21 May 2018 • Retail
In a bold move, Wang & Söderström challenges luxury for Selfridges
Art and design practice Wang & Söderström deliver four variations of time for a window display at Selfridges. On display until the end of June, the installation distinguishes the concept of time into four different notions: Frozen Time, Slow Motion, Fast Forward and Parallel Dimensions. The Malmö and Copenhagen-based duo primarily negotiate concepts through digital methods, but in this installation Time Warp: The Ultimate Luxury is Time, multiple mediums are used simultaneously. Combining digital illustration in video with neon light sculptures, 3D-printed sculptures and curated spatial design, the four distillations challenge the passive viewer to consider the materiality of time.
Each window is a snapshot of complex associations of perception. For Henri Bergson, a French philosopher who questioned scientific translations of time in the context of free will, time as we perceive it is intuitive – only perceptible as traces rather than in a continuous measurement. Similarly, each window display expresses that time is measurable only in relation to space and experience. The tactile forms bridge the digital and physical, the indistinguishable shapes brought into physicality by way of 3D design and printing technology. The varying colours and shapes are placed amongst sculptural neon light installations and shape-shifting materials where everything on display appears ephemeral.
Part of the Selfridges Radical Luxury series, which displays dissociative interpretations of luxury, the installation may be interpreted as a display of contrition. For a brand reliant on the sales of luxury merchandise such as Selfridges to align its identity with metaphysical philosophical concepts at street level seems a bold choice. Challenging the definition of luxury beyond goods and services is a refreshing direction from the retailer – even if it’s just positioned at the façade.
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