The V&A can be a little overwhelming. Given that it is one of the largest art and design museums in the world, the collection can be the visual equivalent to giving a three year old a can of red bull – overexcited and overloaded with a tendency to throw tantrums.
Mimicry by Nendo takes this into account. In eleven locations around the V&A are white chairs in various guises, all made from white pressed and punched metal. Giving that three year old a cuddle and a nap.
Some look like standard chairs that have just been left on the stairs. Others are in various sizes scattered over the gallery floor – looking like the three bears left in a rush. And others, well, they move away from the chair motif into something entirely more whimsical.
We have chairs attached to giant thin frames of metal, like someone just forgot to finish punching them out. There is a single chair, suspended in mid air, waiting for the wind. But by far my favourite was the seemingly endless stack of chairs above; clean, simple and completely impractical.
The impact of Mimicry was to give your occipital lobe a break. Whenever you came across the chairs, it was like you had just stepped out of a noisy pub into the fresh air. You didn’t notice how overloaded your eyes were with all the ornate art/design until all of a sudden you were faced with stark minimalism.
I offer my applause to Nendo, for making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.