An Excercise in Bad Taste. Etymology and Social Development of the Polemical Term Kitsch (1/4)

Published: 27.11.2017

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Kitsch is the German word for trash, and is used in English to describe particularly cheap, vulgar and sentimental forms of popular and commercial culture. But the term is of dubious origin and has no defined meaning. It is characterized by empiricism and objectivism concerning aesthetics. It is founded on knowledge and based on experience.

Kitsch was the main topic of my thesis and graduation work. Still, I am working on this topic. Through the research I have done, I felt more and more uncomfortable with the dominant opinion that kitsch is cheap, artistic rubbish and the opposite of art. 

This is the first part of a text that will be published in 3 more individual articles:
(2/4) Kitsch. Cultural and Geographical Investigation.
(3/4) Kitsch, Exoticism and Escapism.
(4/4) Kitsch & Horror.