Fantoom by Glithero 26.10.14

Interiur 01

The London-based duo used a Victorian trick to make objects from the Broelmuseum's collection appear as ghostly apparitions, at Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk

Walking through the Broelmuseum in Kortrijk, Belgium, something strange happens: museum artefacts appear suddenly in crisp three-dimensions from behind a sheet of glass – and then with another step, vanish entirely from view. "Pepper's Ghost," offer London-based design practice Glithero, by way of an explanation. This oddly named visual trick, first enjoyed by the Victorians, is achieved by reflecting a hidden object onto a transparent surface, held at a 45-degree angle. Aided by good lighting, the surface reflects the object behind it to create a floating hologram.

Called Fantoom, the installation – commissioned for Interieur – certainly isn't the first time the studio has lifted forgotten techniques and used them in a new context. "We have a whole encyclopaedia of techniques, effects and processes that we find interesting ...they sit on a shelf until the moment we think it's time to do something with them," said studio co-founder Tim Simpson in a talk accompanying the project's launch.

But the project does see Glithero break from its usual methodology. To date, the duo have operated with an obsession for process. They have made it their mission to preserve the moment a product comes to be, and somehow communicate this moment through the final artefact. Here, however, crumbling vases and statues appear and disappear
without explanation: "The process is purposefully hidden so you get the effect alone," says Simpson.

This shift in process was the result of a different kind of preoccupation: "The museum's collection is going. All of the objects will disband to different locations," says co-founder Sarah van Gameren. "We started thinking about the idea of what a collection is." The project took the duo into the back rooms of the museum. "We saw the mindset of the curators over the years and what they found important and relevant," says Simpson.

As times changed, so did what was deemed interesting to collect. "We decided the best way to deal with the museum's situation was to show the original collection in a very ephemeral way." Look below the glass, and you'll find the objects in crates, ready for transit to another archive – or permanently into storage.

Biennale Interieur took place from 17 to 26 October 2015

 

Words

Anna Bates

quotes story

We have a whole encyclopaedia of techniques, effects and processes that we find interesting – they sit on a shelf until the moment we think it's time to do something with them

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