Wednesday 14 July 2010

The new décor

This exhibition at the Hayward included 36 artists who take interior design as a point of departure. They transform or subvert the appearance and display of everyday furniture to subvert the domestic environment. They disrupt the idea of the home as a place of comfort and security. The chandelier in the image is the work of Lee Bul.

I have been interested in Doris Salcedo’s work for some time so it was good to see some of her work here. She forcibly joins separate items of furniture and fills the negative spaces with cement, rendering them useless and emphasising absence and oppression. Laid on their sides here they resembled coffins. It was also interesting to see Mona Hatoum’s ‘Interior landscape’ which also references loss and absence by cleverly repeating the map of Palestine in a wire coat hanger, a paper bag, a tray and embroidered in hair on the pillow of a bed with barbed wire springs.

Other pieces that interested me were the doors, beds and clock by Elmgreen & Dragset. The wounded three legged chair by Diango Hernandez was also fascinating; the fourth leg of the chair circles on a turntable and momentarily completes the chair, triggering a light burst, then it moves on again. Roman Signer’s floating table, kept aloft by a stream of air, was also quite uncanny and appeared to be alive.

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