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Curating a New Show

Niclas Jorgensen has been in Holland this past week talking to design people about a Dutch exhibition he wants to stage at the new Copenhagen gallery, Etage Projects.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 14-01-2013

“I am looking for new  examples of quality rather than just established  names,” Niclas Jorgensen says of what he wants for the opening exhibition of the new Danish gallery Etage Projects.  “So-called 'Dutch design' with a Nordic sensibility.  What interests us most are designers that haven’t been pressured yet to conform.”

It’s a tricky business though – putting an exhibition together.  Accessing funding, interest and support from the necessary power players, requires familiar names and established studios being on the exhibitors’ list.   The formula is all too predictable.

Jorgensen and his supporters at Nordic Man (a Danish fashion and culture magazine) are doing their utmost to avoid a Dutch design exhibition full of clichés and work that everybody has seen before.

Their first idea to make this happen is to focus on a cross collaboration that can creatively benefit all parties.  Etage Projects has been in contact, for example, with the highly acclaimed avant0garde theater director Robert Wilson (“Einstein on the Beach”) about a potential collaboration.

“I really want to try to play with this,” Jorgensen says.  “Involve the magazine, the theater, photographers.  I think there are new ways these worlds could interact.

“I am not just looking for typical things like work that can be easily produced to generate profits.  My focus is more on designers with a way of thinking that can fit into a broader collaborative approach.”

Jorgensen is also interested in invention.  “I don’t like how so much of contemporary design has become mostly about remodeling and restyling,” he says. “Design used to be a trendy word to replace invention – something actually new, a whole new way of looking at something.”

The business model for the Etage gallery is that the exhibitions will generate sales, but the gallery will also evolve into an agent for some designers.  


Main image: Jorgensen with his graduation work at the Desiugn Academy Eindhoven.

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