U.F.O. – Art and Design
von Claudia Beckmann | May 17, 2009

There are objects that on first encounter you cannot really place. Are this an artwork at which we are looking? Or is it the brainchild of a designer, which (at least in principle) could be mass produced? Not to forget that the concept of "design art" currently stands for omnipresent trend among young artists and designers to create objects that refuse to be pigeonholed. They consciously overstep the boundary lines between the field of art and design, and playfully or seriously seek to permeate both domains.

The line dividing the two spheres is becoming ever more narrow. So does it make contemporary sense to distinguish between art and design the same way that we used to differentiate between free and applied art, between freedom from purpose and utility? Or are we increasingly seeing objects that deliberately wish to be androgynous hybrids? Is design located between art and business? Is all that counts our perspective or is the entire debate on "design meets art" and "design art" primarily itself a commercial phenomenon? Or have the terms simply got mixed up?

The "U.F.O. - Art and Design" exhibition at NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft in Düsseldorf concerns itself precisely with the twists and turns in creativity in the 21st century and the increasing indeterminacy and hybrid qualities of objects. It consciously does not define what the exhibits are, but plays with the difficulty of their clear identification. It is up to the observer to decide the "whether or not". Fully in keeping with Heinz von Foerster's hermeneutic principle: "It is not the speaker, but the listener who defines the meaning!". Or, in this particular case: Everyone who has in recent week discovered the "UFO of the day" on this site should think about whether and why s/he consider it design or art.

U.F.O. - Art and Design
May 23 - July 5, 2009

NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft
Ehrenhof 2, 40479 Düsseldorf

Opening hours
Tues. - Sun. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.