This new issue explores the work of design duo dach&zephir (France/Guadeloupe). The duo interweaves a speculative, scenario driven approach (Florian Dach) with a craft-based, poetic approach (Dimitri Zéphir): "In essence our intention is to question what makes history and identity. We approach history and cultural heritage as a raw material, a form of rich storytelling capable of producing a new language of matter, forms, and uses unique to each artifact." Building on Dimitri's master thesis Les mailles fertiles d'un créole (The fertile mesh of a Creole, EnSAD, 2015), dach&zephir initiated Éloge Créole (Creole Praise) in 2017. Through this field research, they intend to unveil and activate the mechanisms that nourish creolisation processes, the act of transforming continuously without losing oneself, in the French Antilles territory.
Paniers Poissons (scan pour collage), Éloge Créole, dach&zephir, 2018.
The polyphonic issue features a series of newly composed object-witnesses by dach&zephir as well as imaginative totems made with primary school children in Martinique. Sociologist and poet André Lucrèce gives a voice to the island's memory. Writer and curator Lucy Cotter reflects on the ethics of cultural exchange and how the unknown in collaborative making might generate new ways of thinking. Art historian Thomas Golsenne looks at the work through the lens of ‘Bricologie', the (non)science of mending and re-composing. Graphic designer Eva van der Schans/Inedition uses visual fragments to deconstruct and reconstruct the work process.
Florian Dach and Dimitri Zéphir met in 2012 at École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), Paris, where they obtained their masters degree in Product Design with honors in 2016. Their diploma project "La figure de l'Autre" (The figure of the Other) was presented during "Révélations" at the Grand Palais in Paris, while "Éloge Créole" was featured at Operae independent design festival 2016 in Torino (Italy). In 2017 they were selected by Lidewij Edelkoort and the Carpenters workshop Gallery in London as one of the 15 emerging talents of European design with their work "La Gargoulette". In 2017 dach&zephir were awarded the "Création en cours" grant by the French ministries of culture and education. Dach&zephir are part of Atelier Médicis and incubation lab Pépite PSL-Research University of Paris. www.dachzephir.com
Dimitri Zéphir et Florian Dach
Lucy Cotter is an independent writer and curator, currently based in Amsterdam and Portland, Oregon. She was curator of the Dutch pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017, presenting Cinema Olanda with artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh. Widely published in journals and catalogues of contemporary art, her recent publications include Reclaiming Artistic Research: First Thoughts, a guest edition of MaHKUscript Journal for Fine Art Research (2018), and the ficto-theoretical text "The Afterlife of the British Museum" for Noah Angell and Frances Gooding (Mousse, 2018). Alongside new curatorial projects, she is currently completing a book entitled Art Knowledge: Between the Known and the Unknown and working on a new collaborative research on the shifting shape of the art world and its possible future manifestations. www.lucycotter.org
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