by STIRworldMay 08, 2020
‘Social distancing’ has been the phrase of the month, or possibly even the phrase of the year. Needless to say, this trending term refers to a behaviour we are all (hopefully) practicing during these uncertain times. Isolation is another trending word, which comes as a consequence of social distancing. However, during this pandemic the word means more than just ‘to be alone’. It also means ‘to be without’. Without our friends and sometimes without our family. Without our daily routines and without out regular haunts. Without our parties and without our meetings. The only thing left is to be with ourselves. This feeling of strange hollowness and disconnect is reinforced by our collective fear to be alone, a paradox if there ever was one. Clap Studio, a creative group focused on the design of experiences themselves, has created an immersive art installation aptly titled Isolation to embody this exact feeling.
Founded by Jordi Iranzo and Àngela Montagud, Clap Studio is driven by their combined experience in design, architecture, interior design, marketing and industrial design to a varied practice involving design of products and interiors as well as conceptualisation and creation of artistic installations. Isolation was developed when Iranzo and Montagud recognised this sense of ‘being without’ and the impact of it on the process of creation. “Our sense of community meets our sense of survival,” they say explaining how this strange time has brought within us an internal, psychological struggle.
Clap Studio recognises that this is a call for introspection, reflection and meditation while also realising the challenges of keeping artistic drive intact. The seemingly apocalyptic situation casts a dark shadow upon us all and while it has driven us apart physically, artists and creators all over the world have been working to overcome this separation. Musicians and visual artists across the globe can be seen making efforts to keep our sense of reality intact. Clap Studio brings their contribution to the table by directly addressing the struggle.
Isolation, the immersive artwork by Clap Studio, was brought to life using a single material - white paper. Montagud and Iranzo visualised the feeling of isolation, translating it into physical form by creating a rocky cave of sorts which doesn’t allow them to come out but also serves as a protective environment. The concept of the cave is crafted by using various forces to create a rocky, cracked and seemingly naturally occurring visual. The blankness of the paper might even be interpreted by the viewer as a representative of the unknown and the unwritten, a contributor to the anxiety we are experiencing throughout the world, regardless of race, gender, geographical location, and socio-economic positioning. The pristine whiteness of the paper also alludes to the sterile environment we are creating for ourselves by overusing sanitisers, soaps and tissue roll in order to feel safe from the novel coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. Keeping in mind the concept of circular economy within the scope of design and creation, Clap Studio has thoughtfully and consciously used paper as their material of choice, which allows them to reuse it for an in-house project after uninstalling the artwork.
Reflecting on this strange and rather radical time we are living through, Montagud and Iranzo tell STIR, “Well, we believe it is a perfect time to stop and think. To see things in perspective. As citizens of the world we should reflect and see this break as a warning. We must meditate and reconsider certain actions that we have been considering valid to date. We cannot ignore the positive effects on nature because of the stop of our activities as human beings. We really like the reflection made by Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck on the relationship between people and nature and life: ‘We thought we were so smart that we thought we were mastering nature.’ And this has been the case until the beginning of 2020".
Clap Studio was conceived in 2017 and is currently based in Valencia, Spain. The founders Iranzo and Montagud also run a minimalist design magazine known as More With Less. With the magazine and the studio, they are able to embody and share the three design values they uphold in their practice - simplicity, elegance and play.