Kitchens and Invaders

Coincides with Expo Milano 2015 and is entitled “Kitchens & Invaders” curated by Gennaro Celant.
Developed in close collaboration with Silvana Annicchiarico and the TDM, this edition of the Museum takes its inspiration from the title of the science-fiction novel The Body Snatchers, written by Jack Finney in 1955, and from the film based on the book and directed by Don Siegel. Both have came to be seen as bringing about a break and a transformation in the collective imagination. In the story, the aliens turn from “invaders” into “conspirators” who surreptitiously mingle with and insinuate themselves among the inhabitants of the Earth: they enter the everyday lives of human beings, leading to an internal and thus endemic revolution in society, which is invaded by alien forces that blend in with humans, adopting their form in order to gain the upper hand. Similarly, “Kitchens & Invaders” tells of the gradual but inexorable mutation of kitchen utensils into machines and robots. This is an army of “invaders” which, since the mid-nineteenth century and the advent of industrialisation, has spread out and taken the place of many human activities in the kitchen. The aim is to follow the evolution in Italy of these “conspirators” – kitchens and electrical appliances – from the first documented objects through to 2015, also with an eye on design in international industry. 
The display will illustrate this universe of body snatchers – from refrigerators to microwave ovens, coffee makers to toasters, waste disposal units and ductless hoods to kettles and blenders, deep fryers and ice-cream makers – which has expanded from early industrialisation to the mass market, and from automation to digital innovation. This shift from the manual to the technological will be accompanied by complementary artefacts such as advertising and manuals, films and documentaries, books and games. An amazing, magical world brought to life by Studio Italo Rota in a celebration of this mechanised landscape. A world that is at once alien and ambiguous, utilitarian and ergonomic, taking from many different sectors and visual forms – from sci-fi to horror, fairy tale to cartoon – with comical and tragic-comic, ironic and disturbing effects on the interaction between humans and machines: a science-fiction kitchen.

9 April 2015. 21 February 2016.
Triennale Design Museum

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