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Kitsch - Essay Example

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Where there is an avant-garde, generally we also find a rearguard. True enough - simultaneously with the entrance of the avant-garde, a second new cultural phenomenon appeared in the industrial West: the thing to which the Germans gave the wonderful name of "kitsch"Kitsch is vicarious experience and faked sensations…
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Download file to see previous pages This is, in fact, etymologically correct, as the term comes from the German word "kitschen" which refers to the action of collecting rubbish from the street. There are various definitions of kitsch, most of them designating it as a bad art or even as non-art.
Jean Baudrillard is quite harsh in his conception of kitsch. He defines it as "an army of trashy objects" (Baudrillard, 109) made out of plaster of Paris or an imitation of it, "a gallery of cheap-junk accessories, folksy knickknacks, souvenirs, lampshades or fake African masks- which proliferate everywhere, especially in resort areas"(110). In his opinion, "to the aesthetics of beauty and originality, kitsch opposes its aesthetics of simulation: it everywhere reproduces objects smaller or larger than life; it imitates materials (in plaster, plastic, etc.); it apes forms or combines them discordantly; it repeats fashion without having been part of the experience of fashion."(111)
According to Matei Calinescu, who studies this subject extensively, kitsch is a result of romanticist. The theorist gives two reasons for his opinion: the first refers to the fact that the romantic revolution brought about an almost complete relativization of taste, the second reason is connected to romanticist's promotion of a sentimentalist type and view of art.(237) He says that "the desire to escape from adverse or simply dull reality is perhaps the main reason for the wide appeal of kitsch." (237)
So we have two views; the first of them is a harsh criticism of kitsch, the second constitutes itself in an explanation of its appearance. Each point of view is relevant in producing the image of the contemporary kitsch and in identifying its features. A kitsch is, thus, a imitation, something that lacks originality. It is so spread throughout the world and to be found in all cultures as a result of man's need to escape and people's tendency of being sentimental when dealing with art as well as to their tendency of disregarding established values.
Kitsch is present in different forms in all the fields of human creation. It is to be seen in art, clothing, home decoration, children's toys, and architecture. It is so ubiquitous that there has even been created a dictionary of kitsch objects. There are kitsch cars, kitsch clocks, kitsch dolls and furniture, kitsch lamps, kitsch tents and there are a multitude of such examples.
At the level of interior design, kitsch is produced either by the choice of decoration objects or by the combination of decorative elements. Some interiors, or designer's creations can be shocking at first sight because of the explosion of colors and forms or because of the combination of objects that lack value or originality, with objects with valuable and stylish works of art. It is difficult to decide nowadays where the border between a real kitsch and a trendy interior is. This border seems to have dissolved in world where a plastic imitation of a stylish candelabrum doesn't surprise anyone anymore. Kitsch is a copy without value, or in today's design, a re-taking or a conceptualization of clisheistic lines. The glamorous style is inspired by the Hollywood world where everything is appearance. A neoclassic villa is a home made out of cartoon and gypsum, a poque chair has got the mark of time a day ago, plastic can imitate elaborate forms.
A porcelain, the decoration object present in many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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