“TAN,” An Installation by Soft Baroque Presented by PIN–UP and Marsell
PIN–UP is pleased to announce “TAN,” an experimental design project developed by London-based studio design duo Soft Baroque in collaboration with Marsèll, the Venetian leather design company.
Inspired by the sun and its both life-giving and destructive potential, Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner of Soft Baroque designed a functional sculpture titled “TAN.” It consists of seven interconnected benches that appear to be melted. Pyramid-like in its arrangement, this experimental work of seating evokes pre-Christian sites of solar worship, making reference to how the sun has been revered as a deity for millennia, recognized for its role as a source of light and energy and feared for its destructive force. Another point of reference is the more recent culture of sun worship and tanning and the contemporary aesthetics of resort culture.
“We love the unintended damage the sun can cause on material, particularly plastics and non-natural substances. The chalkiness of plastic chairs, bubbling of window films, scorched billboard images, bleached out gradients in fabrics and slumping of plexiglass or laminates. This lounge megastructure are a weird homage to this, refined frozen versions of furniture in a slow fall, melting in the sun, providing somewhere to rest and play on the way down.” — Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner, Soft Baroque
Each bench element is made from a wooden body and covered in patches of polyurethane rubber to create a soft, bubble-like surface. These graphic embossments were poured at pressure points corresponding with a relaxed body. The spindly stainless steel legs, finished in rubber caps, are kept at a minimum thickness to accentuate the bench’s upper body volume. Originally produced by Soft Baroque in a workshop in Slovenia, they were covered by hand with Marsèll’s classic yellow calfskin leather by the artisans in the company’s Venetian factory. The leather acts as an ersatz for a human skin, complete with droplets of sweat (made from polyurethane rubber).
The seven benches were photographed at sunrise by Leonardo Scotti for PIN–UP on the shores of the Adriatic sea.
“Marsèll has a long history of expanding the boundaries of research and expression in design. Soft Baroque’s exhibition, curated by Felix Burrichter, offers a statement, rich in complexity, of how to go beyond the limits of the times in which we are living.” — Marsèll
“TAN” is the prelude to “SUN CITY,” Soft Baroque’s first solo exhibition in Milan, which will be presented in April 2021 at Marsèll’s exhibition space in collaboration with PIN–UP. “SUN CITY” is conceived in collaboration with Felix Burrichter, the editor and creative director of PIN–UP magazine.
“I’ve been a longtime fan of Soft Baroque’s work and we’ve featured them many times in PIN–UP. I admire the way they play with contemporary concepts of objecthood and material value while also creating beautiful work that is always a little mysterious. I’m grateful to Marsèll for collaborating with PIN–UP to facilitate Saša and Nick’s first solo show in Milan. Marsèll’s is an ideal partner because they deeply care about the product and its fabrication and lend their company expertise and resources to the entire production process.” — Felix Burrichter, PIN–UP