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Pablo Chiereghin violently destroys and rebuilds furniture for Riot Design exhibition

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Riot Design exhibition by Pablo Chiereghin

Italian visual artist Pablo Chiereghin has created a series of furniture pieces from the remains of items he destroyed “using a riot aesthetic” for an exhibition at Vienna’s Kunstforum.

Named Riot Design, the exhibition consists of a series of reconstructed pieces of furniture and everyday items displayed alongside videos showing Chiereghin destroying the original items.

“Riot Design is a process through consumerism, violence appeal, design and the market,” explained Chiereghin.

“Un-personal everyday objects are destroyed and transformed using a riot aesthetic and then brought back to functionality through an invasive restoration,” he told Dezeen.

Riot Design exhibition by Pablo Chiereghin
The Riot Design exhibition is at Vienna’s Kunstforum.

Each of the items, chosen for their normality, was destroyed on-site within the gallery, which is in the former vault of the bank that houses the Kunstforum.

They were then reassembled using construction materials that are usually hidden within items to draw attention to the rebuilding.

Riot Design furniture by Pablo Chiereghin
Riot Design consists of destroyed and rebuilt furniture

“The act of destruction is part of the artwork, violence models and deconstructs the object, leaving left-over pieces which are then to be recomposed in a unique object,” Chiereghin said.

“The exhibition is conceived as a whole installation which combines objects and videos, changing rhythm through rough sounds and flirty objects, between construction materials and pink moulded plastic.”

Installation view of Riot Design exhibition
The items were chosen for their normality

Chiereghin destroyed the items while wearing a helmet or balaclava to make a visual connection to the act of rioting.

“The combination of the objects and the riot tools was influenced by the destruction result I wanted to obtain and by visual references to the history of riots,” said Chiereghin.

“The idea of applying violence to things is common, either in everyday life or in the art,” he continued. “Nevertheless, I was for a long time fascinated by the power of exercising violence and the appeal that violence has on human beings.”

Riot Design video
The furniture was destroyed within the exhibition space

“With the passing of the time I realised I wanted to excerpt the idea of riot and its violence from a context and use it as a cultural, ready-made tool of design,” continued Chiereghin.

“Destruction activates multilayer connections: damage, hedonistic liberation, loss of value and reaction against status quo.”

Riot Design at Vienna's Kunstforum.
Videos show the items being destroyed

The exhibition was created after Chiereghin watched lots of footage of riots, including those at the WTO in Seattle in 1999 and the Genova G8 Summit in 2001. The artist also focused on anti-austerity riots in Greece between 2010-2015, along with the recent riots in Hong Kong and USA.

He accepts that the subject matter and the title of the exhibition may prove controversial, but hopes that it challenges visitors to ask questions.

Pablo Chiereghin destroying furniture
Pablo Chiereghin violently destroyed the pieces

“If somebody finds it inappropriate, contradictory or speculative they are right,” he said.

“The project offers a multilayer approach, which goes from entertainment to speculative design and consumerism critics,” he continued.

“Visitors have possibilities to stay on the level they want but I think I would be happy if some visitors go home with questions.”

Riot Design is on at the Kunstforumin in Vienna from 15 October to 22 November 2020. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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