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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Research project: Culture of the Fragment

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Exploring the status of the notion of Fragmentation in a contemporary context

Baudelaire, prominent voice of the early Modern period, introduced in The Painter of Modern Life a central idea of Modernity as the ephemeral, the contingent. He suggested that a painter of modern life should concentrate on ordinary modern life, fashion etc.: ‘the passing moment and all the suggestions of eternity that it contains’.

This casts the Modern experience as marked by the fragmentary and the disintegration of ideas of permanence. In the commentary of post-modernism, as well as modernism, the fragment has a central role. The explosion of fragmentation and hybridity corresponds to a proliferation of technology, to the development of the digital, and of new spatial and temporal platforms.

This project explores the status of the notion of Fragmentation in a contemporary context. Plans for the project encompass a series of interrelated outcomes, including an edited collection of visual essays and commissioned texts, and an exhibition. The first of these is Cut Scatter

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