Michel de Broin
de Broin has had a persistent interest in the notions of resistance, appropriation and recycling. Over the past twenty-plus years, this multidisciplinary artist has continually challenged systems of all kinds and the way they operate. Adopting a critical yet playful point of view toward everyday objects and preconceived ideas, de Broin applies analogies and metaphors to reveal the forces that frame and direct our actions and interactions in our day-to-day environment. The artist explores the coexistence of opposing elements and the relationship between the strange and the familiar, explaining: “One of the premises of my practice involves introducing a foreign element into a normative system to see how that agent produces an unexpected reaction in its new setting.”
Better Homes brings together a group of artists who examine the construction of the interior through design and homemaking from critical perspectives. As the notion of home shifted in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and interior space was being redefined and redecorated according to the aspirations of modernity, the interior became integral to the construction of the subject. Interiors were an extension of identity, representing gender, fashion, and class, and re-establishing what constituted the private and the public. Now, in the 21st century, interior design has been professionalized and packaged for the mass market. With the proliferation of department stores and publications instructing consumers on how to make the best dinners, living rooms, and lifestyles, how has the notion of domestic space, and all it encapsulates, been redefined in contemporary culture? What are the impacts of shifting ideas of family, identity, politics and consumerism in the private realm? Touching on the history of the interior to its present iterations, the artists in the exhibition examine displays of domesticity, as constructed through spaces and things.
Hans Ulrich Obrist
do it began in Paris in 1993 as a conversation between curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. They were curious to see what would happen if they started an exhibition that could constantly generate new versions of itself. To test the idea, they invited 12 artists to propose artworks based on written “scores” or instructions that can be openly interpreted every time they are presented. The instructions were then translated into nine different languages and circulated internationally as a book. Since then, do it has taken place all over the world, from France, Australia, and Thailand to Uruguay, Canada, Iceland and on, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress. To date, more than 400 artists have been invited to participate in different versions, including do it (museum), do it (home), do it (TV), do it (seminar), and an online do it in collaboration with e-flux, among others.