Kitsch Against Modernity

Art Criticism 13 (1):53-80 (1998)
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Abstract
"The writer discusses the concept of kitsch. Having reviewed a variety of approaches to kitsch, he posits an historical conception of it, connecting it to modernity and defining it as a coping-mechanism for modernity. He thus suggests that kitsch is best understood as a tool in the struggle against the particular stresses of the modern world and that it uses materials at hand, fashioning from them some sort of stability largely through projecting images of nature, stasis, and continuity. He discusses the relation of kitsch to fine art, arguing that fine art also has as its primary function a counter-movement to modernity. He suggests that the main difference between fine art and kitsch is that fine art, as well as its emotional function, also involves a reception context that allows it to assume an intellectual task. Among the writer's conclusions, he finds that positing a stark or absolute contrast between kitsch and fine art is unjustifiable as both have the same roots and objectives." [WilsonWeb]
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