Natuzzi Italia, a brand of excellence of the Made in Italy design, launched Wednesday December 2nd 2015, in its Miami flagship store, the new step of Open Art. The project, created in 2007 and aiming to introduce art in the Natuzzi stores and making it accessible to everyone, arrives in the United States for the first time during Miami Art Week.
On the occasion of the grand opening of the Natuzzi flagship store at the Design District, [ham-uh k] – a site-specific installation by the artist Adrien Missika (Paris, 1981) – has been presented. The work is a huge hammock (8 x 3 meters) created with Natuzzi’s leather and is the result of an immersion of the artist in the Natuzzi Headquarters in Puglia region (southern Italy), where the Style Centre and the Product Development Centre, creative heart of the brand, are located.
“After a thorough research, we have chosen Adrien Missika – Pasquale Junior Natuzzi, Marketing & Communication Strategic Program Manager of the brand, says – a young and brilliant artist who has been entrusted the arduous task to interpret harmony, the archetype on which the brand has been founded: Natuzzi blends design and function to create harmonious living. Adrien’s work is always inspired by the places he visits, just like our design is inspired by the place we come from, Puglia. We invited him to our headquarters so that he could be in touch with our territory and our work and this is where [ham-uh k] come from”.
[ham-uh k], noun, a hanging bed or couch made of canvas, netted cord, or the like, with cords attached to supports at each end.
In his acclaimed opus Species of Spaces, Geroges Perec describes the bed as “the individual space par excellence, the elementary area of the body”. Drawing from both this reflexion and from the core activity of Natuzzi – Italy’s largest furniture firm producing sofas, armchairs and living room accessories – Adrien Missika played on the lines and paradoxes of an anthropometric space becoming the site of a collective experience, of a harmonious and oneiric “live together”.
For Open Art, Missika continues his ongoing project Siesta Club – an ensemble of hammocks that he installed in different parts of the world as an invitation for the visitor to stop and kick back – playing on the scale, conceiving an oversize hammock that could host several persons, a family, friends or even lovers; as if that very minimal carry-on bed was merging with the very function of the couch.
“The hammock is a functional object made by humans to rest on,” says Missika. “I like the idea of giving the hammock a rest by making it a sculpture or a painting and taking away its functionality, yet having the same staged presence.”
To push further the hybridization, Missika used the leather from the Italian tannery (in Udine, in Northern Italy) which is owned by Natuzzi, selecting them together with the company’s Style Centre in Puglia. He carefully deconstructed the material to bring it to an elementary, unsophisticated state: through the use of six full cow hides he is pointing at the origin of things and underlining the primitive essence of the hammock.
Seen from below, the uncut hides recall the imprint of a cave, a dark underbelly to the exotic seat. The merge of the high quality and noble material with the roughness of the artistic gesture create an intense contrast inherent to the object-sculpture. The lines of the leather hides join up into a painted pattern, the unobtrusive remain of the artist’s structural gesture.
Missika, whose work often translate the experience of shifting, moving, traveling both physically and mentally, created here a new form of transportation through the mind and dreams. Some sort of fantasy magic carpet with a one way inner journey towards a place where time is suspended.
With this new project Natuzzi Italia strengthens its relation with contemporary art, supporting innovation and projecting onto the world stage the inspirations which make the brand unique.