Nadja Zerunian designs spaces and limited-edition collections that highlight the potential, relevance, and knowledge of artisans in many parts of the world.
Design Miami/ Basel 2021 Exhibition
'We got punished for being curious.' Nadja Zerunian This is a story about conflicts. This is a story about recognizing what is enough and what is too much. This is a story about strong emotions: lust, desire, temptation and seduction versus chastity and restriction, good and evil. Most of all it is a story about life. This dialogue could only take place between two parts, which play with concepts like vanitas, eternity, lost knowledge, separation from nature, sin and morality, need, yearning and hunger, catastrophe and redemption, light. It is a game of balance between all that. Our cultural background plays a crucial role in our decisions. Émile Zola preached: le milieu influence le comportement. Not only le milieu but also parents, education, geographical and social contexts, and of course religion. “I was raised in a Catholic environment, from country to school, and have always been fascinated by the different symbols and legends related to faith and how they affect society, most of all when applied to reality – prescribing the moral codes of our everyday lives. Having an oriental father and exposure to more fluid and sensual values, set me apart. Actually, it saved me”, says Zerunian. This whole and intense universe is what Nadja Zerunian intends to express through her objects, which remain still as frozen in a mise en scène carefully conceived and performed as waiting to continue an untold and never-ending story. They are restrained and charming at the same time, as the famed forbidden fruit. Ultimately, they do not leave any other space than the celebration of human beings and the related feelings (all open to interpretations), in a carefully orchestrated mix of biblical and human. But there will be no revelation, no one single answer, as not needed. Is it true that objects can express meaning talking to us? Reluctant to use words, the author voices her tale via her precious creations, enabling them to expand their own roles, to revisit pre-formed assumptions, to finally re-evaluate prejudices and pre-established positions as in a scenario framed within a distinct tension between belief and disbelief How daring and dangerous is a still life based on a piece of fruit, which brings in a consolidated tradition of moral/immoral codes throughout the centuries, charged with undecipherable myth? Nevertheless, we cannot stop staring at this uncomfortably attractive situation as we are condemned to optimism. Maria Cristina Didero / Forbidden Fruit curatorial text