We're thrilled to have a new addition to our on-going Ugly series! Curator Judith Clark examines the ugly, beautiful and fashionable, juxtaposing her own questions on the subject with the work of cultural theorist Mark Cousins.
Twenty years ago, Cousins delivered a series of lectures at the Architectural Association on the theme of 'The Ugly'. Clark revisits this body of work through quotes, exploring his theories in relation to fashion. The result is an in-depth article that brings up fascinating questions around the definitions of ugliness, including its association with 'error' and that which is 'out of place', its relationship with beauty and its appearance in the discussion of genius.
'By making Ugly the new Fashionable, Miuccia Prada suggests that the Beautiful and the Ugly are recognizable and definable categories, and are in some sense the opposites of each other,' writes Clark. 'The Beautiful and the Ugly are aesthetic judgements based on consensus. We are always asking from whose point of view is this ugly?'