topic: POSTMODERN ART AND THE GHANAIAN EXPERIENCE: AN

topic: POSTMODERN ART AND THE GHANAIAN EXPERIENCE: AN

topic: POSTMODERN ART AND THE GHANAIAN EXPERIENCE: AN ICONOGRAPHIC ASSAY PH.D (ART AND CULTURE) CANDIDATE: THEOPHILUS KWESI MENSAH 9131750001 1

Background to the study Classical art Modernism (Barth, 1979; Berman, 1988; Salehi, 2008) Postmodernism (Barrett, 1997; Hick, 2004; Sanders, 2006) 2 Background to the study Contd There is negative perception about postmodern art which need critical academic scrutiny.

3 Statement of the Problem Ghana has witnessed massive cultural and technological transformation from its time of colonisation. The turn of 20TH the century showed marked advances in technology. These advances which has established closer synchronism between culture , globalisation and development are so intense that it has affected the social, economic and

political structure of society. 4 Statement of the Problem Contd This global change in the art front also influenced Ghanaian artists (Annku & Adu-Agyem, 2012). an external cultural hegemony. It is their position that we [Ghanaians] must not lose sight of the pecking order since the adopter culture must survive at all costs Annku and Adu-Agyem (2012). 5

Statement of the Problem Contd Calls for a new philosophical framework in a quest for the possibility that individuals can reject certain prevailing cultural attitudes and embrace new myths (Gablic, 2009). 6 Statement of the Problem Contd This study therefore sought to do an inquest into Ghanaian postmodern art via an analyses of the concepts,

materials and philosophical underpinnings informing this ripple of art praxis. This in the researcher view will help demystify and help clarify the many uncertainties surrounding this art movement. 7 Objectives of the Study 1. identify and critique postmodern iconographies used in the Ghanaian artist experience. 2. chronicle the factors, that influenced the incorporation of the identified iconographies by Ghanaian postmodern artist.

3. access the level of acceptance of the identified iconographies used by Ghanaian postmodern artist. 8 Objectives of the Study Contd 4. analyse the homologies between the identified postmodern iconographies used by Ghanaian postmodern artist and traditional Ghanaian culture. 5. evaluate the challenges associated with the identified iconographies used by Ghanaian postmodern artist.

6. appreciate and identify key theories imbedded in Ghanaian postmodern art works. 9 Research Questions 1. How can Ghanaian postmodern iconographies be identified and critiqued? 2. What factors influenced the incorporation of the identified iconographies by Ghanaian postmodern artist? 3. What is the level of acceptance of the identified iconographies

used by post-modernist artist in Ghana? 10 Research Questions Contd 4. What are the homologies between the identified iconographies used by Ghanaian postmodernist artist and indigenous Ghanaian Traditional Culture? 5. What are some of the challenges associated with the use of the identified iconographies by Ghanaian postmodern artists? 6. What are the predominant modes of appreciation required for a comprehensive experience and theorisation of Ghanaian

postmodern art works? 11 Delimitation The study was delimited to identified practicing Ghanaian artists who have chosen to practice art based on the postmodern art paradigm. 12 Review of Related Literature

Conceptual Framework Semiotics (Saussure, 1916; Barthes, 1967). Saussure and Barthes identified language, images and objects as a system of signs consisting of signifiers and signified that are arbitrarily linked to each other in a way that is designated by culture. 13 Conceptual Framework Contd

14 Review of Related Literature Modernity and Postmodernity (Barth, 1979). Between Modernism and Postmodernism (Barrette 1997). Art and its Guise: Interpretation and Expression (Tolstoy 1899). Creativity, Originality and Art in the Modern and Postmodern Turns (Brown,1999; Derrida,1976; Krauss,1985).

15 Research Methodology Research Design a. Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss 1967; Charmaz, 2009). b. Case Study (Yin 2003). 16

Research Methodology CONTD Population Practicing postmodern artists Lecturers students 17 Research Methodology CONTD Sampling technique Purposive

Convenience 18 Research Methodology CONTD Sample size 17 Respondents 9 Postmodern artist 5 Students 3 Lecturers 19

Research Methodology Contd Research Instruments Used Interviews Participant observation,

Focus Group Discussion Documents

Audio-visuals Field notes 20 Research Methodology Contd Data Analysis Plan

Visual and concept analysis Descriptive analysis 21 Results and Discussion Research Question 1 What are some of the icons used in the Ghanaian postmodern artist experience?

photography/film/technology fabric metal glass found objects

scrap metals plastics, nature paint paper the human body

22 Results and Discussion Research question 2 What factors are likely to influences the incorporation of these icons by Ghanaians postmodern artists?

Environmental Political Economic Social Educational 23 Results and Discussion Research Question 3

What is the level of acceptance of the icons used by post-modernist artist in Ghana? varied and mixed They were not bothered by the reaction of the onlooker but rather they were more focused on how well the iconography they were using best helped them put forward their intents. were not so much interested in wowing the onlooker with well refined classical looking art works but rather their main objective was to make statements with their works. Statements that would push a certain

social discourse. 24 Results and Discussion Contd They were focused on exploring privilege experiential, situation-based work over discrete aesthetic objects. This is because to them discreteness connotes disengagement and detachment, as opposed to the kind of direct engagement offered by their situation based works. If they had ignored it, like they have not seen it happening, they pretend not to see its presence, then that means that they have rejected

it. So I think my work has always been accepted, because people react to it negatively and positively. ( Fiatsi, 2016) It is better to be spoken about than ignored. 25 Results and Discussion Contd Research question 4 What are the homologies between these icons used by Ghanaian postmodern artists and traditional Ghanaian culture? The use of local material.

Incorporating traditional and cultural beliefs. 26 Results and Discussion Contd Research question 5 What are some of the challenges associated with the icons used by Ghanaian postmodern artists? Misinterpretation Lack of support

Financial constraints Lack of role model artist 27 KEY THEORY IDENTIFIED Relational Aesthetics The term 'relational aesthetics' was coined in 1996 by French theorist and curator Nicolas Bourriaud. it is a theory of aesthetics in which artworks are judged based upon the interhuman relations which they represent, produce, or prompt.

28 KEY THEORY IDENTIFIED Contd The Ghanaian postmodern Artists proposes as art works: moments of sociability and objects producing sociability. They didnt present themselves as the creators. They are instead, catalysts. They kick-start a question, frame a point of consideration, or highlight an everyday moment. And then, they wait. They wait for a response from the random stranger, the passer-by, the usual suspect - you and I." 29

Conclusions 1. The most dominant material used by Ghanaian postmodern artist were found objects and fabrics. 2. Ghanaian postmodern artist was influenced by environmental, social and political factors. 3. Ghanaians reacted negatively toward postmodern art. 30 Conclusions Contd

4. Ghanaian postmodern artist draw lots of inspiration from traditional and cultural beliefs. 5. There was no strong postmodern art space in Ghana. 31 Recommendations It is recommended that: 1. Since postmodern art responds to current issues before they become part of wider awareness using a variety of non

conventional iconographies, There should be a broader discussion on postmodern art and how it can help us understand our present, offering an insight into the social structure we live in and encouraging us to take part in its creation and reception. 32 Recommendations Contd 2. The exploration of different media either than the traditional ones, should be made an essential part of art teaching so as to expose art students and the general public to current approaches to art.

3. Teaching should blend theory with practice with an emphasis on both reflection and experience. It should also encourage experimenting with different forms of expression and presentation using non conventional media so as to make us more receptible to modern trends in art. 33 Areas for further studies There is the need to take a critical look at the behaviourists

approach of instruction engendered by the current art curriculum and move towards a pedagogical culture that stimulates the development of critical thinking; an expanded appreciation of reality in a manner which brings an understanding of the connections and motives behind facts. 34 Thank you 35

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