Curating modernism

For this assignment, I’m going to ask you to curate a multi-modal reflection on the meaning of modernism.  How to do this?

First, surf over to the 1913 Armory Show.  When it was mounted in New York City in early 1913, this collection of 1,300 works of art was intended to showcase the cutting edge of modern art.  Browse through the exhibit.  As you enjoy the paintings, sculpture, and other works, keep an eye out for at least three objects that remind you of any of the modernist poems (Williams, Pound, Stein, Eliot) that we’ve read in class.  These connections can be thematic (in terms of subject matter) or formal (in terms of how things are represented).

Now, go back to our modernist poems.  Find an excerpt (no more than three or four lines) from any of our texts and match this to one of your chosen art works.  Now that you’ve paired a work of art with a poetry excerpt, explain the connection.  How do these two examples (artwork and poem excerpt) comment on each other?  What do they share?  Most importantly, what does this juxtaposition of visual and literary art tell us about “modernism” as an aesthetic movement?   Probably, to answer these questions, you’ll want to review our discussion of the poetry and your annotations.

Your final product should look like this: three pages, each page headed by an image of a piece art paired with a poetry excerpt (think of the way Du Bois paired texts at the beginnings of his chapters in Souls of Black Folk), followed by a written explanation of why these two examples (art and poetry) belong together.  Include a final page that tries to generalize about what you’ve discovered about modernism as aesthetic movement by comparing visual and literary texts.  That makes four pages in total.

Questions?  Let me know.

Due: Monday, April 3.