VIA BAGUTTA SPACE N°2 - FOS
Via Bagutta is a slender street paved with cobblestone that winds like an artery in the beating heart of Milanese classical retail. Peering in the shop windows, you see rosewood finishings and drawers that silently open and close to reveal garments made from the world's finest materials; all the objects are softly uplit. Until you reach number 9. Where an oversized ceramic hand is mounted on the façade, indicating ‘this much’. Which in turn invites you to question: how much is this much?
The hand hangs at the threshold of the BOYY space, where luxury is revaluated. Created by artist FOS, he says, "If we think of a shop, it's a funnel. All the design is pointing towards the product. Here you come into an environment where one of the part-objects is the product." Jesse Dorsey, who founded BOYY with Wannasiri Kongman, said, "people come into the store, and they don't know if it's a gallery or they can buy something. We want people in a state of wonderment. We wanted to create a sandbox reserved for BOYY."
Throughout the space, there are explorations of scale and weight. A BOYY bag teeters on a hanging structure, cantilevered by a rudimentary plastic bag filled with onions. Oliver Knight of OK-RM, who created the large-format book documenting the collaboration, said, "We zoomed into what goes inside a plastic bag, and we juxtaposed them with BOYY products creating new relationships." "The book project is like a chrysalis for the ideas," explains OK-RM's Rory McGrath and will be the centerpiece of the BOYY event held during Salone del Mobile Milano.
You will see long-entrenched concepts of luxury distorted in the space – literally with a funhouse-style mirror, but also in more subtle ways. The carpet is printed with the contents of a handbag spilling across the floor; a magnifying glass, lipstick, and comb are trampled beneath your feet. When photographed, they appear unreal, as if they have been added by CGI. These blurred boundaries encourage questions around commodifications of self; FOS says, "this refers to contemporary life. Questioning why we have set ideas about what's expensive." OK-RM echoed these layers of manipulations in the book. Knight explains, "we used a lot of digital warping techniques, which create this extra layer of distortion, like blurring tools and handwriting with smudge tools. It's very digital. It's very improvised." McGrath adds, "this dissonance ultimately creates its own kind of beauty."
Usually, high-end retail is static and permanent; in contradiction, the BOYY space embraces transience. Now in its second incarnation, FOS has inverted the colors of the space as you might in Photoshop. The walls that were clad with a pink fabric are now blue; the once blue carpet is instead pink. Dorsey says, "it is becoming permanent in real-time," embracing the flexible times we find ourselves in. The space is growing into its environment instead of arriving fully formed.
As a result this ecosystem of collaboration has encouraged new modes of creativity to form. Knight likens the process to a palimpsest. McGrath shares, "the ideas become an action, like a verb. You can keep finding new interpretations almost infinitely." Of the collaboration, Dorsey said it had given him and Kongman "a huge injection of creative energy."
Published by BOYY, June 2022, on the occasion of the (second) spatial collaboration with FOS presenting Space N°1 & Space No°2
Edition of 750 copies
Art Direction & Design by OK-RM, London
Photography by Matthieu Lavanchy
Retouching by Maison Moiré
Printing by Robstolk, Amsterdam