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By Ron Arad at Design Museum Holon, Israel
Opening Date: Wednesday 19 June 2013
Closing Date: Saturday 19 October 2013
In an Israeli first, Design Museum Holon has announced an exhibition by artist, designer and architect Ron Arad (b.1951), who has exhibited internationally for many years.
Ron Arad returns to Design Museum Holon with ‘In Reverse’, three years after the opening of the building that he designed himself. Arad remains one of the world’s most influential and enigmatic designers and over the last 30 years has made a pivotal contribution to the art, design and architecture worlds. Brought to international fame by his Rover chair and Bookworm bookshelf, Arad has since collaborated with leading brands such as Alessi, Vitra, Swarovski and Kenzo and designed Yohji Yamamoto’s Tokyo flagship amongst many other critically acclaimed projects. Arad has presented solo exhibitions at Centre Pompidou in Paris, MOMA in New York and the Barbican in London.
‘In Reverse’focuses on three decades of Ron Arad’s work in metal, his favourite material, culminating in a major new projectexploring, through physical experiments and digital simulations, the way in which automobile bodies, specifically the Fiat 500, behave under compression.
On clean white walls in the upper gallery, Arad has installed six crushed Fiat 500s, each flattened to resemble the outcome of an accident in a cartoon or a child’s drawing that lacks a sense of depth. The crushed vehicles surround a curved wooden forming buck, a mould that was used to shape and fit the metal panels of the 500, which is on loan from the Fiat Archive and Museum. Nearby Arad presents Roddy Giacosa (2013), a new sculpture created by positioning hundreds of polished stainless steel rods on a metal armature in the shape of a Fiat 500. Each contoured section takes the shape of one of the vehicle’s panels and the parts fit together to form the body of the car.
Behind the walls displaying the crushed Fiats is a group of Arad’s designs, primarily chairs made from steel, tracing his experimentation with the medium from his earliest works in the 1980s to more recent pieces that share some of the same properties as their forebears. Additionally, Arad is displaying a group of crushed objects, such as a toy police car that he found 40 years ago in the street in Tel Aviv, as well as other objects that were studies and tests, including a bottle rack that he had flattened by a steamroller.
The lower gallery features Arad’s digital simulation of the crushing process, using the most recent model of the Fiat 500, as well as a sculpture derived from one frame of this film that has been made by a 3D printing technique. Digital prints on paper capture the results of simulated digital compressions of the Roddy Giacosa. Also on view is a selection of Arad’s recent work, sculptural forms that are designed with the aid of digital technologies.
Ron Arad comments:
‘In Reverse’ is an exhibition about the shift from the physical to the digital – except in reverse. Rather than manipulate materials to render them functional or render digital models towards a functional object, here I ‘reverse’ perfectly functional objects and render them useless.
Lydia Yee, curator of In Reverse and Barbican Art Gallery comments:
‘In Reverse’ focuses on three decades of Arad’s work in metal, his favourite material, and
culminates in a major new project, exploring through physical experiments and digital simulations how automobile bodies, specifically the Fiat 500, behave under compression.
Galit Gaon, chief curator of Design Museum Holon, comments:
Visitors to design or architecture exhibitions are often expected to exercise an alertness and readiness to new forms of language, both materialistically and spatially. ‘In Reverse’ is a unique, one-of-a-kind exhibition, not just because the museum building constitutes its single biggest exhibit, but also due to its sincerity and ingenuity in presenting Arad’s complex and multi-layered work process, both through its individual stages and end products.