Salone del Mobile 2018 Nothing New at Fondazione Lensvelt – 16-4-2018
PH1 Barstools by &Prast&Hooft and the 101 Barstools by Maarten Baas, installation by Kevin Power & Christiaan Zwanikken
There is a new rebel on the block. It’s name is Lensvelt, the distinctive Dutch furniture label.
Between the Royal Palace of Milan and Fondazione Prada there is this burstling, exciting and vibrant spot: Fondazione Lensvelt, a nod to Fondazione Prada. Located in Museo Diocesano, Lensvelt exhibits Nothing New during the Salone del Mobile 2018.
No Sign of Design Table and Chairs by Richard Hutten and Stealth Cabinet by Wiel Arets accompanied by factory workers
NO IDEA Couch by Rick Minkes with work from Christiaan Zwanikken.
Come and visit Lensvelt’s anti-statement against the endless buying of new items that we do not need, while the existing furniture is still in perfect condition.
So you will not see any new products. After all Lensvelt doesn’t create fashion items, it creates sustainable, timeless designs. Lensvelt only develops new products when there is a genuine need for it.
Curator/Initiator Anne van der Zwaag with designer Maarten Baas and Hans Lensvelt checking the new 101 barstool with the works of Kevin Power
Curator, entrepreneur and publicist Anne van der Zwaag conceived the ingenious concept for Nothing New in which Lensvelt reuses existing furniture by temporarily buying it back through Marktplaats, Ebay and 1st Dibs, by borrowing the furniture and exhibiting it’s own showroom items.
Stealth cabinet by Wiel Arets in a kinetic set-up accompanied by styling of Maarten Spruyt
Hans Lensvelt and designer Rick Minkes in his NO IDEA sofa
The Lazy Modernists of Atelier Van Lieshout in a kinetic set-up
Boring Tower styled by Maarten Spruyt in Fondazione Lensvelt
The repurchased design icons from Lensvelt are from topdesigners: Studio Job, Richard Hutten, Marcel Wanders, Maarten Baas, Ronald Hooft, Piet Hein Eek, Maarten van Severen, Bertjan Pot, Atelier van Lieshout, Rick Minkes, Ineke Hans, Gerrit Rietveld, and Simo Heikkilä.
Stylist Maarten Spruyt & Hans Lensvelt; Nothing New
Maarten Spruyt, a premier stylist and exhibition designer, designed the exciting and somewhat uncomfotable installation. In a never-before-seen moving spectacle, Spruyt brings together Lensvelt’s iconic designs with autonomous art works and installations of famous artists that are not commonly seen at a design fair such as Milan: Joep van Lieshout, Felix Burger, Christiaan Zwanikken, Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen, Michel Voet, Marleen Sleeuwits, Isabelle Wenzel, Kevin Power, Alet Pilon and Freudenthal Verhagen. This leads to an exciting interaction between disciplines. For Maarten Spruyt Nothing New means a retrospective of the sixties and seventies, a period that shows parallels with the political situation and the rapid changes in the world today. It is also the period in which Lensvelt was founded (1962). Spruyt transformed the gallery under the seven arches of the Museo Diocesano into a furniture production and assembly line.
Nothing New is equally completely new.
Visit also the rebellious bar: Bar Anne. Architectural firm Space Encounters and Anne van der Zwaag created a functional exposition, a low-threshold relaxation hangout, experience, meeting and networking space, creative hub and food hall on the same location.
Job Office Desk by Studio job decorated with a spray painted bouquet of flowers and PHE Made in the workshop office chair
NO IDEA Couch with work from Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen
AVL Torture Chair accompanied by the work of Marleen Sleeuwits and evaporator installation by Christiaan Zwanikken
Nothing New by Fondazione Lensvelt, Bar Anne and Frame Magazine, Museo Diocesano, Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95, Milan, 17-22 April 2018.
Open Tuesday 17 to Sunday 22 April from 10 AM -19 PM. Bar Anne is open from 11 to 01 AM.
Text: Viveka van de Vliet
Photographer: Jan Willem Kaldenbach
Lensvelt is an engaged and idiosyncratic non-design furniture label and project designer.
Since its founding in 1962, Lensvelt has been offering architects and interior architects the means to make ever better interiors. With innovative, authentic, ergonomic, affordable, comfortable, functional and durable furniture with a ‘twist’, Lensvelt wants to contribute to a new world that is greener, better and more social. That is why it is also a convinced proponent of locally produced goods and believes strongly in the power of loyal neighborship. The furniture label bridges the gap between the commercial world and the most innovative designers and
SALONE DEL MOBILE MILAN 2016:
Good designs often come from annoyance – because something is designed only for function, or just plain ugly. That is the story of how the Boring Collection came into being – born of frustration from the ambitious architectural firm Space Encounters.
During the recession, young architects in particular delivered presentations to real estate owners based on a no cure no pay formula. These designs were used for office space rental. The new tenant would get new floors, walls, ceiling and a reception as an incentive to rent the space. The tenant would then themselves
go in search of furniture for their offices. Office furniture in this lower segment must meet one requirement above all – it needs to be cheap. This results in a mess of unimaginative furniture in a cacophony of colors, shapes and materials. To offer an alternative to all the screaming ugliness Space Encounters designed the modest Boring Collection: gray, aesthetic, qualitative and also affordable. With the innovative and idiosyncratic office concept of the Boring Collection, Lensvelt and Space
Encounters won a prestigious Milano Design Award, Best Concept 2016, during the Salone del Mobile. The presentation of a Memphis-like office city of archetypal stacked desks, cabinets, office chairs, clocks
and waste bins showed a gray collection that is far from boring.
SALONE DEL MOBILE 2017:
At trade fairs such as the Salone, everyone shouts for attention. Large companies do that with spectacular presentations and young designers with new ideas. “See me, hear me, look at my work!”, everyone shouts. This inspired Maarten Baas to use the title ‘May I have your attention, please?’ to draw attention to the eight different Maarten Baas 101 Chairs he designed for Lensvelt. This installation, in which the unique chairs were accompanied by dozens of whispering horns, earned Maarten Baas and Lensvelt the Milano Design Award for Best Concept in 2017. Never before has a company won this prestigious award twice. Never before has a designer won the prize twice. Both managed to do this last year.
SALONE DEL MOBILE 2018:
Lensvelt only develops new products when necessary: when current furniture no longer satisfies and improvements are desired, or when different needs have arisen due to changing activities on the work floor. Lensvelt does not develop new products just because there is a new Salone del Mobile in Milan. Lensvelt creates sustainable, timeless designs, and not fashion items. And so no new product will be launched
But not going to Milan is not an option. In this context, curator, entrepreneur and publicist Anne van der Zwaag conceived the ingenious concept for Nothing New: Lensvelt reuses its own furniture by temporarily buying it back through Marktplaats, Ebay and 1st Dibs. Or by borrowing the furniture from the owners, to whom the items are returned after the Salone. The exhibited pieces will be complemented by showroom items. Nothing New, which will be presented in Museo Diocesano, is Lensvelt’s anti-statement against the endless buying of new items that we do not need, while the existing furniture is still in perfect condition. This museum will be renamed Fondazione Lensvelt during the Salone del Mobile 2018, a nod to Fondazione Prada. The repurchased design icons from Lensvelt are from top designers Studio Job, Richard Hutten, Marcel Wanders, Maarten Baas, Ronald Hooft, Piet Hein Eek,
Maarten van Severen, Bertjan Pot, Atelier van Lieshout,
Rick Minkes, Ineke Hans, Gerrit Rietveld, Simo Heikkilä.
1. AVL CLOUD TABLE
The AVL Cloud Table is everything that a traditional table is not. It looks nothing like a normal table either: the AVL Cloud Table is not square, not flat and does not have four legs either. This table resembles a collection of clouds, balls or sky that brings people and ideas together. Atelier van Lieshout designed the Cloud Table in 2012 as a bar
table. The polyester-based cloud offers a place where people come together. It symbolizes the freedom and
volatility of clouds, as well as the liberation of the office worker.
2. AVL SPIDER CHAIR
There were no wooden stackable chairs on the market. So Atelier van Lieshout designed the AVL Spider Chair for Lensvelt in 2012. For four years Joep van Lieshout and Hans Lensvelt further developed the chair until a robust design emerged in 2016 that carries the DNA of both.
3. AVL WORKBENCH
In 1995 Atelier van Lieshout designed the AVL Workbench. A sober, robust table made of 100% polyester. The roughly finished legs in combination with a contrasting mirror-smooth table top is suitable for any office or reception room where colour and functionality play a major role. The table is timeless and even more beautiful with the years because the
scratches create a beautiful patina.
4. AVL LAZY MODERNIST
Joep van Lieshout finds an old Chinese Lazy Boy on the street near the Rotterdam garbage. He removes the upholstery and provides the frame with new foam. The chair looks as if it has escaped from the cockpit of a spaceship. Hans Lensvelt happens to be in the vicinity of the studio, sits on the foam, sinks through it, but is immediately sold. A new chair in the Lensvelt collection was born. On 20 July 2017 journalist Jeroen Junte interviewed Joep van Lieshout in the series ‘May I Have Your Attention, Please?’ at Lensvelt in Amsterdam. The remarkable Lazy Modernist is introduced. Upholstered, equipped with mobile elements and a poker to enter the relax position. According to Hans Lensvelt, this is the workplace of the future.
5. AVL TORTURE CHAIR
is an interpretation of the AVL Office Chair originally developed in 2002 for insurer Interpolis. It was custom-made for an eccentric, art-loving doctor in Maastricht. During the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in 2014, all world leaders sat on the AVL Office Chair: Barack Obama, the world’s most powerful man, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin.
6. PHE MADE IN THE WORKSHOP
A chair by Piet Hein Eek from 2011. The material and technique used for the construction are exactly the same as those of the Made in the Workshop Stackable Chair. Here too the tubes of the square section are welded together and the corners are visible. The back is striking because of a subtle decorative element: a screw with a round, flat back with
which the seat is attached. The upholstered chair, equipped with a mechanism under the seat to adjust the height, is a perfect work chair and conference chair.
7. PH1 BARSTOOL
by Ronald Hooft was designed in 2007 especially for restaurants and hotels. The swivel bar stool with high seating comfort was immediately a popular bar stool in top restaurants. The seat and back are covered with robust Tribe leather (from a Western European bull). The chassis consists of a cross base and a column of transparent lacquered steel.
8. NO IDEA
is a design by Rick Minkes from 2017 and consists of separate elements and remarkable 135 cm high back and side walls. A recognizable piece with a pure and understated design. This series of seating furniture consists of three benches and a club chair that can
be placed in all kinds of configurations.
9. BORING TOWER
from Space Encounters is the complete Boring Collection stacked into a Memphis-like office city of archetypal desks, cupboards, office chairs, clocks and waste bins. This “office building” arose just like the Memphis movement in Italy, but then 25 years later.
10. THIS BUCKET CHAIR
There was a need for a new, distinctive chair with armrests. A chair with the same design language as the elegant, stackable and lightweight bestseller: This Chair, which Hutten developed in 2004 together
with Lensvelt. It became This Bucket Chair in 2017. This instant classic has a familiar typology: the tub. But then with a new appearance and production process. Lensvelt and Hutten have done extensive research on ergonomics and comfort. This Bucket Chair is better than any other chair. A special plastic has been used: the same material that car manufacturers use for the bumpers of cars. The combination of this material and the positioning of the mounting points ensures that the scale moves with respect to the frame. This makes the chair ingenious, aesthetic,flexible, elegant, functional, affordable, circular and extremely comfortable.
11. MILITARY TABLE
In the year that De Stijl celebrates its centenary (2017), Rietveld Originals and Lensvelt start a special collaboration: Lensvelt becomes exclusive distributor of Gerrit Rietveld’s Military Furniture series for the business market.
The famous art movement De Stijl was founded in 1917 by Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Bart van der
Leck. Furniture maker and architect Gerrit Rietveld soon joined. Rietveld made the ideals of De Stijl spatially visible. In 1923 he coloured his armchair red and blue. Not much later he built the famous Rietveld Schröder House and designed a series of Military furniture for the Catholic Military Home in Utrecht. For this he made the first use of bolts and nuts for
wooden joints instead of wooden dowels. The Military
Table is sturdy, robust and is characterized by the
use of sleepers and contrast colours.
12. JOB CABINET
Job Cabinet by Studio Job from 2011 has the archetype of the classic steel storage cabinet. But this cabinet has a remarkable twist. In the ingenious lock, which is completely visible on the inside of the door, a gigantic fairy-tale-like key forms a
striking contrast with the sleek appearance of the
cabinet. Job Cabinet has six shelves, four of which
cover only half the depth of the cupboard.
13. FOREST FOR THE TREES
A decorative coat rack by Ineke Hans, designed in 2005, made from sheet steel. The parts are cut from a plate with the aid of a laser. The branches are folded over, the two tree parts are pushed together
and then the coat rack is lacquered. Forest For The
Trees can serve as a single tree or as a ‘forest’.
14. STUDIO 2 DUO TABLE
Marcel Wanders designed this generous workspace for two people in 2002. The table has angular and round shapes that harmoniously coexist. The workplace is flexible: adjustable, with extras such as various
cable channels, partition walls and linked arrangements
for several people. This way the perfect workplace
can be created for every situation.
15. TRIBUS TABLE
A folding three-legged round table by Rick Minkes from 2017. The table top can be made in HPL, veneered in melamine or wood, with a frame in white, black or the Studio Job colours. Handy tables that
require little storage space thanks to the tilting
mechanism and the three-legged frame.
16. CANE DIVAN
The renowned Finnish interior designer and Professor Simo Heikkilä, together with his friend designer Maarten Van Severen, gave workshops at the University of Industrial Arts in Helsinki. At the workshop
of Maarten Van Severen, Hans Lensvelt saw the Cane Divan for the first time in 1990. It was love at first sight.
Not so much because of the innovation of this chaise longue but because of the combination of materials:
the warm rattan with the industrial stainless steel frame and the unique, elegant composition. Lensvelt:
‘Cane Divan is the most beautiful and most comfortable
chaise longue I know.’ The classic that remains
relevant has been reissued by Lensvelt and was presented
in 2015 during the Salone del Mobile.
17. NO SIGN OF DESIGN CHAIR
Richard Hutten, one of the Netherlands’ most internationally successful designers, launched No Sign Of Design in 1989 as part of his graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven. The furniture
series is an anti-design statement against Bořek Šípek’s neo-baroque style and other postmodernists who dominated Dutch furniture in the early nineties. With No Sign of Design Hutten radically returned to the essence of form, as Rietveld had done before. The production of these icons had been a wish of
Hans Lensvelt’s for years because of the sober
no-nonsense style. Since 2014, the No Sign Of Design
series has been included in the collection.
NOTHING NEW: MAARTEN SPRUYT
Lensvelt invited Maarten Spruyt, a premier art director, stylist, exhibition designer and curator, to design the Nothing New installation. He started off as a stylist but transmit his clear vision and sensitivity to several design domains. He is fascinated by the mix and the contrast of all different subjects and intensely treats everything as layered as it could be. Spruyt works for renowned institutions such as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, and with world famous photographers as Petrovsky & Ramone and Mario Testino.
In a never-before-seen moving spectacle, Spruyt brings together Lensvelts iconic designs with autonomous art and photo works and installations he has selected himself. He seeks the limits of what is possible. This leads to an exciting interaction between disciplines, a collaboration that fits the spirit of the times. The interesting balance between where one stops and the other starts is characteristic
of the stylist.
For Maarten Spruyt Nothing New means a retrospective of the sixties and seventies, a period that
shows parallels with the political situation and the rapid changes in the world today. It is also the period in which Lensvelt was founded (1962). Spruyt will transform the gallery under the seven arches of the Museo Diocesano into a furniture production and assembly line. Referring visually and emotionally to the scale of factories but also to
anonymous, lonely office environments.
In these arches humorous photos by Isabelle Wenzel are buried under binders or half visible in a filin abinet. Also on display are works by Marleen Sleeuwits, that turn our perception of space upside down, featuring anonymous work and living environments
and empty places without identity, such as offices, hotels, and airports. Spruyt draws parallels with the British artist and inventor Jim Whiting who became famous in 1984 when he had kinetic robotic figures dance in Herbie Hancock’s music video Rockit (and won the very first MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction). That work has similarities with the contemporary work of the
artist Christiaan Zwanikken. His kinetic and mechanical sculptures are controlled by means of electric mtors and computer technology, and presented next to furniture from the Lensvelt collection that
moves, opens and closes, as a nod to a furniture quality test.
Spruyt addresses social issues such as displaced
persons – homeless people, refugees – and illegality. This is illustrated in The Invisible Man Project by Michiel Voet, in which he tells the story about his friendship with the refugee Karim Ramtani. Or war and violence, the theme of the disturbing Shell Shock Syndrome from Felix Burger that stands next to the Military Table of Gerrit Rietveld. These are themes that play a role in society over time, unchanged, and with which Spruyt wants to touch a sensitive string. In the courtyard you can comfortably lounge in the Cane Divan and talk to The Oracle of Atelier Van Lieshout. The mechanically moving head that reinforces poetic, philosophical, or politically incorrect text messages from the audience, serves as a mirror of our society.
Maarten Spruyt creates an alienating, oppressive and confrontational environment that evokes emotions n the sometimes uncomfortable visitors. He puts existing works in a different light and shows a
new image that makes people think. Nothing new and everything new.
Well-known artists whom you rarely see at a design fair like in Milan, made self-reliant work available: Joep van Lieshout, Felix Burger, Christaan
Zwanikken, Michel Voet, Marleen Sleeuwits, Isabelle
Wenzel, Kevin Power, Sander Breure and Witte van
Hulzen, Freudenthal Verhagen and Alet Pilon.
A. MARLEEN SLEEUWITS
Artist Marleen Sleeuwits (1980) is mainly interested in the illusory character of depicted spaces. Or to put it more precisely: in and with her work she creates situations in which the spectator is confused by a realistic-looking representation of a space that is completely artificial. She gets her inspiration from anonymous work and residential environments and places without identity, such as offices, hotels, and airports. In recent work Sleeuwits builds new spaces or sculptures with materials from such spaces, such as laminate, suspended ceilings, parquet strips and fluorescent tubes, which she then photographs. The antitheses between real and artificial,
current and imitative, concrete and virtual, two- and three-dimensional, create a visual experience that temporarily alienates the spectator from the feeling of time and place. What do I actually see? What is the scale? Where am I? How do I physically relate to the space that I see before me? The
last question arises because Sleeuwits plays a game with another space-related aspect of photography, namely the way in which it creates an alternative for the depicted space and the space in which the viewer finds himself. She leaves us with a disoriented feeling. It plays with our perception of time,
place and event, which no longer seems to exist as a unit.
B. THE ORACLE
of AVL is a two and a half meter high totem cup made at the invitation of the Amsterdam 4 and 5 May committee in 2014. It was on the Dam in Amsterdam and touches on the themes of 5 May, such as freedom
of speech and the fact that people do not always formulate their own thoughts, but blindly take over those of another. The Oracle reiterates text messages from the audience, with the head moving mechanically.
The texts can be poetic and noble, but also unadulterated and politically incorrect.
Text your message to: +31617042022.
C. SANDER BREURE AND
WITTE VAN HULZEN
One of the main concerns of the work of Sander Breure (1985) and Witte van Hulzen (1984) is an expanded
research into the history of portraiture and its relationship with theatre. The work encompasses the vast range of human [facial] expressions and how over time certain gestures become associated with
and also disassociated from not only emotions but also social positions and activities. or their long-term performance at Utrecht train station, they worked with a group of actors that performed highly choreographed quotidian activities that almost go unnoticed in the location. However once the commuters noticed the movements and actions
of the actors they became witness to a theatre of the everyday that has suddenly unwoven itself from the fabric of daily life. Taking place for half a year, this work raised the question when performance
becomes labor and vice versa. Currently, the duo continues the research into the
archive of human gestures, but this time creating repository of head busts that can match sculpted torsos in different positions. Here the sculptures become the performers and are activated in staged scenarios in the space and in relation to the audience. While actors almost become living sculptures, the sculptures almost become persons, but neither manages to completely cross over to the other. The
thin membrane between life and death keeps them apart. (text: Sohrab Mohebbi)
D. FREUDENTHAL / VERHAGEN
The well-known Dutch photography duo Freudenthal / Verhagen (Carmen Freudenthal, 1965 and Elle Verhagen, 1962) is based in Amsterdam. Both studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Carmen studying Photography and Elle Fashion Design. They met after graduatingIn 1988 and started working together on an assignment for a design label. There was an immediate mutual recognition and taste in what (fashion) images should look like. Their collaboration began with a publication in I-D magazine in 1989. From that moment on they have searched for ways to
stretch the traditional definition of photography, to make cross-overs between fashion and art and to
visualize cultural relevance. The images have been diverse in discipline and form over the years, but
often tell a layered and sometimes disturbing story, using and mixing different media to create a unique visuallanguage. In their infinite love for photography and addiction
to the unexpected and unusual, Freudenthal / Verhagen stretches the boundaries of photography. The
duo brings together photos in 3 D installations and translates projected videos into photos. By printing
on silk and adding epoxy or rubber, the photographers change the usually flat surface of a picture and surprise the viewer with a manipulated reality.
E. CHRISTIAAN ZWANIKKEN
The Dutch artist Christiaan Zwanikken (1967) received international recognition for his kinetic and mechanical sculptures, sound works and installations. His complex moving sculptures look like humans, animals or plants and are controlled using electric motors and computer technology. He often combines different media, robotics, biology, microcontrollers and sound. His works are both an artistic and a technological experiment in which innovation and finds play an important role. In his research into the relationship between man, nature,
science and technology, Zwanikken combines the living with the lifeless. Each sculpture is therefore both mechanical and autonomous and has its own ‘identity’ that is controlled by software, electronic, sensory and artificial speech. Although he uses ‘hard’ technologies such as machines and operating systems, he always tries to appeal to people and ‘soft’ technologies. His art has departed from the domain of plastic work in order to enter that of
plasmic work. At first his pieces are clearly identifiable but as the interaction of the work with the viewer unfolds, they are given other potentialities and they take on new forms. In the hybrid animal installations, they attach themselves to any and all forms of animal life. By additionally hyper-synchronizing the movements of his work to electronic or acoustic sound compositions, Zwanikken creates what he calls ‘techno-plasmic entities’. These are new creations that jump along the evolutionary ladder and are not limited by their real-world anatomy.
F. ISABELLE WENZEL
Isabelle Wenzel (1982) is a photographer, artist and also acrobat. In her work she asks herself: Who am I? What is the relationship we have with each other? She uses her body as a ‘responsive form’ to capture
movements and almost impossible poses in surreal scenes. With these moving studies of the human body she confronts the viewer with questions and emotions. Wenzel enters the theatre stage as a photographer, model, sculpture and finally also as a spectator, merged into one medium. Sometimes she is still recognizable, sometimes her body parts seem to sing from the space by the colour and structure of the clothes and the props and sometimes her body even functions as a side table or plinth for still-life’s with stacked crockery and vases. The distorted bodies give access to a sculptural world in which there is no question of the person or personality. Wenzel’s world offers new perspectives. Within ten seconds, Wenzel gives us a fleeting glimpse of memories, of something that has been, giving your own imagined reality and associations the greatest possible space.
G. FELIX BURGER
Felix Burger (1983) develops expansive and spacious room installations; accessible stages with objects, films, drawings and sound. Starting point of his work are often images of collective memory that he sends through his personal matrix and transforms them into an often absurd and disturbing composition. His work ‘Shell Shock Syndrome’ (2014) is a contemporary version of the horror cabinet of dr. Caligari (1920). The theatrical choreography consisting of a
fifty-piece chorus of ramshackle, ceramic and mechanical dolls and cyborgs that are connected to each other with electronic wires. These alter egos by Felix Burger perform fragments from the Matthäus-Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. Suffering, death and resurrection become a biographical lament, balancing between slapstick and drama, between intellectual world theatre and a children’s room worked out in detail. Failure is the visible central theme in
H. MICHIEL VOET
The multidisciplinary artist, photographer and theatre maker Michiel Voet (1964) works at home and abroad and in different contexts. As an autonomous artist and scenographer, he often collaborates with theatre directors, composers and writers. Voet received a lot of attention for the photo series and the theatre project The Invisible Man Project. It tells the remarkable story of his friendship with the elusive, illegal refugee Karim Ramtani. Voet met Algerian Karim Ramtani in his studio in Amsterdam-Noord. They talked about Ramtani’s dreams of a better life, but they also talked a lot about art. A collaboration arose that resulted in a remarkable series of photographs followed by the theatre production The Invisible Man. A performance that is still being played, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In the project Voet talks about the encounter and the fascination he developed for the life of this stranger. Then Ramtani tells the same story, but from his perspective. About how he once arrived in
Amsterdam from Algiers. And about his hidden and unpolished life in Europe. In March of this year, the artist and theatre maker travelled to Algeria where he held performances and made a new series of photographs. Voet followed the routes that immigrants and refugees take to the Mediterranean. As a solitary protester, he took action
against the terrible tragedy that has taken place in
the last ten years around the Mediterranean.
I. JOEP VAN LIESHOUT /
ATELIER VAN LIESHOUT
After graduating at the Rotterdam Art Academy, enfant terrible and sculptor Joep van Lieshout quickly rose to fame with projects that travelled between the world of easy-clean design and the nonfunctional
area of art: sculpture and installations, buildings and furniture, utopias and dystopias. In 1995, Van Lieshout founded his studio and has been working solely under the studio’s name ever since. The studio moniker exists in Van Lieshouts practice as a methodology toward undermining the myth of the artistic genius. Van Lieshout has established a multidisciplinary practice that produces works on the borders between art, design, and
architecture. By investigating the thin line between manufacturing art and mass-producing functional objects, he seeks to find the boundaries between fantasy and function, between fertility and destruction. Van Lieshout dissects systems, be it society as a whole or the human body; he experiments, looks for alternatives, takes exhibitions as experiments for
recycling, and has even declared an independent state: AVL-Ville (2001). A free state in the Rotterdam harbour, with a minimum of rules, a maximum of liberties, and the highest degree of autarky. All of these activities are conducted within VanLieshouts signature style of provocation – be it political or material. Van Lieshout combines an imaginative aesthetic and ethic with a spirit of entrepreneurship; his work has motivated movements in the fields of architecture and ecology, and has been internationally celebrated, exhibited, and published. His works share a number of recurring themes, motives, and obsessions: systems, power, autarky, life, sex, and death – each of these trace the human individual in the face of a greater whole.
J. KEVIN POWER
Kevin Power makes art, performance and costume to witness and heal what is happening inside of him and around him. Kevin is deeply moved by the beauty of the earth and realizes that she is the true mother of us all. Observing how we as human kind behave ruthlessly and destructively towards ourselves, the planet and other species, he strongly feels the urge to recover our sensibility and restore our soul. He processes this in his artwork for which he lets himself be inspired by stories, mythologies and shamanism. By recycling and re-purposing materials, he creates on the edge of having something to offer in its investigation. The art work becomes the witness and serves to heal. Power: ‘We are our own myth, our own creation, evolving in mutation with a vibrancy
in the hope of finding shelter in our vulnerability.’ Kevin Power started an art-spiritual-fashion project in 2015 calling it the “Dali Lamas Pajamas”. Challenging the fashion system, these one of a kind garments are intended for cocooning into the great infinity that is inward. Self-healing garments that invite the wearer to Wear the Prayer and come home to oneself, to who the wearer is in all one’s stupendous splendour. Power: ‘We are here for one another, we heal one another. Go gently on the earth.’
K. ALET PILON
The works are about power, powerlessness, the fear of death and loneliness. Intense memories from her life form the basis for the works. Growing up in a Christian environment as the daughter of a general practitioner, Alet Pilon feared death and felt an enormous feeling of oppression on her life. By following a fashion education (Academy of Fine Arts
Utrecht, 1971) she thought she could escape these inner fears by choosing the stylized exterior and
aesthetics. It only gave her temporary respite. A need arose to portray feelings of loneliness and vulnerability in a series of works that had nothing to do with fashion and applied art, but stemmed from their own visual language. Like ‘The Boy’ from the series ‘Talk to me’ (2011). He is both animal and human. A fragile-looking figure in jeans, sneakers and a sweater, without a face, with a protective skin of plaster cast and goat horns.
The museum offers more anti-statements. In addition to Frame Magazine, which provides an interview program with Dutch and international designers, Space Encounters has designed a rebellious bar. ‘Bar Anne is a manifesto, a radical statement against the craziness of all the money-wasting, all but sustainable design fairs, of which one can question the use,’ says Remi Versteeg, together with Gijs Baks, Joost Baks and Stijn de Weerd founder of the acclaimed architectural firm Space Encounters. ‘There is always an abundance of presentations and products and visitors have to run back and forth to see as much as possible. The whole phenomenon of ‘fairs’ should be viewed more critically,’ they believe. Where can you share that critical note better than in Milan’s design mecca itself? Between Zona Tortona and the city centre, in the historic Museo Diocesano, Space Encounters offers a welcome alternative: a bar with an integrated spectacular light installation by Children of the Light. A usable exposition, a low-key relaxation hang-out, experience, meeting and networking space, creative hub and food hall for everyone who needs something else. Curator, entrepreneur and publicist Anne van der Zwaag selected
talented (emerging) designers who made something that would benefit the interior of the bar: Rick Tegelaar, VANTOT, Mae Engelgeer, Klaas Kuiken, Dirk Vander Kooij, Jólan van der Wiel, Handmade Industrials, Jelle Mastenbroek, NIGHTSHOP, Sabine Marcelis, Brit van Nerven, Kranen / Gille, Fransje Gimbrère, Aart van Asseldonk, and from Belgium – Muller Van Severen. Also generous partners who feel at home with this
concept: Acosorb, Qbiq, Gira, Tarkett, InventDesign, Weltevree, Heineken, Finsa, Baars & Bloemhoff,
Hartweil and Carpet Sign participate in this unruly Gesamtkunstwerk.
Fondazione Lensvelt & Nothing New, Frame magazine
and Bar Anne, Museo Diocesano, Corso di Porta Ticinese,
95, Milan, 17-22 April 2018.
Mission Lensvelt Contract
Since its founding in 1962, Lensvelt has been a leading project facilitator and a dedicated furniture label located at the Herengracht in Amsterdam. As a project facilitator, Lensvelt is a supplier of more than 150 quality labels.
The Lensvelt own collection is:
often have a “twist”
and designed by the most notable designers such as: Marcel Wanders, Bertjan Pot, Gerrit Rietveld, Atelier Van Lieshout, Nina Graziosi, Maarten van Severen, Paolo Rizzatto, Richard Hutten, Ineke Hans, Piet Hein Eek, Maarten Baas, Gerrit Rietveld, Studio Job, WH Gispen, Caroline Prisse, Space Encounters, Wiel Arets, OMA, Prast Hooft, Simo Heikkila and others.