What happens when you add the word luxury and luxurious to describe something? There are expectations and dreams. Smell of honey, touch of heaven, access to something few can have, costly in many ways and a culture that is waste itself. As diamonds, cars, houses, furniture, clothes, bags, interiors, travel can be luxurious they are on the expense of nature and human labor. When status of a person is based on what that person owns we live in an upside down world where surface is more important that what is on the inside. Something becomes luxurious when someone with mastering skill and name has made an exquisite piece of design with the best materials possible and has possibility to market his/her items as luxury brand. Luxury is the standard for the super wealthy which those less wealthy desire to have and it is a big business. Question is why do we desire luxury so much and what does expensiveness and spending give extra to a person (do we measure each other by what we can buy, so it seems…), so much so that spending on luxury is more than a whim, it is goal and a sign of happiness of some sort. To have a show off lifestyle and means to buy all one wants is so important to many that not being able to do that can be a shame. The glittering standard to reach out is doing terrible harm in many ways.
Watching entertainment industry which pushes a very specific kind of imagery and story lines, most of which is pure advertising and ‘making a living’ via being exposed and creating public persona who uses a look, creates looks which make something to want and be, identify and copy. Gossip, celebrity lifestyle, following, idolizing, noticing even when not following because there is no escape. It is almost impossible to escape the internet, the monster, and wherever TV:s and magazines fill in to our attention in any space. How our attention is monitored, monetized, our clicking makes money for someone, our interest is woken or numbed with sheer nonstop manipulation, overly and fully pumped air and surfaces of fun and something to want. All revolves around money, the news, the gossip, statistics, living, figures, scales, how much and where to reach, not enough or a jackpot. Feeling this and that and why, so confused, attempting to analyse something which is chemical, not matured, inherited pampered yearning to be someone else as we are not good enough. Personal growth is not guaranteed, but that is not actually the kind of growth we are looking for even though it sounds good and is socially acceptable to be good at heart and be against bad things, horrible things. What is socially acceptable then in a world which is in need of constant growth, attention, posing people and world that cannot stand silence, distance, loneliness and awkwardness but wants us to have fun, wants us to demonstrate how much fun we are having and know what is fun. Meaning of fun is to escape when normal life is not fun.
But back again to question of what anything is worth, worth while doing, how things are priced and valued, of which much has to do with media attention and exposure. I personally value a peaceful place to stay and work at, privacy, a good night sleep, closeness of nature and freedom of expression in my art and writing. Do these things have monetary value, are they something money can buy as they are something all should have self-evidently? I do not have much money (that kind of privilege I do not have) and to me things I mentioned are inexpensive or free, so it is difficult to estimate how valuable in money they are, but I would not trade them and when such things we take for granted like nature become polluted and disappearing altogether clean and pure become something only the rich can afford. To define rich is therefore a bit tricky.
There are many ways to be rich. There are many things contemporary people find amusing and fun and the same things I resent. We are rich in wanting more than is possible perhaps, wanting wrong things, ending up with something we didn’t want to end up with. Value of anything is a strange equation and still quite simple, it is difficult to put a finger on it and know why something costs what it does. Difficult to fully know why something very basic is out of reach for many and is therefore luxurious like clean water, having a bath and living in peace. The cost of a museum franchise has been interesting to follow and learn: this is what a museum of modern art costs and those others are more expensive so it is a kind of bargain. Rhetoric is absurd to the extent that it is clear there is no bargaining, it is not charity, it is simply business. In this line of thought to ask for community funds is pretty weird and adding a kind heart into luxurious world of art where kindness is not an option. Kindness does not exist in business nor in art. As an artist I understand and accept the cost of being an artist, what the art world stands for and what it does I do not accept. What does it do then? As I see it produces luxury items and produces a massive amount of horse shit propaganda. A little taste of luxury.