A Calendar of Ornaments. Temporal Features in Decoration and Art
Faculty of Humanities. Finnish Language and Cultural Research University of Joensuu Joensuu, Finland
Ornaments are universal and commonplace in everyday environment and in art. Here, ornaments are studied from the perspective of visual and material culture.
In this paper, I look at ornaments from the temporal point of view. I study festival seasons and calendar periods, and examine how they have an effect to the practices of everyday decoration. The aim of my paper is to prepare a comparison between chronologies of everyday ornamentation and art from the view point of artification. Artification refers here to the processes where practices from art-world are represented in non-art-world, and vice versa. This paper relates also to my doctoral thesis, which deals with the relationship between ornaments and artification.
The temporality of ornaments is studied at first, literally in daily brochures, thus for example, ornamental pillows are the most common piece of an everyday ornamentation. Ornaments have also recurring characters; such as floral motifs, richness of forms, and glitter. On the other hand, daily brochures have a distinct pace when comparing to the practices of everyday life: Christmas-lights are still on, in February, although the brochures show up the next summer season already.
Due to the fact, that the emphasis in literal perspective is a bit peculiar, I specify ornament closely and analyse it theoretically in the second part of my paper. Thereafter I study the temporal paradigms of ornamentation in context of interior design and home. Investigation is aimed closely to the places where ornaments are presented.
Ornaments can be public and private, at the same time. However, decorations are often articulated elaborately in do-it-your-self style, also instructions for ornamentations are common. Therefore, the personal attitude, and the act of decorating are often highlighted.
The summarising part of my paper deals with artification and decoration: I compare temporal and spatial aspects of ornaments to the sphere of art. Practices of art and decoration meet in many ways, but cultural and institutional segregations are made as well. Decoration can be thought as a practical domain, where artification occurs, partially. Especially, the act of decoration is very close to art-like activity.