As it recently launched this spring at Printed Matter, as a co-publication with Blonde Art Books, “Kitsch Encyclopedia” is a book project by artist and designer Sara Cwynar, as a compendium of original and appropriated images and text, addressing notions of kitsch and how it is codified in our mainstream collective consciousness.

With referenced writings by Milan Kundera, Jean Baudrillard and Roland Barthes, the book provides an A-Z approach to contemporary imagery: addressing how the ways of seeing within our culture, especially in the age of the internet, can provide an idealized, distilled version of complex world events and experiences.

Given that encyclopedias are in-themselves considered somewhat kitsch objects—their whole purpose is somewhat flawed by today's standards in terms of addressing an entire scope of common knowledge—but this project ironically does create a comprehensive index of images, from exotic oddities to the most commercial banalities. "Kitsch Encyclopedia" playfully outlines a thorough scope of images and their place within the public eye, and how they ultimately play a key role in defining the popular imagination.