Directing unprecedented attention to how the idea of 'excess' has been used by both producers and consumers of visual and material culture, this collection examines the discursive construction of excess in relation to art, material goods and people in various global contexts. The contributors illuminate how excess has been perceived, quantified and constructed, revealing in the process how beliefs about excess have changed over time and how they have remained consistent. The collection as a whole underscores the fact that the concept of excess must always be considered critically, whether in scholarship or in lived experience. Although the idea of excess has often been used to shame and degrade, many of the essays in this collection demonstrate how it has also been used as a strategy for self-fashioning, transgression and empowerment, particularly by women and queer subjects. This volume examines a range of material, including diamonds, ceramics, paintings, dollhouses, caricatures, interior design and theatrical performances. Each case study sheds new light on how excess was used in a specific cultural context, including canonical sites of study such as the Netherlands in the eighteenth century, Victorian Britain and Paris in the 1920s, and under-studied contexts such as Canada and Sweden.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 839 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 19 mm
'This is a splendid collection of essays dealing with the topic of excess in material and visual culture. Each contribution is thought-provoking and, what is more, enjoyable to read. The volume is cohesive yet far-reaching, effectively demonstrating how the same subject of excess informs many different discourses, places and times. Thus compelling connections are made among such seemingly disparate topics as diamonds in 17th- and 18th-century British portraits of British nabobs, elaborate dollhouses collected in Holland, decorative objects in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, convergences of exile, queerness and nationalism in avant-garde Europe, and the provocative 'excessive' works of contemporary figures including artist Damien Hirst and playwright Sky Gilbert, to name a few.' Heidi Brevik-Zender, University of California, Riverside, USA and author of Fashioning Spaces: Mode and Modernity in Late-Nineteenth-Century Paris