Billy Wilder made movies (like Some Like It Hot) and collected modern classical paintings. Pharrell Williams makes songs like “Happy” and collects figurines that could not be called happy. In fact they could be called Surrealist, with all the toil that term invokes. But it’s an odd, frustratingly gloomy Surrealism; and it presses us to figure out why it should be so.
Our first instance might well be called “A Boy and his Dog,” with ironic wallop typical of this art/merchandise. (The show, curated by Williams, from which the material here is drawn, is currently off and running at Toronto’s Design Exchange).
Perhaps a good place to start our brief investigation is the somewhat nurse-inciting artefact, titled, “The Rise of Pain in Dreams.” There seems to be a consensus, amongst the international roster of designers of such provocations, that the very act of longing for, desiring consummate experience brings with it more or less horrific corruption.
The question of appetite for ecstasies comes in for some harsh irony in this package both flashy and fierce.
Why has the act of kinetic play become so grim? (One board is labelled, “Lost.”)
A process of kidnapping with no return to innocence.