Rebekah Modrak’s chapter “Best Made Re Made: Critical Interventions in the Online Marketplace” has just been published in the book The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture and Design, a collection of new essays edited by Myra Thiessen and Chris Brisbin, faculty at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia.
The book aims to investigate Critique, Criticality, and Criticism from an inter- or multi-disciplinary perspective. With contributions from a multi-disciplinary authorship from nine countries – the UK, USA, Australia, India, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, and Denmark – this edited volume provides a wide range of leading perspectives evaluating the landscape of criticality and how it is being shaped by technological and social advances.
Modrak’s invited and peer-reviewed contribution is within the book’s Part 4, a section reflecting on the various new ways that media influences and provides a platform for criticism and criticality and exploring the role of new media in influencing the relationship between opinion, lay critique, and traditional forms of professional expert criticism.
Her chapter examines consumptive practices and un-critical consumerism by analyzing the dual Best Made/Re Made marketing campaigns and proposing that critical artistic interventions can enact critique through strategies of parafiction and parody. The Re Made Co. artwork responds to Best Made as brand and also to the news and cultural media that can appear critical while simultaneously promulgating brand messaging, including art and design institutions that commodify, rather than critique, luxury design items like those sold by Best Made.
The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture and Design has been reviewed by James Elkins of the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, who writes: “This is an exceptionally carefully assembled book. Criticism inhabits this book in Protean fashion: as a profession, an historical artifact, a philosophic position, a hope, a form of experimental writing, a family of theories, a material practice, and above all as conversation and a sense of community.”