Give Love Back. Ata Macias and Partner An exhibition on the question of what applied art can be today

13 September 2014 - 11 January 2015

“Give Love Back” is a quotation from the book cover of Come On in My Kitchen – The Robert Johnson Book. It epitomizes what the curators Eva Linhart and Mahret Kupka call the “Ata principle”: not the work itself is the centre of attention, but the process and event of its execution, in which the user and visitor play a decisive role.

Ata Macias’s activities combine design and fashion, club culture and food, and are distinguished by strategies of appropriation, mixing and transformation. In processes of recombination he designs rooms, objects and environments that contribute decisively to Frankfurt’s reputation as a hip offspace metropolis. Perhaps even more significantly, however, he can be considered a designer who initiates projects, things and processes that constitute the essence of applied art.
In collaboration with Ata Macias, the Museum Angewandte Kunst presented the first exhibition ever of the multifaceted oeuvre of this DJ and creative entrepreneur of Frankfurt and his partners.

The exhibition approached the Ata principle on two levels. On the one hand, documentations of and reflections on earlier Macias works, for example T-shirts, posters, record covers, jewellery and furniture, will await the visitor. They will be complemented, on the other hand, by projects developed especially for the show. This summer – i.e. a few months before the exhibition begins – Macias will moreover “clothe” the museum bistro anew in high-quality fabrics from Zimmer+Rohde (a richly traditional local textile manufacturer), thus changing its atmosphere.

The exhibition itself also encompassed a concept store created in cooperation with the “2ndhome” company of Frankfurt and deliberately blurring the line between display object and consumer good. The store was stocked with editions designed and realized by Ata Macias and partners especially for the show. Exceptional products by other makers enhanced the assortment.

In yet another section of the exhibition, the museum and Macias together staged a display of the collection’s historical drinking glasses, among them our sixteenth-century joke glasses. The latter was combined with exquisite fruit brandies from Christoph Keller’s Stählemühle distillery and select publications stemming from his activities as a publisher and book designer to create a “Bibliothek des Erlesenen”, a “bibliotheque recherché”. The exhibition described an arc from Ata Macias’s oeuvre to where and how applied art takes place today. It aimed to demonstrate that applied art is a concept borne not as much by material objects but locates itself in the practice of life and permeates it aesthetically in the sense of the performative. An observation by the curators Eva Linhart and Mahret Kupka serves well to explain the idea underlying the show: “The object is joined by the active human being, and it is only then, and by that human being, that its meaning in its place-specific use is generated.”

Dr Eva Linhart, Mahret Kupka

Partners, contributors and sponsors
2ndHome, adidas, American Apparel, Arnold Holstein GmbH, Atelier Goldstein, Christian Beißwenger, Heiner Blum, Boiler Room, brandbook, Buero Marc Ulm, Dennis Busch, Camper, Graziano Capitta, Erinç Cooley, Sandra Doeller, Dornbracht, Druckwerkstätten der Städelschule, Early, Steffen Eberhardt, Effigiella, Carsten Fock, Oliver Hafenbauer, Daniel Herrmann, Höchster Porzellan-Manufaktur, Hofe, Chin-Gi Hong, Sebastian Kahrs, Christoph Keller, Jürgen Keßler, Karl Kliem, Kerstin Laackmann, Lisa Marschall, Stefan Marx, Meiré und Meiré, Jan Paul Müller, Meso, David Meves, Montana, Morgen Interiors, Nordlicht, Prof. Dr. Regine Prange, Tobias Rehberger, Michael Riedel, Andreas Rohrbach, Prof. Dr. Carsten Ruhl, Michael Satter, Gabi Schirrmacher, serien.lighting, Marcel Storandt, Ströhmann Steindesign, Sven Tadic, Susanne Theißen, Von Zubinski, Martin Wenzel, Prof. Dr. Christof Windgätter, Holger Wüst, Zimmer + Rohde & to be continued…