Contemporary Design

On the Remnants of the Banquets We Once Held and the Chimeras that Followed.

by Juan Guevara Verjel
an installation with chairs and tableware
From exhibition Wardrobe Stories with New Order of Fashion in Beta Space Gallery / photo by Vertti Virasjoki


This is an exploration into the contemporary aesthetics that emerge around what is left after a time of abundance, a sort of chimera that feeds on the remnants of the banquets of past times.

The idea of the banquet is fascinating because of its endless expressive qualities and the way in which its permutations have been staple of human ingenuity throughout the ages. Within the context of this work, the metaphor of the banquet is used as a way to refer to the recurring opulence of present-day industry —be it fashion, film or… automotive— where resources are continuously manipulated in order to engender fantasies that potential buyers can invest in, furthering the relationship between the brand new and the desirable.

The notion of the chimera, a creature made from parts of other pre-existing beings, is explored and framed as a means to disregard and refute the limits of an isolated entity, insofar as it allows for different individualities to manifest simultaneously. By extrapolating the idea of the chimera to the domain of this project, an inquiry was made into how it can lead to novel ways of hybridizing diverse types of visual languages so that they can coexist together.

With this, a series of objects sourced from second hand stores were decomposed by means of sculptural interventions that sought to challenge their condition of remnants. This was carried out by focusing on three materialities, which stand in close proximity to the imaginary of the banquet: glass, porcelain and lace. The goal was to develop a framework that facilitates an alternative approach to repurposing, one that devises strategies to build upon the vast multiplicity of objects that already exist by mingling with their respective aesthetics and typologies.

  • Published:
  • Updated: