Friedman Benda is pleased to present British designer Paul Cocksedge’s latest project in Milan, in collaboration with Beatrice Trussardi. EXCAVATION: Evicted will be shown on the occasion of the Milanese Design Week at the site of Fondazione Luigi Rovati, which will become the city’s first private Etruscan museum and cultural center.
EXCAVATION: Evicted is a physical and visual reaction to Cocksedge’s eviction from his London studio due to property development. The place the acclaimed designer has spent twelve years in, building his career, has been mined as a direct source for a new body of work.
Cocksedge drilled down into the studio’s floor to excavate material that he then transformed into five distinct furniture pieces. Each of these works documents, commemorates and preserves not only his own time in the location, but the building’s own history. As he notes, his purpose is to “celebrate and release the tension and creative energy that’s shaped the space.”
“Wanting to commemorate my time there, I decided to delve further into the building and uncover what was underneath the surface the studio had inhabited for the past twelve years. After carrying out extensive scans of the foundations, I drilled down into the floor to uncover the levels hiding underneath. The resulting findings epitomize London’s multi-layered history, with the initial concrete hiding Victorian bricks left over from the building’s former life as a stable.”
Not just a response to his situation, the project echoes socio-political and cultural upheavals affecting many strata of contemporary society across the globe. Creative life in London, one of the world’s great metropolises and cultural centers, is acutely affected by increasing property values. Coupled with the uncertainty of Brexit, it mirrors other cities where the global movement into urban areas is forcing change in daily life.
“Intended as the last creative work to come out of the space, the pieces celebrate London’s reputation as a home for creativity – a status that is increasingly under threat as artists are displaced from their studios by property developers and rising rents. By creating pieces from the very fabric of one of London’s disappearing creative spaces, I hope to remind of the transient nature of both creative workers, and the places they inhabit. My Hackney studio will also accompany me to my new workspace, in the form of a work made from retrieved material.”
EXCAVATION: Evicted has been created in collaboration with Beatrice Trussardi, who is committed to supporting design and art, commissioning work that encourages people to question the environment around them. Moving away from the restrictions of the white cube, Beatrice Trussardi has hosted acclaimed installations and exhibitions, creating new connections between people and the city they inhabit. Cocksedge’s EXCAVATION: Evicted series hopes to provoke questions about the city, and its ever-changing nature.
Installation view at Salone del Mobile Milano, Italy, 2017:
Select works from the project: