kids said ‘that is cheating.’ It isn’t really, if you re-define the ‘art’ of pumpkin carving.

The other work we were asked to look at is by Sophie Calle and is titled Take Care of Yourself. This work, while I don’t think was as aesthetically pleasing as the other, is a work all generated from the artist’s own experience.  To me that means something, though I am not quite sure why. Essentially she took this break up letter and morphed it into a variety of deconstructions that took the form of crossword puzzled, text deconstructions, song, etc.  It seems to really understand the work one has to really work at it and get the story and thinking behind it all to fully ‘get’ what she is trying to do, which as I had concluded before, is a trait of Postmodern art.


Klages, Mary Postmodernism. [online] At: http: (Accessed on 1 November 2016)



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