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EXIT #44 - Luxury

Producciones de Arte y Pensamiento, S.L.

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EditorialOlivares & Asociados SL
YearNovember / 2011
LanguageSpanish / English
PagesFrom 160 to 200


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EXIT #44 - Luxury

In times of overall crisis, when poverty, and indeed hunger, begin to appear even in European capitalist societies, luxury is increasingly seen as an insulting ostentation by that majority who cannot meet their most essential needs.

Luxury is an unsatisfied desire for many and so it is also a driving force of the economy and society, and yet at the same time it demonstrates the voracious side of a society based on money rather than moral, cultural and human values. Although most people are not quite sure what luxury is, they very likely do know what its symbols are: a yacht, a red convertible, jewellery, caviar... Rolex, Cartier, Chanel, Dior... names and brands, that is, luxury. Money, power, possession of what is beyond average, of that to which only the few have access, everything that separates some people from others, the rich from the poor, a few from the rest of humanity. And yet luxury, in many cases, is no longer what it used to be. The 21st century brings us a different sort of luxury, unlike that of the 19th century. This new luxury is vulgar, excessive and garish in nature. Nowadays, luxury and lust are inevitably linked. Money and sex, the power to control, and not only to buy jewellery but bodies and wills, the best bodies and the necessary wills. In short, it is all about desire and power.

In this issue on luxury, Christopher J. Berry, author of The Idea of Luxury (Cambridge University Press, 1994), provides an overview of the different ways of regarding luxury, a term that has not always been linked to lavish parties and expensive possessions: "...the notion of luxury shifted from being a threat to virtue to being a synonym for opulence or, more precisely, to chart how it changed from being opposed categorically to the virtuous discourse of ‘poverty' to being opposed contingently to ‘necessity'."

The artist portfolios included afford a broad perspective of the current conception of luxury through different points of view: irony, desire, wealth, class...with images by Mireia Sentís, Marilyn Minter, Jessica Craig-Martin, Daniela Rossell, Martin Parr, Jim Goldberg, Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Cecil Beaton, David Seidner, Karen Knorr, Baudouin Mouanda y Daniele Tamagni.


Editorial: Have or Have Not
Rosa Olivares

Essay: Luxury: from Critique to Celebration and Back Again?
Christopher J. Berry

Artists: Tina Barney, Cecil Beaton, Daniele Buetti, David Seidner, Jessica Craig-Martin, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jim Goldberg, Immo Klink, Karen Knorr, Marilyn Minter, Baudouin Mounda, Daniele Tamagni, Erwin Olaf, Martin Parr, Daniela Rossell, Mireia Sentís, Cindy Sherman and Weegee.