Symbolic capital

[Jakarta] art exhibition at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta. One simple question, “how do you value a piece of art?”. I happened to read Bourdieu’s famous work titled “Distinction”, it explains about anything that distances one person to another. How they distinguish themselves as “such” how they claim to belong to “certain status” how they name some criterions for those who want to be part of them. Further, how the French Nobility and French Bourjois run a race towards each other not (no longer) by accumulating their economic capital to show their power, but by drowning themselves into art. The more complicated art they could value, the higher social level they could belong to. For example, to be able to contemplate and be mesmerized by standing quietly for hours in front of even the simplest Picasso’s painting, one must have had acquired enough “symbolic capital” of this genre of art. This, what Bourdieu explains as something higher than just economic capital, as something that one will crave for when anything, they physically can (want to) afford, has been accomplished. The same thing works on handbag, Hermès bag costs THAT MUCH money begin with the idea of buying a piece of art, not just a handbag. It used to be a very exclusive pensive homemade handbag. But now, it’s just, in a way, overrated.

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