Centre National d'art Contemporain, Nice, France
Aphasic materials is an attempt to destabilise the identity and lineage of familiar design and architectural languages and question the fall out of the utopian principles that modernism promised. The title, Aphasic materials refers to the notion of a mute and stuttering disfuncational language within design but also the body. The piece uses the idea of a stutter in speech as a way of discussing the schism between the history of modernism and its retrogressive reflection it the contemporary design landscape. The piece centres theatrically around a reproduction of Elieen Gray’s 1925 block screen and features both the late modernist architecture of the Villa Arson and the iconic Cabanon Corbusier at Roquebrune-Cap Martin. These famous designs are contrasted by contemporary simplistic designer imitations. They are familiar objects, affordable and easily available in shops like Ikea and Habitat. The installation explores the semiotics present in architectural icons which in modernity have become tropes of ‘good taste’.