Simon Starling: Crafting the Modern
Author: Gronberg, Tag
Source: The Journal of Modern Craft, Volume 1, Number 1, March 2008 , pp. 101-115(15)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals)
Abstract:Simon Starling's work often engages with iconic works of modernist design, drawing on an international range of objects executed in the decades from the 1920s through to the 1960s. These have included well-known designs by figures such as Josef Frank, Paul Henningsen and Charles Eames. Focussing in detail on Starling's large-scale installation Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Djungel (2002), based on the Austrian architect Josef Frank's Aralia textile design of 1928, this article addresses the complex ways in which Starling deploys notions of craft in his carefully staged encounters with modernist practice. Starling's displays of craft process establish intricate dialogues between past and present, between his own work and that of others, thus facilitating a poetic, but at the same time politicized, meditation on questions of consumption and sustainability. Starling offers an enhanced understanding of modernism as well as a powerful demonstration of craft's potential to function both as critique and as a means of delineating new utopian visions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2008
- The Journal of Modern Craft is the first peer-reviewed academic journal to provide an interdisciplinary and international forum on the subject of craft. It addresses all forms of making that self-consciously set themselves apart from mass production— whether in the making of designed objects, artworks, buildings, or other artifacts.
The journal covers craft in all its historical and contemporary manifestations. This ranges from the mid-nineteenth century, when handwork was first consciously framed in opposition to industrialization, through to the present time, when ideas once confined to the “applied arts” have come to seem vital across a huge range of cultural activities. Special emphasis is placed on studio practice, and on the transformations of indigenous forms of craft activity throughout the world. The journal also reviews and analyzes the relevance of craft within new media, folk art, architecture, design, contemporary art, and other fields.