Greening the Museum

Mathieu Mercier at Mehdi Chouakri is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: In his furniture, Mathieu Mercier sees aesthetics in function.

(Courtesy the artist and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin)

This bench, by French artist Mathieu Mercier, is one of my favorite recent finds, which I've spotted (and sat on) several times at art fairs in the booth of Galerie Mehdi Chouakri from Berlin. Mercier just provides the two metal brackets, and it's up to their buyer to supply the rolls of carpet for seat and back. (The piece has also been shown with sewer pipe and old logs replacing the carpet). As the gallery puts it, Mercier's works "imply that function is part of an aesthetical proposition." And then there's the green angle: I'm convinced that the more unsellably hideous the carpet, the better it would look on Mercier's bench, providing an endless demand for textile designers' mistakes.

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