Chamber's exhibition ‘Progressland’, curated by filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman, is the result of a year-long collaboration with the New York design gallery’s founder, Juan Garcia Mosqueda, exploring organic forms and materials, exploration and contemplation. ‘I wanted to illuminate the human spirit of progress and how that happens in big and small ways,’ says Zuckerman, who presented the concept in several parts earlier in the year.
The first piece Zuckerman acquired was a model of ‘Progressland’, the futuristic pavilion that Walt Disney created with General Electric for the 1964 World’s Fair, which inspired the show’s name. From there, he gathered a wide-ranging selection of historic and current ephemera, from a Paleolithic hand axe to space artifacts. These pieces were then carefully arranged into vignettes: a 1977 Soviet EVA Space Glove is paired with a current space glove prototype by Final Frontier Design, while artist Ian Stell’s interactive ‘Roll Bottom’ desk – where the cover on the desk literally rolls down and around the chair frame to become the seat – is situated near first edition prototype chairs by sculptor Scott Burton.
Other works were commissioned by Zuckerman and Garcia Mosqueda to tackle the theme from different angles. At the gallery’s entrance, a teahouse by designer Mimi Jung offers an introspective moment with two screens woven from 15,000 feet of industrial rope encircling a Douglas fir pavilion. Satoshi Itasaka’s ‘The Birth’ gold light also focuses inward, but in a biological sense. 'I love the "Birth" light,’ says Zuckerman. ‘It’s the most reduced, potent rich visual of what progress is – the moment of conception.’
By contrast, Brooklyn lighting designer Bec Brittain created a chandelier in the shape of an International Space Station that hovers over a topographical multi-piece rug by the Argentinian textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou in the gallery’s main space, offering a macro, distorted perspective of earth and space.
‘I wanted to create a large tableau that includes things that are discordant and harmonious,’ Zuckerman says. ‘Often we think of design as a single object on a pedestal, but that’s not how we look at items in real life.’