Matali Crasset (eng.)

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Fotos von Matali Crasset

Die französische Industriedesignern Matali Crasset wuchs in einer Kleinstadt im Norden Frankreichs auf, heute lebt und arbeitet sie in Paris. Ihre Werke sind weltweit bekannt und werden vielfach ausgestellt. Forms of Flow/Flow of Forms konzentriert sich auf Crassets Basket Project, ein Projekt, das in Zusammenarbeit mit Korbflechterinnen aus Simbabwe entstand. Die Designerin stand dabei in ständigem Kontakt mit 17 Frauen der Bulawayo Home Industries, einer gemeinnützigen Einrichtung, die es Frauen ermöglicht, ihr Einkommen durch die Korbflechtkunst zu verbessern. Durch einen regen Austausch entstand eine Symbiose aus traditionellem Handwerk und modernem Design. In der Ausstellung wird diese Entwicklung einer neuen Formsprache sichtbar. Im Gespräch erklärt Matali Crasset Ansätze und Schwerpunkte des Projekts.

An dieser Stelle finden Sie eine englischsprachige Version des Interviews. Hier können Sie das Gespräch auf Französisch nachlesen.

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How did the cooperation between you and the participants look like? Was it possible to connect different imaginations and ideas?

Christine Eyene invited me in the autumn of 2013 to work with the Bulawayo basket- making community of women in Zimbabwe, within the framework of the Bulawayo Home Industries which promotes and safeguards the know-how of basket-making. I had a similar experience in Hungary in 2009 with a Romani community in the village Szendrőlád, instigated by the Syrian artist Roza El Hassan who initiated this workshop by inviting other artists. Working within high social-impact contexts requires ampli ed awareness, forcing us to fully perceive our reason for being present and of the jointly-created project. I went to Bulawayo in the spring of 2014 and I worked for one week with 17 women organized in ve groups around a woman who was an expert in basket-making. This was a very humanly-inspirational experience. 

In what way is an technique like basket weaving determining your creativity, inspiration and the production process?

I wanted to focus the workshop on evolving this emblematic gourd basket shape made by the community three years ago for the rst exhibition, Basket Case I: the gourd.I love this object as it’s inexact and you feel that one person gave their time and their consideration, basically making one-of-a-kind objects each time.
This community has acquired the know-how to enlarge or reduce the shape at will. All I needed was to tell them to reduce the size, to make several simultaneously and to then combine them together, accentuating the natural aspect.

 How does material determine form? 

The process I have proposed is near the idea of meta-form concept I have used several time.
The hypothesis consists in starting from a so-called simple form which is developed almost to infinity and which is organized in different ways in order to make a „world“ happen. This meta-form then becomes a structure from which different uses are deployed. It is a principle of organization of things, in an environment where one dares play to exhaust forms in their quasi-obsessive repetition.

This hypothesis paradoxically makes it possible to free oneself from references (formal and methodological) and leads to a freedom to create and a proper aesthetic.

I determine a form, abstract one which becomes an element of a formal vocabulary, like the shelters for the Vent des Forêts in the Meuse, or the project I have made for Cappellini.

The goal of the workshop was to give them some tips for a perceptible result such as to never hook or sew on the parts together but rather to have them incorporated, woven on to the same body. 

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 What kind of responsibility did you carry for the participants?

I was just a visitor for some days. I have propose a tool to play. The next step would be to see this family continue along these lines, with the backing of these women’s actions… that is what we most desire.

Which concepts and expectations have changed or have been confirmed during and after the workshop?

I perceive more and more this profession, through the projects I lead, like that of an accoucheur. It is less and less a matter of shaping matter – of aesthetics – but rather of bringing together, federating, organizing, around common intentions and values, links and networks of skills , Of connivance, of sociality. The majority of the projects I am currently working on highlight this dimension of collective and collaborative work. I think of the recent project to the forest houses for the wind of the forests in Fresnes to Mount in the Meuse, to the school The grass wheat in Trebedan in Brittany with the Foundation of France, or Dar’hi in Nefta in Tunisia. So there is an increasingly local dimension that interests me very much. It is clear that contemporaneity is no longer the exclusive prerogative of the urban world.

Obviously, I also draw objects, but objects are neither the center nor the finality of the process of creation; They are an actualization among others (an architecture, a scenography, an exhibition …) at a given moment, of a wider system of thought.

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