Often the ordinary and visible present becomes vague and forgotten. Analogue experiences have boiled down to a minimum during the last years. We are currently in a situation where much of our regular rhythm was interrupted, the everyday was frozen and almost disappeared for a while. It became particularly evident how the environment we are functioning in, what we have or possess, matters. Layers of the past provide a means to describe the world and rethink the evident. Remembering and untangling the past and the local provides a captivating perspective through types of objects, materials, and methods of making.

The Estonian collection, “Revisiting the Past”, is based on tracking the everyday and the conventional, translating observations, reconsiderations, and hints of the past into contemporary design. More than ever, the future is about rethinking the present and the past, of what we have and need. The past is heavily coded in our future.

Read our interview with curator Kai Lobjakas on Adorno Editorial.

Revisiting the past

Curated by Kai Jobjakas

Aladdin’s Lamp
by Kadi Hektor

The ceramic art piece “Aladdin’s Lamp” is a game of form that intends to reveal the magical energy and bubbling structure it contains. It is inspired by oriental mysticism and Art Nouveau, which has finally taken the form of a dignified, but slightly worn-out antique shape. With its airy and transparent structure, “Aladdin’s Lamp” challenges the habitual approach to a vessel. Here, the initial function of the container has been set away – it contains a conceptual substance instead of a tangible one.

Floor Plan
by Johanna Ulfsak

At Adorno London 2021, Johanna Ulfsak presents “Floor Plan”, a large-scale hand-knotted rug that depicts the floor plans of Buckingham Palace. While accurate according to all available information, the layouts were mapped out by the public, leaving parts of the Royal Home a mystery. Wrapped in secrecy that people have tried to give structure to for centuries, the heritage of Buckingham Palace lies within the heritage of the British Monarchy. With its 775 rooms that have hosted camels, elephants, idiosyncratic monarchs, and misbehaving celebrities, it represents a colonial history that is now called “heritage”.

Hidden Form
by Oliver Kanniste

“Lasnamäe” limestone from Northern Estonia is a traditional building material used mostly for exterior, but also as interior surfaces. Kanama studio is exploring this limestone for furniture making. “Hidden Form” is an insight into the designer’s mind: how he sees his surroundings as a possibility.

Resting Sail
by Kärt Ojavee

“Resting Sail” (2020) lays dormant, yet sways like the surface of the nightly sea. This delicately structured, hand-woven textile is composed much like the fabric of the oceans today: organic material intimately adjoined with engineered fibers. In a moment of contemplation, the future of this delicate web is under review.

The textile blends ancient wool and linen with contemporary kevlar and carbon. Furthermore, woven into the work are optical fibers typically used in underwater communication cables, as well as polyamide, used widely in fishing nets known to be the biggest plastic polluters of the ocean. Similar to traditional sails, the piece is constructed by way of the sturdy twill weave, yet unlike functional sails, “Resting Sail” is woven loosely. Winding threads like trade routes, its delicate structure acts as inhibition and the quest is pulled to a halt. Instead of voyaging in search of new, untapped resources for the benefit of the blue economy, here is an invitation to pause and reroute.

by Kateriin Rikken

“Sokslet” is a small edition lampshade, that acts as an illuminated glass sculpture. The design is unique and driven by the found object, with the overall design built around it. Since each glass piece is uniquely handmade, other elements for the lamps are custom-made for a perfect fit. The glass designer has a special preference for the laboratory glass elements from the ’70-’80s – in current times, there are very few places left that can produce these handmade glass pieces with such a high level of mastery.

Spatial Structures
by Aap Piho

This pragmatic sculpture is an idea of a fragment, moreover – an idea of a section of space as structure. Is it something that has been preserved? Or something that continues? It is a second where various lines of thought are possible. In any case, it is a continuation of something in the eyes of the next viewer.

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