Objects of common interest come closer and become personal with Isamu Noguchi
The New York and Athens-based Objects of Common Interest studio follows a similar philosophy. The architectural duo, Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, describe their approach as the creation of objects and spaces that are moments of unknown simplicity and abstract empirical tools of social function. Whether they create sculptures or furniture, they are not bound by categorization or fleeting trends. “We’re more interested in how shapes, without overly complicated decorative maneuvers, can have secondary layers of experience that are revealed through use: illusory elements that seem solid but are actually soft,” says Petaloti. . ” We like [to subvert] common notions of function and aesthetics.
A new exhibition at the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York, dots key recent works of Objects of Common Interest in the institution’s extensive permanent collection. Hard, soft and all lighted up with nowhere to go runs through February 13, 2022. Staged by senior curator Dakin Hart, these compelling juxtapositions reveal nuanced associations in formal exploration: proportion, monumentality, architectonic articulation, and organism.
“There are multiple layers of narrative that one can perceive as we move around the museum and the facilities,” says Trampoukis. “Our work spans mediums, materials and scales, without a defined aesthetic. We are more interested in playing with ambiguity and perception.
While Hart and his team rearranged some of Noguchi’s sculptures to better facilitate these vignettes, the process was entirely intuitive. While the acrylic casting of Objects of Common Interest Offerings – Rock III series and inflatable Standing stones populated the rock garden of the museum, the crystalline Tube lamp I and Tube lamp II co-habitat with end-of-quarry basalt from Noguchi and stone sculptures from Manazuru. These works challenge the limits of what is an object and what is a space. Upstairs, columnar masterpieces are arranged to evoke an ancient Greek courtyard with the duo’s cobalt blue Training series designating the Aegean Sea. Many of these placements can be found in various corners of the museum. They promote a feeling of physical commitment; something we all urgently need.
“The purpose of the exhibition, like most of the programs we do with creators other than Noguchi, is to open up various facets of his thinking, without trying to explain them,” says Hart. “During the programming of this exhibition, we expressed a hope, perhaps even an expectation, that we can put the museum back into a space of playful and aimless interaction by this fall. After all the collective stress that we have endured, it will be a sort of madness that is not entirely unnecessary. “