The Corner

More Re: Crunchy Coms

Rod, Rod, my comment wasn’t altogether serious. ‘Bauhaus with frills’ was really a reference to politics, not aesthetics. A piece of art can – and should – be considered on its own merits, regardless of the politics of its creator. Nevertheless, it’s also true that familiarity with an artist’s ideological and/or spiritual viewpoint can be helpful (and is sometimes essential) in trying to understand what that piece of art is trying to ’say’. So, if we look at the creations of the Arts and Craft movement we see something that may or may not be of aesthetic appeal in its own right, but we also understand them better if we recognize that they were designed as a conscious rejection of the industrial revolution. Morris and his ilk were, in reality, arcadian fantastists, dreaming of some medieval neverland where everyone gathered around harmoniously making pottery, weaving and taking pride in simple acts of collective labor. The fantasy sounds like hell. The reality would have been even worse. That doesn’t mean that many of their creations weren’t lovely. What’s interesting to me is that in some ways, in its queasiness about mass production and its embrace of an unostentatious ’simple’ life, your ‘crunchy conservatism’ draws on similar intellectual and emotional roots. Maybe politics count after all. As for me, I’d rather live in a vast vulgar Gilded Age mansion or, failing that, Tracey Island.