Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Kitsch (F. Gualdoni)

"Around 1860 in Germany the expression Kitsch starts to grow, indicating an aesthetic operation of counterfeit and pastiche. The etymology is indicative: Kitschen means the act of building old furniture with old parts, and Verkitschen, to sell something different that what has been announced. At the same time, then, the term refers to something related with the non-authentic reproduction of something that already existed, and suggest that its main object of said action is to satisfy a need that has something to do with taste, with expectations of cultural consumption.

The moment is determinant. The start-up of the second half of the nineteenth century is that in which bourgeoisie and small bourgeoisie are definitely established as the main components of an evolved European society, or rather the German, French and English society. Said social groups do not present specific cultural forms that identify them, as what happens in one hand to aristocracy and to the other hand to the lower classes, still anchored to popular culture, limited but defined. The bourgeoisie aspires instead, by the attraction that naturally pose the more mature lifestyles to those inferior, to be precipitants of the aristocratic culture of the high classes: such involvement is rather seen as an essential element in the climbing up to an eminent and acknowledged social role, to distinctive traits of a long cherished exclusivity."

Gualdoni, Flaminio (2008) Kitsch. Milano: Skira. p 7


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