© DAVID CARR-SMITH 2009 : all images and text are copyrighted - please accredit text quotes - image repro must be negotiated via dave@artinst.entadsl.com

Key F11 for full-screen on/off
Click on images to enlarge


DAVID CARR-SMITH - IMPROVISATION / DESIGN / ART / KITSCH / CHANCE

KITSCH

 


.

INDEX  
IMPROVISED-ARCH IN AMSTERDAM INDUSTRIAL SQUATS & COLLECTIVES

IMPROVISATION - PUBLIC & LEGAL - ALLOTMENTS  
IMPROVISED VILLAGES - WANDSWORTH / KEW BRIDGE
VERNACULAR & STYLE - BERDUN, HUESCA
TEMPORARY-ARCHITECTURE - FRANK'S CAFE / SOUTHWARK LIDO 
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA MASS-PRODUCTS & TASTE - LIV-RM
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA MASS-PRODUCTS & TASTE - HOUSE
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA PERSONAL-CHOICES 
ART - GOTHIC INTO RENAISSANCE INTO 20thC
ART - 20thC COLLAGE INTO MASS-MEDIA 
GRAFFITI INTO STREET-ART  
KITSCH
CHANCE & DESIGN

 

.

 

KITSCH 

 

.

 

INTRODUCTION   ... in process

[Written: from ####]

.IN PROCESS

Pretence - of value beyond the actual value of the kitsch (manufactured) object. An illusion of value provoked in the imagination/memory of the object's user/possessor/observer via illustrational references  ... a seeming actualisation and presence of a value - which in fact is only in the mind of the observer. The actual value consists in the relief of energy and the multiplying of means enabled by a tool (its efficiency #### - a physical tool or an experiential tool - a means of doing and a means of seeing ... both join in 'a means of understanding'.

This faculty - of projecting (onto an external object/phenomenon) what is in fact only in the imagination/memory - this amplification of hints conveyed by illustrated similarities (quotations of mnemonic stereotypes//= mass-mnemonic aspects of generally valued past objects//objects generally recognised to mediate values) is exploited ironically (or experientially) by 'Post-Modern' designers; by non-scrupulous commercial-product manufacturers; by itinerant salespersons.
 

.

 

 

1:  KITSCH-DESIGN   ... in process

 

Kitsch results as a failure to resolve the bizarre (nb: collé) problem of combining//linking a physical-need/functionality (a practical tool) and//with a contextually-completely-different meaning - the latter to raise (imaginary/) status &/or value
- the result is 

A puerile kitsch pretence is the result of failing to resolve the subject/object//item as an experienceable whole (nb: design/art) "fudging the unresolved junction" between use and meaning - often a badly observed and badly made copy of something that has a value in mass-opinion is used to distract attention from the unresolved junction" between use and meaning (a "fudge")  - the only restraint on the accuracy of the 'copy' is its power of maximum-possible-evocation of the general idea (meme) that represents the (usually never experienced) original. Indeed, the 'copy' is usually of an object-type (eg: 'Coach-Lamp'), not so often of a specific original (Michangelo's David sculpture or the Leaning Tower of Pisa), and anyway we want all our common objects-of-use to be also 'meaningful': satisfying in the mental/cultural sense - to display attributes of status: wealth and connoisseurship.  

 

With regard to the latter type of 'practical' object there are difficulties: ///there is usually no unique example to copy; or more commonly too-many slightly differing unique-examples, which must be sieved for their most typical most mnemonically-efficient features. Any type of practical object has features that typify/identify it in the mass-mind: those that evoke/label it in//as memory ///thus in the absence of a unique original (a maker/seller of it, and its subsequent buyer (retrospectively in their mind), must abstract the features that typify a class of objects - the meme of a group. Of course the most common feature of such a group is its practical function - however that is often 'taken for granted'//remembered as actions//remembered in terms of the act of its using[?], what is named are the features that relate to aesthetics and status: ("We need a coach-lamp at the front door, I want one of those that looks like it adorned//reminds me of "Ye Old Curiosity Shoppe" (which, in its turn, via affective context memories, diffuses in the mind (for instance) a glow of romantic glamour/desire.) The 'mnemonic tags' that typify a functionally-similar group (eg: 'coach-lamps') are often ones that have been abstracted from the family-group by commerce (that enable the most economical means of production relative to quantity, price, desirability) and the most desirable aesthetic/status mnemonics associated with the object in mass-culture (as determined via 'Market Research') and if these chosen non-practical features seem successful 'selling points' they will be retained, or otherwise changed for others. If a particular product type is widely needed other companies may try to capture sales by introducing as-yet unexploited (thus possibly exciting) motifs.  

.

WALL HERALDRY: PLASTIC FLINTLOCK PISTOL WITH SCROLL-ATTACHED THERMOMETER MACHINE
(pic 1980)    
... in process

This illustrates the problem of dressing-up a small and boring-looking gadget (the thermometer) to increase its noticability, its attractiveness as a sales-item, and make its rather mundane factory functionality fit for a living-room wall.

An absurd combination of 2 completely disconnected objects: a working thermometer and a plastic gun (one a functioning instrument the other a vulgar illustration) - their only obvious communality is, that in other circumstances, they may be separate display-items hung on a home wall. The 'ingenuity' displayed here is to make them a 'two-in-one' - but as their 'designer' didn't know how they may be credibly joined together the problem was fudged by employing a staple of kitsch - baroque curlicues serving here as a sort of matrix or glue. This 'curlicue-matrix stuff' is a useful 'filler' - when you cant think how to join disparate things this 'mere-motif' substance can fill the spaces with 'mnemonic luxury' ('stolen from the mirror-frames of Versailles'). In design terms this is 'getting away with it', no real solution (aesthetic and/or practical) is necessary, just fill the gaps with the squiggles of the enviable rich!  It's kitsch because it performs its lazy conceit without any apparent awareness of a silly lie - and without humour or irony. On the contrary, it seems its 'designer' believed that an ordinary usefully functioning thermometer acquired a special dignity by association with even an illustration of an antique flint-lock pistol (frequently desired as a wall ornament evocative of yesteryear's gentlemanly sports and courageous duels). 

 slightly prompted perhaps by the trigger guard, the curved handle and the gun-barrel decoration.

AN ICE-CREAM PARLOR WASTE-BIN, VASTO SEA-FRONT, ITALY
(pic #-2003)
   ... in process

An ice-cream ad-sign outside an ice-cream parlor ingeniously and rather disgustingly turns out to be a waste-bin, identified only by its mysterious black-bag scarf and a tiny tongue projecting from the pink scoop which doubles as its lid ... unless care is taken ones finger will wipe the (cornet-like) bin-rim before one grasps ones real cornet!  

Cant think of 2 things at once?: use a waste-bin ><//to advertise an ice-cream cornet ... the idea conveyed here is that one may find that under the scoops of ice-cream one's cornet is full of litter.
A common aspect of kitsch is a destructive contradiction between a designed object's obviously intended emotional effect, and what it actually evokes when its unresolved conceptual lesions (inherent or in relation to its context) are noticed//realised!

 

 this design looks so coyly charming and sweet it almost persuades one to slide ones tongue over the smooth scoops of ice-cream ... until the realisation that one of these scoops is the lid of a waste-bin !

This design has an air of self-congratulatory ingenuity but its mental effect is so repellent that (except as a crude//repulsive joke) only the most out-of-touch-with-reality fantasist could seriously dream its practicality, let alone invest in manufacturing, or in buying and commercially employing it.

 

 

LeanTwr

CAR-PARK ENTRY & LAMP: "ANGLERS REACH" FLATS, GROVE RD.,SURBITON, LONDON - (METAL & GLASS, BRICK, ETC)
(pic c. late-1970s)    
... in process

Kitsch design usually//often reveals a ludicrous disconnect between a mass-manufactured (kitsch) product (here the 'old-fashioned' lamp) and its usage and/or design-context. Here the value-laden fantasy espoused//provoked by the kitsch lamp (: a 'welcome beacon' into a 'uniquely special' place) is ludicrously contradicted by the insular skills of its installer. His response to the lamp's status as a 'lighthouse-signal' is to raise it on a column, however his choice of brick seems to have been limited by his habitual craft. Though the narrowness of the column seems an appropriate response to the lamp's espousal of 'elegance', the attempt at elegant-slimness awkwardly contradicts the innate massiveness of brick-construction, which - especially when capped with an incompetently formed cement block - merely conveys the clumsiness of inappropriate choice (possibly underpinned by reference to the ubiquitous brick posts of entrance-gateways).     

..

 

 

 

LEANING TOWER OF PISA - ELECTRIC LAMP - (ALABASTER, ETC)
(pic early 1980s)    


This is a common way of investing the extraordinary in the ordinary. In this case the Leaning Tower is miniaturised as a translucent alabaster tube housing an electric light fitting, and becomes a night lamp. A novelty that would be merely a nonsensical combination if this tower was not instantly recognisable as a thing that had become uniquely individual: 'the' stereotypical tower. Even without its 'magic' interior physical glow, the power of its original's uniqueness - 'unique in the whole world', sustains and continually generates a huge mental meaning-presence, a powerful mnemonic aura - here invested (via the ubiquitous presence of its original in cultural/mental space) in one of its uncountable progeny.  

This is the 'positive' power of kitsch - a mode of power akin to religion (especially of course religions that espouse 'symbolic' figuration) and still mentally active and overtly socially organising in superstition-raddled cultures.

NOTES:  

1. So ubiquitous is the 'Leaning-Tower-Of-Pisa' stereotype that even in a childrens factual-info book, based mainly on photos, its chosen picture is 'iconised'.  [Ref: PIC+NOTE

2. An encounter with the real tower strips away much of its mental aura. Only with its external reality suppressed can its mnemonic forms flourish.  [Ref: PIC+NOTE]
.

"THE BEECHES" BANQUETING SUITE, A631 (ABOUT 3 MILES FROM ROTHERHAM), YORKS 
(pic c.late-1970s)


A cement-rendered shed-end with a small selection of stuck-on 'pretence' features: a classic pediment supported by Doric pillars, mounted on cement blocks ( a height adjustment?) and edged by classic urn 'planters'; bizarrely flanked by hugely wide, cheaply made, cursorily installed 'Queen Ann' bay windows; surmounted by a huge notice proclaiming "BANQUETING SUITE" - like a dictionary definition illustrated by the motifs beneath it.


Kitsch in its reliance on trite stereotypical motifs that it hopes will automatically evoke in potential customers a subliminal, ie uncritical fantasy of valued originals (or some glamorous media representation of them), and that this will effectively overrule in a potential diner's attention the cement shed and the low quality of its adornments, and rather endorse its cultural status (the door-case) and its social coziness (the festoon-curtained windows). 

(NB: These Classical and Queen Ann motifs were chosen for their individual efficacy, with no concern for their historical ambiguity.)

.

FUNERAL DIRECTORS, BETHNAL GREEN RD (E end)., LONDON, E2 - c. 1990
(pic 09-1991)   


A more thoroughly integrated and 'respectable' version of the last. The same reliance on Classicism (its motifs and symmetry) to automatically evoke in the potential customer an attitude of 'scholarly' seriousness, respect, dignity, balance - and thus indirectly advertise these qualities as their own. 

 

 

 

2 KITSCH-LOCATION   ... in process

 

X

STREET-WINDOW - PRINCE ANDREW & SARAH FERGUSON WEDDING - SHOP WINDOW (PROBABLY ONE TO RIGHT OF CENTRE-ENTRANCE), SELFRIDGES, 400 OXFORD ST., LONDON, W1 
(pic 1986)    ... in process

Royalty is by now such a bizarre and baseless status (once dependent upon some version of predestination, of divine choice, absolutely undeflected by the wishes of individuals) that now, in terms of public culture, 'royals' are on the verge of becoming the ultimate kitsch 'celebs', in so far as (like these two) they. Here (apparently) happy to be presented grinning out at us like a snap from everyone's family album, willing to participate in Selfridges' marketing publicity, posing//sitting in what could be seen as a view onto Selfridges' furniture department* or ** in their own celebrity booth in one of twenty Oxford Street display windows designed to glamorize the merchandise of one of the world's biggest department stores, on one of the worlds most famous shopping streets. 

'Royalty' is accelerating into kitsch. 

"SMOKE EXTRACT BASEMENT"

**undertakers ... no

the decor is so funereal (like a 'lying in state') that it looks like the inside of an icebox//frozen//freezing honeymoon boudoir of upper-class//Arctic vampires

*except that the furniture is so absurdly lavish ornate and outdated they look like naughty kids performing selfies in a museum // 

.

CAFE & WEAPONS GALLERY CONJOIN: THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LAMBETH RD., LONDON, SE1 
(pic 03-1990)   


Lunch in the Cafe with a flower, soup, glass of wine and manners ... beyond the glass door a real horror: a submarine-launched nuclear tipped Polaris.

Sometimes there co-exist two cultural norms of such extreme difference they extinguish with their totally confrontive reality any common ground (such as humour - see next example) and thereby provoke a traumatic/schizoid condition of awareness (one that cannot be solved). This example represents an extreme of kitsch - its 'evil maximum'. 
.

DENTIST RECEPTION & WAITING-ROOM: NEAR KINGSTON-ON-THAMES, SURREY -  c.1980 
(pic 1981) 


The upgraded waiting area of a rather successful dental practice. One enters a minimal/practical vestibule and reception-office - then, having been as it were accepted as a bona fide patient, the scene abruptly changes into a kitsch pretence of the drawing room of a cultured (nb: the books and globe) and affluent Edwardian gentleman (nb: the unnecessarily massive and pricey furniture, which conveys dignified grandeur rather than comfort). 

Presumably this abrupt change of place and time is supposed to lull one into a fantasy-state/a dream: in which one enters a zone of professional competence and displaced time where the all too present reality of anxiety and pain cannot persist, is unsustainable. 

However its antique status is rather too obviously a kitsch illusion (literally a physical 'veneer' of mass-produced 'antique' illustration) which is all too likely to evince snobbery and vulgarity - the opposite of its intended signals.
.

 

 

LONDON-INSTITUTE:  BA ART & DESIGN GRADUATION CEREMONY - CENTRAL HALL, STORY'S GATE, WESTMINSTER, LONDON, SW1
(pic 1997) 

Such an occasion celebrates, not individual talent (art/design 'creativity': an ability to push at and open the limits of our own experience and our society's assumptions), but the communal aim of the BA Course itself: an administrative/bureaucratic 'object' that (like money) exists at a hierarchical level that subsumes individuals - a construct dependent for its structures and reality on mental, behavioral value-beliefs: its 'traditions' (its developmental history). It represents the 'negative' aspect of the work of creative-realising. Indeed (unless undertaken in the spirit of an ironic/sarcastic drama) it is precisely what is worked against in order to make the space to substantially finalise an unprecedented experience. This ceremony - as a reward for creative success - is an insulting inversion of what it purports to be rewarding. 

The setting of the ceremony emphasises the grandeur of the teachers and administrators, arrayed (like Tintoretto saints in Heaven) in a raised semicircle around the hall's Moloch-like organ. At the focus of vision (nearest 'the vanishing point') of the audience of mere spectators and potential 'Bachelors', these upper-ones are poised to witness and present a scroll of ratification of success (of 'Bachelorship') to each student-individual who mounts their steps and on their lower entry-level stage accepts the scroll. At that moment - the only moment (though one completely ordained) that individuality is acknowledged - each recipient becomes an ex-student, is transformed into a BA! (A ritual of transubstantiation, of transition into a 'Bachelorhood', a rite-of-passage: the first step-up of an 'Initiation'.)

The whole event is a ridiculous kitsch 'festival of pretence' - the opposite of achievement via personal work - a mish-mash of borrowings from stereotyped 'hallowed traditions' derived from outdated beliefs and their redundant public forms. Like developers' 'Georgian' plastic door-cases lending 'value-style' to their brick-box houses, it borrows defunct kitsch snobbery ceremonials of 'joy in exceeding the achievements of commonplace mass-humans', to impress the public and especially the paying parents who rate these institutions for their progeny and pockets.
.

LONDON-INSTITUTE:  BA ART & DESIGN GRADUATION PHOTO - 1995
(pic 10-2002) 

To distinguish them as group-members within a common-crowd, all the graduating students (and participating staff members) at the ceremony wear a uniform that consists of a ludicrous 'morter-board': a (Medieval) flat head-board (presumably signalling their finished brain filling) and a (Medieval) robe: a gown draped with a 'hood' whose colour-coded ribbons have tediously complex significations: literacy and learning status, the institution that 'completed' them, etc.. During the ceremony [ref previous pic] this uniform visually renders them an identical mass. 

.

 

CHOPIN MONUMENT: LAZIENKI PARK, WARSAW
(pic 09-1991)

Kitsch is pretence, it obscures reality. Lets hope the party of visiting children were brought here to be disillusioned, not to admire their country's most famous artist - he does not reside here. Here Chopin is memorialised as some sort of fairy-tale giant daemon in an inexplicable collaboration with an overwhelming and mysterious non-human energy - presumably a metaphor for the 'passion of inspiration' - depicted as a storm-challenged tree or colossal ejaculation (actually a muddled, phantasmagorically random, unconvincingly rendered, splurge!). 
.

CHOPIN MONUMENT: LAZIENKI PARK, WARSAW
(pic 09-1991)

GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART: CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH - 1897~1909
(pic 15-09-2005)

As if the clutch of street signs and appliances (most to inform drivers yet conceived and positioned separately, their ensemble, let alone their relation to their background, completely undesigned - was, in the presence of such a grand original and authoritatively ordered building, not visual noise enough, some 'official body' has added two 'designed' elements: a ridiculous information column - 'well-designed', eye-catchingly blue against the tan stone, modernly minimal (though completely unneeded), placed intentionally yet in a 'non-position' - clashing/competing its irrelevant shape with Macintosh's tiny door (that scales the whole facade) and so close to the building that this view can never be without it (its as if art galleries paste their labels on the pictures!). Who are these custodians of great works who don't mind mutilating one's view of them, who, far from clearing, or minimising and re-siting the obscuring (but 'innocently' necessary) clutter around them, add their own eye-catchingly conceited and publically patronising non-necessary litter.
..RodleyWharf

GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART: CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH - 1897~1909
(pic 15-09-2005)
   ... in process

The 'Mackintoshey' street-lamp: another council initiative?, styled as if 'Mac-styling' is only a suggestive 'novelty-shop'. These silly objects (4 of them) though confusingly randomly placed relative to the rhythms of the architecture, are (at this time - are now 2016 moved) set back as if modestly 'joining in' with the building's design!
.

LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL (BRITISH WATERWAYS), RODLEY WHARF, CANAL RD., RODLEY, LEEDS, LS13
(pic 15-01-2009) 


A beautiful unspoilt location at the rural edge of busy urbanisation - now released from its Industrial Revolution bondage. However, the crass official wielders of kitsch decided to advertise their aesthetic sensitivity and their duty of public-leisure-enhancement by completing its furnishing [see next pic]!
.

LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL (BRITISH WATERWAYS), RODLEY WHARF, CANAL RD., RODLEY, LEEDS, LS13
(pic 15-01-2009) 
    ... in process 

The spoiling of an unspoilt calm and pleasant location. Its apparently not enough to enjoy a portion of natural landscape made interesting by the addition of practical engineering (the canal-boat basin, its bulwarks and crossing point). This is a scene that retains its 'naturalness' by being continuous//its continuity with the whole view yet mildly focussed by//with a mild focus of pragmatic functionality//furnished with an//its added pragmatic functionality - the scene is without edges, or framing, or 'centre-of-interest'. By attempting to complete and focus its beauty with an 'artistic-feature'//providing it with a 'missing' eye-catching feature that focuses and 'frames' it they (the local-council or British Waterways) have ruined the charm and relaxation of its totally unpretentious inevitability. It was already a place where the mere canal concentrates interest and attention here by its focussing of particular functions and associated activities: the fringing road, the vehicle-crossing, and the consequent pausing of commercial boats - a gathering together of water, road, farm and township ... it should simply have been protected from any application of crass stupidity.

[These stupid and ugly posts were still there over 7 years later ( and still unused - but
anyway  for what !?) - Ref: Goog street-view - Apr 2016]
.

'MASTERPIECE' FAIR: S. GROUNDS, THE ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA, LONDON, SW3 - FACADE & ENTRY (NEPTUNUS STRUCTURES)
(paste-up 2-pics 05-07-17)
    ... in process 

Staged in the grounds of Wren's magnificently restrained and dignified hospital (a building that is indeed a "masterpiece") and hiding the best view of it from the Chelsea Embankment road, the "Masterpiece" art and antiques fair tent was fronted in a vast photographic pastiche of a portion of Wren's windowed facades, endlessly repeated at a 'baby-like' 2/3 scale - a fatuous mockery of Wren's building and a grossly insulting imputation//presumption regarding the cultural type and quality of the fair's 'posh' visitors and potential customers. 

If not a joke - i.e. if it was poking fun at the monotony and (frequent) fakery of classicism and/or having fun scaling its visitors to look like giants ... if it was seriously chosen as the//an appropriate costume for such an outstandingly superior collection of art and craft 'Masterpieces', and by implication bestowed on its visitors the 'distinction' of a Classical education, culture, connoisseurship, then it was an outrageously dishonest intentional work of engineered kitsch, intended to invoke in its visitors a snobbish sense of their cultural and financial superiority and value.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwGPgeZLyj8
.

'MASTERPIECE' FAIR: S. GROUNDS, THE ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA, LONDON, SW3 - FACADE (NEPTUNUS STRUCTURES)
(pic 05-07-17)
    ... in process 

Main facade = 14 hung-fabric panels, each depicting x4 win-bays of a x4-story facade. x3 more panels back the portico, the 2 outside ones each depict x2 window-bays, the non-windowed bays and the centre panel provide a plain brick backing for the entrance porch and doors. 
In addition the 'building' has a laid-back extension at each end - the right-hand faced with 2 panels (x4 win-bays each), the left-hand with 8 panels.  
.

'MASTERPIECE' FAIR: S. GROUNDS, THE ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA, LONDON, SW3 - FACADE-ENTRY
(pic 05-07-17)
    ... in process 

The final (rt hand) panel ends the pretend-building with a visual 'fudge' - it is cut too short: it absurdly truncates the supposed 'building' and in addition suffers an ugly 'wrap-around' at its corner which bends its final dormer window like an object toppling off a shelf!
.

 

 


3 :  KITSCH-ART AND ILLUSTRATION  

 

The first 2 examples depict the stereotypical features of some culturally-local 'paradise'; the 3rd (though it shares a flavor of their dreams) presents itself as the stereotypical talented arty-painting, not an 'origination' (which would exclude the taste/understanding of many punters) but a piece of work that typifies the most popular type of local Paris art: turn of the century Impressionist painting, but here performed with a 'passion and verve of inspiration' (actually a rapidity of technique learned via repetition) rather than truth to sensation !

 

Examples 4 and 5 typify hypocritical effects of an 'art-market'.

.

JIGSAW BOX-LID PICTURE: "THE SHADED WALK"

(pic 07-11-2002)   ... in process

Fantasies of Paradise are made of all the nicest most memorable physical (illustratable) features of Earth (as filtered via each particular culture's mass-taste 'software' - this version is 'antique Classical'). Obviously 'Paradise' excludes all the less pleasant features, obviously therefore one 'Paradise' does not suit all - for instance if there was a drug-taker slumped on the shaded bench with a needle in his arm, this 'Paradise' may be more complete for some, spoiled for others. Is this why illustrated Paradises always seem to be lacking something ... and if that something is a human being, would not that thinking/perceiving/judging presence complicate the stereotype to the point of chaos?
.

FROM A NEWSPAPER-MAGAZINE AD FOR A "FINE PORCELAIN COLLECTOR PLATE" PRINTED WITH "THE PERIWINKLE TEA ROOMS" BY MARTY BELL 1988

(pic 07-11-2002) 

T
his painting is described on the seller's blurb as a "masterwork" by "Mrs. Bell" 1988. It depicts an infantile fantasy of a cozy nest, nestling somewhere in the English countryside - in "the forgotten gentle world of yesteryear" - eagerly waiting to serve tea to time-travelers! The plate on which this schmaltz icon is printed was made to profit from a culture steeped in kitsch.  

[For the full-page ad (pic+txt) click on the pic]
. Pretend Picasso

PAINTING DISPLAYED FOR SALE IN THE PLACE DU TERTRE ARTIST-MARKET, MONTMARTRE, PARIS
(pic 1979) 
... in process

The 'popular/public Art Market: The apparent vitality of such paintings is only automaticity: skill-practiced along a narrow pathway of subject-matter + mode of paint-handling until the 'artist' becomes a slickness  'expert' - manufacturing kitsch objects that lack curiosity, the opposite of art!  Perhaps the most intensively practiced examples of pretend-art-type-painting outside the pretend-art painting-factories of East-Asia.

Stereo of 'Art-Paris/Montmartre = Impressionist' ... (Picasso a habitué of Montmartre Cafe = but 'Cubism' = too 'difficult' for 'average tourist' stereo!) 
. David - Borderstone

PRETEND 'PICASSO': EBAY - $140
(pic 28-10-2017)
  ... in process


 [Ref: webpage].

"LARGE DAVID STATUE": 'BORDERSTONE'  -  PRODUCT CODE: 22514; PAINTED IN ANTIQUE WHITE; HEIGHT: 120cm
(pic: Borderstone www site 13-11-2017)
    ... in process 


"Taking inspiration from Michelangelo, Borderstone have recreated this masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture in fine cast stone." [Ref: Borderstone website].
.

MICHELANGELO: DAVID - 1501~1504 - GALLERIA DELL'ACCADEMIA, FLORENCE
(pic: Jorg Bittner Unna [jbittner@web.de] 28-07-2016)
    ... in process 

AD IN NEWSPAPER-MAGAZINE - LITHOS BY ANTHONY BRANDT 
(pic 04-1972)
 
.
Here the 'art-market' is represented by sexually-exploitive 'soft-porn' - marketed as the work of "Britain's Modern Michelangelo"!

FOUNDATION ART & DESIGN COURSE, LONDON:   
1:
PHOTO-BOOK OF STUDENTS' WORK  /  2: WITH 'OFFICIAL' CENSORSHIP !
(pic early 1987) 

Here the 'art-market' is represented by 'what morality sells to school teachers'. This example is a Foundation Art Course photo-book of student works, made to present Course results to visiting school groups. When the time for visits approached, the image that was most indubitably a personal origination/an art work (as opposed to a skillful drawing) had been hidden under an inserted sheet of paper!
.

 

 

 

4 :  KITSCH-RELIGION ... in process

 

Kitsch grows in non-ignorable plots of ignorance and avoidance: our origin and death. ... in process
.

BUCKFAST ABBEY, BUCKFASTLEIGH, DEVON, TQ11 0EE - (REBUILT 1880s)
(pic 1984)


A 19thC ugly kitsch rebuild of an ancient abbey, in an architecturally and structurally incompetent pretense of Medieval styles. 'Kitsch' because the innate beliefs, desires, stone-building-techniques that constituted 'Medieval' are past and cannot be recovered, and because this crude, muddled assemblage of stereotypical style-signs (which since the last genuine Gothic innovation have come to constitute the mass-culture mnemonic for "a Gothic sacred building") confront with their dis-honesty the continuous self-endorsement of the religion that uses them, that houses itself in them - of its honesty, truth, revelations, its self-advertising status as the essence of being !

BUCKFAST ABBEY VISITOR CENTRE, BUCKFASTLEIGH, DEVON, TQ11 0EE - (VIEW FROM AN UPSTAIRS CAFE) 
(pic 1984)  

The ugliness of this typical 'modern' religion-location, is watched over by a stereotypical statue of the Virgin Mary, isolated on a flowery island oddly circled with seats which face away from her across a plane of asphalt. This ring of seats has attracted a squad of ice-cream eating quasi-military-uniformed boy-cubs.

A story: a figure that mediates and reflects projections of 'beautiful' emotions such as mercy, compassion, loving forgiveness, looks out towards magnificent free-living trees from her isolation in a location of crassly insensitive ugliness. If the pathos had been intentionally designed: a visual sermon, perhaps demonstrating the necessity of a search for redemption in this ugly sinful world, it might avoid an accusation of kitsch, however it's more likely this whole setup is simply an unseeing common-sense exercise in visitor facilities provision, ie: a cafe (from which this view was recorded), an ugly shed-shop (labelled - below its chimney - "Books & Religious Items"!), a vastness of asphalt with a peculiar dearth of seats (to accommodate crowds of mostly strolling/standing visitors), and (because this whole establishment is under the aegis of 'the divine') a small statue of the 'Mother of God' on a little flowery island. 

The apparently unnoticed contradiction between the values mediated by the religion's resident goddess and by the ugly crassness of her (and our) location - suggests that a goddess of beauty and goodness is a kitsch pretence of this mass-mnemonic 'religion', which has smugly left to Mary (or rather a Mary statue!) the job of transforming humanity's boorishness.
.

COFFIN SHOP: 49 RUSHEY GREEN, LONDON, SE6
(pic c.2000)    ... in process

Coffins (e
xtremely expensive disposable furniture) face the street ... this should be a shocking dis-continuity - that throws into relief the presumed existence of this absurd world and all its bizarre human contradictions of natural rational factuality and connectedness. 
.

COFFIN SHOP: 49 RUSHEY GREEN, LONDON, SE6 - "LAST SUPPER" COFFIN
(pic 08-2000) 

A 'resting-place' for a dead person - a lifeless body needs cozy comfort and even 'a Last Supper with Jesus'. The whole thing is a stupid lie ("but you cant be certain can you"). It's to reassure the lovers and spectators (and to line the undertakers' pockets). 

 

From the outside it exudes comfort, a bed 'beyond our dreams of luxury' ... a magical dream space ('created' by a commercial-artist 'inspired' by the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci) in which my loved one can share in great company: Jesus and the apostles (shame about Judas). Placed on the cushy mattress (enlarge the picture) is a paper slip like an invitation: "LAST SUPPER", but do they really know who they're asking to the feast ... and when that suffocating lid closes over the body's face its picture will be sideways to the eyes!

'Doing ones best for the dead loved one'. Isn't it possible to think of some way of celebrating their enduring presence and disposing of their physical remainder, that is more personally satisfying and consoling than this horrific kitsch mockery of the fact of decomposition ... and its huge cost that is borne as an obligation of love! (note the writing on the wall beside it: "DISBURSEMENTS", and in the catalogue [next pic]: "Presented by: £2690-00" - both snobby, euphemistic and coyly discreet terms of ones obligation to the thoroughly commercial undertaker.)

.

COFFIN SHOP: 49 RUSHEY GREEN, LONDON, SE6 - "LAST SUPPER" CATALOG 
(pic 10-2002)    ... in process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.War-Memoria

EARTH GRAVE: EAST HAM CEMETERY, LONDON
(pic 1987) 

The opposite of the preceding corpse coddling! Probably this is a recently dug grave waiting for its stereotypical ceremonial adornments, meanwhile however - in this mere earth state there is no horrible contrast between a corpse and the marble purity of an 'eternal' monument*. The rough filling of earth covering the body shares its naturalness and provokes little contrast in ones mind between the dissolution of the buried corpse and the living nature of the earth itself. (What kitsch there is here: the small muddle of abandoned offerings, seem in their dereliction to appropriately memoralise the physical and psychic remains of organic death.) 

* It's almost impossible to invent an appropriate grave-topping - one that truly satisfies the enigma of a person's disappearance, that solves the total ignorance and consequent reality-crisis for the still-living, that refuses to settle for regressing into kitsch illustrations of religious/social stereotypes. The cemeteries are crowded with bought monuments that surely exacerbate the unbearable mental/emotional conflict between the horrible (visualised) reality of the persistent corpse of one's known person, hidden under some fatuous wish-fantasy expensively caved in 'everlasting' stone by a stranger or machine.

.

0

WAR MEMORIAL: BROAD ST. (NEXT TO CHURCH), HARLESTON, NORFOLK
(pic 24-06-2017)

The kitsch pretence of war: the barefaced hypocrisy of presenting 'glory' and 'faithfulness' to the deceived, conscripted and slaughtered'. Especially via this aesthetically bankrupt muddle of defunct symbols. 

To balance this kitsch tosh with a dose of sanity, here is a rare anti-war memorial: Saint Martin d'Estreaux.
.

 

 

 

5 :  KITSCH    ... in process

 


 

 

 

6 :  KITSCH    ... in process

 

X

 

 

^ Top     
> Next Section >

 

INDEX   
IMPROVISED-ARCH IN AMSTERDAM INDUSTRIAL SQUATS & COLLECTIVES

IMPROVISATION - PUBLIC & LEGAL - ALLOTMENTS  
IMPROVISED VILLAGES - WANDSWORTH / KEW BRIDGE
VERNACULAR & STYLE - BERDUN, HUESCA
TEMPORARY-ARCHITECTURE - FRANK'S CAFE / SOUTHWARK LIDO 
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA MASS-PRODUCTS & TASTE - LIV-RM
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA MASS-PRODUCTS & TASTE - HOUSE
"HOME" - MY LOCATION VIA PERSONAL-CHOICES 

ART - GOTHIC INTO RENAISSANCE INTO 20thC
ART - 20thC COLLAGE INTO MASS-MEDIA 

GRAFFITI INTO STREET-ART  
KITSCH
CHANCE & DESIGN

.