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Manufacturer's Product Description

Dimensions: H 250 x Diam 190 cm
Materials: Metal structure, plastic, foam cushion with
coated fabric, ultraviolet Wood’s lamp.

Consisting of a platform topped by a corolla, an umbrella-shaped
structure, “Aequorea” was inspired by the majesty of the jellyfish,
with the title of the work taken from its species name. Jellyfish and
spineless are often mentioned in the same breath and it is true that
the creature’s structure is very fluid. If we take away the water, we
are left with just a gelatinous skin. Emulating the grace of this marine
animal, matali crasset uses her materials parsimoniously and
concentrates her work on the empty space, the site of the lovers’
encounter. “Aequorea” is more space than object.
Contemporary architecture has decompartmentalized the home
to allow more malleable pathways better adapted to the need for
speed, but also respite, in modern life. And yet, for the same reason,
we have lost many of our private places. matali embraces the
challenge of recreating an environment conducive to intimacy while
conceiving a structure that is modular enough to reap the benefits of
openness in architectural spaces. “Aequorea“ is therefore situated
midway between design and architecture, on an intermediate plane.
Her work necessarily brings to mind the improvised cubbyholes
we built in our bedrooms, using sheets, chairs and any number
of other objects, when we were children. We recall the excitement
we felt when we snuggled into this space, away from the world of
adults and their rules. We could exchange secrets, invent our own
little games and – since, after all, the subject here is preliminaries,
or foreplay – sometimes play doctor as well.

By enclosing the couple within a curtain of ropes, “Aequorea” has the
same effect on adults, with elegance as an added bonus. It’s all about
intimacy, the need to be cut off from the rest of the world and rediscover
the other face-to-face and alone. To reinforce this severed link
with everyday life, matali has placed an ultraviolet Wood’s lamp inside
the corolla. Colour perception is thus transformed and the lovers drift
into a dreamlike state, a new dimension. And to make matters even
more interesting, matali draws inspiration from the parallel worlds of
Barbarella, the comic book heroine imagined by Jean-Claude Forest,
paying tribute to this lyrical and sensual universe. It is a space serving
as a reference: a quasi-aquatic, entirely fluid, space that softens
contours, an invitation to let go completely and get in touch with inner
feelings. This nod to the first liberated female comic book character
also carries a feminist message, not a protest but instead a paean to
the liberation of the body.

If matali’s design could be seen as taking another stand it would certainly
be a desire to break with routine and standardized behaviour. We need
to upend our daily rituals. “Aequorea”’s rounded surface is in direct
contrast to the trivial rectangle of the bed, and thus allows bodies to
move more freely. The contoured edge that defines the borders of the
platform creates a kind of circular pillow opening myriad possibilities
for lovers in all 360 degrees. Although matali challenges our habits, she
does not consider ritual as a bad thing in itself. On the contrary! Rituals
are essential to provide rhythm for our lives. It is the rote, humdrum,
here-we-go-again quality that snuffs out the spark kindled by our shared
moments. We need to learn how to renew our rituals so that they continue
to enrich our lives: In order to ensconce oneself within “Aequorea”, the
ropes need to be pulled gradually to the exterior of the corolla, and the
same operation must be performed in reverse in order to open it again.
In both cases, space is being modified, creating a ritual that marks the
beginning and the end of an intimate moment. In sum, Aequorea works
like an air lock that disconnects us from our everyday lives in order to
awaken the sensuality within. Far from accessorizing foreplay, matali’s
triumphant design gives it a new playing field.


Activity with Aequorea