If Only Gio Knew... by Martino Gamper



A series of design classics by Gio Ponti were destroyed and reassembled into new pieces by designer Martino Gamper in front of a live audience at the Design Miami/Basel collectors' fair in June.


The performance (above) was called 'If Only Gio Knew...'


Gamper has sent us images of the resulting pieces, all made from original Ponti furniture salvaged from the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, Italy (see further down this story for images of the virgin Ponti furniture).


Gamper has also posted a video of the performance on YouTube.


The pieces will be exhibited in an exhibition called 'Gio Ponti Translated by Martino' at Nilufar Gallery, Milan, starting on October 23.


Here is Gamper's explanation of the project:


In this performance Martino continues his interest in re-appropriating used furniture, in this case furniture designed by Gio Ponti for the Hotel Parco dei Principi, Sorrento.


This is the first time he uses such iconic and classic design pieces. With his transformative powers and the ability to improvise Martino seeks to extend the live of a classic piece of design beyond it’s museum like existence.


The outcome is always unknown, the process is spontaneous and freewheeling and the result is a variety of objects, each with its own attitude, some functional some pathetic, and some even beautiful. Even the most abject of the remade pieces will have an euphoria inspired by the escape of destiny.


Gio Ponti furniture Courtesy by Nilufar Gallery, Milano.


Above and below: some of the original Ponti pieces



Below: Martino Gamper


Posted on Friday August 3rd 2007 at 1:08 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Zender

    If only Gio knew this is a piece of crap :)

  • Mattia Nuzzo

    Um, offensive and annoying.

  • C

    Re-appropriating used furniture? Destroying, more like. One thing is using discarded pieces of chairs to experiment with ideas – not hugely interesting, but what the hell. Now, destroying well designed pieces to turn them into rubbish?! (By Gio Ponti, nonetheless, just to have some sort of association with good design). What’s the reasoning there? Go and learn how to design, instead of pretending to be interesting by destroying other people’s work!

  • Zender rocks!

    Truth can be offensive and annoying.

  • no, these are cool forms, and made in one sitting is a quick change of personality for that set of objects. i wish to see that performance !
    i would love to have that studio. / storage cavern

  • James Moss

    Interestingly the opinion ‘C’ gives is the precise reaction that would lead an artist to do a controversial piece. Martino would have known it would be controversial and for that reason have chosen to go ahead with it, controversy gains press, hense post modernism happening. He’s not an idiot. If you find his work upsetting then look at Maarten Baas’ work!! He burns classic furniture.

    He isn’t a designer who has really has designs produced and in shops. He is a design artist, exhibiting in galleries, having a gallery represent him etc. He makes one- off pieces which go in galleries and does work for exhibitions. To recommend he goes and learns to design is a little short sighted, it’s not the kind of work he does. ‘If only Gio knew’ is a ‘happening’ and as such qualifies as art, his work is not design in a ‘form follows function’ way, the concept is more important, also an artistic idea, as Duchamp says ‘I am interested in the ideas, not merely in visual products’

  • reynol

    i think its worse to secretly rippoff designs and using that on eachothers work than doin the inyourface stuff..

    bravo there…