Methods of Imitation is the quietly brilliant group show in which “objects both significant and mundane” propose “new narratives for the old and familiar.” The designers who feature are, in no particular order, Dan Eatock, Markus Bergström & Karen Peterson, Paul Elliman, Peter Marigold, Study O Portable and Liliana Ovalle. And, aside from reading like a who’s who-knows-this-great-reference, the work is both contextually fascinating and refreshing in its suggestion of “other possibilities in man made objects than the mainstream design industry commonly offers.”
To pick on some personal highlights, first up is Study O Portable’s Quartz Mirror. Oblique forms that mimic the common looking glass, they are a literal “reflection through a technological myth” – quartz being a crucial tool in enabling us to “see ourselves through the objects we create” like televisions, radios and other machines that rely on the properties of the mineral.
Liliana Ovalle has created Colour Me Red, Colour Me Green – two, ideal-looking wooden assemblages that would fill the same space as a chair or small table so that, even though the forms are vaguely ambiguous, we assume that they are pieces of furniture. She has added a layer of paint which makes a superficial shape on the form, “broadening our perception of the whole,” identifying its function and bringing a “new significance to an object.” Her passage in the accompanying book for the show finishes: “Copies fulfil an aspiration, we condone to be deceived.”
There is also Peter Marigold’s Wooden Forms, vessels created using a single piece of wood as a mould: “The resulting forms are highly animated and not ‘wooden’ at all.” Dan Eatock’s running visual conversation requires no further description than its title, Signs displaying photographs of requests asking the viewer not to take photographs displayed in a form that echoes the original.
And the equally self explanatory Skin Imitation Swimsuits, by Markus Bergström & Karin Peterson who airbrushed costumes à la fake tan to a pantone of fleshy colours.
Finally, the photographic documentation from a series of “hides” by Paul Elliman, whose urban twitching is observation based and bafflingly titled How to Sing Like a Bus.
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