Presenting at the world’s most important design event by filling the Diocesan Museum with “Nothing New”. The concept devised by the Dutch non-design collective Lensvelt is clearly anti-establishment: a critical mechanism that displays the best of what has been produced in the past, bought on eBay or rented by individuals for the duration of the show. After all, as curator Anne van de Zwaag demands: what is the point of presenting new things when we are submerged by tons of goods still in perfect condition?
It is much more useful to give tangible aid to the urgent cause of sustainability. New collections will be launched only when current ones become unsatisfactory, obsolete, worn out. The risk of a static effect is avoided however by Maarten Spruyt, an exhibition designer who has put into circulation Lensvelt’s knowledge through an installation that makes a political statement. At the centre of the Museum – renamed Lensvelt Foundation for the occasion – is an industrial assembly line that brings together iconic pieces like Richard Hutten’s No sign of Design Chair and Table with works of art and photographs of protest and rebellion. In a process of analysis of production mechanisms that also the repetitiveness of materials resistance tests. In the garden, in the middle of a forest of clothes hangers by Ineke Hans is “The Oracle” by Atelier Van Lieshout: a mechanical head repeats political, philosophical and poetic messages collected by the public.
The result of “Nothing New” is that the Diocesan Museum has been transformed into an alienating and oppressive environment, mirroring the contemporary geopolitical confusion: with shocking combinations such as the juxtaposition between the Shell Shock Syndrome installation by Felkix Burger and the Gerrit Rietveld Military table. The last of Maarten’s surprises is Bar Anne, another act of protest against waste, represented by a bar-antibar that combines meditation, meetings and networking structured as a connecting gallery between rooms illuminated by neon lights.
- Exhibition title:
- Nothing New
- Museo Diocesano
- corso di Porta Ticinese 95, Milan
- Opening dates:
- 17–22 April 2018