Week 6 Brighton field trip

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  • This is a picture of a metal, possibly bronze, sculpture that is on display on Brighton beach. Traditionally this kind of art is considered to be an object of high culture, and although it is usually found on display within an art gallery, there is a history of large monumental sculpture displayed in public places. By taking the art and placing it in public space there it becomes an object for everyone to enjoy and contemplate, but that does not necessarily make it an object of popular culture. Somehow it still retains its high culture values, and whether it is appreciated or even noticed by the public who are more concerned by popular culture is a matter of debate.
  • Here is a picture of Churchhill Square shopping centre in Brighton. This is place of popular culture for several reasons. Firstly, the shops within the centre are mostly retail chains that can be found in most cities in the UK, and sell goods for the average citizen, and there are no independent retailstores that cater for high-class individual tastes. Secondly, its location is in a central area of Brighton and the centre forms a popular meeting place and focal point for people all over the city, where people can congregate and socialise from all walks of life. Thirdly, in general it has come to represent a bland and faceless aspect of modern consumerist society, in that it’s appearance and contents are corporate and generic.
  • This photograph shows the South Lanes in Brighton and represents an aspect of high culture. It forms an interesting contrast to the Churchill Shopping Centre already mentioned, in that it represents a very different aspect to the shopping habits and taste of the consumer. The Lanes are full of small independent shops that cater for specialist needs and tastes, whereas Churchill Square caters for the general tastes of the masses. In the Lanes you can find unique goods, often handmade, and the price of the goods is higher to reflect this aspect as well. Therefore the shops here seem to reject popular culture, and embrace an individualism and uniqueness found in high culture.
  • This picture shows the graffiti on Kensington Street in Brighton. This another picture of art, but a form of popular culture that is very different from the sculpture that I’ve already shown for several reasons. This form has its roots in popular culture and is if anything the antithesis of the high-minded art found in galleries. In fact, it has only been recognised as an art form until relatively recently by the general public, and there are probably still many who believe it to be just a form of vandalism. Traditionally graffiti was the artistic expression of the under privileged, and the voice of those who were a part of the street culture, and who did not have access to the galleries and high culture of their society.
  • This picture shows the beach huts that line the seafront towards Hove. This is a set of objects that are hard to categorise as either high or popular culture because of their changing history and usage over the years. They were conceived originally in the heyday of the British seaside holiday, probably during the Victorian era, and were owned by the gentry who could afford to holiday and were seen as a part of high culture. As tastes changed during the 20th century people with the means started to travel abroad and the British seaside was no longer a desirable location to spend their precious holidays. Beach huts were no longer desirable, and they changed hands and became more available to the popular masses or more probably those who lived in the vicinity, who were mostly the old and the retired. However, circumstances, tastes and the geography of wealth has changed again, and now beach huts are seen as exclusive and rare property to bought and sold at exclusive prices. So despite their ordinary appearance and humble structures they are one again the preserve of the rich and high culture.

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