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Postmodern Design - Essay Example

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The postmodern condition, or postmodernity, has a number of different definitions according to the activity/discipline it is being applied to. It generally relates to the unique features of either objects or ideas that stem from the unique conditions of the late Twentieth and early Twenty-First Century…
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Postmodern Design
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"Postmodern Design"

Download file to see previous pages One manner in which postmodern jewelry may differ from that which came before is the use to which it is put and its place within the wardrobe of the person who wears it. Thus Virpilatis, the Lithuanian jewelry designer, consciously creates jewelry suitable for everyday use:
This is essentially the opposite of the traditional view of jewelry, in which it is characterized as a precious, fragile and thoroughly "dead" object that must be preserved from use. In Virpilatis's view, the jewelry becomes part of the wearer and thus, like the rest of his/her clothes, and the person himself, subject to everyday use.
The postmodern attitude towards jewelry counters the hierarchy of materials that exists within traditional jewelry. Thus diamonds and platinum are valorized over simple stones and steel. Within postmodern design all materials are of equal value, and the finished work does not depend upon any aesthetic sense of "beauty", but rather function or intellectual ideas. Thus Virpilatis uses raw amber, plastic and pieces of metal that he picks up off the street.
Simplicity of design is another feature of postmodern jewelry that enables the wearer and the observer to inculcate their own meaning into the piece without influence from the outside. Consider the following:
It is a bangle and yet it appears to have a ring of some...
Consider the following:


(Chateau, 2006)

It is a bangle and yet it appears to have a ring of some kind attached to it. Both bangle and ring are very simple, almost primitive in nature. One without the other would perhaps be of litter interest, but together they form a whole that is beyond their individual elements. The wearer/observer is able to attach their own meaning to the piece without being forced into an interpretation by the designer. Another piece, that combines elements of many different cultural forms, is called, oddly enough Vegan Erotica:


(Vegan Erotica, 2006)

A sense of humor is perhaps seldom associated with jewelry, let alone the often earnest intellectual origins of postmodernism, but here an element of humor most definitely exists.
The name of the piece, which is actually too small to be a traditional punk dog-collar piece (and too large to be a bangle/bracelet) juxtaposes the pure, almost sterile images of "vegan" with the entirely opposite images raised by "erotica". In a sense, in contrast to the other pieces already discussed, there is an overload of information and interpretations possible for the piece of jewelry.
Juxtaposition of images occurs in the following piece of jewelry:


(Dark Poison Victorian Cross)

The mixture of crucifix and leather design makes a startling combination. Again, the two parts of the piece make a whole more than the two would possess if separate. But there is no seamless combination of the elements but rather harsh, apparently unconsidered joining that accentuates the fact that the two pieces were not designed together.
This is perhaps the most pristine definition of postmodernism. It is deliberately unaesthetic, and yet powerful at the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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