Hermès Here Elsewhere by Robert Wilson
Leading theatre director Robert Wilson dramatises Hermes Maison Universe furniture collection during NYCxDesign.
French fashion house Hermès taped into the scenographic mastery of Robert Wilson to stage its latest home collection during NYCxDesign. Here Elsewhere presented the heritage brand’s 2016 Maison Universe series: highly crafted sofas, desks, stools and chairs rendered in the heritage brand’s quintessential leather. Signature wallpaper and jewellery were also strategically positioned among suspended pieces, sloping plinths and performers opening drawers or watch boxes at a dream state pace. Much like one might have found in the recent re-staging of Einstein on the Beach – the theatre director’s seminal five hour opera – objects hung at different angles and settings, demarcated by Wilson’s quintessential lighting. As visitors entered through an equally refracted gateway – unexpectedly adorned in ceramic plates – they were greeted by atmospheric voices – didactic words associated with interior- and furniture-based references. Like one of his pictorially-structure productions, each scene was illuminated to highlight product details and performer-object interactions. Visitors continued through a procession of ‘knee play’ rooms – complete with pink bubbles and pig-masked actors crying – before reaching a panopticon finale. As performer danced, Wilson’s animal video portraits interwove with images of the Hermès’ new collection projected on a full 360-degree screen. In recent year, major brands have worked hard to mounting new forms of presentation and spectacle but Here Elsewhere set an new standard: blurring the lines between showroom and theatre.