Industry for Your Porcelain Set
June 11, 2012
The architect Aldo Rossi was known as much for his artwork as for his built work, leaving behind an extensive body of beautiful drawings, etchings, and paintings wherein an array of coffee ware–coffee pots, cups, kettles–is serially aggrandized to the level of the urban forum, situated in the midst of a city of radio towers, brick office buildings, and marble monuments. Through this procedural enlargement, Rossi attempted to convey time and again architecture’s intrinsic powers of representation, and how it comes to impact our lives.
Similarly, the photography of artists Bernd and Hiller Becher takes as its subjects the obsolescent forms of industry that, despite their functional inertia, continue to pervade the cultural lexicon. This collection of porcelain vases, much like Rossi’s Alessi coffee pots, scale down these familiar typologies from urban to domestic artifacts. Designed by Michael Breschi of Gentle Giants studio, the vases are an endearing tribute to the Becher work, composed of the platonic forms of water tanks and smokestacks held aloft by tiny gold-plated armatures. All that’s missing are the clouds of smoke.