Ronnie Allen


My Masters dissertation, Consuming Heritage, critiqued the faux-historic architecture of Poundbury and used this as the basis of a much wider socio-political commentary.

I looked at the emergence of postmodernism, and how it encouraged closer scrutiny of truth claims in order to expose hidden bias and power structures. What emerged, however, in the public consciousness, concurrent with late capitalist consumerism, was a simplified ‘popular postmodernism’ which promoted an interest in aesthetics over truth. Far from exposing power structures, societal acceptance of superficiality would provide a method of concealment.

For example, I looked at how the packaging and facades of certain ‘organic’ food packaging and faux-historic architecture often express environmentally harmonious values on the surface, but actually act as a veneer concealing the realities of modern consumer production. Likewise the political rhetoric of the populist right can be considered a facade which acts to further disguise and maintain the power structures which underlie late capitalism.