15 September 2017 until 21 January 2018
Pure Gold
Upcycled! Upgraded!

Waste, scrap, cheap materials – Pure Gold. Ucycled! Upgraded! is about the establishment of an alternative aesthetic canon of material value that integrates rather than distances and that is meant to be universally, practically applicable. The exhibition, which begins at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) in September 2017 and will tour internationally, is dedicated to upcycling – the reuse of previously processed material to create new objects. The materials used in making the examples on display can be found anywhere; sometimes, they are the only ‘raw materials’ available. And yet they are still referred to as garbage and scrap, and regarded as inferior. The same applies for the techniques, the technical know-how, employed in refashioning them. However, if the stigma of recycling can be removed from the material and make of these products, an entirely new conception of raw material and a new appreciation is achievable. The designers take advantage of the specific characteristics of products and materials that are often overlooked or not given central focus, and develop new contexts that use these characteristics as the basis of their designs, thus making an upgrading of products and technology possible. The exhibition shows approximately 75 objects and, through them, merges two perspectives: a European section consisting of around 40 works and a non-European section that will likely contain 35 works. The non-European source countries include Latin America (Brazil), North Africa (Egypt), East Asia (China), sub-Saharan Africa (Zimbabwe), South Asia, and Southeast Asia (Thailand).

Pure Gold is an exhibition organized by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), which promotes artistic and cultural exchange, and as a competence centre for international cultural relations, connects civil societies, cultural practices, art, media, and learning. The show consists of two complementary pieces: the physical exhibition and a virtual platform for dialogue. The European portion of the exhibition is curated by Volker Albus, designer and professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. The platform and workshops are developed and organized by Axel Kufus, designer and professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin.'

Ill.: Sahil & Sarthak, Katran High Back Chair, 2010, Series: SSKTCH1, Chair structure made in mild steel, powder coated, woven with recycled handspun georgette fabric ropes, photo: Sahil Bagga, Copyright: Sarthak Sahil Design Co.; Cheng Biliang, Steel Bar Combination Stool, 2016, Armouring irons, photo/Copyright: Biliang Cheng; Junk Munkez, Knit-Knacks Washing machine drum stools, 2012, Serien: Nordic, Snowflake und Arabesque, Washing machine drum, fan cage, yarn, textiles, photo: Frank Kleinbach © Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. (ifa)