dis•enchanted | Begum Gorgulicten

dis•enchanted examines the interconnected relations and the hidden notions around commodities through the lens of philosophy and critical design. Its focus is on self-consciousness.

The capitalist mode of consumption glorifies products through channels of media, trends and advertising methods such as manipulated images, distorted slogans, embellished store displays, saturated colours. This glorification manipulates consumers by casts an illusion—almost like an enchantment—over the true function of products, to serve consumers’ needs: it replaces reality with the false truths, actual needs with artificial ones and use-value with exchange value, thereby creating a state of hyperreality.

Distinguishing hyperreality from reality is possible by examining the steps in the evolution of the human-commodity relationship, beginning with the creation of an idea, its promotion, the commodification of that idea and the mass production of the resulting commodities and finally the sales of these commodities. After this project guides its viewers through all of the steps that are enumerated above, they will experience the stratification associated with the enchantment of human-commodity relation. Once they become aware of the enchantment of commodities and realize if and why they truly need these commodities, their enchantment will be broken and consumption will become conscious and free.

“Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.”                              -Jean Baudrillard

STEP 1:

Creation of an idea

The living room is the heart of a house, it is the place where everyone in the house spends time together or where one can host their loved ones. Thus, the living room creates an opportunity for its owners to showcase their most precious possessions, in other words to create their own spectacle. This is why I chose to create my art piece in the form of a living room, to make sure that its audience can create a relation between the artwork and their everyday life. However, the truth about the living room is hidden by the spectacle—the truth that it was created with the sole purpose of being commercialized—through its representation as a precious work of art.

STEP 2:

Promotion

An exhibition catalogue gathers the introductory descriptions about the critical apparatus behind the art pieces and their images, which are showcased during an exhibition. Thus, I used the exhibition catalogue as a way to legitimize the furniture pieces as a valuable collective art piece. In other words, I increased the value of the living room and promoted it through the exhibition catalogue. 

STEP 3:

Commodification

A t-shirt is a commodity that has a potential to be printed on and altered easily. This is why a t-shirt can be used as an advertising tool, a collateral of a brand, a fashion piece or simply as a cover for the body and so on.  I altered simple black t-shirts as representations of the commodification and as the decontextualization of the art piece. Through the t-shirts the art piece was commercialized and transformed from being an art piece into a commodity.

STEP 4:

Mass Production

In the digital age, online platforms are one of the easiest ways to commercialize and sell mass produced product, this is the reason why I created a website to sell the t-shirts. Since the aim of this project is not to encourage people to stop consuming but to question their everyday purchases and make conscious decisions, I set the pricing of the t-shirts in the mid range and make them economically accessible in order to allow a wide range of consumers to think about the dilemma between purchasing them or not. 

Thank you for your interest in my work!

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