Split Personality - Friedman Benda
Friedman Benda’s seventh annual guest-curated exhibition, Split Personality, opened on January 11th. Curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein, independent curator and founder of Schloss Hollenegg for Design, the exhibition explores how functional objects undergo a process of mutation to acquire symbolic value, and thus develop split personalities that oscillate between their different identities.
The works on display – ambiguously classifiable as chairs, tables, and rugs – are meant as furniture of practical and comfortable nature. Yet, as Stori Liechtenstein puts it, “the personality and implicit meaning of these pieces are so assertive that they appear to be at odds with the function.” In the course of history, objects were rarely valued and made purely for their function. However, they have always carried specific cultural, subjective, or philosophical messages; they are used to characterize, communicate, and develop our sense of self and construct our own identity. The exhibition explores the different identities objects are capable of embodying, and how their ‘split personality’ helps the viewer acknowledge their power to be alternatively functional furniture or conveyors of meaning.
Artists and designers on view include Arnaud Eubelen, Chris Schanck, Christien Meindertsma, Commonplace Studio, Emma Fague, Fernando Laposse, Ismaël RifaÏ, Jonathan Trayte, Katie Stout, mischer’traxler, Nobukho Nqaba, Rich Aybar, Soft Baroque, Brynjar Sigurdarson, Studio Wieki Somers, Thomas Ballouhey, and Toomas Toomepuu.