How do we deal with absence within present day material cultures? How is meaning embedded in objects and artifacts in conditions of absence? These are questions currently being asked in ben and sebastian’s ongoing project ‘The Museum of Nothing’. Currently, they carry out research in Beijing, with the ambition to develop a deeper understanding of the historical course of Western value systems relating to imitations, replicas and forgeries of lost artworks and artifacts.
The research focuses on culturally significant artworks and artifacts that have been lost, and investigates how their meaning is transmitted by other means, such as through reconstructing replicas of high artistic quality and re-performing the processes of making particular works of art. The results consist of exact copies of transport cases that have been borrowed from different museum institutions. The collection of transport cases share the following characteristics: the objects for which they were made have been lost, as have all records of those contents. The loss of the original content leaves room for conjecture: a space in which the individual subjectivity of viewer comes into play when mentally filling the gap..
In each case a glass form is blown, moulded to exactly fit the negative space occupied by their lost contents. Glass has the capacity to flicker between materiality and immateriality, presence and absence, and therefore the works evokes an array of questions relevant in the field of design:
– What constitutes a Fake and what is an Original?
– What carries Presence and what contains Absence
– What is New and what is Old? – What is defined as Art and what is classified as Design?
– What is the border between Theory and Practice?
– What is Material and what is Immaterial?
设计师简介 About The Designer
Ben Clement / Sebastian de la Cour
Sebastian de la Cour
By 独立策展人Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch
‘The work of the collaborative artist practice, ben and sebastian, teeters on a cusp between designed physicality and intangible theories of the mind. Trained in architecture and theoretically versed, their sculptures take on elaborate mechanics and boast intricate detailing, yet speak to vast philosophical and sociological systems. It is impossible to concretely anchor their work, an elusiveness made evident in their recent exhibition at the Design museum Danmark, ‘Phantom Limbs’.’
Embedded directly within the permanent collection and specifically paired with unexpected inventory from Copenhagen’s Medical Museum, National Museum and the attics of Designmuseum Danmark, their work becomes not only the sculptures on display, but the myriad relationships made between context and object, between body and limb. Evoking the medical sense of phantom limbs, where an amputee still feels the presence of the absent limb, ben and sebastian navigate the museum context and call into question the assumed wholeness we expect, perceive and viscerally feel.’
Excerpt from DAMn Magazine, issue 33
by independent curator Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch