During the turbulent years of Covid hibernation, our working days became synonymous with domestic life. Our fluff-covered family members infiltrated our Zoom meetings, demanded attention, lifted our spirits and lowered our stress – and the office was nowhere in sight.
To mark the Chinese New Year 2023 Year of the Rabbit, we return down the rabbit hole of photographer Nicolas Haeni’s new limited-edition photography series, in which endearing bunny rabbits have found their way into the clean-edged rigour of corporate life.
Launched for Easter 2022, Haeni’s ‘bunnies at the office’ series marks the first limited-edition artist portfolio release from Take Care Collective, with future releases also set to have an animal theme. Haeni’s five-part series, now on pre-order and limited to an edition of 100 each, features five fluffy executives each starring in their own office dramas.
This level of quirk is not unfamiliar to Haeni, whose work is sleek with a playful twist. The photographer has long been ‘obsessed’ with the power of everyday objects to ‘tell stories about human habits’, as he puts it. During the Covid-19 lockdown in Switzerland, the artist turned everyday household objects into strange Heath Robinson-esque contraptions that appeared to take on a life of their own.
The rabbit project began when one of Haeni’s friends – under undisclosed circumstances – had rabbits introduced into her office. Haeni has left each of his narratives largely up to interpretation. One rabbit reclines authoritatively on an office chair (perhaps chairing a shareholder meeting), while another emerges mischievously from a waste paper basket. Elsewhere, a white bunny sits on a photocopier awaiting its close-up; another perches on its hind legs, seemingly diffusing a bout of explosive office politics.
Nicolas Haeni’s Take Care Portfolio series is currently available through Take Care’s online store. takecarecollective.bigcartel.com
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Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.
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