Love Objects: Emotion, Design and Material Culture
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How are love and emotion embodied in material form?
Love Objects explores the emotional potency of things, addressing how objects can function as fetishes, symbols and representations, active participants in and mediators of our relationships, as well as tokens of affection, symbols of virility, triggers of nostalgia, replacements for lost loved ones, and symbols of lost places and times.
Addressing both designed 'things with attitude' and the 'wild things' of material culture, Love Objects explores a wide range of objects, from 19th-century American portraits displaying men's passionate friendships to the devotional and political meanings of religious statues in 1920s Ireland.
the bone china teaset. These accounts of the attachments of people and things relate to the receipt of gifts, but Mass Observation writers also described their practices of giving. Their responses to the Giving and Receiving Presents directive, record and reflect upon their experience of gift exchange. Both descriptive and analytical, their texts raise the matter of concern to Adorno: is ‘real giving’ still possible? To which I would add the following questions: What is affectionate material
skills and knowledge. On the one hand, the knitting is projective, a nurturing map for the younger woman’s journey through motherhood, on the other, it is retrojective, connecting the present with the past and a history of mothers. In a similar manner, as a craft practice, knitting is a tacit skill passed from one person to another, i.e. it is much easier to learn through watching and doing than from a written or illustrated text. From this perspective, knitting is a relatively simple activity to
convention. Biddy Martin argues that ‘lesbianism should be understood as “a position from which to speak” that “works to unsettle rather than to consolidate the boundaries around identity” ’ (Martin in Smith and Watson, 1998, p. 34). If the sexuality of the designer has been suppressed in design literature, then knowledge about the sexuality of the author who writes the designer’s sexuality back into design literature is totally absent, although might be assumed. As a female academic who
difference, and articulated in an ironic and knowing register”’ (Attwood, 2011, p. 204). Essentially in Britain, neo-burlesque has been adopted by a middle class, stereotypically Brighton-living cognoscenti who espouse its claims to female empowerment on the part of both performers and its largely female audience and thus as a style of interior décor, ‘burlesque’ as materialized in furnishings, colour ways and wallpapers, is uniquely appropriate to the women’s sex shop. Attwood draws on Debra
on 11 March 2006; my father on 26 June 2001. This re-visioning I had been exploring through my family archive became more urgent, my grief contributed a longing, a need to comprehend and to cope with loss. Re-reading Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida (1982), I found common ground with the author; intense loss and desire that previously I could only theoretically relate to, now was all too adjacent. This impulse, to inhabit the image, has been a partially naive motivation behind my work, and the