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DOMESTIC AFFAIRS-the National Dutch pavilion

2015.11.30

The house is a home to a paradox.

With rising buying power of the middle class, people have greater choice in how to express themselves through the products and services in and around their house. From total retreat to total display, the house continues to be a means of expression, economic sustenance and societal engagement, yet with new tools, technologies and systems.

The exhibition Domestic Affairs explores the house as an interface to our social, economic and political lives. Our home not just the place where we live; it is a place where we encounter friends and strangers, where we exchange goods and services, where we build or disturb political systems, and where we participate in the global community.

The house is a home to a paradox. It houses the simultaneous desire to share private matters in the public realm and to seek privacy in public. While we install wifi blocking technology, we invite unknown guests to rent one of our rooms for a night or two.

In our struggle to balance privacy and popularity, trust and distrust, engagement and retreat, the house becomes a filter for our societal relations, manifesting the attitude we have towards our local and global neighbours and political and economic systems. More than bricks and mortar, a financial asset, or a set of appliances and technologies, home is a state of mind.

With a selection of designer artifacts, consumer goods and services, current events, the exhibition and newspaper positions design at the heart of societal developments. Through the lens of the interior, Domestic Affairs aims to address societal issues such as privacy, labour, technological acceleration, informal economies, loneliness and the smart city.

Domestic Affairs features the work of Alex Momont, Alix Gallet, Atelier NL, Chris Kabel, Christien Meindertsma, DUS Architects, Droog Lab, Elisa van Joolen, Heleen Klopper, Helmut Smits, Imme van der Haak, Jesse Howard, Karel Martens, Laura Cornet, Lex Pott, Lianne Polinder, Metahaven, Mieke Meijer, Pinar&Viola, Ruben Pater, Simone C. Niquille, Ward Goes and others.

A project by Bureau Europa (Saskia van Stein) curated by the Institute of Relevant Studies (Agata Jaworska and Giovanni Innella), with visual identity design by Design Displacement Group.

Domestic Affairs is generously supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Guangzhou. The public program is facilitated by Het Nieuwe Instituut. For more information and images visit bureau-europa.nl