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Transforming Cabinets

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Sebastian Errazuriz makes “functional sculptures” that often fall more on the sculpture side of function. But he also builds furniture—in his own words, he’s “inviting people to look at one of the simplest forms of furniture design and to forget that we’re talking about furniture”.

The Wave Cabinet is the new creation of his series of functional sculptures, which embody his translation of craftsmanship and mastery of material into fine art.

The Wave cabinet opens with true delicacy and beauty; each individual slat pulls along the following much like a paper fan. With multiple configurations which allow for various options of aperture, the artist has re-engineered the familiar process of opening and closing, into rotating and undulating adaptations.

The ‘Wave cabinet reinvents the paradigm of cabinet as a re-visualization of the domestic, quotidian objects that surround us. Like his previously surprising sculptural furniture, Sebastian invites us to break open the box as a literal metaphor for reminding the viewer to stop and look again.

Another, called Explosion, is made up of black-stained Maple slats that are all attached to each other via a complicated system of “sliding dovetails,” the kind you’d find on your own dressed but in smaller numbers. They can be pulled out, like drawers, one by one—until the cabinet itself is empty.

Sebastian Errazuriz fundamentally rejects the unexamined consensus that distinguishes art from design today. An academic notion passed down among several generations of postmodern cultural cognoscenti, this received wisdom still commits objects of design to an overwhelmingly instrumental functionality, and most art to a self-referential uselessness that easily turns sterile during difficult times.

Ignoring convention, ErraZuriz has instead become expert at imbuing works of design with challenging content, while stubbornly arguing for conceptual artworks that propose some measure of utility. Deployed either as informational goads or outright sociopolitical provocations, these last often prove shocking, even incendiary. Juiced up with a mixture of formal efficiency and thematic concentration, ErraZuriz repeatedly jolts viewers with messages that electrically supercharge the overlooked and the everyday.

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  1. Unregistered's Avatar
    Very interesting.
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