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25. Aug 2014

Mati Karmin Presented Unique Marine Mine Furniture

14.-21.07 four unique items from the marine mine furniture collection were presented at the showroom ZERO°. The author and designer of the Marinemine furniture is Mati Karmin, whose career is characterised by an intense and remarkably versatile activity.

One of the most grandiose manifestations of the exploring line of Karmin’s work is the marine mine furniture project that began five years ago. Northern coast of Estonia and especially the islands, wich during the years of occupation were an almost inaccessible border zone for the common including heaps of corroded mine shells, wich are basically spheres with holes, spireks and shackles. Karmin got inspired by these mines and started to collect them. The ambiguity of large scale corroded mine shells intrigued the artist. The shape of the mine is perfest and uniform, while still clearly bearing the stamp of its intial destructive function. Being marked by its belonging to the past, it is closely connected to the complicated recent history that Karmin has always been facinated with.

Mine furniture, depsite its unprecedented novelty, brings together the two directions in the artist’s work. It can be clearly sensed how the artist has enjoyed playing with materials and forms, having developed both its meanings and looks, creating a versatile series, based on contradictions and contrasts.

Karmin uses mines as modules. The entire furinture series is composed of only two existing basic forms of mines – the hemisphere and the cylinder. With great delight, he has concocted utility articles of diverse forms, resulting in armchairs, writing desk, bed, toilet, cupoard, bathtub, swing, fireplace…By the hand of the artist the militaristic metallic scrap has become the design furinture of remarkably modern appearance. He has added to the scrap metal the beautiful hand-treated copper details, metal mesh, perfect, leather upholstery and granite and glass surfaces, thus consciously increasing the semantic contradiction of objects. Mine furniture is by no means scrap furniture in its usual meaning; it is carefully designed and appreciated by handwork. Here we have works of art that are not just sculptures or pieces of furniture but both at the same time.

Karmin’s mine-objects possess the obvious utility function, but also multifaceted interpretations. The value of minefurniture lies in its uniqueness, wit and ambiguity. As the end of mine project the artist created a mobile sculpture out of a Soviet military truck. His vechile has instead of a rocket a gigantic phallus of mine shells towering above, with four clocks at its top, showing time in four geographic places of the world – Moscow, London, Paris and New York. This ambiguous and wonderful work still awaits a proper place in the Estonian public space.

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