Perhaps the best surprise for me so far at the Salone del Mobile was the Ahrend show. They called it Behind the Scene and invited twelve designers and artists to take part in the exhibition. The selected artists go back to the essence, in response to the superficial, virtual world of entertainment and amusement which we are increasingly confronted with.
When Polak and Auzina discovered that much Latvian milk is transported to the Netherlands, they decided to follow its progress from the cow’s udder to the consumer’s mouth using GPS navigation.
The selection of works by youung designers was amazing.
Niels Shoe Meulman and Dennis Polak helped underprivileged teenagers to design a coat of arms for Amsterdam’s multicultural Bijlmer district. The Coat of Arms was emblazoned with icons representing gastronomic culture, the Ajax football club and the country of Suriname. It hung for a time at the nearby railway station.
Something here feels horribly wrong, by Brigitte Hendrix, is a fashion collection that shows elements of the times with the same subtleness as a seventeenth century still life. She re-thinks the now fashionable army clothes, designed a provocative “Arafat” scarf patterned with mobile phones, skyscrapers and airplanes (the 3 elements of 9/11) and a rather threatening balaklava with rabbit ears. (previously blogged.)
Roots of the Rúntur, by photographer Rob Hornstra, portraits the changes in the the introduction of fishing quotas and industrialisation have changed the country and its people. The young people there no longer wish to work in the fishing industry and are leaving for the city. Low-paid jobs are being filled by immigrants.