“…We have reached the end of form development, the end of novelty: ‘Bigness’ – ‘giantness’ won out, the entire earth felt it. We have contributed to the formation of a fixed stock of forms that have led to the arbitrary borrowings from other forms… revivals, discoveries… mere craft-art – beast plastic, textiles art – in Imperial display settings.
Now we are at the edge: Accelerated past attempts to excite megapolitian consciousness through American architectures, bizarre subjectivities, triumphal arches, the Olympics, indiscriminate piling of ‘orders’, and private parties…”
Elements of this text are taken from Oswald Spengler’s infamous book Decline of the West (1918)
The Edge of Luxury: Form and Actuality interrogates the variable symbolic orders that manifest our socializing principles. The exhibition is inspired in part by theories of decline, repetition and nomenclature, which are explored in Oswald Spengler’s seminal and infamous work the “Decline of the West” 1918. Spengler’s text describes the self-destructive force of the West as both a form of nature and a consequence of human action. This marks the prophesy of the inevitable fall of power as we know it, towards the disintegration of all western value, most particularly the luxury of our very human ability to order and reason the objects of knowledge, as well as the end to the material luxury of money.
The participating artists all explore various aspects and nuances of contemporary symbolic economies, encompassing paradigms from aristocracy and the elite, politics and the image of law, to advertising and popular culture. Most particularly, the works address often directly, the point at which art conditions itself as the primary object of such luxury and its participation in these processes of power. In The Edge of Luxury, Form and Actuality, the artists invite the viewer to explore these symbolic spaces, objects and images from the vantage point of this edge. Here, the idea of this image-power is taken in its entropy delivered in formal disintegration, and it is newly unbound in the emergence and potentialisation of new and compelling forms of actuality.