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Objects of Resistance and Expression: Rethinking the Concept of 'Kitsch' in the Everyday life of the Modern Individual

Sebnem Timur

There are objects which 'break' the norms of the pseudo-products of the culture industry that could be said to be without any spirit. In this respect, the family of the kitsch objects (with a notion of play) and the kind of objects that Lukas (1997) defines as 'inconspicuous consumption' become more and more attractive to the metropolitan city-dwellers who experience the 'loveless disregard to things (Adorno 1997, 41).'

The ways in which the kitsch object could be evaluated as an item of festivity and an arena of subjectivity for the modern individual is the basic discussion. In order to escape the boredom or the routine of everyday life, there should be a break. The kitsch object enables this break to happen through playfulness, resemblance and motion. They open up a space in the boredom of everyday; a space similar to the function of funfair: a mechanical replica of the living things.

Everyday, the city dwellers while walking on the street pass through the small funfairs created by the objects of festivity. The atmosphere suggested by those objects, do create a break (paradoxically the break also helps to ensure the routine and enables the cycle to continue), a sense of stopping of time and reference to space, that are resulted by the fascination for the mechanical wisdom and loud theatricality demonstrated by those artifacts.
This ‘play’ notion that kitsch objects offer can be analyzed as part of the emotion-driven design.


Everyday Life, modernity, design, identity, Kitsch, Festivity