Did you know Goth is the world's largest subculture? Goth: Designing Darkness is a book devised to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the Design Museum Den Bosch in the Netherlands. The exhibition investigates the wellspring of the Goth scene to present two centuries of a cultural history packed with dramatic imaginings, ominous design and melancholic art. It looks at how this dark subculture is given visual shape today.
Compiled by curator Timo de Rijk and cultural historian Eric Smulders and designed by Yvo Zijlstra, the book offers a visual exploration of the exhibition's themes, complemented by contemporary and historical images from popular culture, art history and journalism. It tells the story of Goth through a combination of images and quotes that have never previously been combined in this context before.
The Enlightenment heralded reason and progress, yet also spawned a world organised along increasingly rigid lines of technological development and economic gain. In the late 18th century, this “disenchantment” with the world triggered a reaction, a counter-movement and antidote to notions of progress, clarity, and globalisation. The goth subculture as we know it today was born in the 1980s, but its roots are much older. It is a lifestyle steeped in an undefined yearning for the dark side of life, deeply rooted in our material culture and especially omnipresent in our ways of looking and understanding.
This book seeks the essence of goth by exploring and crossing its outer limits.
Design Museum Den Bosch, paperback, 256pp, 21cm x 28cm, English text
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