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Valentina Croci
Milano
Ottagono Magazine

Antiheroico, antielitario y antipaternalistico

If you asked some children to draw the sun, they would draw a circle with a lot of rays around it. If you asked some children to draw a lamp, as long as they have grown up in our cultural frame of reference, they would draw Inout. This specific archetypal shape is undoubtedly one of the reasons for the success of Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda’s lamp. Inout evokes the traditional standard lamp with a shade made of pleated fabric, an object that has been commonplace in all middle-class homes since houses began to be lit by electricity. Historically, this archetypal shape arose as a response to a functional need and in a certain cultural context. But although his shape no longer corresponds to the technology of what was the original physical structure, its signic value persists in our collective imagery. Inout’s déjà-vu shape, which harks back to a tradition of hand manufacture, is immediately contradicted by the lamp itself: Inout is made from a single piece of rotation moulded polyethylene, with no break between the column and the shade. It is therefore a contemporary, mass-produced product. And very innovative in its technical components. Inout interprets an archetypal shape in an ironic tone, playing on the surprise effect of its visual details and its tactile qualities, and above all on the fact that it is out of scale. Out of scale in terms both of the disproportion of the midget version and of the giant. The result is a new unity, an invention, which is as familiar to us in terms of its signs as it is strange with regard to the relationship we have with the object. In fact, Inout’s undeniable emotional charge, very well expressed in the accompanying promotional campaign, is made explicit in its reference to dialectic opposites: Inout is ordinary in shape and exotic in its proportions; traditional in its function and expressive in the use of the materials and the technology; brave and humble at the same time. In this poetic and aesthetic tension, Inout combines rationality, dreams and play. This dimension half-way between the ordinary and the surprising is always widely accepted by the public, since it rejects transcendence and establishes a workaday reality of uses and memories, personal and collective. In fact, Inout speaks to us of our frame of reference and how each of us sees objects and our relationship with them. Inout becomes part of our daily life like a novelty that has always existed. Without destabilising fractures, Inout relates to the collective cultural heritage with an antiheroic, anti-elitist and anti-paternalistic attitude.

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