Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

Engaging Freedom & Control: Andrea Zittel

Ms. Zittel is an sculptor/designer famous for some form-meeting-function art projects ("experiments in living"):

Wearing the same outfit every day for an entire season, and constantly remodeling her home to suit changing demands and interests, Zittel continually reinvents her relationship to her domestic environment. She develops furniture, homes, and vehicles for contemporary consumers with a similar simplicity and attention to order. Seeking to attain a sense of freedom through structure, Zittel is more interested in revealing the human need for order than in prescribing a single unifying design principle or style. "People say my work is all about control, but it's not really," she remarks. "I am always looking for the gray area between freedom -- which can sometimes feel too open-ended and vast -- and security -- which may easily turn into confinement."

"I had this revelation that no one really wants perfection," she says. "We're obsessed with perfection, we're obsessed with innovation and moving forwards. But what we really want is the hope of some sort of a new and improved or better tomorrow."

For over a decade, Andrea Zittel�s art has investigated the structures of life on every level, from the biological (selective breeding), to the social and domestic (furniture design and clothing), to the fantastic (self-designed escape vehicles). In her latest project, Zittel has moved away from the mundanity of daily life into the terrain of complete separation, in the form of a literal private island. What is apparent in all of her work, however, is that rather than offering definitive answers, Zittel�s art continually poses questions not only to her viewers but, most importantly, to herself. Significantly, Zittel has set up her life so that she will live with the consequences. A visit to Zittel�s home is like entering the cross between a research facility and an artist�s studio. Experiments and projects are everywhere, and like a science laboratory, special equipment is necessary to conduct the work at hand. In Zittel�s case this consists of the furniture she uses, the clothes she wears and the food she eats, all of which she has designed and made. While she does use some mass-produced items in her daily life, everything has been customized: from the early Macintosh computer she spray painted black (which looks great, by the way) to the RAUGH workstation, a work-in-progress, where she and her assistants take care of correspondence and other administrative matters. Sometimes design decisions lead to unintended consequences. Instead of regretting those outcomes, Zittel relishes and incorporates the problematic and the unsuccessful into optimistic and productive activities which touch upon some of the major philosophical issues of our day.

(PBS look at her home)

(BOMB Magazine strange interview)

"I have a sort of young, Southern California mall-girl accent that really doesn't help me get things done. Even now, when I talk to people on the phone they'll ask me if my parents are home."
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