English support page for Tiki ModernIn the year 2007 Tiki will write history. Klang und Kleid organizes a superlative Tiki event, that you have never seen before in the german-speaking area. Five cumulativ Tiki days in the citys: Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and St. Gallen.
We extend the summer for these events, so throw over your charming Tiki Lounge dresses! The author of the Tiki bible “The book of Tiki“ Sven Kirsten, will introduce his new book “Tiki Modern“ from the Taschen publishing house, by showing an enjoyable slide show. Moreover, he will even sign the books.
Together with the filmmaker Jochen Hirschfeld we will celebrate the world premiere of his film Armchair Travelling - Volume I: Paradise Found. The movie is a declaration of love to the Tiki culture of the past and today. Furthermore the film will be available in a strictly limited edition on DVD.
Afterwards you can enjoy a refreshing coktail or a beer while listing to the sound of Hulapunk from Hamburg and a sleazy listening DJ.
Highlight: In Munich we will celebrate at the Trader Vic`s Tikibar where a Dinnerbuffet is included. This authentic Tikibar in the basement of the luxury hotel “Bayrischer Hof“, was established in 1972 on the occation of the olympic games. The fantastic environment will make this night unforgettable for all of you.
Haikai will get out his knife live and create a new Tiki in Munich, Zurich and St.Gallen.
Besides ecletic Tiki stuff, all the exhibited Artwork at the Forbidden Paradise stand is for sale. Come and dive into the dazzling world of thr Tikis!
For further questions please contact Lurker:
Hamburg - Thursday, September 20nd, 2007Klang und Kleid and Hasenschaukel present:
Berlin - Saturday, September 22nd, 2007Klang und Kleid and EISZEIT Kino present:
München - Thursday, September 27th, 2007Klang und Kleid and Trader Vic´s present:
Zürich - Friday, September 28th, 2007Klang und Kleid, Kino Riffraff and the Mata Hari Bar present:
St. Gallen - Saturday, September 29th, 2007Klang und Kleid and Palace present:
TASCHEN´s Book of Tiki provided the blueprint for there- appreciation and revival of Tiki style. Almost completely wiped from the consciousness of Americans until recently, Sven Kirsten´s tome put Tiki on the map as a unique pop culture phenomenon. Never before had Tiki culture´s visual power and pervasiveness been revealed with such detail and insight. Not only did the book inspire the erecting of many new Tiki bars from New York to London to Berlin to Prague to Waikiki, but also motivated a myriad of Tiki artisans to pick up the chisel and carry on the forgotten tradition, while spurring many others to create their own home hideaways, making "Tiki" a household name again. This new follow-up book, which brings together the two recent retro trends of mid-century modernism and Tiki style, is bound to lift the Tiki craze to a new level.With his usual mixture of ironic detachment and genuine enthusiasm for the subject, Kirsten shows us how primitivism and modernism were two sides of the same coin in the 1950s and 60s. Décor deities and ersatz ancestors outrageously merged in the modern brutalist furniture from the house of Witco, a company that outfitted Elvis Presley´s Jungle Room and Hugh Hefner´s Chicago Playboy pool. This was design porn at its best.
The author: Sven Kirsten was conceived on a freighter of his grandfather´s Hamburg-Chicago Line. Following the call of the big world, he moved to California at the age of 25. Kirsten studied at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and began shooting music videos in the late 1980s for The Cramps, Tom Waits, Sergio Mendes and others. After years of hunting down pieces of the puzzle of Polynesian Pop, Kirsten has developed a singular insight into the Cult of Tiki and has become the country´s most eminent Tiki archaeologist.
This simultaneously crude and intense furniture was the result of the artistic evolution of a young designer named William Westenhaver. Setting out to become a graphic artist and painter, he eventually found himself wielding the chainsaw instead of the paintbrush. He is posing here with his earliest "primitive" design, a wooden Tiki totem affectionately christened "Big Joe". This modern effigy became a staple in the product line of his Western International Trading Company, branded WITCO for short. Fantasy Furniture By the late 1950s the escapist Polynesian trend in America was turning towards the primitive aesthetic of Tiki, which, as William Westenhaver put it, offered a window of opportunity without which Witco might have never gotten off the ground. With prosperity and affluence on the rise, consumption grew, and Witco expanded their product line every year, adding new products but also discontinuing those that did not sell. Getting the foot in the door with the Polynesian craze, they successfully offered primitive and modern "contemporary" décor items, and soon expanded their line to other styles, especially rustic Conquistador, or "Spanish Wood", as Witco called it. In the late 60s,Witco had showrooms in all major American cities: New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Dallas; and Seattle. It was their furniture-as-a-conversation-piece that impressed the man on the street as well as the post war nouveaux riche, including prominent self-made pop culture heroes like Hugh Hefner, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Following their own instincts instead of heeding common notions about good taste had made these men successful and popular, and their décor choices reflected the same attitude...
From Savage Sources
In the Admirality Islands Bill Westenhaver had seen the natives carve ancestral images on utilitarian objects like bowls and bedposts, and he applied this concept to fit contemporary needs: Chairs, tables, lamps and magazine racks all bore the faces of imagined deities of primitive peoples. As Paul Gauguin remarked about the Marquesan artifacts he saw after relocating there from Tahiti: "The basis of this art is the human body or face. The face especially. You´re astonished to find a face where you thought there was a strange geometrical figure. Always the same thing and yet never the same thing." The Call of the Jungle Although leopards and tigers never roamed in the Polynesian islands, they were associated by proxy. The equation here was: Native environs = teaming jungles = big cats. This kind of mixing up of stylistic influences was characteristic of the fantasy world of Tiki Modern, where the spirit of whimsical savagery reigned, leaving boring authenticity to the stuffed shirts. Anyway, most white folks didn´t know better, or cared. It might come as a surprise then that some of the offerings by Witco Inc also struck a chord with young African Americans who were looking for their roots during the black liberation movement of the 1960s and early ‘70s. Traditionally, tribal hunters had adorned themselves with the trophy skins of their game, so to decorate your bachelor pad like a 20th century lion´s den to impress the female prey you invited over seemed like a good move, for black and white macho cavemen alike.
The Contemporary Idol
The degree of modernist stylization found in Witco´s Tikis gives them a unique place in Polynesian Pop. William Westenhaver´s wooden witnesses of America´s love affair with the South Seas exemplify the sense of whimsy and freedom from tradition that came forward in mid-century art and design. They mock the "taste police" then and now, very much in the spirit of Picasso´s adage: "Good taste, what a dreadful thing! Good taste is the enemy of creativeness."