University of Applied Sciences
University of Nigeria
Kitsch is considered inferior art. However, the South Asian Rasa theory, which places the emotional experience at its center, is able to provide new perspectives on this infamous phenomenon: works that appear kitschy offer the possibility of an escape from everyday life, yet, not necessarily in the sense of a simple stimulus response scheme, but rather a conscious decision for a temporary dislocation. Further, they enable the feeling of a special connection with other recipients over time and space – in other words, a kind of border crossing or meta-emotion. This experience is also able to teach empathy. Since the experience of any art, even so called kitsch art, presupposes a certain state of mind, this can also be consciously learned and trained, thus, can lead to mental discipline. Accordingly, the differentiation in “real art” and “kitsch” does not do justice to the opportunities that kitsch offers and should be avoided as ethnocentric and inadequate.
Key words: Kitsch; Rasa; Art; Appreciation