The Office is a bureau designed specifically for the Museum of Nothing, which is an ongoing work by benandsebastian. The bureau is constructed as a place of work and also as an incomplete system of thinking. Like other parts of the Museum of Nothing, its potential lies in what is projected into it: the promise of ideas that might fill its empty frames and vacant spaces. A source of inspiration for the piece is the following paragraph by the Danish existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard:
‘A thinker erects an immense building, a system, a system which embraces the whole of existence and world history etc. – and if we contemplate his personal life, we discover to our astonishment this terrible and ludicrous fact, that he himself personally does not live in this immense high-vaulted palace, but in a barn alongside it, or in a dog kennel, or at the most a porter’s lodge. If one were to take the liberty of calling his attention to this by a single word, he would be offended. For he has no fear of being under a delusion, if only he can get the system completed – by means of the delusion.‘
‘The work of the collaborative artist practice, benandsebastian, teeters on a cusp between designed physicality and intangible theories of the mind. Trained in architecture and theoretically versed, their sculptures take on elaborate mechanics and boast intricate detailing, yet speak to vast philosophical and sociological systems. It is impossible to concretely anchor their work, an elusiveness made evident in their recent exhibition at the Designmuseum Danmark, ‘Phantom Limbs’.
Embedded directly within the permanent collection and specifically paired with unexpected inventory from Copenhagen’s Medical Museum, National Museum and the attics of Designmuseum Danmark, their work becomes not only the sculptures on display, but the myriad relationships made between context and object, between body and limb. Evoking the medical sense of phantom limbs, where an amputee still feels the presence of the absent limb, benandsebastian navigate the museum context and call into question the assumed wholeness we expect, perceive and viscerally feel.’
Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch,
independent curator, DAMn magazine, issue 33