Life on Earth often feels surreal, especially given the multiple extreme weather events of the past several weeks alone. But the proposition of life on Mars, which happens to be the Bowie-inspired theme that Hermès is rolling out across its 80 vitrines in France, isn’t any less mind-melting. Interpreted by the Netherlands’ Studio Job, the window installation series presents “11 dystopian summer scenes” in which humans eclectically colonize the Red Planet.
A game show in the red sand, a frites shop on a volcano, fire hydrants that spill fire, the Hermès horse anthropomorphizing into a genial host: these are just a few of the images that iconoclastic designer Job Smeets has conjured.
Cleverly incorporating Hermès products – a colourful assortment of belts makes for the rocket blast of a flying cake, a sumptuously tailored pink purse (that appears to be giving the thumbs up, or flipping us the double bird) is displayed in an old time-y cabinet – the vignettes were inspired by Smeets’ visit to the Hermès family museum in Paris.
Smeets’ own portfolio is also celebrated. Included in the displays are pieces from past projects that have cemented Studio Job’s reputation for meticulously crafted neo-gothic art-design that riffs on history, politics and religion with a good dose of irony.
The bubbling volcano structure, for instance, was part of his Train Crash Table & Titanic; the funfair lights were first shown in B*llsh*t Circus; and the flying cake made its conceptual debut in Sex cake and Automobile.
The iconoclastic Dutch designer and the luxury French brand join forces – and spaceships – for a trip to Mars.