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The Truth of Basics

Resetting the history of living between four walls

Onomatopee 26

The truth of basics advances that our interior is mainly influenced by our cultural tradition, closely related to our technical tradition. These two conceptions continue to live on rather firmly, not only because of commercial interest, but also because of insecurity of the unknown.Departing from architecture, keeping in mind the four walls as a base, we propose to enhance a new notion of our interior. From an artistic point of view, we want to consider the consequences of the sphere of the installation, the totality of the scene, when creating an interior.

With: Gabriel Lester, Raw Color, Esther Stocker, Krijn Christiaansen & Cathelijne Montens, IJm studio, Thomas Bakker, Tejo Remy & Rene Veenhuizen, Sander Mulder, TTTVO, Maurer United Architects and Bob Copray

Texts by Freek Lomme and Louise Schouwenberg

Onomatopee presents Lift Off 2008: The Truth of Basics, Resetting the History of Living between Four Walls. The project included an exhibition at a prime location in the city centre: the offices of Philip van den Hurk financial consultants, as well as a publication, distributed at no charge, with texts that aim to stimulate the senses and the sense of the exhibition.

The Lift-Off project took place during the 2008 Dutch Design Week. In unique fashion, it approached the subject ofthe truth of basics, resetting the history of living between four walls. We took architecture as the basis for everything. We did so by constructing four walls, both concrete and abstract, as a basic frame. For the former, the decor provided by the offices of Philip van den Hurk gave us a fantastic starting point. In the abstract sense, we are concerned with the way that four walls offer diverse creative entrepreneurs a blank framework in which to express their visions about the use and the purpose of a space. They did by thinking through the space.

Departing from the frame, the four walls, we arrive in a context referred to in the fine arts as the ‘installation setting’: the atmospheric setting of a space and the meaning that can be derived from it. The approaches are by way of different disciplines and the media associated with them, such as those of the stylist (decoration as meaning), the artist (the medium lends the meaning), the designer (the product giving meaning) and the architect (the purpose of a space). What is also unique here is that this is not just a dry presentation of products, as is customary in the presentation of design. We have opted for site-specific works, productions designed for a specific location and the circumstances determined by the exhibition, a specific resolution of the problem that we have put to the participants.

For each of these disciplines, we have found outstanding participants who have established their reputations and/or demonstrated distinct talent. In addition, the photography for this newspaper publication, by Ingmar Swalue, and the text by Louise Schouwenberg, each have their own autonomous, discursive function. They are autonomous in the sense that, instead of shooting numerous product photographs, the photographer expresses his own interpretation of the work, while Louise Schouwenberg has also been challenged not so much to provide a hermetic, decisive interpretation, but to freely speculate, to provide a stimulating context for further interpretation. She has done this on the basis of the project proposals provided her, which included statements of intent, architectural drawings, sketches and so on. The objective of these texts is to put the stimuli offered by the various works into a context that challenges us to further discourse, thought or production.

With The Truth of Basics, we initiated an investigation into the frontiers between a space as a whole, made up of architecture and interior, by using the empty shell – the four walls – as a radical starting point, in order to chart the pure potential of a space by way of the differing disciplines and with different, strong perspectives.