The idea of postmodernism came from honesty and realization, that we are not living in a perfect society. It’s all about truth. As time goes people get bored of what’s in front of them and they crave for something modern, something new. New technology, new society, new political ideas etc. Not long time ago, people had this image in their head of perfect life or like a perfect world – “utopia”, which is quiet impossible to reach and doesn’t always lead to success and because of that people had to learn how to deal with the idea of the future being not so bright as they imagined – “dystopia”. It’s like yin-yang, where “yin” is people living in past, living this organic “perfect” life, it’s almost like a non-existent society, it’s utopia, it’s a dream, it’s a brainwash. And “yang” is the complete opposite, it’s reality, it’s a modern change that brings dystopia. So to sum up, postmodernism is a way of thinking about culture, architecture, art, philosophy and many other things. Like any other art movements it has it’s mind games.Postmodernism says that there is no real truth. It says that knowledge is always made or invented and not discovered. Because knowledge is made by people, a person cannot know something with certainty – all ideas and facts are ‘believed’ instead of ‘known’. People believe that they know what the truth is, but they will think that the truth is something different later. This is the opposite of ‘objectivity’, which says that the truth is always there and people have to discover it.
A really good example would be Alessandro Mendini’s destruction of Lassu chair, 1974. He used a very basic thing like a chair to show how ideal modernist form is being destroyed (by fire in this case). So he set this chair on fire and took photographs of the whole process. The burning chair symbolizes destruction of the past, it’s no longer just a functional object, it goes beyond the functional and announces a new moment in design: something is being burned but something new may grow from the ashes.
The other example of postmodernism but in movie production industry is Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.
Time was set in Los Angeles 2019 and the idea is that harrison Ford as a detective hunts down wayward “replicants”, androids with superhuman abilities. Some of there artificial humans do not know that they are synthetic – and are horrified to discover that their memories and personalities are implanted. The film uses it as a metaphor for the postmodern condition in general. The suggestion is that we are all “manufactured” by the advertisements we see, the space of the cities we live in, the television shows we watch. Our very identities have become artificial.