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You can’t tell from the image above, but these people are actually suspended in mid air inside a church in Pula, Croatia. It’s part of Tuft, an installation by the Croatian-Austrian design collection Numen/For Use, which will hang from the ceiling until the end of the month. From the outside the piece looks like an outdoor speaker system, the kind used in an air raid or, on the other hand, the kind used in Muslim countries for daily calls to prayer. Inside, however, the cozy, dimly lit carpeted play space looks more like a 70s-era lounge. But none of these ideas seem to connect, so I hunted down the artist’s statement.
“Tuft is an evolution of the tape concept into a more permanent, self-standing, transferable structure. Adhesive tape is used to generate the primary form of the object. The organic surface of the carpet is later achieved through precise division of the shape in two-dimensional segments, enabling traditional tufting technology. The development and production were executed in a Croatian factory Regeneracija, a former regional industrial giant.
“Rough, industrial surface of the back side of the carpet is deliberately exposed to serve as a counterpoint to the invitingly soft, carnal interior. The result is a surreal simultaneous feeling of anxiety and thrill whilst entering into the installation.”
I guess I couldn’t have been more off base, though I a dark red 70s lounge does have a certain carnal look. All interpretation aside, I’m most impressed by the fact that this installation was born from an investigation into adhesive tape.