[NetBehaviour] The Edge of Luxury

info info at furtherfield.org
Tue Aug 16 20:23:34 CEST 2011

The Edge of Luxury

Form and Actuality

"…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)


Amanda Beech / E.A Byrne / Kirsten Glass / Alison Jones / Kate Lyddon

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 
potentialization of new and compelling forms of actuality.


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