Mesh and wireframe structures might typically be reserved for the architectural design realm, but Dutch designer Maria Blaisse aims to expand the rules of textiles and flexible materials with her long-standing commitment to movement research. Blaisse's latest exhibition, Moving Meshes, highlights the resilience of bamboo as a medium for expanding and contracting volumes, which are based on improvisational gestures and the body as the critical element in the animation of material and form. Currently on view in the château interiors of Domaine de Boisbuchet, an international center for experimentation in design and architecture, Blaisse's work is a fluid exploration of volume and spatial control—quite modern for the setting of a country estate in the Southwest of France.
Intentionally ambiguous yet painstakingly researched, Moving Meshes asks the question: Should the human body or should formal considerations take the lead when considering the parameters of modern interiors? Hovering at the intersection of organic sculpture and costume design, each of Blaise's bamboo frameworks is a flexible and wearable pavilion of sorts and fills space in a manner reflective of Shigeru Ban's structures and their conceptual exploration of transparency, the spherical, and the open plan. The installation includes five delicate, though resilient, bamboo works and a video projection that helps to narrate a range of permutations and the overall choreography of space.
Blaisse has been questioning the dynamics of fluidity for years now, beginning with earlier projects that included collaborations with contemporaries such as designer Issey Miyake; dancers Kenzo Kusuda, Makiko Ito, Marcela Giesche, and Michael Schumacher; and numerous international filmmakers. The span of these multi-disciplinary investigations has reached audiences in theaters, on the catwalks, and in major exhibitions in Kyoto, Paris, New York, London, Perth, and Amsterdam. Domaine de Boisbuchet is new territory for Blaisse in which to showcase her work given its large landscaped park with pavilions, its uninhabited 19th-century château, and its design shop located within a historic mill on the banks of the Vienne river.
Moving Meshes was created in collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design's fellowship students and exhibition designer Mikaël Baillairgé. Set within a 300 square meters exhibition space, students Oscar Trujillo Amezquita, Laura Jane Kenny, Elizabeth Parker, and Santiago Peraza helped Baillairgé install objects, images, text, sound and video, construct, paint and arrange backdrops for display, and create path-finding maps. This new fellowship program was developed by Parsons in conjunction with the Centre International de Recherche et d'Éducation Culturelle et Agricole (CIRECA), the organization that oversees cultural activities at Boisbuchet and currently headed by Alexander von Vegesack, co-founding director of the Vitra Design Museum.
Moving Meshes is on view at Domaine de Boisbuchet in Lessac, France through September 22, 2012.