Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Laughter: in a Post-ironic Turn - Sincerity and humour in contemporary expressions of irony

by Larne Abse Gogarty (Slade, UCL), Shumi Bose (Central Saint Martins), Seth Graham (SSEES, UCL), Pil and Galia Kollectiv (RCA / U. of Reading / London Metropolitan), and Florian Mussgnug (UCL)


14 November 2018

Thinkers from different disciplines such as literature, arts and architecture, have shown dissatisfaction with the pervasive contemporary use of irony: laughing at everything, and avoiding seriousness, accountability and any sort of commitment to what is expressed.

There is an ongoing discussion in these disciplines about the nature of certain current artistic expressions that seem charged with irony and humour - sometimes due to the use of modern or postmodern aesthetics - but that in fact claim to be on the lookout for beauty, authenticity, sincerity, creativity, and love. Scholars have given many names to this attitude: new sincerity, post-irony, and post-postmodernism. We asked, is there room for laughter and humour in this turn?

This panel discussed contemporary uses of irony and/or postirony through different modes of expression, and the roles that humour and the embodied expression of laughter play in them.

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