Lecture by writer and art critic Dave Hickey. Recorded at the University of Memphis, 1997.
I love the following definitions he gives for ‘the beautiful’ and ‘beauty:
‘The beautiful’ is created by communities as a mode of social control. The beautiful is a set of attributes of configurations that a particular culture creates and inculcates to control the behavior of the members of that culture.”
as opposed to:
‘Beauty’ is something you have never seen before that you have always wanted to see. It’s something that changes the structure of society. Beauty is created by individual people who don’t like the way it looks and want to propose an alternative system of value. Beauty rather than being created by communities creates communities, and I call these communities of desire. Groups of people brought together not because of who they are, but of what they’re not, what they want, and what they would rather see. This what works of art do, and is how nearly all art works in this culture.
Interesting perspective on the evolution of street style culture with journalist Tim Blanks, the role of fashion as escape mechanism during rough times, and ongoing question of what is next for this type of decentralized communication.