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The Almere Collection 12 4

Barbara Visser, Detitled (2000 / 2006)

Through these photos, Visser exposes the fetishism that surrounds design classics. The original pieces of furniture are most sought after by the enthusiast and therefore also the most expensive. The older the better, it seems. Even if they are a bit rusty or have to be reupholstered.

This photo series shows seriously battered design classics, including a 1930s armchair and Alvar Aalto stools from the ‘50s; lounge chair No. 670 with footstool and the plastic bucket seat by Charles & Ray Eames; Joe Colombo’s plastic chair No. 4867; and the Martin Visser sofa bed BR027 from 1958.

Although it concerns a mass product, vintage furniture has the aura of an artwork or the first print of a book. For the true fan of these furniture pieces, the sight of the photos is a spectre; it is as if they are mutilated. As if your new car has a big scratch.

Furniture becomes a sculpture
What happens to the identity of these design icons when they are broken or damaged? The furniture objects are no longer functional and thus can be viewed as sculptures. The battered pieces of furniture seem to refer to artworks, such as the paintings of Lucio Fontana and a sculpture by Henry Moore. They are unique objects instead of mass products. Visser gives them a new name and, in doing so, a new identity. She photographed the damaged furniture pieces in a sterile way, as if they are to be included in a sales catalogue. The photos were first published in 2000 in the arts magazine A-Prior.

The advance of mass media such as (digital) photography, film, television and Internet has a major influence on the work of Barbara Visser. She investigates how people, objects and events are depicted and how people look at images. She is fascinated by how people deal with design and how it partially defines them.

Mireille de Putter

Barbara Visser
1966, Haarlem, the Netherlands
Detitled 2000 / 2006
Photo (previously: magazine, photo, postcard, poster)
Acquisition 2007, Museum De Paviljoens

Website Barbara Visser

Contributions
Comments (4)

Packers and Movers India

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4 Nov 2015, 8:31

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17 Nov 2015, 19:56

gurubijak

Dear Friends,
I’m Gurubijak, the co-founder of Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture, and I have lived with multiple sclerosis for nearly 40 years. I had my first MS attack in 1971, but wasn’t diagnosed until two years later when I lost permanent sight in my left eye. In those days, MS was a very difficult diagnosis to make and there were no treatments for the disease. There are times when it’s been frustrating like when I couldn’t do even the simplest task like brushing my own hair. But I’ve always had the philosophy that you make the best of what you have. Getting MS was something I couldn’t control, so I decided early on I wouldn’t let it stop me from living a full life

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17 Jan 2016, 9:59