Welcome to the dollar pop-up store, space where the key role is played by the visuality and a specific aesthetic pleasure coming from it.
Presented objects were taken out of their natural chaos-rich environment, meaning a dollar store, to be found on specific pedestals, which not only make a promise that the exposed objects have a certain value, but they also sanction it.
Although they are cheap and imperfect, they are presented in a way that suggests something quite the opposite. Fashionable, luxurious, essential in an everyday life, changing it for the better or helping to express one’s good taste and personality…
A contemporary consumer lives in times of continuous change driven by the development of ever newer technologies, globalisation and media dominance.
Constantly searching for their identity in the changing world, they buy not only an object with an aesthetic appearance to suit his liking, but also a specific lifestyle or a better version of themselves. They accumulate objects that – whether they want it or not – contribute to their image. These things show how much money one has or would like to have, they enable making one stand out, they betray one’s dreams, and, perhaps, even give some sense of security on the ocean of a ubiquitous uncertainty in the modern world.
They are perceived by the things and also see the others as well as themselves this way. The goods become something that an observer really thinks about them. But they do not necessarily have to be durable – the consumer often buys them just for their symbolic meaning, not only for usability.
And how about buying really cheap, non-value-added goods? There is no sense to hide it – a lot of them come from uncertain sources, and their low prices may mean not only a poor quality but also a danger.
According to a research, even over 80% of these products can contain at least one harmful substance above the hazard level, and almost 50% - two or more.
We can imagine how this could affect a human health.
The display is a response to the phenomena that every one of us can deal with on a daily basis.
It is about a life of a contemporary human among objects by means of objects.
It is a collection selected from about 80 types of objects used in the kitchen or bathroom, more or less useful gadgets, decorative items and toys for children. On the one hand, they attract, on the other – they repel. Raised to the pedestals they can also be subjects to a criticism.
A visitor to the exhibition has an opportunity to seek for the meaning of both individual objects and their arrangements. However, as Juhani Pallasmaa claims, an even, bright light paralyses the imagination of a human and promotes an impression of being watched and controlled. Therefore, the display goes into a phase of a less intense lighting that changes the reception of the space, leaving the image vague.
The set of elements has a strict dependence on a space it occupies and requires a special fit for it. Its visual character is very important. In the arrangement, there are some immutable elements such as tables, and a part of the display may be justified only in this place, as it is an answer to the specific space. In a case of another one, the exhibition would look different. However, it would be very important to maintain a similar density of objects so that the overall level of exposure was as close to the original as possible.
A basis for creating the display and a series of photographs (see here) was a thorough research, which ended with writing a bachelor thesis titled Between an eye and a pleasure.
It is an elaboration of topics such as still life photography, the dominance of the sense of sight, an aestheticization of an everyday life and sources of an aesthetic pleasure. It discusses relations between objects and a human – as the contemporary consumer – and the issues of luxury and cheapness.
The project does not certainly criticise or praise the phenomena that it depicts – it attempts to focus the attention on problems faced by a human living in the contemporary world and serve as an impulse to reflect and develop one’s own opinion on the topics mentioned. It refers to the idea of critical design, which aims to initiate discussions about the condition of a man and a lifestyle in a developed society, including questioning the role of objects in an everyday life.
Both the humanities and the design process was being documented just from the beginning. As a result of a year long work on the diploma, I proudly graduated cum laude.
Thanks for stopping by!