On show at the FA Gallery in Kuwait from November 2 until November 15, was a collection of design objects that forced me to re-think how I wanted to live in my home. “Untitled” Language of Things, a show revolving around the object and what it pronounces, was contrary to showcasing designers and their productions.
Collectively, the show had a certain, distinct, energy. Each piece was charismatic and the layout engaged the pieces together to draw in the viewer, to look and touch. Perhaps unintentionally, this show examined the perpetual question of what makes art. Certainly, these design pieces were art, as art moves the viewer. These objects in the room moved me. This was a show filled with life, style, and innovation. I started to re-think that I could now live with this art, and interact with the object.
On show were design pieces that both combine form, function and technique. The spaghetti chair, fabricated by hand molding silicone, could not be mistaken for anything but spaghetti. It brought another dimension to the room, with its brightness and its somehow messy, neatness. I was smiling back at the chair, I felt happy.
I enjoyed viewing each piece and was thinking about each one for what it represented in life. A pair of chairs on show represented faces and a color. The chair with the faces emphasized the color of the lips on a separate chair. The dialogue between the objects was too loud to ignore. I came back again, thinking maybe they were having another conversation…
The centerpiece of this show and the piece in the center room of the show was a large, silicone table, with the profile of a man’s face positioned next to another design piece, a cloud sofa. There he was, the face table in tones of red and purple, in the middle of the room, almost shouting for an umbrella to protect his head from the cloud. At this point I was BBMing this image to all my contacts.
The pieces on show were collected and set-up by ImadSadik. He runs a niche business of supplying unique design pieces. On these pieces and the show under the name “Untitled”, Imad said to me, “I’ve noticed that people have a desire to be more expressive in their homes. Art has taken its place in our homes, but we want more, more art, more design, more utility and comfort. These pieces definitely find their places in our homes easily. The contrast of having a classic or modern living space mixed with contemporary pieces definitely brings life and light together. One of my favorite homes has a classic character, complete with wood paneling, with a magnificent multi-colored sofa (shown in this exhibition), right there in the middle of the room. The wow-factor is undeniable.”
This made me ask about the title of the show, “Untitled” Language of Things. By announcing the show as untitled, I have already rid myself of any pre-conceived notions of what this must be about, and allowed myself to engage with what I saw. Imad says, “ I want you to forget about the person behind this, being that this show is about design, physical contact is encouraged. A large multi-color modular sofa (can be arranged and re-arranged to suit the need), looked as though buns of bread were rising through the buttons as though it were being baked.
There was a story unfolding in the 3 sections of FA Gallery. Each piece takes its place on the floor, but each piece is linked to the other pieces in its proximity. The placement of the items on show was intelligent. Across from the lit sofa, was an oversized armchair upholstered in a PVC fabric, it was the Shadow chair. Light and shade, how many times did we play with light, making shadows? This room brought back an innocent playfulness, a sense of freshness and life.
I couldn’t agree more with the language of things, the language of these ‘things’ in these rooms. These objects were having conversations, amongst themselves, with me, with the room, I didn’t know where it started and where it ended, I was in the middle of it all, and there I was laughing, absolutely moved.
I left when the gallery director, Abed Al-Kadiry, turned off the lights…. But I took the spaghetti chair home with me! And left them a fork in its place.