In their first joint solo exhibition, artists Cécile B. Evans and Yuri Pattison are interested in designer couple Ray and Charles Eames’ legendary collaboration with the computer company IBM.
The Eames’ were charged with making the brand accessible, in a time where few were familiar with these new technologies. As part of the campaign, they designed the IBM pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, producing a series of films and creating a complex environment for visitors to test drive this new co-habitation with computers. In essence, they presented technology as a new way of living, rather than a simple product.
The questions being asked at the time were: What does life look like when influenced by new technologies? What connects Human and Machine? The Pavillon proposed digital solutions for very complex but also simple everyday questions; ranging from sitting arrangements for an evening meal to urban planning. These questions, when carried through to today present a case whereby the same tools are used for living and working, the social and the political. This way of living, later vaguely referred to as ‘mid-century’ has been adopted by the producers of today’s technologies and repackaged for the aspirations of now.
For the exhibition at Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition Evans and Pattison have revisited three chairs from the Eames Office and given them a contemporary reworking using plexiglass, a material that seeks clarity. The chairs become living sculptures, employing still as well as moving image and assembled materials. The question, Evans and Pattison are asking, is similar to the ones asked then: how do we, you and I, want to live in the future? For better or worse, it is a question worth asking of the things that surround us in our daily lives.