State of Extremes
A broad range of work from designers responding to our current social and ecological predicaments - eliciting despair but also humour.
Design Museum Holon, Israel
12th December 2019 – 9th May 2020
TEN YEARS AFTER the Design Museum Holon’s inaugural exhibition ‘The State of Things’, the Ron Arad-designed museum has hired Aric Chen to curate its anniversary exhibition, ‘State of Extremes’.
Shanghai-based Chen has worked with Maya Dvash, the museum’s chief curator, and Azinta Plantenga, an assistant research fellow at the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University, Shanghai, to assemble works about the dire, extreme conditions of the world today.
Thematically, it’s a broad undertaking, featuring pieces by around 60 design studios (around a third of which are Israeli), that reflect upon global warming, environmental and social issues, growing inequality and Brexit. Besides established names such as Atelier Van Lieshout and Virgil Abloh, there are diverse contributions by recent graduates.
The show can be read as a song of lamentation. Adding a touch of humour amidst the doom and gloom is Tadas Maksimovas and Martijn Koomen’s ‘Emotigun’ (2019) – a slingshot machine that fires circular objects representing social-media emojis at the visitor’s face. This dig at the prolific use of emojis offers a counterpoint to the wide array of more serious works on display.
Design Museum Holon – the first museum in Israel dedicated to Design.