Designers have become increasingly introspective over the past couple of years, as manifested in a fair bit of navel gazing. Nacho Carbonell’s 2009 Fertility Cave installation is one such example:
“The fertility cave represents the act of love between the random ideas in my head. It’s a symbolic representation of my brain while it conceives new things. Entering the cave you find a mix, a blending of ideas and forms, a mishmash of concepts that love each other. The dark interior makes it possible for designs to bread with thoughts of life, becoming all an orgy of creation. Through this mix you can visualize how new possibilities arise. The cave is provided with two small entrances that you’ll need to crawl through. You’ll have to make an effort to get deep into my brain, the same way you have to make an effort to get deep into yourself. I invite you in.”
Sounds like this might be the perfect place to ruminate over an identity crisis. Even the world of fashion is contemplating its identity, as I discovered when, earlier in the week, I visited a fascinating new exhibition – GSK Contemporary – Aware: Art Fashion Identity (at the Royal Academy of Arts until 30 January 2011).
One of the curators, Lucy Orta’s contribution is Anticipation Accessories, a wearable artwork of kits containing objects symbolizing a state of emergency: shortages of water or food, loss of love or affection, pollution or environmental disasters. No mention of two inches of snow.
Elsewhere, I’ve noticed other ‘security blanket’ type products – like this uniquely uncuddly, PVC teddy bear – perfect for storing all those stray buttons and bottles of pills to swallow in the event of impending disaster. This may be a Japanese design – it’s strangely reminiscent of the very curious combination of accessories offered in overnight wallets on JAL flights. However, I seem to recall this bear is meant to serve as a sort of memory box for keepsakes of personal significance.
Much like the stool of private treasures by Finn Stone – a collection of personal paraphernalia set for posterity in finest quality fibreglass. Lest we forget who we are.
Anyway, for those of you with a little time to explore your own ideas, I challenge you to come up with a list of items representing your identity. Old photographs? A well read book? Tomato ketchup? Your favourite tie?
How fertile is your cave?