Through Theory and Display by Helen Butler
This article is part of the publication ‘Sooner, or Later’. 
My research paper questioned the historiographical shift from Modernism to Postmodernism, specifically in relation to objects designed for the kitchen. I looked at the ways in which histories and designer-written theories focus on a disavowal of ‘form follows function’, signalling a overwhelming design change, but obscure a more complicated and accurate timeline by only looking at the most well-known objects, such as Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif lemon juicer.
These pieces reflect the cut-and-paste nature of the postmodern objects that first drew me to my essay topic. The collages represent the superficiality of materials, with materials seeming to be what they are not (an anthesis to some definitions of modernism). The images selected come from an endless proliferation and over-abundance of other images, making my own choices in what to assemble the key part of the work. This is some ways echoes the practice of postmodern designers, who emphasised craft, individuality and emotional connections to objects. In the free and referential language of these collages, the viewer is perhaps provoked to imagine that theoretical ‘hyperreral’, with domestic things playing a part. In addition, the bodily connections in these pieces reference the anthropomorphism of postmodern kitchenwares, notably those by Alessi, and the ways in which designers inspired the public to covet their everyday objects.