Monday, January 29, 2007

Book Review: ReadyMade by Berger & Hawthorne

I came across this book in the Baltic Art Gallery shop when looking for a birthday present for my art-loving partner and it is brilliant. The title is a reference to the Ready Made/Found Art movement triggered by Marcel Duchamp's infamous signed urinal.
The book combines art and ecology to make some beautiful products (mainly furniture) from stuff we everyday folks throw away. While the text is in a strongly left-field-american-self-empowerment style, the project ideas are brilliant, the sections on materials are excellent and the bonkers "This is Not a Project" bits are intriguing - a history of Heavy Metal? Fear of Flying Courses? How to make an Art House Film? It's all here - and all very nicely laid out.
My favourite project idea is the 'Eames Style Drawer Unit' - a bookcase made out of three drawers and four aluminium angles. But the CD case wall mural comes a close second.
If you want to do some of your own recycling, want a house full of stylish eco-friendly furnishings, and can handle a cordless drill, then this book is for you. If you want something to leave in the downstairs loo to impress your friends, then it will do that job too. Highly recommended.

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