(jiří macek) Studio Job, constantly gripping the attention of the public with each of its projects, is working on a very special installation for Designblok. So you can get the picture of who you can look forward to at the year’s exposition, we would like to present you with their Robber Baron collection of furniture that Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel designed for the Moss Gallery in New York.
Even though the term “Robber Baron” is often an allusion to noblemen from the Middle Ages who did not care much about the ten commandments, the collection of Studio Job refers to the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century. At that time, this unflattering term was used in connection with rapacious industrialists and bankers who set up the criteria for modern entrepreneurship. Among the most frequently mentioned robber barons in history are the banker J.P. Morgan, steel and railroad tycoon Andrew Carnegie, and the oil king John D. Rockefeller.
Job Smeets (b.1970) and Nynke Tynagel (b.1977) play with the symbols and design from that era, pushing their unmistakable styles and turning them into real aristocrats of contemporary design even further. There is a sideboard in the form of a safe (complete with a hole after a bank robbery), a lamp shaped like a skyscraper (with an accompanying airship), a household deposit box (artfully concealed in the statue of the Jolly Joker), a clock featuring a model of a mansion, and a table perched on the incessant smoke of steel factories. Each scene represents a perfect story from a time when the railroad was still trying to conquer the west and the first skyscrapers symbolized the ego of industrialists. Is this perfect craft, art, or design? Even though the project seems to laugh at the present, in reality, it is much more contemporary than most comfortable seating groups because of its , humanity, and background. It is a movie that stars us in the leading roles. It is history when such pioneers of design as Dresser, Hoffmann, and Wagner meet the present (because they never left it).
Job and Nynke claim to have worked on this project for several years. Actually, it was presented in the Moss Gallery twice – the first part in 2007 and the second at Design Week in May. The collection was terminated with objects that we are presenting to you. If you are still thinking about whether this is design, do not worry. Job Smeets put this question to rest in an interview for the last issue of Blok: “Is there anything else apart from design?”
What can visitors expect at Designbloku? An exhibition in Superstudio Dox. It will feature the color white and, apart from furniture designed for Moooi, will include ceramics and textiles. Job and Tynagel, the modern heroes of design magazines, will open the exhibition in person.
The exhibition is organized by Designblok in collaboration with Bulb, distributor of Moooi products in the Czech Republic.
Robber Baron Lamp, design: Studio Job, Foto: Moss Gallery