Milan – When curator Karen Kjærgaard commissioned craftspeople to showcase Danish contemporary craft at this year’s third Mindcraft exhibition in ZonaTortona, she asked them a simple question: ‘Would you mind?’
Through the twelve objects on display, Kjaergaard asks visitors the same question.
‘We are all consumers before we are citizens or plain human beings,’ she complains. Instead, she hopes that each item creates an emotional connection with the viewer. Each piece at Mindcraft, she suggests, should resonate not with our eyes but with our guts.
The exhibition, then, is a celebration of craft – though not a dewy-eyed, romanticised notion of traditional craft. Rather this is a celebration of 21st century craft, of new technologies and the crafts of the future.
So we see from Mathias Bengtsson the ‘Paper Chair’, a digital rendering of a chair made out of an unexpected material, paper.
‘The chair takes on a form and a degree of detailing that would not be possible in any other material,’ says Bengtsson.
Similarly, Kjærgaard asked Louise Hindsgavl to not work in her usual material, ceramic. The result: a stool called ‘The Pet’ that brings to mind a friendly, household pet is whimsical, and looks comfortable too.
Also, Kjærgaard asked jeweller Katrine Borup to not produce a piece of jewellery. Instead, she has presented Heavy Metal, which comprises a tiny gold ring attached the size of rock which would need to be excavated to produce that amount of gold. A question about the ecologically questionable extraction of gold, perhaps? Again, the viewer wonders if she or he would mind.