For Designer’s Days, Matali Crasset has designed and staged an exhibition of immense visual impact in a new space opened by Austrian gallery owner Thaddeus Ropac a few months ago, in the Pantin commune of Paris.
Crasset’s installation mimics the monastic form with a number of alienating monochrome, hooded figures set in surroundings featuring a prayer-like background hum — a murmur or litany produced by a film shown on the whole back wall. The film Voyage en Uchronie, created collectively by Royal Book Lodge, Matali Crasset, Juli Susin and Julia Rublow, shows strange images (Matali herself, her family and friends) on screen, emerging quirkily in acidic colours in mysterious and ritual-like sequences.
“Uchronia” is a term coined in the 19th century from the combination of utopia and chromos. It gives its name to Matali Crasset’s installation and seems like the end of the line for design, at least the kind that is based on appropriation, consumption and property rather than shared use.
Many of the installation’s visitors, coming to the Parisian suburb on a quest for products, wander puzzled around the vast space of the new gallery hub where the French designer has thrown away the rulebook. Instead of a result and a product, Crasset has extracted a silent proposal from the archives of her discipline. Introspective and critical, and with the smallest of palettes, her exhibition lays bare our everyday and consumption habits, as a visit to the analyst would do. The installation is reduced to the bare minimum; serene and self sufficient in its autarky, it floods the space with all its elegant simplicity.
Matali Crasset: Voyage en Uchronie
Galerie Thaddeus Ropac Pantin
69 avenue du Général Leclerc 93500 Pantin, Paris