WE-ARE-FAMILIA was co-founded by Jennifer Garcia and Christian Calabro nearly four years ago as “an extensive global network of creative individuals from all disciplines whom have come together to explore the powerful, complex ties which consciously and unconsciously touch all that we experience as humans.” Their primary ongoing project has been a series of 25 unique keepsake boxes: Each Keepsake Box is a sculptural assemblage of found, recycled and surplus materials [that houses] approximately 40 original ‘mementos’ contributed by its family of artists. Possessing nostalgic warmth yet employing contemporary forms of expression, the boxes provide a new and exotic understanding of ordinary things.
Last Thursday saw the opening of KIN CODA, a group exhibition comprised of boxes 12 through 25, at the Fritz Hansen showroom in New York City, which is home to the majority of the artists and designers. The latest installment of works completes the collection, featuring work by Brendan Ravenhill, Fort Standard, Chen Chen and Kai, David Weeks, Joe Doucet, UM Project, Nightwood, Silva Bradshaw, Steph Mantis, Kiel Mead, Iacoli + McAllister, Patrick Townsend, MN*LS, Brian Balderston and Garcia herself.
The challenge for each of the 14 artists and designers was to incorporate scrap material from none other than Fritz Hansen itself, including bits and pieces from, say, highly iconic Arne Jacobsen designs. (Fritz Hansen donated a bulk of products and materials [that were] rejected, damaged or otherwise unmarketable. Fritz Hansen has long believed that sustainability, quality and design are all equally important. By creating products that are meant to last forever, even the remnants are considered useful.)
It’s interesting to see how these works—many of which are by designers that we’ve covered before, not least for their collective exposure at Noho Design District this past April—strike a sometimes uncanny, sometimes uncomfortable contrast with the highly refined and understated aesthetic of the storied Danish brand.
Still, the partnership was deemed a success by both parties: Garcia notes that it “has truly been an honor” to work with Fritz Hansen, who in turn see the collaboration as an innovative way to “extend the life of these pieces.”
Catch KIN CODA at the Fritz Hansen showroom today (literally; it closes tomorrow), before the show is deinstalled and packed for travel to Miami to be exhibited there during the first week of December.