As we believe we’ve noted before, the joy in that exhibition format in which designers present objects which are important and/or relevant to them, is that no matter how often it is repeated it is always new.
Same, same, but different.
For their 2017 show Dutch Invertuals are presenting collections of objects from 45 alumni which have an importance to/relevance for them, or which simply represent an object of wonder and inspiration to the relevant designer. And because it’s Dutch Invertuals they have taken things a step further and each collection is also the starting point for the development a personal container.
Exposing yourself and then using that as the basis for visibly enclosing yourself. A double encapsulation, If you will.
Established in 2009 under the curatorship of Wendy Plomp, Dutch Invertuals have staged some 16 exhibitions with an ever evolving and revolving roster of Dutch based, when not necessarily Dutch born, designers and are, for us, one of the more interesting contemporary design collectives; the nature of their projects giving as they do the participating designers the constrained freedom one so often needs in order to produce a concentrated work.
Yes, we walked out of their very first exhibition after 45 seconds, all confused, irritated. And a little cross. A lot cross. But we stuck with them and finally understood that it is this initial irritation that makes Dutch Invertuals exhibitions so interesting, that it is about the experimentation, the questioning, the analysing, the contradictions, contrasts and the inclusive, manifesto free disparity.
About the same, same, but different.
Something ably demonstrated by Fundamentals
Guest curated by Eindhoven based studio Raw Color and based on an exhibition design concept by fellow Eindhoveners Daphna Laurens, Fundamentals is…. well whatever you want it to be. That is the beauty of such a “my object” concept. You can invest a day considering in depth all 45 designers’ lists; you can scan over them nodding with irregular frequency; or you can dive in and out when something catches your attention. Something like Jeroen Wand’s collection of hammers. Just hammers. Collected from around the world. Or the fact that both Arnout Meijer and Commonplace Studio have a View-Master Stereo Viewer in their collections. Elsewhere our attention was drawn by, and amongst many other objects, a 1:33 chair model from Max Lipsey, Nina van Bart’s copy of the book “How to wrap 5 eggs”, and the Dragonfly Wings in the possession of Kirstie van Noort. Alone the phrase “Dragonfly Wings” is magical.
Normally when posting from Design Invertuals exhibitions we make a few notes and observations on all the realised projects. There are 45 containers. That’s a book. If Dutch Invertuals want us to write it, we’re open to offers. Taken as a whole however, the 45 containers very ably demonstrate the openness of the Dutch Invertuals concept and the thereby resulting variety: heavily conceptual pieces sitting very easily alongside sculptural works, poetic abstractions, experimentation with materials, brainstormings on their way to being a work in progress and on to those objects which you wouldn’t be surprised if they turned up on a shop shelf tomorrow.
In many respects however more important than the objects per se is the connection they have to designer/design studio, to their understanding of design, relationship to material, functionality or aesthetics, and the nature of their creative process. Connections bridged by a short statement next to the container. And the collection of objects.
A very accessible and entertaining exhibition Fundamentals is an exhibition about contemporary design and contemporary designers that can be enjoyed equally as well on a purely visual level as on a more theoretical, conceptual level.
Both are equally valid approaches.
Same, same but different
In addition to Fundamentals Dutch Invertuals are also staging with Enlighten, a cooperation with Dutch window blind manufacturer Luxaflex. Which if we’re correct is the first such commercial cooperation project they have undertaken. We are usually wrong however, and so…..
Curated by Wendy Plomp and featuring contributions from six design studios Enlighten is in many regards a very logical extension of the Dutch Invertuals project. In a soon to be published smow Blog interview the interviewee argues that it is the “herumspinnen“, so that non-linear, free-form, messing about by designers, that brings advances in social and industrial systems, the ability to think things anew, without any of the weight of direct relevant experience. And as they have demonstrated over the years Dutch Invertuals have a particular talent for herumspinnen; and the six projects realised in context of Enlighten present this easy mix of, well, how else to put it, heavily conceptual pieces sitting very easily alongside sculptural works, poetic abstractions, experimentation with materials, brainstormings on their way to being a work in progress and on to those objects which you wouldn’t be surprised if they turned up on a shop shelf tomorrow.
With Fundamentals the onus is on you as an individual to decide in how far the various containers speak to you, in how far you connect with the designer’s intentions and approve of the direction taken, or at least are able to follow and accept the logic: with Enlighten is that up to Luxaflex.
Same same, but different.
For all in or near Eindhoven, Dutch Invertuals Fundamentals and Dutch Invertuals Enlighten run until Sunday October 29th at Fuutlaan 12b and Fuutlaan 14 respectively
Full details on Fundamentals, Enlighten and Dutch Invertuals back catalogue can be found at www.dutchinvertuals.nl