Mallin Rouge: Literature Review

By: Olivia Hunt

We are in an epoch wherein space is controlled by men. We are forced to alter and compress space in how we represent the world to ourselves. With the availability of the modern techniques of simulation, we create a world within our world, and this can be envisioned in shopping establishments, specifically the malls, which have become the main street of suburbia and are central to our landscape.
The mall is deluged with fantastic images to tantalize and entice the shoppers to buy, especially in creating the dream world of the mass culture, and so it was probably fitting to call it the cathedrals of consumption. This diabolical aspect of shopping is centered on its fetishistic purpose, its sundering of the population from consciousness of reality.

And this breaking away from reality is further manifested in the way we experience the mall environment. It is said to have parallels to the way we experience television; both try to entertain us by stimulating and lulling us at the same time. In other words, it creates an illusion which hides the failure of the society in terms of politics and economy through the image of material abundance exhibited in malls. This illusion is created both by a capitalistic motivation and a person's pre-modern subjectivity. Capitalists create an attractive stage in such a way as best to facilitate the growth of production, the reproduction of labor-power and the maximization of profit.
A typical characteristic of "malling" is the feeling of timelessness ("Shopping Mall as a Way of Life"), where people can just kick back and relax and do not have to worry. Like the experience of television, there is a lack of a sense of time in malling. The jumble of stores and services of the mall resembles our channel-changing interactions with television programs as we randomly surf from a sitcom to a feature film to a documentary, all within a minute. And so the mall is where a tantalized audience would gather to experience this unusual but fabulous and enjoyable place and event, and unconsciously be trapped in this illusion (that there is material abundance).

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