Symbols, Symbolization, and Humanism

I have said- the creation of a work of art is essentially the creation of a symbol. What the Philly Free School sought to re-inject into serious art was an immersion in humanistic concerns- emotions, psychology, sexuality, intellectual depth- which post-modernism had attempted to evacuate from it. The true foolishness of post-modernism is not just what I call the post-modern disease (that only movements deeper into emptiness and nihilistic disengagement constitute forward movements), it's that any symbol (work of art), simple or complex as the case may be (and the flatulence of post-modernity often encouraged that simple symbols be taken for complex ones), can only be an appeal to the humanism of its perceived audience. Art, and the perceived need for symbolization and symbolic representation, is inherently and inescapably humanistic- symbols reflect the ability of the human mind to assimilate data into something cohesive, and transcendental. If post-modernity inverts this process into a travesty (which it does), its participation in the process weakens its hold on a workable, intellectually justifiable rationale. Since symbol-making can only be humanistic, the post-modern impulse is a self-destructive one, and immature enough (on psychological levels) to be considered adolescent. Or American. Duchamp can at least be given credit for what should've been a one-time stunt, thought-provoking if one-dimensional. The post-modern pranks which followed all constitute an adolescent daydream of easy art-consonance and theoretical dross. It is simple to say, and complex to follow through: humanistic elements can only enrich symbols and symbolization.