PERFORMING THE REAL
These objects are the result of designer Clémentine Schmidt asking herself: “How can I grasp and represent the complementary relationship between the real and the virtual?” The question was prompted by her observation that we today are so involved with virtual reality, mediated through a range of technologies, that the distinction can hardly be made. The virtual is real to us, and the opposite also applies sometimes.
The word ‘virtual’ seems to denote something immaterial and is often thought of as the opposite of the tangible, actual world. But Clementine agrees with the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who refers to it as something complementary to reality, or a continuation of it. To get a hold of the idea, she set to work winding yarn around the various parts of an iconic object: a chair. With the yarn becoming like a skin, she continued until gradually, the actual chair parts could be removed. A set of new objects remained, following the contours of the original shape but lacking the content. They are present and not-present at the same time. Skin and substance. The object has transformed into its afterimage, a reminder, full of references to its existence in real life. A ghost.
Graduation project, 2017