Formafantasma | Cambio at Serpentine Galleries

Cambio (meaning ‘change/exchange’ in medieval Latin cambium) is the name of Formafantama‘s latest exhibition at Serpentine Galleries in London. This exhibition represents a sample of an ongoing investigation made by the Italian duo Formafantasma about the extraction, production, and distribution of wood products. As referred by Serpentine Galleries, the title of this exhibition ‘also references the membrane that runs around the trunk of trees, the function of which is to produce wood (xylem) on the inside and bark (phloem) on the outside’.

Following the wood membrane’s structure, the exhibition’s organization is divided into an inner and outer space: at the center, you will find interviews and films exploring the data and narratives behind wood’s biology, whereas in the outer space there are historical collections of wood samples as well as contemporary objects. The spatial organization helps the viewer to understand the industry supply chain while putting in question the role of design in creating environmental awareness of wood production.

Throughout the exhibition, you will find objects, artifacts, samples, and furniture loaned by institutions around the world, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to the Royal Museum of Central Africa. Formafantasma said: “Cambio is an attempt to expand our understanding of what design can be, going beyond the finished object in order to include its disciplinary boundaries: forestry techniques and timber legislations then become tools for designing a better future for our forests; scientific knowledge goes hand-in-hand with environmental activism in fighting illegal logging, and the equilibrium of trans-national geopolitics is redefined in the struggle between conservation and consumption.”

Exhibition Details | Location: Serpentine Galleries Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA, United Kingdom |Date: 04.03.2020 – 17.05.2020.

Important: Due to COVID-19, the Serpentine Galleries are temporarily closed.  More information here.

Featured Image: René-Antoine Houasse, 1677 (Detail) Apollo Pursuing Daphne Oil on Canvas 158 x 121cm © the artist, collection, Palace of Versailles