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Per and Bastian on giving iconic objects a new function

Humans since 1982, Stockholm-based Per Emanuelsson and Bastian Bischoff, aren’t much for labels. Rather than calling themselves designers, artists or engineers, they want to be free to focus on the multifaceted nature of being human, in any way they like.

Swedish Per Emanuelsson and German Bastian Bischoff met while studying in Gothenburg, Sweden. A year later, in 2009, they established Humans since 1982. Since then, the duo’s work has been exhibited worldwide at leading galleries, fairs and institutions.

Everything Humans since 1982 do – whether it’s installations, sculptures or something else – is characterised by the way they put iconic objects and strong symbols in a new context and give them a new function.

“Instead of using technology as a tool for efficiency, we give the objects a more poetic function. We free them from their functional role”, says Per.

Drawings and printed black-and-white photos of drones and bugs placed on a whiteboard with magnets.

A black drone on a white background inside a white frame hanging on a black wall.

So, exploring the relationship between functional design and art, as in IKEA Art Event 2021, is nothing new for Humans since 1982.
“The more we’ve explored functional design, the more we’ve realised how unnecessary the line between design and art is. To us, humans are incapable of producing something that has no function”, says Bastian.

Can you tell us more about the drone wall piece for IKEA Art Event 2021?
“It resembles a butterfly collection cabinet, but instead of butterflies, it has drones pinned to the backdrop. We play with this visual similarity. At the same time, the piece plays with the contrast between technology and nature, by placing tech in a whole new context.”

IKEA Art Event 2021 is launching during spring 2021.

A black-and-white photo print of two men in caps, on a brown base in a dark warehouse.

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