Luxury. A word which comes to mind when imagining British department store Selfridges. However, in a climate of mass consumption, aggressive capitalism and high speed living, how does this term exist today and has its definition diversified? Inviting an array of self-aware, ultramodern contemporary creatives to an avant-garde, castle-like interior, director Kathryn Ferguson, commissioned by the emporium, presents a labyrinth of sweeping, panoramic views, detailing each speaker’s flowing gestures, deliberations and final classifications, concluding what is considered luxurious in this new, digital age.
Spoken word, poetry and interviews roll, describing how beyond materialism, something which would initially be considered a marker of luxury, the smaller, less noticeable experiences, emotions and movements are now paramount when labelling this feeling. American rapper and activist Mykki Blanco rhythmically discusses how when reaching the peak of Mount Etna, Italy, the artist felt the presence of antiquity; thoughts of gods and goddesses re-establishing his position and role on earth – a realisation which overwhelmed the senses.
The uncanny twists and turns of American dancer Sophie Appollonia are captured by the video, visually assisting her philosophical discussion of extravagance, expressing the film’s main objective: to uncover the liberation implicit with luxurious experiences, recognising how their outward manifestations, through experiences and emotions, align into create a personal interpretation of what the adjective means. “It’s individual, one-of-a-kind, hard to explain and even harder to find” the performer exclaims when considering private associations with the word. This statement reflects the ambiguity of the term: luxury is not only found within rich fabrics and hues, but within the physicality, actions and minds of every person.
The Greatest Luxury, Hot Air, Selfridges, directed by Kathryn Ferguson. Find out more here.
1. The Greatest Luxury. Dir Kathryn Ferguson.