TEN: BEYOND THE BEETLE
By Simon Wick
Fashion designer Simon Wick offers up a ‘(di)ssected Beetle’. The deconstructed seat is reassembled with layers of GUBI’s surplus textiles and upholstery offcuts, as well as packaging materials such as cardboard and plastic. Taken as a whole, the piece gives form to the complexity of the production process behind such a seemingly simple and compact object as the Beetle Chair.
“Often in fashion, the finished garment reveals little of the story behind it – you never see the fabric offcuts on the factory floor, or the lining materials piled up in bags. You only ever see the thing itself, perfect and complete. It is the same in furniture design. I wanted to tell a story of the Beetle that almost never gets told, to create a clear visual and tactile expression of its material composition, and to pay tribute to the volume and complexity of the work that goes into the making of such a seemingly perfect form.”
- Simon Wick
FASHION DESIGNER, COPENHAGEN
Simon Wick is the co-founder of (di)vision, a rapidly growing Danish design and fashion label that has erupted onto the international scene. The brand has built a dedicated following and a strong community around the commitment to ‘creating from what already is’. Wick’s charisma and rockstar aesthetic is visible throughout his work, usually characterized by material fusions, bold customizations, and daring reinventions of fashion staples, earning recognition from fashion media worldwide.
“Simon Wick operates on the Beetle with surgical violence, disemboweling and reassembling it to show its insides. It is a quest to find the truth, to reveal what is usually hidden, to question a production process, and to desecrate the perfection of an object. Although the Beetle is stripped, abused and subjected to Wick’s stringent aesthetic therapy, the result is an investigation into its essence, the quality of the materials used.”
- Marco Sammicheli, curator, TEN: Beyond the Beetle
TEN: BEYOND THE BEETLE
GUBI SALONE 2023’s landmark exhibition showcases 10 creative responses to a modern design icon.
In ‘Scarabesque’, artist and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman has accentuated the form of the Beetle and used color and pattern to transform the chair into a fabulous throne, suggesting new contexts for the design, from the club to a fairytale musical.
In the ‘Oca Chair’, fashion designer Arthur Arbesser pays homage to the late master of Italian design, Enzo Mari. Arbesser has transformed the seat and backrest of the Beetle into the snapping bill of a goose, while the base references Mari’s cement panettone dispersed all over the Milan cityscape.
FRESHENING UP THE PALACE
‘Freshening Up the Palace’ by visual artist and ceramicist Daphne Christoforou is a hand-crafted amphora decorated with underglaze, decals, overglaze and gold luster. Inspired by Ancient Greek pottery, the vessel depicts a mythical scene in which GamFratesi introduces the Beetle to the gods of Olympus.
REAL BEETLE IN EPOXY
In ‘Real Beetle in Epoxy’, artist Frank Maria reinterprets the Beetle as an archaeological sculpture encrusted with mineral sediments and adorned with original tattoo designs and microlandscapes.
In ‘Metamorfosi’ sound designer Painé Cuadrelli has created an immersive audiovisual installation that turns human soundbites, hard percussion, and natural sounds into a melodic composition that depicts the birth and evolution of the Beetle, from pupa to beautifully developed creature.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEATING
‘A Brief History of Seating’ is a series of ten original ink drawings by graphic designer and illustrator Martin Groch, composing a narrative that positions the Beetle in the context of its most illustrious predecessors, icons of international design.
Creative director Matthew Demarco has produced the exhibition signage to commemorate the Beetle’s anniversary.
Architect Rachaporn Choochuey’s interpretation of the Beetle is inspired by the climate, traditions, and culture of Asia. Her installation, ‘Flying Beetles’, is rooted in the relationship between exterior and interior, and takes inspiration from Thai street culture, markets, and openair seating, with reference to the winged insects found in Thailand’s national parks.
Fashion designer Simon Wick offers up a ‘(di)ssected Beetle’. The deconstructed seat is reassembled with layers of GUBI’s surplus textiles and upholstery offcuts, as well as packaging materials such as cardboard and plastic.