This new issue explores the work of design duo dach&zephir (France/Guadeloupe). The duo interweaves a speculative, scenario driven approach (Florian Dach) with a craft-based, poetic approach (Dimitri Zéphir): "In essence our intention is to question what makes history and identity. We approach history and cultural heritage as a raw material, a form of rich storytelling capable of producing a new language of matter, forms, and uses unique to each artifact." Building on Dimitri's master thesis Les mailles fertiles d'un créole (The fertile mesh of a Creole, EnSAD, 2015), dach&zephir initiated Éloge Créole (Creole Praise) in 2017. Through this field research, they intend to unveil and activate the mechanisms that nourish creolisation processes, the act of transforming continuously without losing oneself, in the French Antilles territory.
Paniers Poissons (scan pour collage), Éloge Créole, dach&zephir, 2018.
The polyphonic issue features a series of newly composed object-witnesses by dach&zephir as well as imaginative totems made with primary school children in Martinique. Sociologist and poet André Lucrèce gives a voice to the island's memory. Cultural historian Lucy Cotter reflects on the forms of (un)knowing embodied by artistic research. Graphic designer Eva van der Schans/Inedition uses visual fragments to deconstruct and reconstruct the work process.
Florian Dach and Dimitri Zéphir met in 2012 at École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), Paris, where they obtained their masters degree in Product Design with honors in 2016. Their diploma project "La figure de l'Autre" (The figure of the Other) was presented during "Révélations" at the Grand Palais in Paris, while "Éloge Créole" was featured at Operae independent design festival 2016 in Torino (Italy). In 2017 they were selected by Lidewij Edelkoort and the Carpenters workshop Gallery in London as one of the 15 emerging talents of European design with their work "La Gargoulette". In 2017 dach&zephir were awarded the "Création en cours" grant by the French ministries of culture and education. Dach&zephir are part of Atelier Médicis and incubation lab Pépite PSL-Research University of Paris. www.dachzephir.com
Dimitri Zéphir et Florian Dach
Lucy Cotter (Ireland, 1973) trained as an artist and exhibited internationally before turning to writing and curatorial practice. She holds an MA in History of Art from the University of Southampton and a PhD in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. Her doctoral dissertation examined the wider cultural agency of curatorial practice in a postcolonial context and proposed new strategies for (national) curatorial representations. She was curator of the Dutch pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale 2017, collaborating with artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh on a project entitled Cinema Olanda. Cotter is currently working on two books: Toward a Minor Curating on her curatorial theories, and Art Knowledge: Between the Known and the Unknown, a reflection on art and non-knowledge. Cotter developed and led the newly founded Master Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art and Royal Conservatoire, The Hague from 2010–2015. www.lucycotter.org
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