I had no idea his exhibition was on when I went to the Droog store in Amsterdam. The store itself leaves you walking around wide eyed – thinking “that’s clever” and “that’s stupid” but all in a good way.
I felt pretty lucky finding myself in this room, recognising the vitiated Adobe collages of Metahaven on the back wall. They are undoubtably one of the most interesting design studios of our time and I have great expectations for ‘Black Transparency’. I don’t think many people in Australia really know how to take MH, since our contexts are so different. Could a graphic design studio like this exist in Australia and be accepted as a legitimate thread in our industrial cloth? I read an interview with them recently in a popular Aussie design mag and it felt embarrassingly shallow.
This exhibition, in keeping with their established practice, found an obscure research topic (in this case the consumption habits of Russia) and worked with a team of designers, analysing it thoroughly, and ultimately presenting their findings into a highly coded array of lonely symbols. It was great! And I do genuinely think there is something brave about creating work like this. It’s uncompromisingly elitist. The carpet was magnificent, as was the bath.