andrea
bas
bettina
chun
claire
claudio
doris
ela
estela
gesine
machteld
marieke
natalya
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ela mariska
ugly objects ugly
claudio maarten

claudio maarten

 

ugly

Maarten bought this on a vacation in Greece many years ago--a vacation he does not remember. It is for coffee and cigarettes and Maarten does not smoke. Over the many years, he has neither used the set nor had the motivation to throw it away. Now Claudio has the challenge of giving this cup and saucer a fresh start. Maarten works for the Bureau Weesperzijde, the corporate owner of many buildings currently used in the Red Light Design project.

Video: about the object

Video: more conversation about the object

Video: Maarten's feelings towards coffee cups

Video: thoughts on the Red Light District

 

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A Big Drama for (and from) a little “Ugly Object” in my room.

Since months this object is feeling very bad, staying in front of the mirror watching itself. People say that it is useless and ugly. Maarten doesn’t really like it. No one wants it or is able to use it in a proper way… I have the feeling that this object is seriously depressed. Not able to communicate - it speaks a language no one can understand, it cannot express its disappointment of been lost in its foster father’s memory. I am afraid it doesn’t want to go back home.

“Maarten! Where are you?”

Maarten still doesn’t remember anything about these two cups and their heart shaped saucer. To prove it I asked five W questions to Maarten. Below are the results:

FIVE “W” TEST

My QUESTIONS

Maarten ANSWERS

With WHO did you buy this Object?

I don’t remember.

For WHAT reason did you buy this Object?

I don’t know/ remember.

WHEN did you buy this Object?

I don’t remember.

WHERE did you buy this Object?

I don’t remember.

WHY did you buy this Object?

I don’t know.

But, still, I can see big potential for this coffee set and time has come for this poor misunderstood ugly object to undergo a sweeping change. It deserves much more from life.

 

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In these months I did some research and, with the help of Luokia Richards (artist from Athens, she had a residency here in Ted Noten's artist-in-residence), I discovered two important things: where the object is from and the meaning of the written text. The object is from the seal island of Alonnissos and the text says "always together," which explains why the two seals jump out of water side by side. From such a simple innocent object I get a lot of information and ideas. Now I have all the data I need to solve the rebus and to start playing. My plan is simple and sharp: with one move I will give two new lives to this ugly object, one will underline its own essence, the other will ground its appearance... Are you curious now? I am sorry, you have to wait, but don't worry, it is going to be funny!

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My plan was simple and sharp: with one move I was to give two new lives to this ugly object, one to underline its own essence, the other to ground its appearance.

“to underline its own essence”
The ugly object I received is still the same, instead of transforming it, I made a no-glazed "bleached" copy of it. A Delft Blue pencil has its own place where before two little grooves were inviting you to smoke and leave your cigarettes.

In my final meeting with Maarten, I told him where he purchased the cups and what is written on them. I suggested to him that the next time he goes on holiday, he is better not buying any other souvenirs. Instead, once back home, he can use the Delft Blue pencil to write on the new object the date and destination of his vacation (or whatever he likes). Maarten was very happy with it, so happy that he immediately wanted to draw on the object a heart framing the number 1012 (the postcode of this house).

“to ground its appearance."
What about the original object? For it a new life is going to begin. Marteen agreed to give the cups and the ashtray to two well known Italian artists, Bertozzi & Casoni, who will put the "ugly Object" in one of their sculptures. In this way the ugly object will find his reason to exist and may find place in some private collection or in some museum, contemplated as a "beautiful piece of art".

Hope you enjoyed my project.
I would like to thank Pauline Wiertz and Bertozzi & Casoni for their help.

bas
bas
bas
britta
els
hans
jan
karolina
laura
lucas
maarten
marianne
paul
ron
siobhan
ted
wiet