SAFE: Design Takes On Risk

Matthias Megyeri
Peter Pin, R. Bunnit, and Didoo Railings from the Sweet Dreams Security series

Matthias Megyeri. Peter Pin, R. Bunnit, and Didoo Railings from the Sweet Dreams Security series. 2003

Iron, 70 7/8" (180 cm) high. Manufactured by Marbek, UK, and Matthias Megyeri, Germany (2005). Lent by Matthias Megyeri. Photo by Matthias Megyeri

CURATOR, PAOLA ANTONELLI: You may have noticed, as you were walking down 53rd Street to come to the Museum, a particularly curious security fence. It is a very secure fence, it is sharp, it is hard to pass, it is dangerous, and yet it's made of nice cute little bunnies and nice cute little penguins. That is one of the examples of Matthias Megyeri's work in this exhibition.

Matthias Megyeri used to be a student at the Royal College of Arts in London, when he started this particular exploration into safety objects. He noticed how all over town safety items of all kinds, from fences to glass shards, were ubiquitous, and he started thinking about how to make this landscape, that was so riddled with emblems of security and conversely of fear, more pleasant to the owner and to the public.

You might want to ask, who needs cute barbed wire with little butterflies, and who needs a chain that is made of hearts instead of rings, and who needs a lock that is a teddy bear as opposed to a normal lock? Nobody and everybody. You know, security and its effigies are ubiquitous. It just depends on how we want to deal with them. Do we want to smile at them, or do we want to just frown and be reminded about our vulnerability?

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