What is Metamodernism?
In the 90s and the early 2000s it’s fair to say we grew up with a particular outlook on life, one of irony, of deconstruction and cynicism. This was noticeable in the music of Nirvana and Radiohead, in the books of Michel Houellebecq and Bret Easton Ellis, and we saw it in the arts with the YBAs and Jeff Koons. This is very much a sensibility that spoke to us, that we embraced.
That time was summed up by a sense of boredom in culture. This is it? And what now?
Throughout the 2000s we began noticing – as many people did and many have written about this – slight changes. First you get the complete reappraisal of writers such as David Foster Wallace, who started in the 90s but suddenly became big in the early 2000s. And you had sincere movies by Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry. This was all very different from the kind of stuff we grew up with. Something was changing. The irony of Nirvana, the desperation of Radiohead, the cynicism of Michel Houellebecq were replaced by something that was at once still cynical, still ironic and had an acknowledgement of how the world worked, but at the same time seemed to want more.