Objects or Objets d’Art? An ECAL Exhibition Explores - Indesignlive.hkIndesignlive.hk

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Objects or Objets d’Art? An ECAL Exhibition Explores

Displaying pieces by students from industrial design and fine arts programmes, ECAL’s More Rules for Modern Life exhibition plays with the flimsy distinctions between objets d’art and practical objects.



BY Asih Jenie

April 7th, 2017


Swiss artschool ECAL (École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne) keeps popping up in our Milan radar these past few years. Last year it made it to our list of most intriguing exhibitions in Milan with When objects Dream exhibition, which considered the future of objects by imagining what they would dream of.

This year the school has returned with a slew of exhibitions around the city, and one of them plays with the flimsy distinction between objets d’art and practical objects.

Displayed in Spazio Orso 16 until this Sunday, More Rules for Modern Life showcases side-by-side pieces by bachelor students from industrial design and fine arts programmes. The exhibition is curated by Switzerland’s curator and jack-of-all-arts John M Armleder. After they revisited some of Armleder’s works (including his famous Furniture Sculpture) the students developed the pieces for a full semester under the watchful eye of designer and professor Christophe Guberan and Stéphane Kropf, artist and Head of ECAL’s Bachelor Fine Arts programme.

The exhibits include a rocking zebra, a handless clock, a minimal painting with maximalist details, concrete marble and a menhir made from recycled plastic – all piled up in, as ECAL describes it, “a visual cacophony that is happily deliberate”.

To quote the delightful little essay It’s Only Furniture by Parker Williams that accompany the exhibition: “Somehow, whatever you do, whatever you show, it is something you might stumble on. Sometimes, you get cultural and then again it’s furniture”.