For Adults Only: KAMA, Sex And Design Exhibition At The Triennale Museum In Milan
December 4, 2012
“I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer”, Woody Allen once said. Yet designers, more often than not, tend to ignore this piece of wisdom and carefully conceal any references to eros. The Triennale Design Museum chose to exclude the prudes from its new show: KAMA, Sex and Design, on show between December 5 and March 10 2013, showcases a vast selection of works that don’t shy away from carnal matters. Continue.
Anna Maschmann, Anna cup, 2007, Pension Fur Produkte
Named after the Hindu God of pleasure, love and desire, the exhibition investigates how sexuality is incorporated into things and turns them into knowledge mediums – both for designers and users. The core of the show is a selection curated by Silvana Annicchiarico: over 200 design objects, spanning 9,000 years, from Etruscan vases to Roman phallic amulets, from Piero Fornasetti’s drawings to pictures by Carlo Mollino and Ettore Sottsass, from the Mae West Sofa by Salvador Dalí to the provocative Great Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney, with plaster casts that reproduce the genitals of 400 women.
Helmut Palla, Seatyr 1, 2 and 3, 2008
Barnaba Fornasetti, Flying On My Back Fender Stratocaster, 2009
Pierre Charpin,Vases from the Ceram X collection, 2005
David Baskin, Still Life (Cosmetic Bottles), 2007
This, ahem, impressive collection is rounded by brand new site specific installations realized by eight contemporary designers and architects: Nendo, Italo Rota, Nigel Coates, Andrea Branzi, Nacho Carbonell, Matali Crasset, Lapo Lani, and Betony Vernon. Some of the installations elude explicit content and use the haptic properties of materials (such as Nendo’s Shivering Bowls in thin silicone) or forms (Nigel Coates’s Picaresque installation) to either gently or more crudely create mental associations with sex.
The exhibition is forbidden to youngsters below 18 because of its graphic content. Which begs the question, why Calvin Klein Jeans advertising banners are not?
Nendo’s Shivering Bowls are so thin, their sides tremble with any breeze
All images courtesy of the Triennale Design Museum