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EMPATHIC DÉCOR AFFIRMATIONS: BEGINNER'S GUIDE
In trying times: a lesson from MARTHA STEWART in not taking our homes for granted; "Concorde" again produces IMPISH DELIGHT
In our books, there is no place as exceptional as “HOME” – as physical thing, as concept, as expression of selfhood. We are lucky to be in a position to completely take having one for granted – to such a degree that is also some source of play, and at times even mockery.
TODAY, we want to present CRUCIAL APPROACHES “HOME” TRIBUTE. If you have “HOME”, it’s no small thing. And, we turn to MS. MARTHA STEWART, the SPOON, and favorite Milanese design radicals CONCORDE to explore a practice of DOMICILE MAXI-APPRECIATION.
“HOME” (in all senses) is, of course, no laughing matter for some. We speak in part of the million plus people displaced in Gaza, to say nothing of the violent f*cking nightmare that came before and during and continues ceaselessly. We ask all to read widely, extensively, and critically.
We have been stunned and at a sadly-usual loss for words and emotional resrouces, hence our week-long hiatus – one that has likely gone totally, rightfully unnoticed by you.
We aspire now to offer here a moment of respite to those who can afford it.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A SLIGHT COGNITIVE SWITCH, as we enter the body of this Issue of FOR SCALE:
1 INTRODUCING THE “MARTHA STEWART MINDSET” AS IT RELATES TO HOME TRIBUTE
For the purposes of MAXING OUR HOME APPRECIATION, we must enter into M.S.M.: a MARTHA STEWART MINDSET, i.e. “it’s a good thing” (her catchphrase). Does she mean they give pleasure, or does she mean they have been obedient, the way you’d tell a dog “GOOD BOY”? One thing is for sure:
“I invented 'It's a good thing' before you were even born.” — M. STEWART
In either case, the phrase has the crucial effect of GIVING PAUSE. This is because the M.S.M., unexpectedly, DOES NOT rely on taste or visual assessment as an endnote. Instead, MARTHA wraps a television segment with a slap-in-the-face statement of generic (i.e. category neutral) and measured appreciation.
Let us explain:
1x EXTREMELY REGULAR THING, subsequently HOISTED LIFE-AFFIRMING STATUS through a (a) DELIBERATELY NEUTRAL, (b) DELIBERATELY MEASURED, (c) YET SHOW-STOPPING short phrase
For MARTHA, the focus was on good things like “omelet” or “birthday cake”; for us, it is “chair” and “coffee table”. You must take the time for a chair not to be “sleek”, it’s just a good thing; a coffee table not to be “butch!”, it’s just a good thing.
A strange philosophy from the world’s most notorious perfectionist1, yet it dictates that we NOT SEEK THE FAULTLESSNESS.
Here is a diagram of the M.S.M.:
The M.S.M. suggests stripping back some over-intellectualized, complex praise (i.e. detailed = hyper-critical), to a simple, tame moment of “Good”. This is an important routine.
Acknowledgment of this is found elsewhere, in other terms.
May we remind you of history’s only important “TWEET”:
This is a commentary on the folly of HIGH PRAISE by reducing it to self-deprecation. (The subtext here is that “TABLE” is enough; TABLE is a function, and needn’t be subjected to the cruel and subjective world of “BEAUTY” DISCOURSE.)
SELF-DEPRECATION, in this case, is also a sign of extreme comfort. Those who reshared this “X” “post” all certainly love to LOVE tables. (As do we; some of our favorite parties have been those that celebrate new tables.) Yet, it rightfully acknowledges the absurdity of how we treat décor – as, like, some art form. Where really it’s a life form. Our thoughts, from our own manifesto:
4 OBJECTS SHOULD NOT BE OBJECTIFIED
Death to the Experience Economy. The capitalized “Experience” is a dodge from the “everyday”, which many wrongfully write off as monotonous. Your dinner table is a space for romance, argument, party. Your bed for rest, sex, nightmares.
2 “HOME POEMS” AS VERY GOOD INSPIRATION FOR INTERIORS “MAXI-APPRECIATION” THINKING
For us, and many others, a new dimension was added to the homesphere by being totally and completely confined to it for large chunks of 2020-2021.
It was during this period that once-grand, now hit-or-miss design juggernaut PENTAGRAM produced these exceptional videos. They are reflective of MARTHA’S “IT’S A GOOD THING” insofar as they discuss HOUSEHOLD ITEMS with charming, deeply appreciative intimacy. They do not consider AESTHETIC.
Here, the “SPOON” is appreciated:
And, the STAIR:
And, for the craftsfolk among us, SELLOTAPE (UK) a.k.a. SCOTCH TAPE (U.S.A.):
3 THE PITFALL IS, PER USUAL, BEING TOO “KARDASHIAN-JENNER”
Caring without thinking and appreciating results in absolutely comical, if slightly depressing moments such as KR*S JENN*R discussing “LE COURVOISIER” (LE CORBUSIER), which (SILVER LINING ALERT!) also kind of delightfully treats architect as an object:
That is FAUX-APPRECIATION of the highest order – it inspired no pause in KRIS, it is an attempt to appropriate. (And yet probably the most succinctly accurate description of any architect’s monograph.)
The issue we take here is that is really not about exploration – something we value deeply, almost above all else. We cynically view this, given the K. JENNER context, as a kind of neutering of books as simply stackable table accessory, which has a high “ICK” factor in décor when the books are not actually LIKED.
ACCEPTABLE NEUTERING OF BOOKS is only through artistic endeavor possibly interpreted as high-browed commentary, e.g.:
Artist Richard Mauro’s “LIBRARY CHAIR”, 1978, which we were first introduced to care of MONTE VISIÓN.
4 PER USUAL, A “SMILE” MOMENT PROVIDED BY MILAN’S PREMIERE DÉCOR RADICALS, CONCORDE
Introducing the HANGER FRAME:
We ARE the unofficial CONCORDE fan club; they so often demonstrate true aesthetic autonomy in thought and execution. They do this while also representing and combining such an incredible range of décor (i.e. familiar-ish 20th-century furniture; some-old-century religious art'; HANGER FRAME SYSTEM-style oddities) with a beautifully consistent reverence.
This is very M.S.M.!/It’s A Good Thing, MAXI-APPRECIATION of the hanger for its function to hang, ripping it out of its relegated space in the dark closet of décor.
That’s all for today.
Much love to all,
Martha’s only flaw, and it is hardly that, is her inability to properly tag others in posts to her personal Instagr*m account. If you follow here, you know this. Yet, it is also deeply humanizing, ergo we’d be TOTALLY UNSURPRISED if this was, in fact, a calculated strategy