A surefire way to convey an object’s importance is to put it in a display case. Even cocktail-straw sculptures take on new artistic value when placed under glass. Studio GGSV’s Gaëlle Gabillet and Stéphane Villard use that psychological device with their Curiosity Objects: mysterious, partially opaque glass bells that, when switched on, reveal the mundane items placed inside.
The question, the designers suggest, is what to look at: The sculptural display case or its contents. "This series sets different scenes of an exhibition, inciting one to observe and reflect," Gabillet and Villard write. "Where are we supposed to be focusing our attention in this day and age?" Extrapolating from that statement, the work also embodies the idea that something is only as valuable as as we, as individuals and a society as a whole, think it is. In an ironic move, the duo filled the duo filled the cases with construction debris, which, under the soft light and blown-glass domes, becomes imbued with beauty and preciousness.
Curiosity Objects are on view as part of the Spirit of Light exhibition at the Galerie Cat Berro, in Paris.[Photos © Félipe Ribon]