Large Rooms and Little Headrests

Am Ende des Tages (Düsseldorf, DE), This Art Fair and W139 (Amsterdam, NL), 2021-2022

Large Rooms and Little Headrests is the result of a sculptural collaboration between Alban Karsten and Kitty Maria, evolving around outdated crafts, sleep and self-help, shown in various stages at Am Ende des Tages, This Art Fair and W139.

In Large Rooms and Little Headrests, Alban Karsten and Kitty Maria explore the position and value of sleep and retreat for working people, resulting in a series of headboards, headrests and (proverbial) back supports that hint at different agendas.

In the process, they experimented with the centuries-old inlay craft of intarsia, an outdated technique that has recently been revived by hobbyists and YouTube woodworkers. The decorative nature of this technique, draws an analogy with the position of rest and sleep as a decorative side activity in an increasingly active 24-hour economy. In Large Rooms second iteration, they experimented with intarsia upholstery, resulting into displays with objects made of forbidden hardwood.

Scattered throughout the spaces and interwoven with the works we find seven phrases drawn from the Pain Funnel – a system of constricting questions to improve sales. “How long has that been a problem?”, “How much do you think that cost you?”, “And did that work?” – sales techniques disguised as self-help.

Made possible with the kind support of Mondriaan Fonds and AFK, This Art Fair and ÆdT – Am Ende des Tages.

Dimensions: variable
Materials: Maple, spalted beech, pear, European hornbeam, bubinga (forbidden hardwood), aluminium, steel, multiplex, faux leather, acrylic glass, screw caps, dc motor

Photos by: Kitty Maria, Puck Kroon and Simon Wienk-Borgert
With the help and advice of: Tobias Jansen (the steel brackets) and Studio WBU – Sophie Isabel Urban & Simon Wienk-Borgert.