18.5 — 7.8 18
18.5 — 7.8 18
Walt Whitmans poem “I sing the body electric” from the original edition of “Leaves of Grass” (1855) celebrates the human body. It is a praise-song to physicality that pays tribute to the functionality of the body as it is a visible prove of its beauty and its soul. “The House electric” plays with the theme of Whitmas poem and applies it to the domestic, exploring fundamental elements of living within it: light, furniture, design and art. “The House electric” in A plus A Gallery in Venice shows neon works and a series of colored and textured glass works by glass blower Jochen Holz, colorful and functional furniture by the duo of designer-researchers M–L–XL and new neon installations by the artist Richard William Wheater.
Whitmans “expression of a well-made man”, “exactly the same to all in all nations and times all over the earth”, “these limbs, red, black, or white” alludes to an truly universal language and to a collaborative stile of all arts and professions.
Design as enlightenment and collaboration are exactly the principles that brought together the Italian office for production and research M-L-XL, the German glass blower Jochen Holz and the British artist Richard William Wheater, who regularly works with neon. The purpose is to built together The House Electric for A plus A Gallery during the Venice Biennale of Architecture. All three artist/designers are deeply involved with researching and teaching at different European Art-Schools and Universities.
Jochen Holz (UK)
Jochen’s work is essentially rooted in his 25 year experience with glassblowing. While the making process is central to his practice the work is not about a display of skill or techniques, but always guided by the immediacy and materiality of glass. Jochen’s biggest neon installation to date for A plus A Gallery brings together the research of the past few years into oversized borosilicate neon. With the increase in width of the tubing the light also takes on more physical qualities; the light emanates as a volume, rather than as the lines and contours of a traditional neon sign. The forms play with the light emitted by the different rare gases, the undulating tube subtly manipulates the light, softening and intensifying it in turns.
M–L–XL Marco Campardo and Lorenzo Mason (ITA, UK)
M–L–XL is an office for production and research across different disciplines, focusing on furniture, exhibitions, graphics, typography and publishing. The studio emerges from a collaborative practice founded in 2005 by Marco Campardo and Lorenzo Mason and focuses on extensive research, working through a plurality of languages, skills and knowledge. In the occasion of ‘The House electric’ the studio will show its last research on a furniture collection based on the use of an aluminium L profile. The research uses a common, everyday material to question the meaning of “innovation”, “novelty” and “experimentation” that is often emphasised in today’s design practice. The profiles are combined in different ways with joins that are invisible, thus playing with the idea of materiality/immateriality and at the same time highlighting the overall construction of each object.
Richard Wheater (UK)
Richard Wheater (1978, Wakefield) is an artist using performance and installation to discuss our relationship with the natural environment. Output often remains loyal – but not exclusive to – his fascination with glass and neon, of which he performs and exhibits worldwide. He will show several new works of an industrial, functional aesthetic. Their aim is to describe neon and electricity as an object, whilst simultaneously suggesting links to human nature. Wheater is the founder of Neon Workshops, a company specializing in teaching and fabricating/installing neon.