30 Aug 2019 – 29 Mar 2020
'Matters - Rethinking Materials', this year’s CHART Curio design exhibition, is created in collaboration with Designmuseum Danmark. Five young Nordic designers who work innovatively with the materiality of design have been chosen to exhibit work in the new exhibition vitrines in front of Designmuseum Danmark.
'Matters – Rethinking Materials' is a curated exhibition aimed at presenting young design talents in a non-commercial context. The exhibition is curated by Line Ulrika Christiansen, Institute Head of Domus Academy Milano, together with Pernille Stockmarr, Curator at Designmuseum Danmark. The exhibition includes works by designers Stian Kornved Ruud, Sarah Vajira Lindström, Kathrine Barbro Bendixen, Antrei Hartikaninen and Kajsa Willner. The five young designers showcase a visionary approach to rethinking how materials, ranging from the synthetic to the organic, can shape new conceptual ideas for a more sustainable future of design.
Curators Line Ulrika Christiansen and Pernille Stockmarr elaborate:
‘The exhibition explores how materials often considered useless by humans can be reactivated by challenging both synthetic and organic ecosystems. A conceptual crossing of the show connects two precise points; the arrival point where the recent world of material turns to debris, urging a renewal of characteristics; and the departure point where the ancient world of natural substances is considered new material components. The installed pieces both present a humble view of nature that provides us with a direct inspiration to recreate both its lost mystery and calm, while other works challenge our Nordic and traditional conventions about how nature is used as a material. In order to reinvent this conceptual approach to materials, the designers bring the fields of art and design into a new enriching dialogue.’
Finnish Designer Antrei Hartikainen exhibits the piece SEITIKKI, which is named after the cortinarius mushroom. A light sculpture made by observing nature, the piece transfers the vulnerability, frailty and beauty of nature. The form of the sculpture is created as a result of Hartikainen’s examination of how landscapes are moulded by humans, climate and nature in different seasons. Hartikaninen’s practice is centred around working with wood and often explores the boundaries between art, design and utility.
Presented as an archive of natural history or as a kind of microbiological laboratory, the Norway-based, Swedish artist Sarah Vajira Lindström explores the connection between humans and their bodies, earth, plants and animals in her exhibited piece. Lindström will exhibit the installation Unidentified objects, a collection of pieces of textiles and other materials in which she confronts the natural and the artificial. Her work is inspired by scientific methods and their clinical aesthetics. Lindström’s practice challenges open-ended questions such as the relationship between the body and its organs and between the human and other organisms.
Danish designer Kathrine Barbro Bendixen will exhibit the light installation ‘Inside Out’, which has been made from cow intestines. The piece is challenging our understanding of the use-value of certain materials by giving the unwanted material of innards a ‘second life’. Barbro Bendixen’s practice is characterized by an unusual and experimenting use of materials which she stages in new and unconventional contexts. Working at the border between art and design, she uses an artistic approach to create functional design. In her light sculptures sustainability is a starting point when she brings new life to animal waste products and at the same time revitalizes the concept of a chandelier.
The piece Clock #02 by Norwegian designer and artist Stian Kornved Ruud serves as a silent mechanical clock, which is placed high up in the tallest vitrine on the plaza. The piece represents sound as an animated dimension, which contradicts our understanding of how a bell tower functions. By replacing the sound of a bell with a mechanical movement, just like a smartphone will fake a button push by vibrating, the piece questions the current relationship between the material and the immaterial. Korntved Ruud’s practice is informed by a fascination with how products are made and put together and his pieces often modify, destroys or alter the function of certain objects.
Drawing attention to the dilemmas surrounding plastic waste, Swedish designer Kajsa Willner exhibits the piece Polarized portraits. Willner’s work plays with the optical phenomenon of polarized light microscopy to create an imaginative x-ray of planet Earth. The piece examines how disposable plastic can become aesthetic optical art ‘portraits’ of our world, while remaining environmentally harmful plastic waste.
CHART Curio is an initiative seeking to advance talented young designers in the contemporary Nordic design scene. It is an integrated part of CHART’s talent programme also consisting of CHART Emerging, a curated exhibition of young artists, and CHART Architecture, an architectural competition to build a temporary pavilion for newly graduated architects.
Matters – Rethinking Materials will be on show at Designmuseum Danmark’s outdoor exhibition vitrines from 28 Aug 2019 – 29 Mar 2020.
CHART Curio is made possible by generous support from The Nordic Culture Fund, The Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark and Danish Arts Foundation.