Monday, April 2, 2012

L'Odyssee de Cartier: Consumers and Capitalists

I normally don't do commercials (this is only the third one), but premiere French jeweler Cartier has not only produced an incredibly rich advertisement to match their rich gemstone creations, but made an important, capitalistic comment without saying a word. When we enter into the window, we enter into a world within a world, a doorway of sub-texts and meanings as rich as the diamonds and emeralds coming off the jaguar creation, meaning, that just as the jewels are being "stripped" away to reveal the real cat, we need to strip away the symbols to find the real meaning.
Cartier creation: Mackay emerald, 168 karats, 1931.
What does the predator cat symbolize? In this case, there are two: there is first the predatory nature of consumerism, those who are hunting for the riches of the world. Russia (the winter sleigh), China (the dragon and Great Wall) and India (the Taj Mahal); the second predator are the predators hunting genius. Creativity, design, ingenuity and beauty (the cat goes up a staircase,meaning that the woman in red he finds there is of the higher plane of thought, not just the appetites; genuine love for the pursuing of excellence). This is where the landscapes come in, because there is the cold winter in Russia, the rocky wilderness in China, and the barren rocks of India; each culture has made contributions to beauty and luxury, but French jeweler Cartier (jumping onto the airplane to soar above the world, symbolically and stylishly) has pursued a higher plane of elegance and design (also symbolized by the Rococo room) and influenced all the world by it.
Cartier creation, the Bismark Sapphire, 1935.
So why should we care about this commercial?
If you are a capitalist, examining the comparative cultures and economies mentioned in the "odyssey," then Cartier makes the statement that it's the supplier and producer of luxury goods which the world bows to, and only "breaking through the glass ceiling" of economics (the first images of the cat leaving the pantheon) isn't about minorities anymore, but the very venture of capitalism and attempts to hold it back, which will hold back the world. This is a perfect example of why we need art and the artistic: images stay with us longer than words (you will, for example, be able to retain the images you saw in the film longer than the words I have written about them).
This is an important statement, and only Cartier could have said it with so much class.
The tree which may have inspired the diamond tree in the odyssey, as many of Cartier's jewels were inspired by Medieval bestiaries; when the cat enters into the room with the tree and animals, it pays homage to the nature and art from which its past creations have come, and the new "nature" of art and luxury to which Cartier has contributed.