The great American sociologist Erving Hoffman devoted his first book to understanding the nature of performance and theatre in social interaction. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956) explored the manner in which all of our face-to-face interactions are mediated by performance. Hoffman's focus was specifically trained on social interactions, but the performative lens that he described might be applied more widely. Everything that we face in life is in some sense a performance – everything is to some degree designed for a set impact or effect.
Milan’s annual Salone del Mobile fair is a fine example of Hoffman’s ideas in action – a site in which new product launches, installations and performances compete for space. In such an environment, presentation is everything.
For the 2017 Salone, Disegno was delighted to partner with Moooi to capture the Dutch design brand’s presentation on Via Tortona. Themed A Life Extraordinary, Moooi’s display was centred around a series of micro-environments, each displaying a different context in which the brand’s products might be found: hotels, restaurants, lobbies, offices, homes and bars. Overlooking everything was a series of vast prints taken from the photographer Levon Biss’s Microsculpture series: highly detailed photographs of insects stitched together from thousands of composite images. As in any form of detailed presentation, Biss’s work is based on exacting details.
To document the space – and preserve the performance of A Life Extraordinary – Disegno created a short film, which we are happy to publish at the top of this page.