Van Lieshout’s Collection 1989′ is a furniture programme that is showcased in galleries and museums. The items of furniture – shelving units and tables – are hardly designed. They are largely based on standard wood measurements and finished in polyester with equally standard colours. These are not one-offs, but articles that are produced in unlimited series and delivered to order. Moreover Van Lieshout has developed his own system of standard measurements, whereby the pieces of furniture fit together and can be interlinked. Van Lieshout’s furniture looks much like the kind of cheap modern furniture on sale in furniture emporiums, but with one important difference. where that cheap standard furniture is made from laminated chipboard, frequently got up to look like something else – an expensive wood for example, – the crude polyester structure of Van Lieshout’s furniture makes no bones of the fact that it is made of artificial material. No Baudrillard-like simulacra these. They stand for what they are. Moreover, they are stronger and prominently labeled as being ‘washable’. Indeed, that honesty, that absence of regret forms their aesthetic statement. What more could we want than cheap furniture that is also washable? What is wrong with that? What is the use of meaningless artworks that only get in the way? At least these pieces are useful! Paradoxically it is precisely these questions, addressed within the current debate, which justify a showcasing of Van Lieshout’s works in the art world.
This ideal home for dogs has a living room, a bedroom and a porch with an unlimited supply of fresh water and dog food. A canine utopia, the doghouse was made for the biennial of Bussan in Korea, where dogs are on the menu; the unit’s storage place also holds the butchering equipment.
The Food Processor is a sculpture of an imaginary future farm, a perfect utopian machine that functions similarly to the human body — which Joep Van Lieshout sees as the ultimate system. The sculpture offers a futuristic, hybrid-genetic opportunity for unlimited food supply as a solution to our world’s diminishing resources. Paying homage to man and machine evolving into one united entity, the Food Processor takes leftovers and combines them with bacteria and enzymes to produce a new, recycled super food. The food of the future.
This genetically manipulated organic machine is part of Van Lieshout’s ongoing series of work The New Tribal Labyrint . Presenting the public with a vision of a possible future, The New Tribal Labyrinth is an alternative society inhabited by tribes.
The Unlimited series are sculptures of swimming sperm, representing the life force of all beings. This signifier plays a recurring role for Atelier Van Lieshout’s artistic practise. Only one sperm in 150 million achieves the fertilizing goal; the beginning of everything. Unlimited reflects Darwinian social ideas and the need for survival in all aspects of our lives, whether biological or corporate.
AVL Shaker Chair
AVL artworks form the basis of AVL design pieces, made in unlimited editions in small factories, or in special editions in AVL’s workshop, AVL Shaker furniture is a good example of this. Already designed for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in 1998, AVL Shaker furniture is based on furniture made by the Shakers, a religious community from England that lived in the Northern parts of the USA from the end of the eighteenth century.