Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui
Va-t-il nous déchirer avec un coup d'aile ivre
Stéphane Mallarmé, Le Cygne
Monique Habraken is a young Dutch designer graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven whose work is concerned with our dealing with nature. She states that her main source of inspiration comes from her childhood spent in her grandfather's farm. Aware of the urgency of preserving wildlife in design she endeavours to take side with it. "A duck swims, walks and flies in the landscape. Then the hunter comes and shoots the duck to keep the population of these animals in balance. The dead duck ends up in a slaughter house, where I found it. I took the feathers put them together again, in this way I'm trying to keep the feeling of untouchable wildness alive." It is how she begins the story of her project One duck stool. She emphasizes the oneness of the animal life. By putting all the feathers of one female duck together again in a unique upholstery she accomplishes a ritual of reparation in which she celebrates the memory of the bird flight. Is it an attempt to repair the slaughter or to pay a tribute to nature for the gift of its life ? Is it a ritual to ward off the violence of our industrial exploitation of the living ? In her project Treepot the teapot is carved out from one piece of wood. The memory of the tree is kept in its untouchable uniqueness. Nobody knows when the metamorphosis process began. Was it the vegetal who turned into an object or will the object return to wildlife again ? Which comes first, which comes second ? In Monique Habraken's world the time line seems to vanish, the frontiers between organic life and material life to be blurred away. Beyond a desire of reparation, it seems to me that her research conjures up the memory of a Natural Contract between Earth and its inhabitants -- the memory of a time when the men respected and honored all living beings for the sacrifice of their life.
Link: Monique Habraken