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The aesthetics of frivolity : reinvesting in balloons, cake icing, ribbons and trinkets


The aesthetics of frivolity : reinvesting in balloons, cake icing, ribbons and trinkets

Boivin, Julie (2005) The aesthetics of frivolity : reinvesting in balloons, cake icing, ribbons and trinkets. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR14353.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis investigates the phenomenon of frivolity in contemporary art practice and thus elaborates a concept of the frivolous, not only as a new aesthetic category, but as a theoretical instrument as well. The thesis explores the works of artists Shelley Miller, Jo-Anne Balcaen, Portia Munson and Jeff Koons. The two main objects of concern in this thesis are, firstly, frivolity itself, and secondly, its expression through everyday trivial objects. The thesis begins with an analysis of frivolous objects and their relation to their everyday context. Frivolity is then considered as a theoretical concept in juxtaposition to Jacques Derrida's semiotic analysis of the subject. Subsequently, the artworks are studied in light of the elaborated theoretical construct of frivolity and other similar states such as Georges Bataille's theory of free expenditure, various notions of the grotesque and wonder, and Gaston Bachelard's work on childhood space and the state of reverie. Finally, the Lefebvreian moment and concept of la fête are used to understand the locality of frivolity and its everyday potential as a space and time marker. Ultimately, I propose a use for the uselessly trivial by conjecturing that it may create an awareness of the here and now due to its potential to create moments, that it has the capacity to bring simultaneously differentiation while also destroying it due to its movement away from a comprehensive origin and that it explores the distance between boundaries allowing for movements to take place and irrationality to enter

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Boivin, Julie
Pagination:xii, 125 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Thesis Supervisor(s):Huneault, Kristina
ID Code:8873
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:38
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:34
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