The perception of many visitors, when they enter a museum, is that the exhibition on view "came that way," is a ready-made whole, just as when one reads a book, the clean printed page belies the cross-outs and marginal notes of the author's manuscript. This blog is meant to serve as a window into the process of developing an exhibition for Design Museum Holon. Together, we are an independent curatorial team, curatorsquared, and the following entries made over the 18 months leading up to the opening of the exhibition, trace our correspondence back and forth as we work through some of the themes and concepts in the upcoming exhibition: "Designing Machines: Fashioning a New Order". Our dialogue documents our journey to studio visits with potential designers and artists, travels to international art fairs and ultimately to Israel. We hope that this will offer a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the progression from idea to exhibition, and hopefully to enrich the experience of the exhibition. --Ginger Duggan and Judy Fox, Curatorsquared
*Photo on top: Inspiration board from Pini Leibovich Studio
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GD: What wonderful news! I love that the new shirts are orange and I think that their idea for display is really smart and just right. Thank you for taking the time to go and visit and see the Kobakant team in action. I will have to put the new Media Center at MIT on the top of my list of places to see when I am next in Boston...it sounds wonderful.
JD: Before meeting with Mika and Hannah of Kobakant, I had a tour of some of the sculpture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology which since the mid 1980s has commissioned major works by major artists as part of the construction of each building. This has resulted in a wonderful rich environment with major worldclass art integrated into the architecture and campus. The newly opened New Media Center, where Hannah's lab is located, is amazing, a huge new building, designed by Maki and Associates, the Pritzker Prize winning Japanese firm. It is clean and clear, open and exciting, a rational sequence of spaces, elegant and impressive. Hannah says it is a great place to work as well!
Matthew Ritchie with MIT pool beyond
Hannah had told me to go to the fifth floor, but that was all I knew. So I wandered around a bit and then, through a glass wall, saw eight pinkish/orange t-shirts, hanging in a row over a long work table, and I knew I had arrived. To meet Mika for the first time, and to see the project they have created specifically for the show was so exciting. We discussed the installation of the work, and think that if the exhibition designers can replicate, or indicate the arrangement there in the lab, it would be great: the row of sequenced hanging shirts that take one through the eight stages of making the playable piano shirt, suspended in a line on simple hangars over a long workbench/table where all the tools and materials are spread out. This would resonate with the installation of Marloes's rotationalmould shoe. We talked about the possibility of the designers coming to lead a DIY workshop, which would be wonderful. And they told me they have a lot of video footage of making this project that can be sent to Amnon Silber for the Espro Mika's few weeks here have been most productive! And tomorrow she returns to Japan.
Visit to MIT > Hannah and Mika
GD: Yes, I agree. A fashion exhibition is such a different animal altogether...it shouldn't be a boutique and yet it can't be completely conceptual. Add in the uninspired old-fashioned way of showing clothes on mannequins lined up as if in a parade and it is quite a challenge. You are so right, though, that with the forum of a design museum, this project can focus on more then the garments alone.
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