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My Master’s studies helped me grow as a person and as an artist. While studying, I stopped thinking about ceramics as a profession; I gained another understanding of it. I allowed myself to feel the freedom of creativity, I did a number of tests, I never followed the techniques that are usually used in ceramics nor obeyed the rules that have been approved – I improvised a lot in order to find my own way to present ceramics. I stepped into something that seemed beautiful to me and that turned out to be Lithuanian textiles. So, there was no surprise that I chose a textile-related final project for my Master’s degree.
I used to create challenges for myself that soon became realistic and possible to complete. One bib became a large amount of them. While thinking about consumer generation, I realised that even such thing, as bib is mass, so I decided to make a dozen of them. After that, I got a place, a whole room rather, to exhibit my creations at a new exhibition centre called “Titanikas”. Soon after my work was chosen to be shown at the very first “Celes” exhibition.
Bib is a napkin tied under the chin of a child while eating in order to protect the clothes from getting dirty.
The appearance of high fashion brand names on the bibs has turned it into some sort of fetish, which destroyed the key function of the bib. It became a new way to try and create family’s social status.
In today’s world, the social status of a person is usually defined by things that he or she has. The thing itself is not important anymore; the most important is its brand that creates a status of that person in our society. By owning products of certain brands, people are trying to create their image and be a part of a chosen social group. People with lower incomes think that if they buy those branded products, they will come closer to the higher class. Although they actually stay at the same level, they still feel like they have gained more power in the society after being able to purchase them. They also draw their kids into this social game by providing them with all these branded products, which is not right. A baby that doesn’t have a formed opinion about anything yet is already surrounded by consumerism; it lives and grows in it.
“Logomania” started in the West in the 9th century. It was the time when industry was flourishing and new caste called “yuppies” was born. Yuppies were a caste with privileges. They were city residents (usually originated from bigger cities), high-level specialists of their own fields and they usually settled in innovative business segments. They used to stand out with their materialistic system of values, they used to require special kind of attention, used to aim to be outstanding and unapproachable. An American writer Joseph Epstein first mentioned “yuppies” term in 1982 and made it even more popular by releasing a book called “The Yuppie Handbook”, in which he described the hobbies of yuppies, their jobs, lifestyle, sense of fashion and more.
American scientist Naomi Klein completed a social experiment, which is described in her book called “No Logo”. According to her, the brands of the biggest companies have become symbols of social status, an engine of fashion industry. Well-known brands are crashing our everyday life without a shame; they take over our imagination and our consciousness. Once branding, which relates a certain ideology to a product, was born, that product marked with a brand’s name is not just a product – it becomes a lifestyle, a value, an idea.
So, the aim of my Master’s final project was to draw people’s attention to the pointless habits of our society and make them think about what’s important in life. I think that although it wasn’t worldwide, I managed to succeed in a way.