In philosophy and aesthetics, metamodernism is a recent reaction to postmodernism informed by elements of both modernism and postmodernism. The term was introduced in 2010 by cultural theorists Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker as an intervention in the post-postmodernism debate. In their article "Notes on metamodernism," they assert that the 2000s were characterized by the return of typically modern positions that did not forfeit the postmodern mindsets of the 1980s and 1990s. The prefix "meta" here refers not to a reflective stance or repeated rumination, but to Plato's metaxy, which denotes a movement between opposite poles as well as beyond them.
Van den Akker and Vermeulen define metamodernism as a continuous oscillation, a constant repositioning between mindsets that are evocative of the modern and postmodern but are ultimately suggestive of another sensibility: one that negotiates between a yearning for universal truths on the one hand and relativism on the other, between hope and doubt, sincerity and irony, knowingness and naivety, construction and deconstruction. They suggest that the metamodern attitude orients itself toward another future, another metanarrative, whilst acknowledging that that future or narrative might not exist, or, if it does materialize, may be inherently problematic.
Vermeulen and van den Akker cite as examples of the metamodern attitude the multiple responses (for instance, 'informed naivety', 'pragmatic idealism', and 'moderate fanaticism') to climate change. In the arts, they cite the return of transcendentalism, Romanticism, hope, sincerity, affect, narrativity, and the sublime. Artists and cultural practices they consider metamodern include the architecture of BIG, musicians such as Georges Lentz, the artworks of Peter Doig, Olafur Eliasson, Ragnar Kjartansson, Šejla Kamerić and Paula Doepfner, and the writings of Haruki Murakami, Roberto Bolaño, David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen.
The artist Luke Turner published a metamodernist manifesto in 2011, calling for an end to "the inertia resulting from a century of modernist ideological naivety and the cynical insincerity of its antonymous bastard child", and proposing instead "a pragmatic romanticism unhindered by ideological anchorage."
In September 2010, Galerie Tanja Wagner curated the first exhibition explicitly linked to metamodernism, including the artists Mariechen Danz, Routes Award winner Sejla Kameric, Issa Sant, Angelika Trojnarski and Paula Doepfner. There have since been three exhibitions on metamodernism: No More Modern at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, Notes on Metamodernism at the Moscow Biennial, and Discussing Metamodernism at Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin. Artists included in these shows were Olafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Monica Bonvicini, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sejla Kameric, Andy Holden, David Thorpe, Luke Turner, Kris Lemsalu, Guido van der Werve, Pilvi Takala, Ulf Aminde, and Mariechen Danz.
In June 2010, van den Akker and Vermeulen founded the webzine Notes on Metamodernism. The webzine brings together scholars and critics from a variety of nationalities and disciplines, all of whom are working on tendencies in philosophy, politics, and the arts that can no longer be described in terms of postmodernism. Since the webzine's inception, it has featured the work of, amongst others, Niels van Poecke (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Reina Marie Loader (Exeter University), Leonhard Herrman (University of Leipzig), Nadine Feßler (University of Munich), James MacDowell (University of Warwick), Hanka van der Voet (Modelectoraat ArtEZ), Luke Butcher (Manchester School of Architecture), as well as the New York-based critic David Lau.
The term metamodernism was previously adopted by literary theorist Alexandra Dumitrescu to describe the contemporary paradigm, the poetry of William Blake, the fiction of Arundhati Roy, and Michel Tournier. Andre Furlani has also used the term, specifically to describe the work of Guy Davenport. In Brazil, Philadelpho Menezes and Jayro Luna have used the term since 1986. Philadelpho Menezes published the book A Crise do Passado: Modernidade, Vanguarda, Metamodernidade (The Crisis of the Past: Modernity, Vanguard, Metamodernity) in 1994, and Jayro Luna published several relevant papers in 1986: "Meta Metamoderno nisso aí", "Bibliotecas Metamodernas", and "Da Metalinguagem ao Metamoderno", compiled thereafter in the book Participação e Forma (Participation and Form, 2001). The Indian spiritual teacher, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, used the term in her 1995 book Meta Modern Era.
|& de Meuron, HerzogHerzog & de Meuron||Architect||Winner of The Pritzker Prize|||
|Ingels, BjarkeBjarke Ingels||Architect||Winner of The European Prize for Architecture|||
|Anderson, WesWes Anderson||Director/Writer||Director of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom|||
|Carax, LeosLeos Carax||Director||Director of Holy Motors, Boy Meets Girl, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf and Pola X|||
|Franco, JamesJames Franco||Actor||Actor in Spider-Man, 127 Hours, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, This is the End and Palo Alto|||
|Gondry, MichelMichel Gondry||Director/Writer||Director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep|||
|Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze||Director/Writer||Director of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are and Her|||
|LaBeouf, ShiaShia LaBeouf||Actor||Actor in Nymphomaniac, Transformers, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull|||
|Watts, ReggieReggie Watts||Comedian/Musician||Co-host of Comedy Bang! Bang!|||
|Burnham, BoBo Burnham||Comedian/Musician||Performer on Words Words Words, Bo Burnham, and Bo Fo Sho|||
|Abramson, SethSeth Abramson||Poet||Series Editor of Best American Experimental Writing |||
|Bolaño, RobertoRoberto Bolaño||Novelist||Author of 2666 and The Savage Detectives|||
|Franzen, JonathanJonathan Franzen||Novelist||Author of The Corrections and Freedom|||
|Murakami, HarukiHaruki Murakami||Novelist||Author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84|||
|Roggenbuck, SteveSteve Roggenbuck||Poet||Author of IF U DONT LOVE THE MOON YOUR AN ASS HOLE, CRUNK JUICE, and DOWNLOAD HELVETICA FOR FREE.COM|||
|Wallace, David FosterDavid Foster Wallace||Novelist||Author of Infinite Jest and The Pale King|||
|, Antony and the JohnsonsAntony and the Johnsons||Musical Group||Performers on Swanlights, The Crying Light, and I Am a Bird Now|||
|, Bill Callahan (musician)Bill Callahan (musician)||Singer-Songwriter||Performer on Dream River, Apocalypse, Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle and Red Apple Falls|||
|, CocoRosieCocoRosie||Musical Group||Performers on Tales of a GrassWidow, Grey Oceans, and The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn|||
|Banhart, DevendraDevendra Banhart||Singer-Songwriter||Performer on Mala, What Will We Be, and Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon|||
|Harmon, DanDan Harmon||Writer||Creator of Community and Rick and Morty|||
|Stewart, JonJon Stewart||Political Satirist||Host of The Daily Show|||
- The Death of postmodernism and beyond
- Integral theory
- New Sincerity
- New weird generation
- Remodernist film
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- T. Vermeulen & R. van den Akker, 'Notes on metamodernism', Journal of Aesthetics and Culture
- Notes on metamodernism
- Metamodernist Manifesto