Martino Gamper, Sliced Stracciatella (table). From Gesamtkunsthandwerk, 2011. Te Papa (2011-0034-1/1-19).
This set-up looks familiar – a table and chairs, a place for food and conversation. But look closely and surprises emerge. A chair has been made from a drawer and a coffin-shaped piece of wood. A tree stump is reinvented as a stool.
Everything here was handmade by three collaborating artists – jeweller Karl Fritsch, furniture designer Martino Gamper, and sculptor Francis Upritchard. The work’s title, Gesamtkunsthandwerk, is a play on the German word Gesamtkunstwerk – a ‘total artwork’ combining various disciplines. The artists inserted the word ‘hand’. For them, the experimentation and handmaking of the objects is the main point here – the sawing, firing, moulding, and gluing that transformed raw or mass-produced materials into something new.