A New Exhibition Asks: Can Digital Representations Eclipse the Experience of Physical Objects?

Soft Baroque‘s “World of Ulteriors” exhibition at Étage Projects in Copenhagen, which closes this week, features many items that are simply variations on the duo’s existing work — objects that, as co-founder Nicholas Gardner puts it, “blur the boundaries between acceptable furniture typologies and conceptual representative objects.” Here are new entries into the pair’s Hard Round collection, their wiggly forms inspired by Photoshop line drawings; here are chair versions of the slowly, eerily rotating cradle the two designed for Friedman/Benda’s uncanny dollhouse exhibition earlier this year. The new conceit in “World of Ulteriors” is the way in which these items are presented: In collaboration with the architect Nicholas Ashby, Gardner and his partner Sasa Stucin created large-format interior renderings that provide a backdrop to each collection. In each vignette, a collection of furniture sits atop a curved, zero-horizon set piece — something akin to a seamless, but here depicting a fictional interior that’s completed by Soft Baroque’s domestic objects. Gardner and Stucin have long been interested in the possibility of digital representations eclipsing the experience of physical objects; here is one more way to blur the line between the two.

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