The filmic narrative of industrial products often oscillates between advertising and glossy magnification, with few attempts to testify to the existence of other possible approaches. The South Tyrolean furniture company Plank takes a different path, entrusting Lucas Zanotto with the possibility of transforming its catalogue into a performative instrument capable of merging expressive freedom and impeccable formal elegance.
Lucas Zanotto presents Plank
The protagonists of the one-minute video signed by the Italian artist based in Helsinki are not so much the tables and stools of the Miura line, designed in 2005 by Konstantin Grcic, as a ping pong ball that, framed in a fixed camera, bounces between the surfaces until it finds its way to a cup used as a basket. The meticulous and unflappable author of the launches, Zanotto himself, is the only human presence to appear in the images. “It took more than 2,000 ping pong ball shots,” Zanotto says, “and some shots took as long as four hours. But I think that's what makes it enjoyable to watch.”
Punctuated by the sound of the bounces, the set ends up resembling a performance orchestrated as much by the cadenced rhythm of the bounce as by the varying composition of Grcic’s furniture, each capable of enhancing its pronounced sculptural profile. “The landing of the ping pong ball in the cup is such a simple thing but also magical in a way. Everyone can relate to that feeling of when you’re trying to do something improbable and you succeed,” Zanotto continues. And this is where Zanotto’s approach is right on target: conquering a transversal public with irony and lightness, his audience is certainly going to be much larger than the niche of followers in the furniture world.