Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 30, 2009 - Hedi Slimane Interview by Wallpaper

Wallpaper* Oct 07 (Thomas Demand - Interviewer)

Thomas Demand : Sorry to bore you, then, but I keep in mind what relation the viewer might have with my work. That's when the systematic isn't important any longer, but only enables a relatively clear and at the same time complex way of communication; making pictures and looking at them is a communicative act. I was also wondering about your furniture designs, because they don't even try to accommodate the sitter in any ergonomic sense.

Slimane : I don't think about it. I never wanted to whisper anything to any viewer.
As for the furniture design, the F System was a reduced and raw approach to function, and to obsolete or forgotten functions (mostly from the 18th century French 'social furniture').
I designed using Word, as if I was an illustrator(for instance : _-_ ). I used signs to create a system of proportions and functions. It was not at all about accommodating and was anything but ergonomic. I guess it is always a sort of metaphor. Is design really about pleasing or comforting anyone? In men's fashion, we had 20 years of shapeless suits, because of the need for 'comfort'. I think it can be interesting to experiment with restriction and constraints. And you might get used to it.

Thomas Demand : Do you think you will ever use colour? Like frappuccino brown with a twist of lavender?

Slimane : It's not going to happen in this lifetime. It has always been about reduction for me. I'm blind to anything but monochrome.

Thomas Demand : You said once that you like to approach everything like an ameteur. That's a phrase that has something Wildean about it to me - don't ask me why. However I am competely on the other side. I think things only make sense after you have loooked at them for a long while. And making a decent suit seems to need that. I know it's not something you want to talk about, but do you acknowledge that you got better at certain things over time?

Slimane : I guess it is really specific. When I buy a new electronic device, I never read the instruction book. I try to find my own way. I didn't study fashion or photography at school, and never wanted to. I was scared that a teacher would form my taste. I started taking pictures when I was 11 and designing my clothes when I got to 16.
I did it because I had a desire to do it, nothing else. I didn't think of developing any skills, I didn't feel like I had to prove anything in that way. I just had to express certain principles and ideas and develop my vision. I never wanted to sign on for a career; I usually run away when I feel I'll get stuck on a one way road, or someone wants to get a hold on me and put my work in jeopardy. I asume I was always trying to convey the same idea through different media;
Sometimes you get lucky and things work out organically. Your expression becomes tighter and more focused. But it is rather intuitive, like developing an inner operating system.

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