…And then you look at a Rembrandt, it’s just… You see where you have to go… Miles and miles of work ahead of you… There are other aspects of making a great painting than just the skill involved in trying to be an old master. If you see a technique before the painting, it is a problem. … How could my stuff look different? … I finally discovered plexiglass and I started to paint with ink. It changed everything for me. Underneath this chaotic ink painting that I do, there is a knowledge of a figure… Years of drawing… I have this visual sensitivity… Certain colors together will produce this incredible emotion.
H. Craig Hanna
Inside the Ink-the life and art of H. Craig Hanna, an audiovisual essay by Willy Crank
I made these drawings while visiting Jasper Morrison’s Thingness at The Design Museum in Zurich. When I was looking at these funnels and 19th century irons, in the back of my mind I was wondering, why are we so keen on classifying and organizing everything?
Thingness is a treat to visit. The exhibit is more than a collection of objects designed by Mr Morrison, it also documents his influences, processes, and the stories behind the design. The show is divided into two sections. The first is a retrospective selection of projects starting from the eighties, along with some images from The Good Life, a project Morrison has been cultivating for a number of years and is the result of his obsessive need to document ordinary and yet, for some reason, fascinating objects and situations, “clever solutions to everyday problems solved with modest resources”. The second part is titled My Collection and presents pieces chosen by Morrison from the vast collection of the Design Museum.
Thingness gives us the opportunity to peek into the mind of a designer whose esthetic is quiet, calm and refreshing. One of my favorite Morrison designs is “Thinking Man’s Chair”,which was originally to be called “The Drinking Man’s Chair”.
For a long time after I noticed an antique chair with its seat missing outside a shop I had the idea to do a chair consisting only of structural elements. Many sketches later I arrived at the approximation of the final shape, which included two small tables on the ends of the arms and an exotic assembly of curved metalwork. It was to be called “The Drinking Man’s Chair”. On my way back from the tobacconist’s shop with a packet of pipe cleaners to make a model of the chair with, I noticed the slogan “The Thinking Man’s Smoke” on the packet, which I quickly adapted as a more sophisticated title.
from the Visitor’s Guide
A couple of books accompany the show. Two that caught my eye were A book of Things and The Good Life, both beautifully crafted and published by Lars Müller Publications. In A Book of Things I found a hilarious story about an exhibition Morrison prepared for the Musée des Art Décoratifs Bordeaux, where he was allowed to place objects he had designed alongside seventeenth and eighteen century items.
It was a game which culminated in two days of infiltrating and blending the old with the new, adjusting the atmosphere of each room in as light a way as possible. It was an extremely pleasurable experience, recognizing as I worked on it that I was alongside my professional ancestors and how little the basic goal of making good atmosphere has changed. To my senses the new helped the old and vice versa. The Friends of the Museum were not so happy with the idea but following the tour of the exhibition some of them had not noticed the aliens in their midst! Later on it became popular with school groups to find the fakes.
Photography and film combine the features of the biological and the technological eye, and perhaps thanks to that they are able to merge two models of knowledge–the optical, which is deemed passive, with the participatory one.
It could be asserted that for Wojciech Zamecznik, photography and film were ways of being in the world and the tools for changing it. Therefore, that which supports the hegemony of seeing–photography, perceived as the “witness” or “trace”–becomes a tool for its deconstruction or gradual modification.
Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, The Power of Seeing
The exhibition Local Craft Meets Design organized by Circle Cité and inprogress.lu presents twelve personal projects researched and developed by twelve young luxembourgish designers. The exhibition is an open platform where the public can meet and talk to designers. It is an attempt to develop relationships between the local craftsmen, designers, local business and the customer.