Functioning as both straightforward memorabilia and cultural status symbol, the souvenir brings intangible experiences into the physical world. Though gift shops exist in both the kitschy and straight-faced variety, the ideal contemporary souvenirs tread the line separating the two, effectively augmenting the replay value of moments passed. Curated books and magazines function as an extension of a space’s creative environment, while posters and other mementos offer straightforward aestheticism that can be both nostalgia-inducing and identity-affirming. Objectifying an artistic message without trivializing it, the souvenir elevates the idea of a possession beyond its primary function, vouching for the complex correlation between context and value. Imbuing objects with a sense of uniqueness and offering exclusive insight into the creative process, the souvenir is an exercise in concretizing the abstract.
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