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Fin de Siècle Kipper

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Several years ago I was requested by the German publisher of the original Kipper to redesign this deck. Despite its heritage and place in German cartomancy circles, its popularity, appeal and sales were dwindling. They wanted to inject some new life and style. After some initial doubts, I accepted the challenge on the condition I could transfer the setting of the original Kipper Karten from post Napoleonic war Bavaria, to Victorian Britain. I felt that the historical context of that era would provide a richer means of addressing the social conditions interaction and emotions that kipper deals with. As an example, the following is a summary of my thought process behind this particular card. 

Explanation, perspective and context behind the images of past cards. In this case the THIEF from my Fin de Siècle Kipper deck.
Charles Darwin's publication of Origin of the Species, and its radical proposal of man’s evolution from ape, was met with predictable outrage, not only by the church, but by society in general. However its rejection was an uncomfortable and incomplete, scientifically there was enough hint of possibility to the proposal, that it needed to be disproved by action not just debate. It has been proposed that a contributing factor to the extreme attitudes regarding sexuality of those times was in part an academic one rather than the more obvious religious one. It was argued that the indisputable factor separating Man from all other of God’s creation was that of “will” and control over instincts. Self discipline through self control over our basic animal instincts was that factor and indisputable when demonstrating the absurdity of Darwin’s provocative theories. However, this seemingly shallow logic along with supportive encouragement from the church, contributed to dictating the standards of social behavior between the genders, how they dressed, met and generally interacted. But scratch, and not too deeply, beneath the surface of that facade and there is clear evidence of not practicing what was preached. It is estimated that during this period there was a prostitute for every twenty men. The infectious scourge that we refer to as small pox was so named only as a means of differentiating and comparison to the "large" pox, namely syphilis, the true scourge of those times. (This real world reality and context is hinted at in my depiction of card 24, the thief)


Edited by cirom
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