EXHIBITION: More from Less
In popular culture, one often hears that practicing asceticism can lead to ecstasy. The ascetic work of the German conceptual artist Hanne Darboven, however, emerged from a very luxurious, chaotic studio. Thus abstinence and abundance as an idea are deeply rooted in art and can be understood as alternate sides of the same coin.
In the design of this exhibition, we broach this smooth transition between asceticism and ecstasy quite deliberately. To this end, the exhibition space is stretched between two color poles, ranging from the monochromatic intensity of asceticism to the polychromatic diversity of ecstasy. This produces no boundaries but smooth transitions, symbolizing the reciprocal connection between the two attitudes. Not only the color, but also the spatial organization and the presentation of the objects follow similar, progressive transformations: from reduced and orthogonal to lavishly chaotic. The visitor moves between both poles in a scenographic space, designed as a sensual framework for the staging of objects and works of art.
The scenography is primarily shaped by a carpet that blends earthy red tones with polychromatic shades of blue. The colored pieces of carpet are recycled, used exhibition carpets—the upcycled products of a cheap, disposable industrial material. Old rolls of carpet were collected, cut, sorted and recombined to create large-scale gradients throughout the depth of the exhibition space. The walls are painted either red or blue according to the section of the exhibition in order to create, along with the flooring, an intensely colorful atmosphere. To facilitate the orientation of the visitor, color also serves to encode the partition walls, pedestals and platforms within the chronology of the exhibition.
The exhibition artifacts alternate between grouped arrangements and staged individual objects in order to create a varied and attractive exhibition, providing the visitor with space for reflection.