Daniel Arsham, co-founder of New York–based design practice Snarkitecture, was given access to Leica camera’s archive, housing their most historic camera models for his new exhibition presented at Leica Gallery Los Angeles in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 7. "Daniel Arsham: A Special Project for Leica" includes renditions of camera models such as the original Leica III, the Leica CL, and Digilux 2 cast in earthly materials such as obsidian, steel, and volcanic ash, to achieve the resemblance of eroded artifacts. Complimenting Arsham’s pieces is James Law’s black and white, 20-piece photography series depicting behind-the-scenes footage of Arsham’s upcoming film project "Future Relic," where reconsidered objects serve as sculptural analogies. A projected nine-part film series, two of which have been released to date, was written by Arsham and features post-apocalyptic scenes of littered landscapes and adrift subjects attempting to piece together and eventually extinguish leftover objects from a previous civilization. Collaborators include artists such as Swizz Beats, who provided the music composition for the first film, and James Franco, who plays the worker excavating found objects in the second.
"Much of my work is about taking something normal and everyday, and making slight adjustments to it," Arsham said in a 2013 interview with Nowness about the first "Future Relic" film. "It brings people outside of their normal experience and becomes about a shift in time."
Establishing Snarkitecture in 2007 with partner Alex Mustonen, Arsham’s work is mainly architectural, playing with a myriad of mediums such as sculpture and set design, yet all of his projects are specifically grounded in manipulating objects and materials to achieve paradoxical effects. To expand this type of experimentation, Snarkitecture's multidisciplinary portfolio includes a line of functional objects with topographical shapes, collaborative installations, and commissioned projects. Drift, for instance, was the entrance pavilion for Design Miami in 2012, consisting of several dozen inflated suspended white tubes, forming mountainous shapes above, and a cavernous entry for festival attendees below. Additionally, the firm’s "Marble Run," an interactive piece where you can insert a marble that runs throughout the dozens of white, plastic towers, was a main attraction at this year’s festival.
Both Arsham and Law will be present for the reception, on Feb. 7, which starts at 6 pm and goes until 9 pm. The photography portion of the exhibition will run until Feb. 28, and the limited-edition sculptures, up for sale, will be a mainstay collection indefinitely until they are purchased.