The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of the Kitsch Experience

Pantheon Books (1998)

Abstract
The Artificial Kingdom is the first book to provide a cultural history of kitsch, an immensely popular aesthetic phenomenon that has always been disdained as "bad taste," or a cheap imitation of art. Proposing instead that kitsch is the product of a larger sensibility of loss, Celeste Olalquiaga shows how it enables the momentary re-creation of experiences that exist only as memories or fantasies. Simultaneously exposing and celebrating this process, Olalquiaga gives us a bold, trenchant analysis of what and how we see when we look at kitsch. Tracing its beginnings to the nineteenth century--when industrialization transformed nature into an artificial kingdom of miniature scale--Olalquiaga describes the at once exhilarated and melancholic atmosphere where kitsch came to life. In an arresting mix of theory and anecdote, she examines objects from both the past and the present, probing the fluid boundaries between reality and fantasy, and finding in kitsch a phenomenon as relevant to our own time as it was to the era that made it a massive experience.
Keywords Kitsch
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Call number BH301.K5.O43 1998
ISBN(s) 0747545359   0679433937
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Contemporary Kitsch: The Death of Pseudo-Art and the Birth of Everyday Cheesiness (A Postcolonial Inquiry).Max Ryynänen - 2018 - Terra Aestheticae: Journal of Russian Society for Aesthetics 1 (1):70-86.

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