“Do the expressions ‘art or design?’ and ‘art and design?’ still have a meaning? Has the question of an object’s status become obsolete?” asks Paris based designer Robert Stadler in the introduction to the exhibition QUIZ at Galerie poirel in Nancy.
Rather than answer the question himself Robert Stadler has teamed up with Alexis Vaillant, Chief Curator at the CAPC Contemporary Art Museum in Bordeaux, to organise an exhibition in which objects from an enviable roster of international designers and artists guide the visitor through the issues involved.
Presented over some 1000 sqm QUIZ features contributions from 60 contemporary creatives as varied as Ron Arad, Franz West, Max Bill, Konstantin Grcic, Donald Judd or Pablo Helguera that seek in their relative ambiguity to explore what the curators refer to as the “thing status” – what is a thing? what can a thing tell us? what can’t a thing tell us? – and so by extrapolation explore the nature of art/design and design/art.
As noted in our 5 New Design Exhibitions for June 2014 post, the borders between art and design have been vague for as long as design has been understood as a separate entity; the two arguably never having become fully separated, much more the genre expanded like a balloon meaning at the extremes both branches have their own space while in the middle a happy, casual, mixture reigns.
Does that matter? Should that matter? Must one be able to define something as “art” or “design”? Or is it all just a first world problem on a par with which balsamic vinegar to use for today’s salad?
We suspect the latter; however, if one is forced to question what design is, what defines design and what separates good design from bad design – one hopefully stops classifying lifestyle and marketing as design. Thus helping design find its correct social and cultural status. And regain its function and purpose.
Exhibitions such as QUIZ always run the risk of being nothing more than a collection of objects in a space. But can also be thoroughly enlightening and entertaining.
Judging by what we’ve read and seen from afar, QUIZ looks like being worth a visit.
Should we make it to Nancy this summer we will let you know.
Or if anyone visits the exhibition, please let us know what you thought……..
QUIZ, Based on an idea by Robert Stadler runs at the Galerie poirel, 3 rue Victor Poirel, 54000 Nancy from Friday June 13th until Sunday October 12th.
Full details, including ticket prices, opening times and the accompanying programme, can be found at http://www.poirel.nancy.fr