September 27, 2007November 3, 2007
Demisch Danant is pleased to present Autoprogettazione (2007), a show of do-it-yourself' wooden works by Italian designer Enzo Mari (b. 1932), on view September 27 through November 3. While enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan from 1952 - 1956, at a time when mass production was quickly replacing craftsmanship, Mari developed a creative conscience and philosophical outlook in reaction to what he saw as a cultural shift in favor of accessibility at the expense of quality. Mari's design approach has since remained theoretical, primarily concerned with the relationship between the object and the user.
n 1974, at the Galleria Milano, Mari exhibited a collection of wooden furniture entitled Autoprogettazione, which translates as self design.' Mari distributed a free catalogue at the exhibition with detailed instructions for constructing these simple furniture pieces using standardized wooden planks and nails. The catalogue marked a dramatic attempt on Mari's part to reconnect the consumer with the direct experience, construction and understanding of their lived environment.
On view at Demisch Danant are six pieces from the Autoprogettazione collection, all constructed and signed this year by Enzo Mari himself. By involving the consumer in the actual construction of the piece, these wooden works are perhaps Mari's most notable reaction to the alienating affects of mass production, and remain poignant markers of resistance in today's increasingly industrialized world. Furthermore, these self-designs' have achieved contemporary relevance in a global culture increasingly concerned with sustainability and the ill effects of mass consumption.