Ika Kuenzel was born in Munich in 1978 and she is currently living and working in Berlin. She is fascinated by a very classical industrial-orientated interpretation of design. Working for two years with Konstantin Grcic, she had the chance to delve deeply into the form-follows-function and ornament-is-crime side of the profession. Often her designs are intentionally poetical and humoristic, with a strong figurative and narrative aspect. They are statements or three dimensional stories. Her pieces are a certain sort of found objects. They evolve from established artefacts with a common typology; the major part of designing is to de-code or re-code them and let something new come into being.
TRANSFIGURING THE USUAL
Kuenzel’s work stems from existing objects, and she studies all kinds of different exercises in daily life and primarily their associated objects: functional everyday-commodities, exclusive accessories, artisan craft works and precious, handmade one-offs. ‘Tools’ of a mature, high quality, extravagant lifestyle with its Chiffres form the core of her work. Their connotation, shape, material and production techniques have to be remarkable, highly skilled and outstanding in appearance or code.
‘CAUTION, THIS IS RODEO!’ is a series of ready-made riding saddles converted into rocking stools, intended for domestic use. The saddles are fixed to rocking bases which are upholstered tightly with leather. The bases are constructed like car seats, layered in foam of varying densities. The saddle is removed from its context. There is an obvious absence: no horse, no barn, no riding. Placed on the living room floor its shape is abnormal and curious; it becomes the object of a new encounter and offers a physically engaging experience. Sitting on the saddle cannot be done passively; it requires one to straddle it, balancing oneself and adhering one’s thighs to its curves. If not firmly seated one could even fall off – ‘CAUTION!’ The posture taken when seated in the saddle is not found elsewhere in the home and is inventive in the home’s context. The physical, tactile handling that it demands is atypical and invigorating. This is no neutral stool, it is physical, aggressive, sexually charged, even poetic.
Thanks to her personal approach, her work has been exhibited manly in London, Dubai and Eindhoven and has been a great success.