Work by Jaime Hayon, Zaha Hadid and Atelier van Lieshout are on display as part of an exhibition that explores the role of erotica and fetishism in design
An exhibition that examines the influence of erotica on contemporary design, fashion and art opened this week in Lausanne.
Nirvana, which features more than 200 images, objects and clothing, is intended to challenge visitors’ views of erotic and fetishist practices. It observes how their forms of expression can move from the private to the public sphere when they are the subject of fashion, design or art.
The work of more than 80 artists and designers including Matali Crasset, Atelier van Lieshout, Zaha Hadid, Yves Behar, Pierre Charpin, Jaime Hayon and Ettore Sottsass, are on display. Betony Vernon, Mark Woods and Nika Zupanc have created bespoke installations for the exhibition.
We spoke to the show’s curator, Marco Costantini.
How did you come up with the idea for the show? Why is now a good time to examine the role of the erotic in design and fashion?
The idea of the exhibition was born more than two years ago from the observation that a growing number of creators were being inspired by the fetish world, particularly in design. While this influence has been well known in the art and fashion world for a number of years, this trend was hardly commented on in the field of design. The objects exhibited in Nirvana directly address questions related to sensuality, which is why materials play such an important role in the show.
How did you select the three designers that have created installations for the show?
All three are creators whose work is mainly centred on the issue of fetishism or eroticism. Betony Vernon considers jewellery as a continuation of the body and bodily pleasure. Her work demonstrates strong sensuality in the use of silver.
Mark Woods proposes objects so intriguing and so filled with formal and sensual references to the body that a personal room for his work was an obvious choice.
Furniture designer Nika Zupanc has already realised a whole collection based on the theme of the boudoir and has produces a variation of this work specifically for us.
What are your personal highlights of the show?
There are numerous highlights for me. If I had to choose, I would pick the Bodysofa by Atelier van Lieshout and the bed by Karim Rashid, the Karimsutra.
The sofa, as is common with Van Lieshout, is full of humour. The Karimsutra is of a quite different nature – it has the peculiarity of not allowing you to merely sleep there. Rather, each part is designed as a comfortable support for a position of the karmasutra. Ideal for a naughty nap!
Nirvana is on at the MUDAC in Lausanne, Switzerland, until 26 April 2015
Images: Paul Tucker, Mustafa Sabbagh, David Brook, Dragan Arrigler, Jonas Lindström, Lara Giliberto, Roberto Greco, Paul Scala, Ale Mosso, Studio Job