Curated by Adaptism
Text by Margaux Knight
As part of Paris Design Week, the duo Adaptism presents the series Skeleton, consisting of fifty sculptures that dissect the DNA of the bag, bridging the worlds of art, fashion, and design.
Each piece is created collectively, in an instinctive dialogue between hand and material. The duo repurposes leather scraps from their bag production, which themselves originate from the haute couture industry’s waste, working them into assemblages without predetermined designs. The exhibition FRAGMENTS testifies to a sculptural relationship with the object, a formal exploration that deconstructs volumes and explores the possibilities of this living material. Without seams and rigid closures, the Skeletons are polymorphic and fluid. They unfold in space as scattered fragments but merge in a dynamic embrace in Thaddé Comar’s photographs. The Skeletons embrace the rhythm of the urban environment, responding to its irrepressible need for adaptability.
The duo folds, divides and binds in a gesture that brings yesterday’s inert residues into the present. The scrap carries a bygone history, but these assemblages catalyze the potential of what it can become: a new and original form, an «oblique force» as analyzed by Hannah Arendt, bridging the past and the future. The titles associated with the pieces draw parallels between these industrial ruins and archaeological remnants. Both are anachronistic and ambivalent imprints, haphazard remains. Our society mirrors this installation: a composite of cultures and eras, an accumulation of discontinuous states.
Nevertheless, these archaeological sites have endured thousands of years of wear and tear, whereas the Skeletons are residues of the hyper-contemporary. Their artistic practice seizes the current ecological challenges and reflects a critical understanding of our production system: the creation of artwork depends on the end of industrial production.
The Skeleton series is a human-sized abstraction of Timothy Morton’s «hyperobject»: a fragment to evoke an event that is difficult to hear because it is «massively distributed in time and space relative to humans», in this case climate change. The exhibition questions the relevance of a linear economy that structurally generates involuntary production: waste, offcuts, failures. The duo translates this by working with leather, a standardized resource that has been transformed by man and machine, through a manual process of creating unique pieces.
Adaptism embodies a new contemporary aesthetic and functional language, foreshadowing a paradigm of circular production that creates in the present without endangering the future.
Curator & Member of the acquisitions department of Fonds national d’art contemporain