formafantasma the stranger within at MAK - vienna design week

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formafantasma: the stranger within at MAK – vienna design week 2013
MAK exhibition view, 2013, studio formafantasma. the stranger within, 2013
rug, loan from: nodus, milan
rug, wool, hand-knotted
   studio formafantasma – the stranger within
MAK, vienna
september 14th to december 12th, 2013 once again, the geymüllerschlössel provides the backdrop for a contemporary design intervention and simultaneously opens itself to juxtapositions reaching across the eras. starting from the location’s history and its present use as a museum site, the MAK design salon invites internationally renowned creatives to deal with this one-of-a-kind cultural legacy in order to set up aesthetic and thematic links to the present and open up new perspectives. while the initial intervention last year, time & again by london-based designer michael anastassiades, was influenced by the villa’s old viennese clocks from the franz sobek collection, the work ‘the stranger within’ by 2013 salon guest studio formafantasma, deals with the fascination evoked by the ‘exotic.’


MAK exhibition view, 2013, studio formafantasma. the stranger within
studio formafantasma, bladder chandelier, 2013
loan from: studio formafantasma
chandelier, cow bladders, brass
image © MAK
trin wißkirchen   the geymüllerschlössel’s architectural style, façade ornaments, and interior tell of that era’s bourgeois and somewhat faddish predilection for oriental cultures. the panoramic tapestry showing temples in the so-called blue salon provided a starting point from which the design duo set out to analyze this paradox phenomenon in which a yearning for distant places coexisted with biedermeier ‘homeliness.’ andrea trimarchi and simone farresin evoke a multilayered and sensitive way of working; their object series moulding tradition (2009), which deals with early arabian-african influences on the sicilian majolica that subsequently conquered all of europe, took on a whole new urgency and significance when the sicilian island of lampedusa became synonymous with a looming invasion of african refugees.


MAK exhibition view, 2013, studio formafantasma. the stranger within
MAK branch geymüllerschlössel
drawing room
image © MAK
trin wißkirchen   studio formafantasma’s various series of handcrafted artifacts such as botanica (2011) and craftica (2012) are the outcomes of research to track down ancient techniques and forgotten resources. like archaeologists, they derive their information from the sediments of cultural residues—but as designers they use it as inspiration for the future.


MAK exhibition view, 2013, studio formafantasma. the stranger within
MAK branch geymüllerschlössel
studio formafantasma, craftica, 2012
series of objects, loan from: gallery libby sellers, london
image © MAK
trin wißkirchen  the intervention the stranger within by studio formafantasma will provide the occasion and the content for a number of events linking the supposedly historical to the contemporary, while also musing about the foreign and breathing new life into the “salon” format.
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