Recently, my tastes have changed quite dramatically and I've been left feeling rather lost. It's a surprise. I'm suddenly sick of my long-haired self, and I don't know what to do. I hadn't realised how much of my identity had gotten tied up with my love of ribbons, lace, and things that made me feel like I should enjoyably flounce everywhere, like a fairy.
At the start of the summer I was suddenly, for some unforeseen reason, really into minimalistic, graphical plant things. It was probably to with my only looking at a few fashion blogs I really admire, and thinking more about proportion, colour, patterns, textures, shapes, composition, etc, than overall connotations and imagery or specific inspiration.
|Best summed up by this image. Source.|
I sort of still am into it, but I've increasingly seen it seep into highstreet shops. Things I like have a habit of doing that and I hate it. I suppose I could be flattered at my knack for noticing things before they become "fashionable,"* but it is actually a source of endless anguish. This would be a topic for a whole essay, but I suppose there's little point in me hiding that I hold a deep contempt for things that are "fashionable." It is not an "UGH THAT'S SO MAINSTREAM" thing, although I do hate the whole indie/hipster/mainstream concept. I suppose it has to do with the fact that the whole concept of "that is so last season" is for the capitalist consumerist drive to get people to buy more, imitate their favourite celebrities and other things I think are bullshit. It doesn't really say much in the way of or encourage a person's personal taste or preferences. Also to do with the following quote, massively. My copy of the book is with a friend in Norway so I've had to go from memory, meaning it might be imperfect. It is why fury sweeps over me when I see flower crowns in River Island:
"Mass media takes real life and turns it into spectacle, selling it back to you as a meaningless, glammed-up, depoliticised version of your own existence."
— Sarah Marcus, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution
|Three above are relevant screenshots form my Tumblr.|
Either way, I like it, but am at the same time sadly put-off by it. It also makes me feel quite alone and isolated, like the inside of my head, charisma, confidence, intelligence, or lack of thereof are suddenly under scrutiny. I feel like what I remember Nowhere Man was like from watching Yellow Submarine as a child (not quite what he seems now that I watch it).
Last weekend I went to the Tate Modern. I'd been to see the temporary ones of Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst before, but never the permanent exhibitions.
Annoyingly, it was raining so loads of people sought refuge in the museum and it was really loud and everyone was bunched up in front of Dali (surprisingly, not many by Picasso) and it is surprising how un-enjoyable it was while so crowded. It really was so bad that we ended up leaving the surrealist rooms. .
However, I then went up to Level 4 (further up the stairs so emptier of people hiding form the rain) to another exhibition I really wanted to see. It was the Structure and Clarity exhibition, focusing on minimalism, constructivism and abstraction, and it was wonderful.
|Victor Pasmore, my favourite|
|Ellsworth Kelly. Plain as it may seem, you have no idea how wonderful this was to look at.|
|Donald Judd (also, incidentally, an artist that influenced my set for a feminist play Gwendolen and I did in our drama GCSE, somewhat responsible for commencing our interest in feminism)|
|Blue, by Derek Jarman|
"In Derek Jarman’s last film Blue, the monochrome glow of the projected frame echoes the artist’s fading eyesight, as the soundtrack evokes powerful images of the mental, physical and emotional strain caused by his terminal illness."
|Grace Jones painted on by Keith Haring, photographed by Robert Mapplethrope (interestingly enough, we have a family friend who went out with her)|
It looks like the kind of thing people would say "I could do that," but 1) you didn't, and 2) just no. You can actually see the development, intention and so on behind it (especially if the gallery is laid out well and has good information), and there was something wonderfully soothing about looking at it all. Also, the scale you see it at is a massive factor. I cannot emphasise how much of a difference it makes.
Either way, that was wonderful and I really recommend it.
I believe the "ethnic" patterns (like, gah, what sort of thing to call it is that??? I hate you fashion industry) are being incorporated into current corporate youth identity bullshit already, but maybe the rest will stay free?
*resulting in my being The Pop Culture Prophet in a joke with Gwendolen