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What is Modernity?

(Photo: Ricamificio Vanoni – Fabrics, 5M12)

A few answers from the sound box.

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Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Museum, Paris 
“Modernity is a word that’s misused by people in creative fields. What is modern is what is not fundamentally classic. What belongs to a certain period of research: the 20s or 30s for Decorative Arts, for example. Since the 80s, we have become perverted by the novelty syndrome. Perhaps what is modern is not seen. Today it no longer means anything. Design studios do not want to hear about the past when in fact they work only on the past. There is something disconcerting about the definition of time in fashion.” 

François Bernard, consultant, Croisements Agency 
“I’m nostalgic for modernity. It’s the Greece of Pericles, the 17th Century, the 1930s, it’s a collective project based on a desire to head, en masse, towards the future, to update how things are done. It seems to me our world today is too diffracted, too individual to be truly modern. On the other hand, there’s a trust in the imagination and the modern, in a new dialogue. That could indicate a more sensitive future.”

Philippe Trétiack, urban planner and reporter 
“The prerogative of the moment is confusion. Things are moving, for sure, but in what direction? The speed crisis seems obvious. How, for example in architecture, to illustrate a changing and dematerialised universe with something that is durable and solid? Everything works on drive and at the same time, all that is impetus-driven is super controlled. You have to decide quickly on things we already decided for you …” Bits of paper, yarns, beads as well as confetti, pop tops and nostalgic bits of old CDs: caught in resin, a whole new world comes to life in the new buttons by Jim Knopf (Accessories, 4G29). At Ricamificio Vanoni (Fabrics, 5M12) there are captive embroideries: in a game of dizzying layers blending transparency and open work, embroidered motifs are imbedded on evanescent net grounds, or in ethereal silk crêpe. The end result is deconstructed and technical, romantically futuristic.