Ambit: Results Within_Monika Müller
8th December 2017
19th January 2018
What is design? What is its definition? The etymology of the word can be traced to the Latin designare, which is closer to the present terms ‘to designate’, ‘to point’, ‘to mark out’. Nowadays, ‘to design’ means to conceive, to have an idea and to transform it into a more concrete entity, whether it is something we can touch and feel or simply look at. Design has a two-sided nature: on the one hand functionality – what is this object for, how can I use it? – and on the other hand, aesthetic value. Is it beautiful? Do I enjoy looking at it?
The decorative objects displayed in the umlaut space for the sixteenth AMBIT exhibition are located at the interface between Design and Art, focusing on the aesthetic side of design practice rather than functionality. The interaction of forms, textures, colours and materials is the main interest of young Swiss designer and artist Monika Müller. Her design and art practice triggers questions and deliberately does not offer a direct answer, giving the viewer the chance to explore and arrive at an individual and personal interpretation of the items. The objects that are part of this exhibition display a multiple nature: the Tensions series in glass, bronze and ceramics has no predetermined ‘up’ or ‘down’; rather, the objects can be looked at from all sides, always revealing another ‘face’. The Bottles series plays with the objects’ materiality and texture: their delicate ceramic surfaces are of familiar appearance, suggesting natural leaves or even cardboard, although originating in synthetic building materials such as floor protection and insulation sheets.
Monika Müller’s design and art practice places itself in between the digital and analogue worlds, sometimes blurring the line between craft-making/design and fine art. She uses the digital for some procedures in the production of the objects, but then reaches back to analogue methods, letting natural processes take their course. It is precisely this natural element that makes every object a unique and unreproducible piece, rendering aspects of the result impossible to predict.
Photo © Monika Müller