Review: My Practice, My Politics Milaan 2018

26 april 2018

A few highlights from the interdisciplinary exhibition 'My Practice, My Politics' presented by the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) in the Milan Design Week during Salone del Mobile 2018, portraying visions of the next generation designers.

During Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan (17-22 April), the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) presented My Practice, My Politics. Curators Saskia van Stein and Agata Jaworska selected work by 20 recent bachelor and master KABK graduates and students from the Fine Arts and Design disciplines. This interdisciplinary exhibition portrayed the way in which artists and designers capture their views on society through the subject matter they explore, the language and tools they employ, the aesthetics they manifest, and the communities they engage.

The exhibition was part of Ventura Future, the successor to the well-known Ventura Lambrate district. Together with 18 presentations by renowned international universities and academies, the exhibition My Practice, My Politics was housed in Università, the former building of the Pharmacy Faculty at Viale Abruzzi 42, making it a vibrant location showcasing inspiring concepts, ideas and visions of next generation designers. This set up attracted an audience of art and design professionals, international press and general public.

My Practice, My Politics included an opening party and artist talks, guided by heads of the Arts and Design departments of the Academy.

Some highlights

On the opening day, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, visited the exhibition with a delegation led by the Creative Industries Fund NL and Het Nieuwe Instituut, and spoke with students and curators.

The works of Sarah Lauwaert, Katarina Petrovic and Klodiana Millona were nominated for The FuturDome Prize, an innovative new international award for creative minds, investing in the aesthetics development and ground-breaking production of works. Tereza Rullerova´s work Playbour: The New Workaholism was mentioned as bizarrely gripping in Disegnodaily.

Kristina Benjocki´s Study of Focus researched tapestry traditions and history textbooks of former Yugoslavia as parallel yet interrelated phenomena in Yugoslavian history. With Untitled Monuments Benjocki pointed to the ambiguous status of human remains and their role in the construction of historical narratives, particularly in the context of the former Yugoslavia. Lisa van Casand´s installation The Mushroom Club embraced inaccuracies in representing a historic event and place. Abel Wolff´s Present Absence was a day to day changing ode to the adaptive forces of nature and captured a scene from the future, envisioning how generations then will look back at us now. Where the money is made by Eline Benjaminsen aimed to bring obscure economic power to light by tracing lines of algorithmic capital to the places where some of the greatest profits are made today. For her project Diversity Zsofia Kollar used an unfired porcelain object to engage with visitors. Sofia asked them to imprint the object as they answered questions on the topic of gender sexuality.

Yamuna Forzani´s Nature is fuzzy and society tries to draw a line on it’ created a scene in which queer utopias unfolded, visitors where kindly encouraged to be part of the scene. With a unique manufacturing technique using bio composites, Bas Froon showed the visitors new opportunities to bring back industrial production of labour-intensive ‘soft’ products to local manufacturers. The Future is Local: micro moulding machine and soft biocomposites. Daniel Grumer´s Abraham إبراهيم אברהם multilingual typeface aimed to display Arabic, Hebrew and English in a visually equitable manner, the visitors where able to try the typeface themselves. For her project Cosmologicus Katarina Petrović used a custom-made software installation to translate radio emissions from the planet Jupiter into poetry. With The Monument for The Lost Meaning Uné Kavaliauskaité created a model that represents the passage of knowledge from one great thinker to the next. Sarah Lauwaert´s I need to be protected used fashion design as a political tool by creating an image of a dystopian future to inspire a positive change.

Klodiana Millona reimagined the phenomenon of houses left “permanently under construction” in Albania with The Unfinished House - What if this was great?. Vera van de Seyp´s Connected Ad Absurdum showed a catalogue of the internet of things which questioned if the promise of connectivity supersedes functionality. Miguel Peres dos Santos constructed a film Voices in which a comparison was made between a censored archive and our collective consciousness. Fahmy Shahin Radical Displacement used mapping as a means to reconcile the actual with the fictional, distance with proximity, and the present with the past. Nienke Sikkema envisioned a world where all sexual behaviour is possible with her project Freeflow. In The Ages of Stones Master student Jean-Baptiste constructed a hyper-real landscape through post-production techniques. Lieke Vernooy´s 'Mind' Body captured the notion of gender fluidity by melting wax and foam. With Playbour: The New Workaholism Tereza Rullerova questioned the instrumentalisation of play as a form of production. And MINDMAP #8 was a three-dimensional colourful painting by Gitte Svendsen. Gitte used found “waste” material inspired by the colours of Milan.

Exhibition design
Erik van Schaften, Maria Beaumaster, Tijs Struijk and Aliaksandra Pirazhenka (students Interior Architecture & Furniture Design), guided by designer and tutor Barend Koolhaas

Graphic design: Yacinth Pos

Production: Nienke van Wijk (external producer), Wais Wardak and Simcha van Helden