Elemental Cabinet was based on the design and execution of the 18th century Badminton Cabinet, the greatest Florentine work of art of its period, as well as being one of the most important works of decorative art in general. In 2004 the cabinet was bought for a record £19 million in a sale at Christie's auction house. In the run-up to finalizing his ornamental cabinet design, Kostas Lambridis played with the idea of calling his cabinet: Where are your socks Henry? ‒ They must be in the Badminton Cabinet.
It was a humorous nod at the functionality of the object on which Lambridis based his own piece of furniture. Whereas the Badminton Cabinet can be opened, and might contain things, Lambridis’ design represents what its forerunner truly is: an ornamental showpiece. In keeping with contemporary time, Elemental Cabinet is a showpiece of old and new production techniques, a mixture of valuable and valueless materials, including bronze, ceramics, embroidery, and melted old plastic chairs. Moreover, the cabinet playfully represents originality and reproduction, as both the moulds (taken from the original cabinet) and the casts are incorporated. Some parts consist of found raw materials, others testify to the craftsmanship that also characterizes the 18th century piece. As Lambridis puts it: “There are two opposing forces that shape everything we do and have ever done. One force ascends and strives for immortality. It consists of the need to impose order over chaos, the will to create and to change. This force is represented by the Badminton Cabinet, an extraordinary, baroque piece of furniture from the 18th century, a perfect example of sublime vanity. The other force descents and wants to die. It is entropy, the resistance of nature, the laws of matter, the artistic humility of Robert Rauschenberg’s Dirt Paintings. The Elemental Cabinet is the materialization of the collision of these two forces. It is the constant moral dilemma that the maker must always face.”
Graduation project, 2017