Kitsch may also be described as tacky or cheesiness. The experts have described kitsch as a stale replica of a style or as a deliberate display of bad taste or artistic incompetence. Garden gnomes are kitschy, as are cheap paintings for tourists. They are technically accurate but communicate the “truths” too directly and too plainly, usually by using clichés.
A few people experiment with kitsch using humor, and this can result in fascinating outcomes. However, the majority of the times, kitsch is associated with negative meanings.
Terrorism prefers kitsch
In political circles, the majority of dictators have sought to strengthen their authority through the use of kitsch-styled propaganda. In the past, Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was known as ” the kitsch dictator, and Saddam Hussein, who constructed his monuments with the Stalinist style, is among the few leaders from the turn of the century to debate his status. The tastes of the avant-garde rich of Russia, China, the Middle East, and the US are exceptional in a type of apparent vulgarity that is in perfect harmony with the academic definitions of kitsch.
Terrorism, the graphic images that have engulfed our lives over the last two decades, is more akin to kitsch. Al-Qaeda propagandism is a romantic display of dawns, premodern utopias, as well as Gothic images of bones and skulls. Social scientist Rudiger Lohlker, who studied the aesthetics of jihadists, stated that the magazine of the jihadists Al-Qaeda Airlines displayed “a fascination with gothic elements (skulls and bones) and kitsch”.
Videos released by the so-called Islamic State (IS) offer additional explicit expressions of kitsch as they develop the art of violence in order to increase its shocking effect.
Identity theft based on cultural origins
What’s the reason for such a flurry of kitsch? Do we have more kitsch than ever before? There’s a lot of cheesiness that’s been seen in popular art of religion, and Caligula is likely to be the greatest kitsch artist of all time. Enlightenment led to the rise of kitsch (then included as a part of Baroque artwork) to a halt for a while, but we’re catching up. American screenwriter Kevin Williamson has called Donald Trump in the National Review “the worst taste since Caligula.”
Trump is a returnee to the taste of pre-Enlightenment Absolutism: his gilded Manhattan penthouse is filled with marble, Louis XIV furnishings, and random historic themes.
Based on my research, this inclination to kitsch is related to the concept that is known as “deculturation” a phenomena in which the group in question is stripped of a particular aspect in its character“. The term was coined in sociology during debates on the consequences of colonialism and its subsequent loss of culture, as in the case of the early work of Pierre Bourdieu. Sociologie of Algeria.
Humans have always had facts to believe in. In the past, those truths were typically passed down through the various cultures and religions, they are nowadays created instantly, without any the need for cultural mediation. Kitsch uses this technique in the field of aesthetics. Today, kitsch is altering our notion of truth. it’s a truth that’s free of context or culture.
The creation of instant, pure, unadulterated, and uncultured truths is evident in the world of religious fundamentalism. Islam expert Olivier Roy has shown that fundamentalist religions arise when religion is decoupled from the culture of the people in the context in which it was created.
Religious movements attempt to establish themselves as non-confrontational as well as “pure”. When religions are a distance from the actual values of culture, their beliefs become absolute. Fundamentalist religions are often seen as scientists who provide scientific knowledge.