Friday, February 10, 2012

Some of the chosen few

While the Purging of the Hall continues unabated (albeit slowly) there are some things that Mrs. Hall will never allow to darken the dustbin.  These are some of her Favorite Things:
Her robot collection gathering dust on the bookcase of her desk.  Won’t be moved, tampered with, or probably even dusted.  Not even an issue- don’t ask.  (Most of them talk and while Mrs. Hall is not sure if this was an deliberate act on the part of the designers, most of them also seem to follow you with their eyes around the room.  Try not to make any sudden moves.)

Mr. Sticky Man knife block.  A gift to herself after the divorce.  The children have postulated that possibly Mrs. Hall has some unresolved issues regarding this, but really, she assures them, all is fine. No, really.

Her Philippe Starck Juicy Salif guarding the Martha Stewart retro style timer.  If the Gentle Reader attempts to discern the nature of this tool, and ends up on the Amazon product page*, he will discover an indecipherable technobabble about its origins and meaning and a perfect example of what Mrs. Hall says is language actually being used as an impediment to communication.  She prefers to refer to it as a objet d'cult and leave it at that.

An Aladdin thermos rescued from the catacombs in one of many purging sweeps.  Its clean black and white aesthetic coupled with its unparalleled ability to maintain freshly brewed coffee at piping hot temps for almost 24 hours makes it indispensable at the Hall. 

Her Phillips Wide Mouth Toaster.
(No comments regarding the occupants of the Hall, please.)
Not only is its adorable twinkie-like shape appealing on a sort of visceral level, the fact that its legend mysteriously disappeared the first time it was cleaned, imbues breakfast with an exciting game-show quality, since the diner has no idea ahead of time how his toast will actually come out.

Her miniature media cabinet featuring tiny televisions, radios and sundry other forms of communication.  It contains not only household items of all description manufactured in the form of miniature books, but naturally enough, matchbook books as well.

Mrs. Hall anticipates there will be a certain apprehension on Mr. Hall’s part when the time comes to actually box up all this stuff and move.  But Mr. Hall has a generous spirit.  He graciously allows Mrs. H. not a little leeway when the discussion turns to “art” and “freedom of expression” and “feeding the soul as well as the stomach” type of things.   So long as when they finish the discussion, the end result is the well-feeding of the breadwinner in a timely fashion, chances are most of these things will stay.   

*Amazon Product Description:  Juicy Salif
One of the first projects by French designer Philippe Starck for Alessi.  The Juicy Salif was devised in the second half of the 1980s (along with the Walter Wayle II wall clock, the Hot Bertaa kettle and the large Max le Chinois colander.)  An excellent example of Alessis role as artistic mediator in the most turbulent areas of creative potential (the piece was his response to our precise briefing for a stainless steel tray), it remains unparalleled in its ability to generate discussions about its meaning and design, partly because of its unconventional use of what semiologists refer to as the decorative veil which, even though generally in a less overt manner, is inexorably destined to cover all objects created by man.  To fully understand the true meaning of its existence, it is possibly necessary to refer to the theories of Leroy-Gourham, who considers the notion of functional approximation to be fundamental.  This notion suggests that there is always a certain degree of freedom in interpreting relationships between Form and Function: it is precisely this continual play between Form and Function that leads to the decorative veil mentioned above, that Floch considers to be the manifestation of the legendary and aesthetic dimension of the object, as originally defined by Greimas.  As well as being the most controversial citrus fruit squeezer of the 20th century, it has also become one of the icons of design of the 1990s, and it continues to be one of the most provocatively intelligent articles in the Alessi catalog.

(Ed. note: What the what?!?)

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