French philosopher Jean Baudrillard theorized that every object has two functions: to be put to use and to be possessed. We might choose an object because of its practical nature, but the objects we eventually prize above all others are those which, like amulets, radiate an aura. Their function might not be discarded, but it turns into a ritual and becomes increasingly symbolic. These objects are precious enough to be cared for, and—for this reason—over time, we award them storytelling properties.
Austrian design duo zerunianandweisz uses found and new handcrafted objects to “create small, sensual landscapes." Black Dahlia—part of the 2017 collection Ways to Disappear—was produced by traditional artisans in Constantine, Algeria who have been working for centuries in metal crafts and was completed by a Viennese master. The set features vintage treasures that have been embellished by hand, including: a brass tray that has been silver plated with a black patina, silver plated copper bowls with a black patina, a vintage glass that has been decorated by hand, silver plated brass spoons and sticks with a black patina and liquid myrrh, fragrant cinnamon cane and cassia.
As curator Alice Stori Liechtenstein notes, "zerunianandweisz have constructed a very personal and unique way of designing objects. Their creative process is triggered by an objet trouvé, around which tabletop items of nuanced subtlety are conceived and arranged. In their latest collection, Ways to Disappear, zeruniananadweisz explore the themes of fading, dissolving, and disguising. As the composition takes shape, the individual objects disappear and merge to create something new and unexpected. As soon as one piece is removed the illusion dissolves. Bowls of glass, trays of copper, and spoons of silver are arranged with humor, and a tinge of sauciness, to perform as elements of a story."