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"Walking the Line": Kitsch, Class and the Morphing Subject of Value



Kitsch, once reviled as the enemy of art and friend of the fascist, has recently entered a new phase of its life-course. Its appearance in art galleries and upon metropolitan sideboards has led many to conclude that taste hierarchies have been undone and matters of aesthetic judgement relaxed. This article argues to the contrary, drawing attention to the subtle symbolic economic activity that attends kitsch in its rehabilitated state. Paying heed to the intricate manoeuvrings that help to stage and revalue certain kitsch objects is revealing of a set of obscured class actions, that are all the more powerful as a means of securing social distinction for remaining beneath notice.

Topics: Critical Theory and Cultural Studies
Year: 2007
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