The Good Life
Myth is eternal. Luxury even more so. Frivolity and excess dance like fantasy nymphs in the eternal flight from the game of desire. Objects-nymphs that immerse us in the threshold of a gaze in which we see ourselves when luxury provokes us by offering a totality. To possess them is to be possessed. Redeeming and fatal, they subject us to their charm with a taste that only exists in the memory of others. When we have it in front of us it is already too late. The Good Life culminates in the flower of the visible. Illusion proclaims us to the Elysian Fields, gardens of ambrosia and the promise of eternity. Just as pomegranate seeds imposed a mantle of absence on the world when they condemned Persephone to reign in Hades, luxury imposes itself where the realm of fantasy and the real open towards each other in aspiration. A Fata Morgana to be delivered by Hermès, the perfect messenger.
In his research on luxury and opulence as organising notions of the imaginary of consumer culture, and the aesthetic manifestation of luxury as a social category in a late capitalist production system, Avantgardo explores the relationship between luxury and eternity through the place of the historical evolution of luxury brands in the imaginary.
Luxury houses have been confronted with tensions between the demands of the market in late capitalism and the uniqueness, exclusivity and scarcity that allow them to be something luxurious. By pretending to transcend, to maintain or increase value, luxury is constructed not only as a relationship among people, but also as a relationship with time; to wage a war against temporal limits and battle for social classification. They seek for links to eternity through their history as myth, and offer us a present so intense that it becomes unforgettable. In the misnamed democratisation of luxury, the imaginary dimension of the brand and the logo are the vectors of seduction that capture the desire of the consumer in the face of the savoir-faire, tradition and individualisation. The less the luxury lifestyle depends on class traditions, the bigger the need for an accurate orientation to consumption stems from brands and branding. Thus, they become a common reference point –with pretensions of universality– expressed in aspiration, dream and myth.
By emulating the temple, the dream and the spectacle, The Good Life resurrects the aura of sacredness and formal tradition to reinscribe rituality and lend a ceremonial atmosphere to the world of things. It operates as a festive mise-en-scène for a formal game dedicated to sensualising the relationship with the reproduction of the most representative products of Hermès– a top luxury brand that boasts the greatest prestige for its exclusivity, its handcrafted production and its journey; in materials that are undervalued, common and destined to be discarded.
Drawing from the idea of the absurd, the historical evolution of Hermès is exalted as a stronghold for the imaginary dimension. A trench that imitates the vectors of seduction used in the very construction of luxury on objects that confront the origin and related values in different forms of artisanal production. Orozco's mural presents the installation with a bourgeoisie that is part of the fantasy where the reproduction and repetition of symbols is confronted with its own opulence diluted by the frenzy of aspiration in the logic of productivity increase. The installation explores the way in which taste is constructed and the values that have articulated the consumerist sensibility in a historical revision of the luxury house as satirical evidence of the place of luxury in today's world. In a society orphaned of the great collective utopias, it is through the great brands that the psychological, therapeutic and magical functions that cannot be eliminated are supplied. They make us dream, evade the world that frustrates and distresses us, exorcising the misfortune of our days.
Performance by Avantgardo
Curated by Yukiro Cortez
Friday 11 November 2022 - Casa Taller Clemente Orozco, Guadalajara, Jalisco.