Almanac of Contemporary Aesthetics
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OrtaMiklos x Carhartt WIP:
Iceberg in Progress

In January 2019, during the 95th edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence, Slam Jam celebrated its 30th anniversary. KALEIDOSCOPE teamed up with Carhartt WIP to present a performative installation by French/Danish duo OrtaMiklos, an exclusive zine and a limited-edition set of merchandise items customized by the artists.

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Taking over the ground floor of the museum, the collaboration with Carhartt WIP saw the brand partnering with Milan-based contemporary art magazine and creative studio KALEIDOSCOPE, which curated a monumental performative installation by French/Danish duo OrtaMiklos (Functional Art Gallery, Berlin).

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With consideration toward the museum’s history, the permanent sculpture works of Marino Marini, and the layers of varying architectural styles, OrtaMiklos created an immersive space merged with works from their ‘Iceberg’ series. Adding up to the initial 10th century construction of the building as the Chiesa di San Pancrazio and subsequent Brutalist-inspired architectural intervention from the 1980s by architects Lorenzo Papi and Bruno Sacchi, OrtaMiklos’ installation engaged the artists to respond to both existing layers of architecture and to temporarily introduce a third layer of scenographic elements.

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Amidst these monumental abstract forms made of their signature raw materials—painted and epoxy-treated polystyrene and weaved electric cables— the duo also activated the space with a performance which exploring work and labor, a concept inherent to the Carhartt WIP DNA.

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In a meditation on the notion of “work in progress,” OrtaMiklos decided to break down their own working methods through an abstract simulation of a factory production process. Dividing the process into its component parts, the duo staged six abstracted stations throughout the space: Sketching, Cutting, Shaping, Coating, Distribution, and a prep area in the form of a changing room. Each station comes with a functional sculpture, tools and a worker (performer). These six stations existed throughout the immersive environment, allowing the visitor to wander through the space and follow the progress of pieces being created, from the giant pieces of raw styrofoam, to the finished furniture.

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An exclusive zine, combining reference imagery, original photography by Léonard Méchineau, an interview by Jay Ezra Nayssan, as well as a limited-edition set of customized merchandise items, accompanied the project.

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OrtaMiklos is the artist name of Leo Orta and Victor Andersen, a Franco-Danish duo based in Eindhoven, NL and Les Moulins, FR. They are represented by Functional Art Gallery, Berlin.
Photography by Leonard Mechineau.
Images courtesy of the artists, KALEIDOSCOPE and Functional Art Gallery, Berlin.

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