View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Slow and steady wins the race, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini

Metamorphosis

Date: 2016
Medium: Ongoing performance. Leather craftsmen from Monteneri company, maple plywood work table, circular and mobile disk, leather handbags, pendant lights, sewing machine, leather craft tools, stools.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race from Mary Ping examines a fascinating occurrence in the cultural anthropology of the contemporary fashion cycle: the rise of the handbag from a basic, quotidian item to a vital, social currency.

First and foremost, the bag as a utilitarian tool is at its humblest core something that is functional, transportable, and intentionally reliable. In recent decades, the designs of the bag have rapidly evolved and de-evolved through a complicated revolving door of trends and commerce, traditional craft and modern production.

Collaborating with the superior artisans from Monteneri, Slow and Steady Wins the Race presents a daily sequence of live constructions executed on a work table conceptualized in collaboration with Bureau V. This choreographed sequence honors the importance of sustaining knowledge, skill and technique, yet also comments on how the commercial industry has compromised creativity to become diluted and distorted. The metamorphosis of the bags into hybridizations of each other becomes stranger, more sculptural and even allegorical.

Studio Slow and Steady Wins the Race :
Lina Park (director)
Dakota Ceneta (project assistant)
Fabio Martinelli, Angelo Cionco de Monteneri and their team (delegate production)
Pascal Gautrand and Vanessa Clairet from Made in Town (consultancy and coordination)
Laura Trevino, Peter Zuspan and Stella Lee from Bureau V (furniture design)
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Slow and steady wins the race, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini
View of the exhibition Joining Forces with the Unknown, Slow and steady wins the race, 2016 © Isabelle Giovacchini