Volume 4, Issue Part 1, 2007
Selected Essays from Northern Europe Part 1
Der Konsumtempel als postmoderner Mythos und als verwirklichte Utopie der Posthistoire
“The temple of consumption as a postmodern myth and the materialized utopia of post-history” deals with imaginary motifs connected with the shopping mall, which is currently called in German “temple of consumption.” A mall makes real somewhat the mythical Schlaraffenland (pays de Caucagne) of the late Middle Age. The architecture of the mall is postmodern, while that of the classical department store, is modern. Time manifests itself fourfold: as the subjective duration of shopping, the qualitative calendar of celebrations, the prohibition of history and the folding up of the past, present and future into the present. Finally, the customers’ behaviour expresses an escapist desire to desire and a perverted katharsis.