Semi-functional works

Ben Callaghan

26 October – 16 November 2014
Fri – Sun 12—5pm or by appointment

Preview: Saturday 25 October, 6—8pm

Rhubaba has commissioned Ben Callaghan to explore the juncture in his practice where functional design and art production meet. He has been tasked with the loose design brief of making work which would house copies of Galéria Ganku, a new publication on the work of the artist Július Koller and be able to host a series of events.

Through the production of new work Callaghan is thinking through ideas around affordance in design; it’s capacity to script use and subconsciously guide users to potential functions, while at the same time exploring what happens when design becomes antagonistic or problematic for the person using it. For the exhibition Callaghan has built semi-functional furniture and produced sculptural objects suggestive of use. The work has taken the form of a low level platform on wheels a pliable hanging rail effected by the weight of the objects it supports, benches that double as shelves and angled coasters among other less familiar objects.

These works come together to create a social space within the gallery which will host the launch of Galéria Ganku, accommodate artist talks, provide potential space for a small reference library and be used by the Rhubaba Choirfor their bi-monthly rehearsals. These varying events and uses will provide different encounters with the work, testing out Callaghan’s premise that an active engagement with what an object is or how it works can help to focus the users attention to their activity. Be that taking a book from a shelf and reading, sitting around a table and conversing or singing in unusual surroundings. Callaghan will invert the design maxim that ‘good design is invisible’ by deliberately confusing and re-adjusting the users relationship to the objects in the exhibition. Inciting playful interactions with these objects which highlight their own making by complicating aspects of their functionality.