Based in Warsaw, Agnieszka Lasota has been working a fascinating project called Furniture with Memory where she takes well-worn old furniture and encases it in electro-polarized glass and then projects digitized images of what it would have looked like when it was new, in pristine condition, and being enjoyed. Uniting past with present is something Lasota does well; the Wreath Project involves a traditional celebratory wreath being used as a lampshade. This Polish designer does not set out to marry art with design on her journey to create and shies away from too much definition. She leaves it to the viewer or user to take away what is important.
Your Furniture with Memory and recent Wreath Project lampshade speak of links to the past and carrying on tradition. Why is this connection so important to you?
Recently I studied "The process oriented psychology" created by A. Mindell for 2 years, and I was hoping to understand and control subconscious inspirations driving my imagination- and guess what- I failed. I learned to be more aware, to understand maybe more, but still what inspires me remained unveiled. What a pleasure to ask oneself a question and not to know the answer.
I only worry if the language I use is universal enough.
Do you consider your Furniture with Memory works of art or design? Is making the distinction relevant?
My aim is to create. Categorization comes later. My intention is to say something, to share emotions. Would it be different if we name it art or design?
What were the reactions to the work on display at Designersblock in Milan? Did the public understand what you were trying to do?
The public reactions varied from total negation to full understanding. Most of the visitors were at least intrigued. Some of them were seriously moved. Each of their reactions gave me important feedback.
The Wreath Project is inspired by a Polish folk custom that celebrates the completion of a roof; what other customs have inspired your work?
In the case of the Wiecha [Wreath] Project, it is inspired by the Polish custom of people using ribbons to underline important events. With ribbons they decorate the car to drive a "just married" couple, and they decorate the cross on the crossroads or dress the holy statue in the church. The ribbons serve to make things nicer.
I like this need to decorate as the symbol of affection. I would love to strengthen it.