Thursday, January 08, 2004


That which once defined kitsch - the different strata of taste and sophistication - no longer exists. High and low culture are conjoined in their love of the fleetingly peripheral, outsider art embraced and rejected in a matter of minutes.
Things ponders kitsch and among the many fine links is this kitsch or tacky quiz.
I had earlier dipped out on this mod or fraud quiz, so when heading down to the op shop later for more hunter-gathering of cultural artefacts, think I'll just do what I've always done - go for what I like.

I once collected album covers - mainly as cheap wall covering - and one of these was a Shirley Abicair album, so was pleased see this link on bifurcated rivets. The sleeve notes for It's Shirley are interesting:

Shirley Abicair comes from Adelaide, South Australia, a district of sunshine beauty where 'apricots and nectarines grow as big as footballs and fall into your hand'...

As a small child Shirley, exploring an attic, found a zither in a cupboard. Delighted, she treated it as a world to be conquered for what it might yield, and mastered it without the help of a teacher.

Googling I found this pic on this local site of covers (which coincidentally turned up on J walk)

Comments: kitsch

Now kitsch is a bi..ig topic. For me, kitsch has to make an effort, to be something that is designed to be evocative but all it does is trick you into putting your fantasies onto it. So the object in your head is better than the one that really exists. I've been puzzling over this for a long time, since I came from a kitsch family but moved into art.. whats the difference? why does my mum care about kitsch? why is she convinced I will like it? why am I so embarrassed?

Struth. I got serious. Whatever happened to Shirley?
Posted by David Tiley at January 8, 2004 01:44 PM

as in shirley you're not...

and alas, for some the journey is the other way...

I think kitsch can turn tacky pretty quick when it's used as any old chic filler, in job lots of easy style. The iron-isation process goes full circle when a plastic lobster is once again 'displayed' in Kool places?
Distressed irony.
Then again I maybe just snobbery-bitter because all the retro pubs etc have fast stripped the op shops of best finds ;)
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2004 02:08 PM

(nb: it's also xtrmly tacky to misspell kitsch - or maybe just accidental irony. Have now adjusted the typos I think. It's cold.)
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2004 02:33 PM

8 out of 16. I must be dead. Whaddaya mean: "You are dead!"?
Posted by Andy.W at January 8, 2004 03:29 PM

AW, that's impressive.

not a pastiche on mine of course, but it's taken me about 10 turns just to get to 11.
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2004 03:36 PM

I wonder if Frank Ifield found his voice in an attic cupboard?
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 8, 2004 05:43 PM

I remember too
a distant bell
and stars that fell
like rain out of the blue...

whither Frank?
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2004 05:54 PM

"Whatever happened to Shirley?"

Last time I heard she was in hospital as a result of ignoring her mother's frequent warning, "don't run with pointy zithers!" Oops, click goes the pinking shears.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 8, 2004 06:36 PM

W-hen my life is throoo,
and the angels ask me to recall,
the thrill of it all,
I will tell them I remember,
tell them I remember,
tell them I remember,
bugger it, I've forgotten now.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at January 8, 2004 06:51 PM

If only I had lived in Adelaide in those golden ages. My Apricots are only the size of golfballs and rarely does one hear the sound of a zither wafting through suburbs.
Posted by Andy F at January 8, 2004 08:53 PM

heh, heh, heh

Mr S - oh well, seems she cut quite a few records with the zithers in the old dart.

and aint that the truth, Gummo, the whole quake from them to then.

rather a rare zither than no zither at all, Andy.
All our zithers have withered away, and only gather with other ditherers for Festivals.
Posted by boynton at January 9, 2004 12:46 AM

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