The Alchymia of Totems and Tabù

The Totems by Alessandro Mendini are main gate for the first step into the Postmodernism exhibition now on at the V&A London Museum until the 15th of January 2012.

Mendini, Totem


After the gate, two more standing objects by  Ettore Sottass at the entrance of the dark patio illuminated by psychedelic lights reveal the spectator as actual protagonist of the show.

The Postmodernism is  the first art moment in the history in which the consumer becomes the real subject.

Here we go, stepping inside the artistic world of the European ‘70s we are immediately transported to Las Vegas and we can run through the chaotic streets of the astonish city in the middle of the desert.

As Bruno Zevi affirmed in 1967:

‘Whoever decides to abandon the Modern movement can choose between Versailles and Las Vegas’.

Postmodernism, the artistic movement which followed the Modernism, in fact, is a complex mix of high classicism and popular culture. The artists, designer, architects belonged to the artistic current seem to be much more realistic and less utopic than their precedents Modernist colleagues, and they have put forward a new idiom made from competing ideas and different styles.

Getting deeper into the Postmodernism exhibition, we can find out that actually those revolutionary, and much more practical ideas, have been covering every sort of field, from the home design of Mendini, to the high fashion dresses by Cinzia Ruggeri (see picture below) and the exported logo of Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld.

Ettore Sottas, Totem

Art everywhere, everyday

Maybe we do not even realize it sometime:

The objects which surround our everyday’s life are actually the cheap residue of high fashion and design creations, which have been consumed and viewed hundreds of time, and eventually they have reached our living room table or guard robe, becoming standard objects.

In between the huge cluster of works of art inside Postmodernism at the V&A, we can become aware of the essence of the everyday commercial art, and most of all, we can realize our creative power in choosing those object and collection them in our houses.


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