Tag Archives: design

He Couldn’t Swim Either

When in Oslo, don’t miss two things: Oslo Opera House and Astrup Fearnely Museum. Here are some messages and impressions from the second one.

This museum has been built between 2006 and 2012 and designed by designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The complex is itself very nordic: very light, very ethereal, very transparent and minimalistic. Or is it just a huge sail? Inside, on the other hand, is colorful and loud, as one of the world most complex and diverse private collections found its place there. The collection itself dates to 1960s and museum displays it not in chronological view but in its full visual richness and expression. I may say that I learned here about Bjarne Melgaard and have never seen before so many damien-hirsts at one place. However, another piece was perhaps more intriguing:

Tom Sachs, “London Calling”, 2004

Is it electric cupboard? Or self-reflection board? Or serves only as a visual composition?

The exhibition is curated in the way that the visitor is engaged herself in the art, from just observing, going and out or avoiding it, to picking up the posters or candies from the floor and taking them with (yes, ‘the art pieces’ they are!).

Or – others are just – honest:

More about it you may found in their own blog.

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Highlights of the Highlights

International art fair “Highlights” in Munich is klein aber fein. It is also very young: established only in 2009 as a joint initiative from several galleries, it still managed to position itself as an important meeting point for true experts in fine and contemporary art. Here one can find icons, ancient Japanese art, contemporary drawings, baroque furniture as well as fine calligraphy from high-end galleries in the region.

I am presenting you my highlights of this year’s Highlights.

Russian malachit vases, Czar workshops in St. Petersburg or Ekaterinenburg, around 1820

Emil Nolde: “Blumen”, around 1930-1935

Ogawa Machiko: “White Vessel with Blue Glass Glaze”, 2009

Corall diamond collier, France, around 1870

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S*** on Your Hat

Few months ago I have visited Barcelona. It was a perfectly chaotic weekend with both good and not-so-good experiences, but with some great people (and that is what counts).

On a hot touristy Saturday I had no choice but to hit MACBA and I can’t say I regretted it. The building itself has been designed by Richard Meier and its design is an antidote to the city’s Gaudi/gothic architecture. It is very bright, open, minimalistic and urban and its huge triple-floor ramp-hall reminds me a bit of Centre Pompidue’s.

MACBA, inside out view

At that time, temporary exhibitions involved spanish photographs and contemporary art works, which I did not have much background about I must admit, aside from Antoni Tapies’ works. What I liked a lot were films from Aleksandr Sokurov, a Russian director, who has been awarded with several awards, one of them being Golden Lion in Venice International Film Festival in 2011. I found the monotony in life or Russian solders in “Confession: From the Commander’s Diary” and their confinement and limitness in their activities but also space very strong and thoughts-provoking. However, “Elegy of a Voyage” from 2001 is what really kept me siting there for long time. (Both may be found in e.g. YouTube.) This seems to be an infinite voyage, ‘told’ to us by a nameless narrator, which we can easily identify with and see it from his own eyes: no matter how much dreamlike it may seem and not related to reality, it ends with narrator finding its identity.

Other work, also as video art shown, was Samuel Beckett’s “Not I” from 1972, showing disembodied lips of a woman telling us about dramatic incidents in her life in high-pitched voice. It is very intense for audience, hinting a big trauma and detesting for self – which one does not feel comfortable listening to and seeing.

 

There was another interesting Bruce Naumann there, combining both video and installation, “Shit on Your Hat – Head on a Chair”, from 1990,

Bruce Nauman, “Shit on Your Hat – Head on a Chair”, 1990

as well as Pierre Bismuth’s “Postscript – The Passenger”, from 1996-2010.

Pierre Bismuth, “Postscript – The Passenger”, 1996-2010

Both are being somewhat humorous, tricky and also experimental in interpreting reality and suggesting (and controlling?) the course of events and our perception.

What is left for me to do next time when I am there would be Fundacio Antoni Tapies. This time I can also admire its outer look, work of  Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Fundacio Antoni Tapies

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Little moments that make you happy – Papernomad

After an exciting and tiring several weeks and days, I was coming home from work feeling blah, only to discover that my long-awaited package has finally arrived. Oh boy, you should see instant smile on my face and even more excitement as I was opening it: my very own Papernomad sleeves for laptop and phone! What makes it even more special is that I am officially the first one to have one for laptop 11′; my waiting apparently paid off.

Scribble on sleeve for your notebook; Source: Facebook/papernomad

 

How it all started: I read about them in a magazine and found the idea very cool. Winner of Red Dot design award, sleeves are made of 100% natural material. Outer cover is made of specially patented paper, which is water-resistant and impossible to tear. I have tested it myself: it envelops those devices tightly and feels very soft in your hands. However, what makes it even more special is that you can actually design it on your own as you wish. Go ahead – just scribble something and it will be also 100% unique! As they said on the website: You will never find two paper nomads that look alike…

The one for phone can look like this; Source: Facebook/papernomad

Back to my story: it was in autumn or winter last year when I checked out their website, but they didn’t have a model for my notebook. I have written to Papernomad and guys came back in touch with me, telling me that they are working on it. Somehow I never got some sleeves in the meantime from other manufacturers and designs (and, yes, both devices got scratched, with display of iPhone now also broken 😦 )… I don’t remember how, but Papernomad got in touch with me recently again, telling me the model that I need is (finally) ready and saying that I can be the first one to it!

I mean, small and simple gestures is what matters. I like the idea that I would be getting those anyway, but now this all made it much more special (and the fact that the owner did not forget me). It is not only about the thing (yes, it is great!), but also in appreciating you. This is also a pure sign of a company that is genuinely interested in its customers.

Source: Facebook/papernomad

(One part of me would like to promote them now, but on the other side I would like to be unique with my discoveries… but then, hey, You will never find two paper nomads that look alike…)

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Salone del Mobile or “Two Alices in the Wonderland”, Part II

I had a chance to visit this time Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most prestigious design furniture fairs in the world, together with its accompanying content outside the fair premises. That included visiting the city center, Brera and other areas within FuoriSalone, fair program that is being shown for many times in the row now outside of the regular fair content. Second day was reserved for the furniture fair itself.

The day after we went to official fair areas, which was expectedly overwhelming. As we were not looking for anything in particular, we hit first SaloneSatelite and in  the end of the day, that remained our favorite spot. Satellites are those relatively smaller boots, mostly arranged by less established younger designers, such as Zeljka Kavran or design schools, such as New York Institute of Technology or American University of Sharjah, just to name few. This area was boosting of freshness and new vibes – it is not to say that others were not, but we found this one more to be more innovative and dynamic.

I hope you liked Salone del Mobile 2012!

(Please note that I have marked the design objects to the best of my knowledge. If there are any objections, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can remove the picture from this blog right away.)

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Salone del Mobile or “Two Alices in the Wonderland”, Part I

I had a chance to visit this time Salone del Mobile in Milan, one of the most prestigious design furniture fairs in the world, together with its accompanying content outside the fair premises. That included visiting the city center, Brera and other areas within FuoriSalone, fair program that is being shown for many times in the row now outside of the regular fair content. My personal highlight was Tortona Design Week in Zona Tortona.

 Zona Tortona is a rather non-conventional area, which is normally populated by young people with artistic inclinations. During the time of Fiera, it transforms into an open-air art fair, with a huge mass of people checking out the design spaces and art boutiques hiding in Zona Tortona streets. We* absolutely loved the atmosphere here and enjoyed the sun, crowd and also beautiful sights and innovative design ideas!

What we have seen there was a variety of funky design commercial products, such as senz°/the orignial storm umbrella or the o bag, which I will try to cover in some next posts. There were a lot of events in Via Tortona and Via Savona as well, but what we like the most were huge pavilions and halls, all with different themes but all equally interesting. Again, it is very difficult to make a right selection but here is some preview.

– to be continued –

* by ‘we’ I mean, my host / guide / artistic advisor & my lil sis (Please note that I have marked the design objects to the best of my knowledge. If there are any objections, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can remove the picture from this blog right away.)

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When your lap gets hot

Hihihi … I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling today: I’ve got a present this morning! In fact, I got it several days ago but only today I went to post office to take over my ‘delivery’ and I had absolutely no idea what it could be. It turned out to be this:

You might be asking yourself, ‘what is that ?!’. Well, you know probably how inconvenient it is in summer to surf with laptop in your lap. After some time it gets really hot. Now this laptop pillow allows air to circulate and the material in between takes care of proper isolation.

However, how I got it is a funny story. I have participated several months ago in a lucky draw organized by a magazine “Schweden Aktuell” and scandinavian lifestyle. I am not sure that I knew what the prize is; I was more in the mood to  drool over my favorite Scandinavian design that I have at home. And, today – voila! Scandinavian lifestyle, a store that specializes in Scandinavian brands for home decorations, such as Kosta Boda, Royal Copenhagen, Marimekko, just to name few, sent me this cute present. It could not be a better day to start of my week.

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