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Monica Förster

Issue 48 Apr / May 2009

A sinister installation that ran alongside the Stockholm Furniture Fair provides an unusual introduction to the work of Monica Förster

‘Ominous’ and ‘auspicious’ should, logically, sit at opposite ends of the spectrum but that’s not the case with Monica Förster’s recent installation at the Nordic Light Hotel. A hotel with a very serious tradition of creative patronage asks you to provide a flagship installation to run concurrently with the Stockholm Furniture Fair. All in all, an opportunity that any designer would jump at.

So we have ‘Ominous’ a wildly imaginative and ambitious installation but one that seems intent on filling the casual visitor with dread. Particularly if the visitor is familiar with Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds”
Incorporating 1,500 black metal birds, telegraph poles and dramatic illumination techniques, the entire set-up is more than little unnerving.
The basis for all this avian activity is ‘Wing’ the luminaire shown in the main picture. A friendly-looking arrangement when it consists of white shapes around a central bulb, this provides a stark contrast to the sullen, predatory black crows in Stockholm.

‘Wing’ is being sold by Zero, but we had to ask Monica which came first, the idea for the Hitchcock theme or the shape itself? “I think that it was a parallel process,” she explains, “I had an idea about working with gravity, spacial movements and I presented Nordic Light with an idea about creating a unexpected contrast in the lobby by trying to talk to peoples feelings using raw materials - and surprisingly enough, they really liked the idea. I think it was quite brave...”

It certainly was, but no more so than Monica’s original concept. Historically however, she has never shied away from putting her metaphoric neck on the block. When someone has begun their career by cutting a swathe through the field of furniture design, one might expect that their initial steps into the lighting field would be tentative. Monica however is willing to wade in, all guns blazing. She even has an illuminated toilet seat to her credit, albeit one conceived many years ago. When reminded of it, she trills happily, “Ha ha, that‘s still one of my favorite projects, not yet put into production.... so let’s wait and see”

We will. It sounds illoominating.


Monica Monica
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