PRUNK: a German word loosely translated into English as splendour or sumptuousness. However, prunk means more than this. It is ostentatious display, garish and brash, in which elements
are caricatured and reproduced as distorted imitations. Prunk
is unaware–or perhaps simply unashamed–of its own distastefulness. NEW PRUNK: an invention, a label and an adjective to describe a contemporary cultural phenomenon. Witnessable in interiors, lifestyles, values, objects and displays, New Prunk is excess, a love of ornamentation, an emphasis on style and a high regard for the visual and material allure of the simulated sensuous surface. Opposing the claim that ornament ‘represents backwardness or even a degenerate tendency’ [Loos, 1910], New Prunk denies functionality and instead claims that taste is no longer subject to a hierarchy in which aesthetic forms and norms dictate moral and social values. Instead we are witness to the commercial mise-en-scene of products, a distorted, globalised web of styles and materials, existing outside the boundaries of [good] taste.