OBJECTS, Curated by Joel Evey
OBJECTS began, as many great things do, with Philadelphia-based graphic designer Joel Evey playing around with tool dip. A series of plastic-splattered lamps he made from grappling hooks spawned an ambiguous dipped “kitchen tool” and, eventually, the curiosity as to how other genre-bending artists and designers he knew and admired were approaching issues of functionality. Last year, he reached out to half a dozen of those peers — ROLU, Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Eric Timothy Carlson, Brendan Timmins, and Alex da Corte — and invited each of them to present him with a piece that redefined or re-contextualized the idea of a utilitarian object for the home. “It was loose and broad, but intentionally so,” he says. “The point was to ask people who already existed within this playing field to do something that danced around the idea. The results are all very different.”
ROLU’s double-ended drawer, for example, is not about the object itself but about the experience of using it; one side contains a magazine clipping, while the other holds a pad of paper for writing down one’s feelings about it. Chen and Williams created an ultra-utilitarian bottle opener that’s more about function than form, while Carlson’s dyed flags and da Corte’s embroidered hats are more about form than function. Timmins repurposed ’80s Zolo toys into something more usable (a series of Memphis-style lamps), and Evey himself revisited his tool-dip kitchen implement, which is made from a chunk of stone that’s nearly as big as a fist. See all six projects below, then see the OBJECTS in person this weekend at Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2014, where they’ll be for sale in one of six pop-up shops we hand-picked for our show.