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Los usos de la decoración
Nicholas Korody

"Los usos de la decoración" comprises a collection of four essays that investigate a set of normative representations of non-professional home decorating and their instrumentalization within diverse economies. Decorating is labor—at once material and immaterial, productive and reproductive—rendered invisible as such, and therefore exploitable, by its widespread trivialization, disregard, and denigration within both popular and academic discourses.

Concomitant with this devaluation, decorating is invested with a cluster of often incoherent promises that legitimate its erasure as work, structure its practices, and furnish its utility within contexts seemingly far-removed from that of the home. The naturalization of these representations facilitate the economy of use within which decorating operates and is constituted, as perceptions of use or uselessness are themselves put to use for diverse ends. In particular, decorating is both a product and mechanism of processes of primitive accumulation, or accumulation that is not a result of a specific capitalist mode of production but rather precedes and enables it.

These dynamics are explored through an introductory essay that provides a conceptual framework and historical background. It is followed by three case studies from the United States in which decorating is used to create the appearance of a domestic space but not for the purposes of long-term habitation: a home staging tutorial video on YouTube, an adult webcam studio in Los Angeles, and a collection of promotional media for police and military training simulators.

Bio Nicholas Korody is a writer and designer from Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College and a Masters in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Alongside Joanna Kloppenburg, he is the co-founder of Adjustments Agency, an experimental architecture practice. He is also the founder of Interiors Agency, a decorating practice that explores interiority at a range of scales, from the psychic to the planetary. His written work has been published widely, including in 032c, Pin-Up, Metropolis, Harvard Design Magazine, e-flux, and Real Review. His visual work has been exhibited at major institutions internationally, such as the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Swiss Institute in New York, and the LUMA Westbau in Zurich.

114 x 178mm, sewn binding, 234 pages

Author Nicholas Korody
Original title The uses of decorating
Editor & Publisher RUA Ediciones
Year 2020
Translation Almudena Romay Cousido
Prologue Lluís Alexandre Casanovas
Graphic design Nicholas Korody
Assist Diego Lara
Print Artes Gráficas Palermo
ISBN 978-84-943565-2-0