Monday, July 12, 2010

andrea zittel

today in my applied creative thinking class, we watched a video about artist/designer andrea zittel. she's a bit of a renaissance woman, since she takes part in so many different parts of the creative world. the things that i really loved about her was how she's an experience artist. almost everything that she created came from an experience in her life, or a thought that she had and carried over into her art. i mean, i suppose that's how all art is made. it starts off as a thought, an idea, and it translates over into whatever you'd like it to be. with her, she took something like working as a breeder for puppies and turned it into an interior design/social experiment. her focus seems to be on what humans think they need and what they really need and figuring out how to create something that makes sense.

zittel created these prison-cell like capsules where one would live their daily life with only the absolute necessities like a sink, a simple bed, etc. all in extremely close quarters. as if the human was a puppy being held in a little box to be bred into a grown dog. the furniture she designs is extremely modern and almost 'ikea-like', very simple, smooth edges, wooden. just very basic and practical for everyday life. no frills. while that's not exactly my taste all the time, i think her designs are fantastic.

her main philosophy is that by being simple, living with just what we need, the same outfit everyday, and in fact putting ourselves IN a box instead of worrying about how to be OUTSIDE a box was in fact more freeing than anything else. it was interesting to think about. she especially applied that belief to her Uniform Project which I thought was great. I've read about several uniform projects since hers but she did this in the early 90's, by creating and wearing the same outfit for 4 months at a time. This was to prove how independent and freeing it was to not even have to think about what to wear. Figuring out how to clothe yourself everyday is controlling and takes over parts of your brain that you should be using for something else. I may not fully agree with her since fashion is a huge interest of mine, but i see her point. it's definitely something to think about to bring things back down to earth.

Her designs are simple and functional, using the most basic of material but it still somehow remains beautiful. I can't figure out if her art is what is beautiful or all of the thought behind it. Her opinions and her style is completely different than mine but I like that. Read into it if you can.