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Performing Shell: The relationship between surface and substance
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Ädellab/Metal.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]Alternative title
Urban Myth : The relationship between surface and substance (English)
Abstract [en]

Through my study and observation of American jewelry house Tiffany, I could notice how the iconic

little blue box contains not only jewellery but also the brand’s myth. The function of the Tiffany box, goes beyond what we normally associate with packaging as wrapping of a product. Therefore, I question what is the function of packaging in commercial culture.

Tiffany’s little blue box not only is the container of jewellery but also of the whole Tiffany brand identity and myth. This brand’s myth is basically illusion. It legitimizes the story by itself. It’s the wholeness. It does not bring up any question, instead, we enjoy the fantasy it generates. To achieve one’s dreams of beauty, self-distinction and love, seems more possible by buying a piece of the brand’s myth.

Visual language is commonly used to communicate a myth, since the sensual and artistic language

is a persuasive tool when narrating desires and dreams. In this sense, Cindy Sherman’s collaboration with Mac and Marc Jacobs is a good example, which broadens the idea of the so-called ‘aestheticization in commercial culture’.

The visual expression of brand myth, was displayed and it has developed into package in the present days. Nowadays, customers are "educated" by commercials to perceive the package as the symbol of brand myth. Packaging is regarded as being as significant as the actual substance of commercial products. Even more so, packaging has become more significant than the actual content. It is more important for brand companies that their customers remember where the product is from, than what it actually is.

Since brand packaging has a strong connection with brand jewelleries, the shape of packaging is used as a symbolic language. Norman Weber’s work,

‘jewellery houses’, represents, in this sense, an evident example. Moreover, packaging and jewellery shapes have been used as a symbol of commercial culture; an example of this is evident in Jeff Koons’ works ‘blue diamond’ and ‘hanging heart’.

Based on this notion, I combine jewellery and packaging in my work in order to make my own statement about the relationship between packaging and jewellery in commercial culture. I previously stated that packaging related to brand myth, has been growing to the extent that it became more relevant than the actual content in the context of commercial jewellery culture.

With my artistic statement about packaging, I am at shaping a critical discussion on the overwhelming illusion of consumption related to brand myth in commercial culture.


Commercial culture, Aestheticization, Tiffany, Brand fantasy, Visual language, Packaging,

identity, Alienation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 19 p.
, Urban Myth
Keyword [en]
Identity game, commercial culture, package
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-3643OAI: diva2:529830
Educational program
Jewellery + Corpus (Ädellab/Metal, Master)
Fine Art
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2012-05-31 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved

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