(jana zielinski) The Meta label presented a series of objets d’art accompanied by stories of art at Zona Tortona. It was absolutely amazing.
The Anglo-American gallery approach to design has reached its ‘meta’ meaning. Several collectors of design pieces from the 19th and 20th century were able to discover long forgotten stories, technologies, rare objects, and beauty. These collectors asked several designers to make a unique collection of rare objects for them.
For example, only six of the huge, hand-blown Cupola lamps could be made each year. Only one manufacturer in the world is able to craft the enormous glass lampshades. The glass blower is only able to blow the shade in the morning when the capacity of his lungs is at its best. This lampshade, designed by BarberOsgerby, has a bronze lining. Even though the Romans frequently used to make armor from bronze, the material is used only rarely nowadays. Did you know that when you polish bronze, it becomes as glossy as chrome? Then why not utilize chrome? Because it would be boring. A boring story you could hardly tell your friends on a long night in Manhattan.
In addition, the installation was so fine-tuned that one could also sit down in an armchair to watch a video of a dinner party at which the Meta gallery owners chat with their friends about design and art. It is a delicate experience with four different sets of cutlery.
When one walked further into the exhibition at Zona Tortona, one could not miss a magnificent light that was designed by Matali Crasset. With the apt name Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, the light possesses an astounding size and splendor that one would not naturally expect from its designer.
Further inside the installation, one could enter the ‘backyard,’ a beautiful hall with a glass ceiling that housed just a single object - a statue of an Eden tree designed by Tord Boontje. Design can be perceived in this way as well – in the twilight zone between art and design, acceptability and meaningfulness, without caution and common sense. There were even birds singing during the exhibition. It was a truly metaphysical experience…
Light, design: Matali Crasset