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Apartment foo-nishing - Page 79

post #1171 of 2411
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Yet you want a Beni Ourain when you know next to nothing about what makes a good Beni Ourain?

No. First of all, I didn't know "next to nothing." Second, and more importantly, I knew enough to take a gamble, which I admitted was a gamble. I am not precluding the possibility I made a mistake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Where is the "knowledge and understanding to appreciate them"? Looks like you put cart before horse there.

Again, no. I knew enough to make a gamble. Now I am trying to know more. That is not the same as deciding it isn't important to know anything.
post #1172 of 2411
Ok.

I think you are missing the point that Bounder is making though. You're turning it into some spontaneous sprezzatura born-with-taste straw man. He's not saying that.

The point which he is making - which I agree with - is that "authenticity" should complement/augment the perceived beauty of an item, not be a bar that has to be passed first in order for something to be considered beautiful or not. I disagree with your opinion that "Authenticity is fundamentally intertwined with function when it comes to aesthetic things."

If an Indian factory could produce a rug just like a beautiful Beni Ourain, it would take nothing away from the fact that it is a beautiful rug.

However as I mentioned earlier, I think you create for yourself new symbolism when it comes to "authentic" things so perhaps "authenticity" matters more to you than it does to others.
post #1173 of 2411
Authenticity, in the sense that mafoofan is using the word, is equally important to me as it is to foo.
post #1174 of 2411
Flipper doesn't want audiences with good taste, Flipper wants audiences that taste good!

Any authenticity that those rugs may have possessed is immediately rubbed out the instant they're taken out of their religious and social context and sent to some UMC American so he can lather on the interior decoration. This is true about the Ouran whatever (that I don't give a fuck about) or about that weird taxidermied marabout posing as big game I have at home. I am a gushing pillar of good taste but that's just a fancy word for saying I can 1) buy pricey stuff 2) Know how to integrate said pricey stuff into a narrative about myself. If someone else purchased the fucking bird they probably wouldn't have good taste anyway. Omnivorous consumption has basically replicated the results of top down consumption but truly brought it back to the person instead of the product.
post #1175 of 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

No. First of all, I didn't know "next to nothing." Second, and more importantly, I knew enough to take a gamble, which I admitted was a gamble.

You're certainly a quick learner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

What do I need to ask a rug shop about a vintage Beni Ourain to sound like I know what I'm talking about?

One day later, you bought a carpet on-line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Authenticity matters because some of the reason certain things exist is only due to their grounding in social, cultural tradition. Once divorced from that tradition, many such things have little good reason to exist at all, and it would be far more courageous (read: tasteful) to simply abandon them altogether.

This is, of course, an argument against making a fetish of "authenticity". It's hard to imagine a more graphic example of "divorcing something from tradition" than taking what may well have been a Beni Ourain bedspread woven with fertility symbols and chucking it on the floor of your Manhattan apartment because the pattern looks nice with your sofa. In this sense, the Pottery Barn carpet would have actually been better/more tasteful than the "original."
Quote:
As for "excessive focus" on cost being vulgar . . . well, let's just that in my experience that sort of criticism is most common amongst those most fearful of looking like they cannot afford things. You know the type: those who feel they are, deep-down, entrenched in one class, yet who are desperate be associated with a higher one. It's a repugnant insecurity, really. However rich or poor you are.

Yeesh. You need more experience. There certainly are people you can impress by telling them how much you paid for something but, for me personally, they are not people I care to impress. I don't care how much you paid for your house, or your car or your artwork or anything else. In some circumstances, whether something is "authentic" or not may be potentially interesting but, especially with respect to the aesthetic of something, bragging about authenticity is just as boorish as bragging about how much something cost.

If you were to meet me at a party and tell me that your jacket was by Rubinacci, I would internally roll my eyes. If you told me that you paid 5000 USD for it, I would have a sudden, irresistible need to freshen my drink.

Unfortunately, Foo, how much something cost or whether it is authentic cannot be used as a proxy for either beauty or good taste, however you want to define it. When it comes to interior design, things are tasteful only in relation to other things. Things "work" or they don't. Whether something is "authentic" or expensive won't make it either beautiful or tasteful. By the same token, if the thing itself is "good" in a particular context, whether it is "inauthentic" or "inexpensive" won't make it ugly or tasteless.

Quote:
I have no interest in co-opting religious symbols for inappropriate, decorative use. That is a fundamental reason for trying to understand these rugs better. Yet, you cannnot smell out the contradiction in your own analysis, can you? The purpose of learning about a thing's authenticity is to learn about its original function. If I found out that my rug was supposed to be a sacred funeral shroud of some sort, I would not want it to be my rug.

Nice to hear. Please explain the tribal symbolism woven into your carpet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post

I am a gushing pillar of good taste but that's just a fancy word for saying I can 1) buy pricey stuff 2) Know how to integrate said pricey stuff into a narrative about myself.

Well, I disagree with the pricey bit but the part about integrating it into a narrative about yourself is dead spot on. To me, this is the essence of good interior design.

And it is in this sense that "authenticity" can be particularly cringe-inducing. I know a guy who has a 2000 year-old spear head that he keeps on his desk to use as a letter opener. He gets a big kick out of the fact that it is authentic. He bought it from a dealer. It might be different if he had a passion for archeology or he had looted it from a battlefield himself at midnight or something. But he has absolutely no connection with this other than that he is the kind of person who thinks that it is cool to use a 2000 year-old spear head as a letter opener.

The same dynamic applies to people who send their interior designers off in search of "authentic" things with which they have no connection. I think it is better for someone who went to Morocco as a tourist and who spent a day or two shopping around for a carpet to "boast" of having a genuine Beni Ourain rather than someone who has never been to Morocco at all.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with anyone owning a genuine anything. If you like the object for itself -- and that includes such things as workmanship -- that's fine. But making a fetish of having a "genuine Beni Ourain" when you can't tell couscous from hominy grits is ostentatious, at best.
post #1176 of 2411
fuuma's point about constructing a "narrative about yourself" is a good one. and without getting into personalities, just a general observation that it seems odd to do this too self-consciously ... I'm buying these things because this is how i want people to perceive me, or because this is how i want to be. the best houses -- clothes, lives -- seem to me to tell a story in a natural and unaffected way. buy things over the years that you love and that resonate for you for whatever reason and before you know it, a real narrative will have built itself.
post #1177 of 2411
Throw some children into the mix. That's when one's self as projected through stuff and aesthetics comes hard up against some cold reality.
post #1178 of 2411
My room's narrative authentically states "This guy has a Pottery Barn credit card."
post #1179 of 2411
Does an uncomfortable apartment have a narrative if nobody wants to take their shoes off to hear it?
post #1180 of 2411
try the veal
post #1181 of 2411
Great post Bounder. I've been trying to figure out how to articulate the idea that what Foo is attempting is to place a value on an experiential element of ownership - the pride of owning the "authentic" version of something. This is wholly extrinsic to the thing itself, and therefore can only be considered independently of the object. Foo then refuses to allow this consideration, instead insisting that it is in fact an intrinsic value. The reality is that the intrinsic value of the rug is the cost of the material and the labor that went into it, which make up relatively small parts of its cost.

The deep irony of all the blather in this thread is that the fetishization of authenticity is a hallmark of hipsterdom.
post #1182 of 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

fuuma's point about constructing a "narrative about yourself" is a good one. and without getting into personalities, just a general observation that it seems odd to do this too self-consciously ... I'm buying these things because this is how i want people to perceive me, or because this is how i want to be. the best houses -- clothes, lives -- seem to me to tell a story in a natural and unaffected way. buy things over the years that you love and that resonate for you for whatever reason and before you know it, a real narrative will have built itself.

Don't forget that the types of criticism people are making is also part of the narrative they are trying to construct about themselves. So many of these read as attempts to use foo as a prop through which people create their online personae and, most likey, a prop through which they create a lot of self justification.
post #1183 of 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

fuuma's point about constructing a "narrative about yourself" is a good one. and without getting into personalities, just a general observation that it seems odd to do this too self-consciously ... I'm buying these things because this is how i want people to perceive me, or because this is how i want to be. the best houses -- clothes, lives -- seem to me to tell a story in a natural and unaffected way. buy things over the years that you love and that resonate for you for whatever reason and before you know it, a real narrative will have built itself.

I'm pretty sure that Fuuma was using that notion sarcastically, and that he considers the whole concept to be errant.*













* apologies for putting words in your mouth Fuuma
post #1184 of 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

Don't forget that the types of criticism people are making is also part of the narrative they are trying to construct about themselves. So many of these read as attempts to use foo as a prop through which people create their online personae and, most likey, a prop through which they create a lot of self justification.
do you even exist? how do i know you are anything more than a cute picture of a pug fronting some bot? oh, yeah, right, the oysters.
post #1185 of 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by imatlas View Post

Great post Bounder. I've been trying to figure out how to articulate the idea that what Foo is attempting is to place a value on an experiential element of ownership - the pride of owning the "authentic" version of something. This is wholly extrinsic to the thing itself, and therefore can only be considered independently of the object. Foo then refuses to allow this consideration, instead insisting that it is in fact an intrinsic value. The reality is that the intrinsic value of the rug is the cost of the material and the labor that went into it, which make up relatively small parts of its cost.

The deep irony of all the blather in this thread is that the fetishization of authenticity is a hallmark of hipsterdom.

This completely misses any possible point. Rugs don't have intrinsic values, and the value of the material is no longer of consequence once it is a rug, neither is the labor. They don't exist since they are no longer available as labor and materials, only a rug. All value is separate from the object itself, it belongs to the people who might want to purchase it. You are trying to create some sort of impossible philosophical point.
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