Wouldn’t it be Nice… at Somerset House



An exhibition exploring the common ground between design and art and featuring work by Martí Guixé, Jurgen Bey (above) Martino Gamper and more opened at Somerset House in London yesterday.


Called Wouldn’t it be Nice… Wishful Thinking in Art and Design, the exhibition will feature changing content and performances during its run.


The show is on until 7 December. Above: Bless, N° Car Cover 35 Automatica, 2008


Above: Bless , N°35 Automatica, Remote Controlled Cars #03 Planter, 2008


Above: Tobias Rehberger, MoF 94,7 %, 2007


Above: Ryan Gander, If I could see but a day of it, (Multiverse), 2007


Above: Dunne & Raby and Michael Anastsassiades, Huggable Atomic Mushrooms, 2004


Above: Superflex, Burning Car (video), 10 minutes, 2008


Above: Alicia Framis, China Five Stars, 100 Ways to Wear a Flag, 2007


Above: Martino Gamper, Gallery Furniture, 2007


Photographs by Sylvain Deleu.

The following information is from Somerset House:


Constantly changing contemporary art and design exhibition at Somerset House:

Wouldn’t it be nice…Wishful thinking in art and design
17 September – 7 December 2008

Somerset House is to stage a major exhibition of contemporary art and design full of wit and subversion. Featuring new and recent work from 10 leading practitioners from the world of art and design, the exhibition explores the common ground between the two fields. The exhibition’s content will change and develop with a programme of performance-based installations during its run. Wouldn’t it be nice.. will also include new commissions from Martino Gamper, Bless and Graphic Thought Facility and the first UK showing of a new film by Superflex.


The MacGuffin Library

One performance-driven installation will involve the design and fabrication in the gallery of 20 objects using a rapid prototyping machine. The MacGuffin Library by Onkar Kular and Noam Toran is based on a concept attributed to Alfred Hitchcock; a MacGuffin is a cinematic plot device that exists solely to drive the story forward. Kular and Toran will write 20 film synopses and then manufacture the accompanying collection of MacGuffins.


Korean artist Chosil Kil will spend a week in residence in the gallery, building a cocoon from found material as part of her project building shelters which visualise her assimilation process as a foreigner arriving in London.


In the exhibition:
Jurgen Bey, Bless, Dexter Sinister, Dunne & Raby with Michael Anastassiades , Alicia Framis, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Martí Guixé, Tobias Rehberger and Superflex. Commissions by Graphic Thought Facility and performance installations by Noam Toran and Onkar Kular, Chosil Kil, Ǻbäke and Europa.

The exhibition will show how contemporary art and design have recently been fostering some intriguing shared ideals; rejecting traditional definitions of their practice and instead treating their work as an investigation. The exhibition focuses on art and design’s cultural role as a medium for experimentation, and as a catalyst for change. The ‘wishful thinking’ in the title refers to a determinedly optimistic approach to production, whether political, sthan delivering straight answers, it offers a space for reflection.

Posted on Thursday September 18th 2008 at 5:40 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • really fun, i saw this exhibition half year ago in zurich, musem of design. the work from jurgen bey i like the most. greetings from zurich, tilda

  • check “wouldn’t it be nice”

    Zurich rocks!

  • Zenza

    Lets be honest guys… can this really be called ‘design’!?

    Where is the ‘design’ in this? We may call this an instalation or even art, but… DESIGN?

  • münte

    @ zenza: as you can read in the first line, it´s “An exhibition between design and art”. and that´s what it is. nobody said that this is pure design.

  • B

    Yes Zenza!
    this can be called design
    it might not be industrial design that you might be confusing with design in general.
    but all these images and objects might not be ready to use, let alone ready to be mass produced but they are very necessary to keep the design-world fresh, exciting etc. its like “shaking up the box” in order to have a new look at everything that is already there.
    i haven’t seen the exhibition, would like to though..and I think i would enjoy it.
    It is good that there are people /designers/creative minds who are not concerned that the thing they are making is not pretty…

  • ming

    How many more discussions on “the difference between design and art” do we need? If those two words simply wouldn’t have existed it would have saved a lot of space on these weblogs. But guys like Zenza keep on repeating it. This exhibition is just good however you like to call it. Especially the remote control car with the plant in it is nice!

  • always enjoy seeing what the “soon to mature” crowd is up to

  • t

    ive seen this exhibition, i liked it, apart from having some nice things in it i think the exhibition raises some important questions (and highlights a few issues (dependent on the viewers perception) …. its also quite fun (with the toy cars etc).