Devon Dikeou is an American artist born in Denver in 1963. She now lives and works in New-York. After her studies at the Brown University of Providence and at the School Art of Design of New-York, she launched varius and numerous surprising projects. Besides her artistic carreer, she is teaching principally at the School of Visual Arts of New-York and she is the Founder and Editor of the curatorial crossing Zingmagazine published in New-York. She is a member of the MOCA (Modern and Contemporary Art Museum) of Denver in Colorado.
STATEMENT IDEAL OFFICE BY DEVON DIKEOU
As the first artist/participant, I find it an intriguing proposition. How offices function, how they grow, the history, the look, design, the atmosphere, the language, are all actually a significant part of the artistic lexicon that my artwork addresses. However, much of my work highlights the un-idealness of the office, or at the very least, points to its futile or even unnoticeable/unobserved presence in our corporate life. Further, my office has become a more significant space than my artist's studio as an out set of my art, known as zingmagazine. As an artistic project begun in 1995, zingmagazine has grown into a full-fledged business, and therefore, so has its office. In what has become that office, as editor and publisher of zingmagazine, my role in my own house/studio/office has slowly migrated from artist/resident to office impresario, who sometimes makes art. And the art, once displayed in overt contrast to the way it might appear in the office, now melds with the reality of an office environment. Given this, I began to feel my way around the idea of the Ideal Office.
Thinking about it historically, a number of artists/designers address design and comfort, living and commerce quite successfully: the tradition is already a heavily traveled territory from Theo Van Doesburg to Buckminister Fuller, Kurt Schwitters to Piet Mondrian, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol to Donald Judd, and more contemporaneously, from Jorge Pardo to Andrea Zittel. Rather than, and because my artwork/office/studio works in the opposite direction and does not specifically refer to design solutions, comfort strategies, and only addresses the commercial terrain, in that it appropriates it, certain enigmatic art pieces from my history/lexicon are exhibited in Ideal Office. Normally shown in the gallery context, in order to create a critique or context about the art/office/home/studio, my installations become the framework for the setting in which selected furniture for Ideal Office co-exists. Prefabricated by some of the most highly original and talented designers, the furniture and design elements converse between the gallery/studio/office, and exist as the skeleton for the entire project.
The starting point: Color. The much quoted and heralded Brian O'Doherty Inside the White Cube treatise on the gallery as cathedral, as apotheosis of Modernism, and literally the contemporary viewing standard for viewing art, became the measure when dealing with the concept of ldeal Office, or rather the anti-measure. As the Ideal Office is an office, and not a gallery/studio, my first inclination is to breakdown and/or determine its color. My office in NY is blue, ideal is blue. So as a common denominator, the color blue is the starting point/blank canvas/gallery/studio from which the Ideal Office will germinate from the most obvious semiotic attributes to the universal signifiers. This base is not just any blue, but Benjamin Moore #XXX, and what I call Peggy Guggenheim Blue, named for the color of Peggy Guggenheim's bedroom in her Venice Palazzo. In her memoirs, Guggenheim writes of having a suitcase from which emerges an ideal piece of art that she carried with her as she traveled and had the bellmen hang on her hotel room wall. I seem to remember that maybe it was a Joseph Cornell. This idea of the perfect traveling art piece is pretty spectacular, pretty ideal in reference to the Ideal Office. I almost expect that Ms Guggenheim might have had the ubiquitous hotel room repainted, if the practicality allowed, but then, that is only fantasy, and after all, the Ideal Office is about pure fantasy. And in that fantasy, the following are the art pieces that I have carried from my metaphorical suitcase, not exactly Cornell, and not exactly Guggenheim, and maybe not even Ideal: nonetheless.