Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Bivouac

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Bivouac

MCA Chicago

I am sitting on a black couch – no, a dark grey couch, with short pillows, high walls, steel legs. The sides and back of the couch are at least two or tree feet taller then I am while sitting down. I feel like I am in my own private movie theater.  The couch has zippers on the sides so that they can fold down to become a normal sized couch.  Facing me is another, identical couch.  The couches can push together to create a small room, or a bed (I would think).  A man sits down next to me and asks if I am jotting down ideas.  I say „kind of“ and sniffle because i have a cold.  He says „that’s wonderful“ and I shoot him a quick glance to say leave me alone and he does, he leaves the couch.  I feel like i have accomplished something.

From here I see through one room into another room.  In the third room there is a modular object called „cloud.“  it is made up of octagons that are apx 12″ x 12″.  (I`m sorry that all my measurements are western, I never really understood the metric system, or at least never could commit it to memory).  They connect to create 3d shapes, back forth in and out.  Ah – how hard to describe this, when it is so simple visually!  The cloud forms a room divider.  The modular pieces are different colors.  These are white and grey from the side I am presently facing, with black edges.  The cloud touches the floor but hangs at least 5 ft from the ceiling.  To the left of the cloud is some wooden chairs.  Now that i am closer (I have left the couch to investigate), (though this is also a show I have been to several times now; also once alone, once with someone else.  I think i prefer to be here alone bc the objects are somehow sacred to me, and I like to spend a long time with them, but it is fun to play with some of the more interactive pieces with someone else), I can see that the sides of the cloud are actually blue.  Not all the octagon pieces that make up the cloud touch on every side.  Often there are holes like peep holes.  Wait – the white octagons have blue edges, the grey edges are chocolate brown.  I move to the other side of the cloud, close to the wall.  From here the pieces are chocolate brown and blue, which accounts for the edges on the other side.  The white and grey pieces fold over the top. I touch it.  It moves.  I press my nose through a hole.  I am not sure if this is allowed.  They are made of compressed felt.  They are so soft and inviting, they beg to be touched.  I want to reorganize them but know someone would notice.

When I am on the couch, I am looking at the cloud through a square doorway that is about 10 ft in length and 12 ft in height.  The cloud is not linear and curves at the bottom, revealing that behind it is another doorway.  The floor is black and grey and speckled.  There is an exit sign above the first doorway. In the doorway hangs a giant lamp.  It is black and looks like a branch.  It hangs at a 45 degree angle from the ceiling.  It has two branches that form the shape of a y. from the end of each y there is a giant black lampshade (so, two lampshades).  It must be at least three feet in diameter.  It is circular.  The light is almost white.  The same color light as the exit sign that is above it.  The lamps reminds me of bells.  I want to stick my head inside them.  There is a cord that loops down from the back of the y and into the wall.  I attempt to stick my head in them, but cant; inside, a kind of mesh screen. the light in shaped like a donut.  I recently read a book called Alpha Donut, but that is beside the point.

In the room before the cloud, but beyond the lamp, is a shelf, a table, a fruit bowl (entitled: self shelf, geta table, and fruit bowl).  I am less interested in them as individual pieces then I am the cloud (my favorite) or even the lamps, but seeing them all together from the couch, the lamp the furniture and then the cloud, it makes a very interesting and delightful composition.  So I will also tell you about this furniture:

The shelf is modular.  It is 3 tiered.  It is 5 ft long and broken into boxes apx 1 ft x 1ft.  It is white with glass dividers.  The dividers are blue, green, white and grey.  They are transparent.  All three objects sit on a porcelain mat that is 15ft x 6ft and looks like perforated concrete.  The table is to the left, the fruit bowl is in front, the shelf to the right.  The table is 1/2 ft off the ground.  It is simple, raw wood, oval.  The fruit bowl is two circular fruit bowls attached in an oval.  It is also raw wood.  Or, anyway, it is probably finished with something but it is not painted.

from Ashley Lamb