For the Vitra Design Museum's Confrontations: Contemporary Dutch Design exhibition, Dutch designer Wieki Somers partnered with Freiburg based chocolatier Rafael Mutter, creating a new, performative way to experience chocolate.
Somers and Mutter's collaboration started with numerous tests and experiments. Chocolate was subjected to 3-D printing, laser cutting, spraying and much more until the duo, inspired by Marcel Duchamp's chocolate grinder, ultimately came up with the idea of scraping the top of a piece of chocolate like a wheel of Tête de Moine cheese. By generating this new ritual, they want to inject a new excitement into chocolate and create a new way of eating and sharing chocolate: slicing layers of pleasure.
Together with the chocolatiers from Confiserie Rafael Mutter, Studio Wieki Somers produced large cylindrical blocks of chocolate weighing 100 kilos. Shaving off delicate rosettes from the top with a crank-turned blade reveals various patterns that are integrated into the blocks using different types of chocolate.
Creating a flipbook effect as the layers are scraped off, an African Bobo mask emerges (cocoa pickers believe they have special powers for a good harvest) or a dancing couple spinning in never-ending pleasure.
During their performance on June 15, Studio Wieki Somers and the chocolatiers put their machine into operation and, using the chocolate rosettes, prepared chilled drinks for visitors.
Wieki Somers runs her studio together with Dylan van den Berg. Their work focuses on the search for the hidden properties of objects, properties that evoke memories or stimulate the imagination of users. Since the founding of the studio in 2003, they have experimented with all manner of materials – in their "Consume or Conserve?" series, even with human ashes, which Somers and Van den Berg treated with a 3-D printing process.
The Freiburg-based Confiserie Rafael Mutter consistently ranks among the best chocolatiers in Germany and across Europe. The praline brittle produced by Mutter is a cherished raw material for top European chocolate-makers and even the Royal House of Sweden procures Mutter's creations.