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Archive for June, 2017


Centre of attention: elephant or cockerel?


Monday, June 5, 2017

Ten seconds of watching Arttube’s video about the Designing the Surface-exhibition (posted on the website of het Nieuwe Instituut), brings you Chris Kabel, “concept and curator”, saying the following:

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Although just having visited the exhibition, I did not remember seeing a thickset, usually extremely large, nearly hairless, herbivorous mammal (family Elephantidae, the elephant family) that has a snout elongated into a muscular trunk and two incisors in the upper jaw developed especially in the male into long ivory tusks, [x] at all.

I started doubting if I had seen the same exhibition he was talking about but looking at the video we pretty surely had. But also on the screen (see above) there is no elephant to be seen. Maybe the zoo (or, so called fun fair)

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is too big for the elephant to be found? Impossible. Kabel even mentions giving the elephant centre stage,

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so it must not be too hard to find this “elephant.” What is really meant with the elephant in the room,

an obvious major problem or issue that people avoid discussing or acknowledging [x]

is the surface in design: apperently ‘avoided’ (as quoted above) or ‘ignored’ (Chris Kabel), en therefore in Designing the Surface, put in the centre of the room. Also should be to be found in one of the two other animals in the room: the golden cockerel.

The golden cockerel might be a bit rare - it’s one out of the three animals (an elephant, a zebra and a cockerel) n the zoo –  it is one of the first objects to be seen and written about:

ACT I PATINA: How does the fate of a golden cockerel and his companions intertwine with that of the tormented tale of two fountains, the first crafted from copper and the second one built from brass?

All to be found in a zoo perhaps? Or in the near surroundings of a church?

Gold-plated weathercock, lent by Museum de Roode Tooren, is a weathercock like any other apart from the fact that it’s gold-plated, and therefore it doesn’t lose its shine.

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Normally sitting on the church’s tower in Doesburg, shining bright and golden, the weathercock is certainly put in central view. And now put on the ground, looking at it from closer by, we are obviously not looking at the rotting wooden cockerel inside, but at the shiny golden elephant.

 

Gold-plated weathercock. Museum de Rode toren. exh.cat.no2-patina

How to prick’s one eye


Sunday, June 4, 2017

designingsurfqce

« The Faux Series » by Chris Kabel is a serie of small boxes with a very particular 3d-like texture. Through water-transfer printing, photos have been printed on the small boxes’ surfaces. Shadows and bright spots are emphasizing the shape of these boxes. These prints match the objects and succeed at giving more depth to the visual aspect of the boxes.

 

I chose « The Faux Series » because I have been very interested by photography lately. The work made me think about several references, the first one is the book « The concept of Non-Photography » by François Laruelle. The author mentions the interesting relationship that is established between the image and the real object. The image is a way of perceiving the object almost like formulating a point of view on that object. Chris Kabel’s work challenges Mr. Laruelle statement: « photography is a process that excludes the object-form » by using the technique of photographic prints directly on an originally neutral object.

 

Photography in my point of view is putting up a boundary between itself and the real object, as Martha Sandweiss said: « The capacity of photographs to evoke rather than tell, to suggest rather than explain ». Photography is i think the attempt to materialize each human beings’ perception of things. It is as if Chris Kabel decided to glue the perception of an object on that object itself to create a new « alien-object ».

 

The Chris Kabel « Faux Series » relate to the Act III of the booklet. « Faux » in french means false. Act III is made of little humoristic and theatrical dialogues that mainly personify materials such as wood and marble. This short play also gives a voice to objects, an animal and a product (a dress). It displays the following ideas of looking like and ressemblance. It is also about pointing out the complexity of a visual system that deals with notions like authenticity vs camouflage, imitation vs sincerity and all the changes and transformations happening in between.

Chris Kabel is experimenting how two different medium could cooperate together, in that sense the work of Chris Label is interesting.

 

Faux Series 2017, 3D printed polyamide, water transfer printed. exh.cat.no36-faux


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