The Postmodernist Art movement honors the — Collective Nothing — because the genre doesn’t want to be tied to anything specific, verifiable, or humanly truthful. The most famous Postmodernist art example in our lifetime is the disgusting “glass pyramid” addition to the Louvre Museum in Paris.
That steel and glass carbuncle sticks out, erupting from nothing, and doesn’t blend with the previous scenescape, and has no current homogeneity in situ in space — and, the designers of that add-on Louvre monstrosity will tell you, with a grin on their face, and snark in their eye — “But, of course, that’s just what we intended.”
I suppose if you intend to create a steamy pile of poo on the ground, and you succeed, who can argue with your success — even though it is inappropriate, gross, and disgusting?
Why create something that means nothing and honors no intention?
In the modern theatre, Postmodernism reigns supreme because it is easy and convenient and holds no convention. Plot means nothing. Catharsis is unnecessary. Dissolution of character is in every intention. Shattering the fourth wall is commonplace. It is all wrong. It is all non-dramatic and it is all non-human.
We must most directly blame the Living Theatre — Julian Beck and Judith Malina — for the quick decline of the American dramatic experience in the 1950’s for their postmodernist twist on what makes an effective live performance.
We still have yet to recover from their Postmodernist meddling into the insurgent drama of the day because their nonplussed style of theatre appeals to young, untrained, minds seeking adoration and fame and not consequence or significance.
Counterculture movements have no family heritage — yet are always obsessed with lopping off the Godhead — and witless ideas like that are solely based on the lie that values and rules have no memeingful moments moving us forward into the future.
Postmodernism rejects all rules and assigns no responsibility.
Repetition in performance is not valued and that makes every performance “unique” and “unto itself” with no guarantee that what happened today will happen tomorrow or ever again. The ancient human heart requires predictability and the modern colloquial mind demands some sort of continuity of structure for comprehension.
Postmodernism makes the performance a paper towel — good for a single use — and then it is disposable as trash. No history is wanted or required. Perspective is a forbidden luxury because it requires a pinned bridge point of view.
Young theatre amateurs are always unwittingly seduced by Postmodernism because there are no rules and because they can just “feel it in their hips” and call it “Art.” They then falsely believe no one can critique them or ask about construction because there is purposely no there, there and how can you construct something when there is, wantonly, no structure?
Only the viewer matters to the Postmodernist in performance because there is only the singular self in an insular, non-solar, world. A thousand interpretations of a single scene is fine with them, while the universal, shared, experience is mitigated by refusing to console an audience with familiar totems or identifiable, righteous, expectations.
Postmodernism is nothing but nothing and to expect something out of intentional emptiness is to be a willing, but woeful, audience participant in the unsacred and nihilistic Postmodernism movement.