In the exhibition EXTRA NORMAL, Swiss-Danish art and design duo PUTPUT, made up of Stephan Friedli (Switzerland) and Ulrik Martin Larsen (Denmark), opens the door to a space of everyday magic, filled with apparent recognisability which reveals that nothing is necessarily as it seems.
Common to all works in the exhibition is an experimental and in-depth investigation of the potential and essence of the ‘thing’, here explored through improvised, recognisable and self-explanatory objects that challenge common definitions.
Many of the exhibition’s objects have been found in charity shops, markets, discount shops or skips. This practice refers to the use of objets trouvés and the art form of Arte Povera, in which everyday objects acquire new meaning. In addition to being a sustainable approach that tangibly reuses and reinterprets, this approach aims to unfold and discover new potential in the things we surround ourselves with and take for granted – things we no longer notice.
Friedli and Larsen say about the exhibition, ‘We try to shed light on all the everyday objects that we all take for granted. In many ways, our work is a tribute to all the objects that are just the workhorses of our lives. Basically, it’s about discovering new potential in everyday things that normally lead a quiet existence.’
Overall, the works in the exhibition EXTRA NORMAL represent an accumulation of ideas without hierarchy, where the objects, large and small, are realised without explicit consideration of their function or value, inviting us to see everyday design in a new light. This artistic upcycling is a subtle tribute to everyday objects and the often-overlooked objects of our homes.
The exhibition’s collection of improbable objects, interactions and actions with a sprinkling of anarchy is based on a fundamental intention to sow a healthy dose of doubt in the viewer with the hope of fundamentally changing the way we see everyday objects: imagine if a sponge could also be small miracle?
A warm thanks to everyone who helped make this exhibition possible, including the following foundations and contributors:
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæums Fond af 1968
Erik Birger Christensens Fond
Lars Martin Larsen