MEMPHIS exhibition at 10corsocomo Seul graphic work Christoph Radl
from 26th March to 1st May 2016
from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm
opening Friday 25th March 2016 from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm
cocktail from 7.00 pm
After thirty-five years from the first historical exhibition, 10 Corso Como Seoul shows pieces and documents one of the “last design movement of this century”.
“There are no marketing research, no strategy behind me, my decisions are almost always instinctive…of course I am bored by continuous repetitions and all of us dream a group movement, an ideal to pursue and share…how boring are the stars of a nothing star-system”. Ettore Sottsass “Memphis” Mrs. Sozzani says “is reliable, it has a really strong mark and gives sensory density, humour, sense of game…I’m bored also by minimal…” For Mrs. Sozzani her gallery is a passion and the story of Memphis a real story that can be communicated with pleasure without any plans or commercial adventure. Memphis is a good story of the human comedy as perhaps Sottsass would have defined it. THE NAME MEMPHIS The name Memphis must have come up on the evening of December 11, 1980 at Sottsass’s house. There was a Bob Dylan record on “Stuck inside of mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” and since nobody bothered to change the record, Bob Dylan went on howling “the Memphis Blues again” until Sottsass said “ok, let’s call it Memphis” and everybody thought it was a great name: Blues, Tennessee, rock’n’roll, American suburbs, and then Egypt, the Pharaohs’ capital, the holy city of the god Ptah. According to Michele De Lucchi’s notebook, Ettore (Sottsass), Barbara (Radice), Marco (Zanini), Aldo (Cibic), Matteo (Thun), Michele (De Lucchi) and Martine (Bedin) were there that evening. Except for me they were all architects (Bedin about to get her degree) and all but Sottsass were under thirty. The first drawings of New Design furniture were gone over on Monday 9th February 1981 and that evening George Sowden and Nathalie Du Pasquier were also present. There were more than a hundred drawings and in the end everybody was drunk, but for the first time sure that Memphis would exist. Barbara Radice, Memphis, research, experiences, results, failures and successes of new design, Electa, 1984 MEMPHIS PIECES Memphis pieces are conceived as uncoordinated units for any destination. They are isolated objects that assume the existence of houses where décor is décor and never monumentalized into architecture; where it does not set up irremovable blocks, coordinated corners and fixed situations but is instead removable and polyvalent. Memphis furniture is designed for specific purposes but many of these pieces can be also used for other purposes. Due to this transformist quality, which is also figurative, and because they tend by their nature to corrupt any stylistic unit, they are expected to be used indifferently in any interior, whatever its style may be… From Memphis, the New International Style, Electa, 1981 SOTTSASS IN 1981 “By dint of walking among the areas of the uncertain (due to a certain mistrust) by dint of conversing with metaphor and utopia (to understand something more) and by keeping out of the way (certainly due to an innate calmness), we now find we have gained some experience; we have become good explorers. Maybe we can navigate wide, dangerous rivers and advance into jungles where no one has ever set foot. Now at last we can go ahead with a light tread. The worst is over. We can sit down without too much danger and let even poisonous snakes or obscure spiders crawl over us; we can avoid mosquitos, too, and eat crocodile meat with the greatest of ease; which doesn’t mean excluding chocolate and cream and crepes-suzettes à la Grand Marnier. We can do - nearly - anything because, dear friends, as we were saying, we are old and skilled navigators on wide open seas. The fact is that we aren’t afraid anymore, I mean, to represent or not represent things or persons, be they élite or derelict , traditions or boorish. Our fear of the past is gone, and so is our still more aggressive fear of the future.” From Memphis, the New International Style, Electa, 1981