Will curiosity kill the cat? Mianne de Vries presents this age-old dilemma through her Curious Vase, which dangerously tempts human nature with its secrets. The vase is actually a number of nested vases, with each one completely engulfing its smaller sibling. Capable of hiding three different vase geometries, the Curious Vase packs a great deal of surprise within its unassuming, pastel exterior. The Dutch designer puts forth the question of “do you” or “don’t you” by revealing the existence of the inner vases, yet the central ones can only be fully appreciated after cracking and breaking the outer one. The precarious balance between destruction and creation elevates the art piece from a passive work to a dynamic, psychological experiment. The owner of the vase is invited to take part in the creative process by making the decision to crack one layer, and the fragments of the broken layer become a physical artifact of that intervention. After one layer is shattered, the broken shell gives birth not just to another smaller vase but also to the negative space formed by the walls of the old vase and the new. Because the interior fascinates in the same manner as the exterior, De Vries demonstrates optimism in the sacrifice made in light of one’s curiosity.
Images © Mianne de Vries