Listen now: Daniel Arsham and Kim Jones

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Frieze Week in London sees the unveiling of a bold new work by Daniel Arsham, the artist and co-founder of the architectural firm Snarkitecture. Been eroded (2021) is based on a 1911 sculpture by Paul Gasq that originally adorned the facade of Whiteleys, London’s first department store on Queensway, Bayswater. The building is currently being reinvented, on a design by Foster + Partners, as The Whiteley, and will house new residences, shops, restaurants and London’s first Six Senses hotel.

Responding to the history and future of the building, Been eroded is a patinated bronze work with elements suggesting erosion and crystallization, highlighting the associative qualities of materials and evoking the passage of time.

To mark the work’s unveiling this week, Arsham was joined by Dior Men’s Kim Jones – with whom he collaborated on the Jones S / S 2020 show – for an intimate conversation with Charlie Porter, writer, curator and author of What the artists wear (2021).

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“Fairly early in my career, I worked as a set designer for choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was a legendary pioneer of modern American dance. […] At the time I worked with him, he was exactly 60 years older than me. But he was still very interested in bringing new voices into his practice. And this idea of ​​collaboration, I think, felt very natural to me, so I started working with other companies. Adidas was one of the first big brands I worked with. And I felt that not only was it beneficial to be able to interact with other types of materials in the process of my work, but also with the audience. They were not traditional artistic audiences. -Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham, Been eroded, 2021. Courtesy of Getty

“Christian Dior was a gallery owner long before being a couturier, for 15 years. That’s why I wanted to work with artists. Because he worked with Picasso, he worked with Salvador Dali, Max Ernst. […] In addition, you also learn a lot of new things yourself, working with other people, which I personally enjoy very much. I’m not afraid to share the limelight, because I think it’s interesting to watch in different contexts. – Kim Jones

“I started this work a little over ten years ago, which is interested in archeology, and a fictitious archeology of the future. And does this by re-imagining objects in our present, as if we can see them in the future, through material transformation. Radios, cars and everyday objects, as if we were looking at them 1000 years from now. […] If we think of the work that is here in the hall, that appears to be in a state of decay or degradation, the crystals in it, we intrinsically associate it with growth. We think of crystallization as a process that moves forward in time, so that works can collapse or grow together. And that is filtered out on everything. One of the big challenges for Kim when we worked together was how to translate this process into fabric, other materials that appear to be in a state of entropy or transformation. -Daniel Arsham

Dior men's summer 2020 show
Dior, Men’s Summer 2020 show

“I think it’s also interesting to think about how artists have worked in fashion for so long. time, but it’s only recently that technology has really become such an important thing, where you can in fact develop tissues that reproduce art so well. It’s over the past five years, I would say we’ve seen leaps and bounds in the way things can be done that really do respect artists. – Kim Jones

Daniel Arsham’s “Eroded Summer” (2021) is on view at the Whiteley Gallery in London until October 17th. The Whiteley is expected to be completed in 2023. Visit www.thewhiteleylondon.com to find out more.


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