2009 Abstracts Stage 2

The “Punk” Trend by Vivienne Westwood and the Philosophy of Bataille

Sarah Devlin-Quinn, 2009, Stage 2

My key point is to look into the fashion trends of Vivienne Westwood, I shall concentrate on the era of ‘Punk’ where Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren played a vital role. I shall compare this with the Philosophy of Georges Bataille who had an obsession with obscene things such as Human Sacrifice. Concentrating mainly on his Base Materialism and his writing’s Eroticism and Story of the Eye. Punk……. • Punk first emerged in the mid 1970s in London as an anarchic and aggressive movement. About 200 young people defined themselves as an anti-fashion urban youth street culture. Vivienne Westwood is often cited as punk’s creator, but the complex genesis of punk is also found in England’s depressed economic and socio-political conditions of the mid-1970s. Punk was as much a youthful reaction against older generations, considered oppressive and outdated, as a product of the newly recognized and influential youth culture. Creative and entrepreneurial people, such as Westwood, often contribute to an aesthetic that brings a sub cultural style to the forefront of fashion. Bataille…. This image of a torture victim from Taiwan fascinated Georges Bataille. He thought that “the expression on the man’s face is the ecstasy of sexual pleasure”. Georges Bataille believed, as Hegel did, that ‘history is dead’ that we need to come up with new and exciting ways to take society forward to a new way of living because as it is now it is boring. He believed that the key to this was through art, shocking people into change.

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