Modernism and its influences

Gikandi’s article was a good example of the main question where it concerns modernism and its influences. I think, historically, Western art has been systematically flooded then drained of it’s influences in an attempt to preserve what is considered high culture. It became more and more prevalent with the addition of modernism to the repertoire. If modernism is about perspective, illumination, and the importance of representation, then it makes sense that artists like Picasso and even E.M. Forster would want to explore what they were seeing in Britain’s colonial strongholds. However, all this has led to questions similar to what Gikandi presents–what he talks about as the ‘difference that haunts and maintains [modernism].’ The difference between Western art and so-called colonial art and the consequential denial of influence. It is really an interesting aspect of modernism. When we look at history, the facts are that Britain claimed India and many other places in the world. It was a source of pride, economic flourishing, and political importance. Looking at London’s metropolitan culture today, it would be extremely difficult to deny the influence colonialism had on the empire itself. Yet simultaneously modernism keeps its hold on culture without admitting that the relationship is more mutual, rather like two children in a three-legged race.

One thought on “Modernism and its influences