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Parkour through of art today – Kitsch

KITSCH. The concept defines art and design as an inferior copy of an existing style. It invokes an aesthetic that is pretentious, outmoded or in bad taste. Banality, artifice, mediocrity, or extreme ostentation are associated terms. The result may seek to provoke or indeed to create a new aesthetic appeal.

The word was used by Clement Greenberg in his essay, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939) to define avant-garde and kitsch as opposites. The critic thought that the popularity of kitsch was a danger to culture. Later Pop Art incorporated images of popular culture and kitsch to produce ironic works on the whole of urban consumption. Kitsch condones the appropriation of images and vulgar values and to copy decorative resources associated with bad taste in order to develop new concepts.

In the eighties, the line between kitsch and art got confused and Camp, a new associated concept, appeared meaning “presented in an exaggerated way.” The writer Susan Sontag, in “Notes on ‘Camp’”  (1964), emphasizes artifice, frivolity, presumptuousness and impact as key elements of Camp. Sontag states that they are “false attempts at seriousness”, which implies an aesthetic of artifice: “Camp is a lie that dares to tell the truth.”

Some artists have incorporated kitsch elements into their work, such as the French artists Pierre et Gilles, famous for their highly decorative representations of sexual iconography. Springing from gay culture, their photographs are inspired by the world of religion, art, fashion or advertising. Each image is manually retouched and the frames are painted and decorated by hand. Their exuberance and baroque style, artful decor and manual retouching, generates copy images that look unique. Their works exude a vague unreality, exaggerated and provocative.

 

 

Midnight Cowboy (2004), Pierre et Gilles

PARKOUR (FREERUNNING). A DICTIONARY OF ART TODAY

Like an urban parkour circuit among words, concepts, theories and keys to art, this dictionary does not follow the established routes but drifts through today’s art leaping between the semantic topography that defines and conceptualizes art productions. The journey is free-flowing, with no rules or hazards. It is based on one’s own trust as a reader.

Simplicity contrasted with complexity. This is what motivates the dictionary-circuit through the concepts of art today, along these obstacles of words and expressions that surround the world of art. Leaping and moving forward.

It is only something a bit different, a skilful stimulating journey through the linguistic and urban circuits of art in our days.

A number of obstacles to throw out and take on our journey:

Abject / SOCIAL ZOMBIE-IZATION / APPROPRIATION / IRONY / THEATRE OF THE ABSURD / VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY / kitsch / AXIOM / URBAN INTERVENTION / ARCHETYPE / BIO-POLITICS / CHARGE / BRAND / ARCHITECTURE FOR AN EVENT / RELATIONAL AESTHETICS / CRITIQUE OF REPRESENTATION / AUTHORSHIP / FICTIONAL DOCUMENTARY / DEATH OF THE AUTHOR / POST-PORN / DRILL / POST-MODERNITY / REAL / RHIZOME / CROWD / ICON / NET · ART ...

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