“The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” are the final lines of the Preface to The Picture of Dorian Grey, evidence of how already in 1890 the times had led Oscar Wilde to reflect on the usefulness of things and especially on their uselessness. In a society where every decision, every move is made with a view to personal gain and greater economic gain, art, precisely because it is futile, is free from this mentality, from this status quo that does not seem to want to change.
130 years after these words, artists are still wondering about the futility of art and the role it should have. Among these is Octavi Serra, who has dedicated his latest project and exhibition entitled “Inútil” to this theme.
Born in 1990, Octavi Serra is an artist whose work aims to give an interpretation of modern society. Through images, works and conceptual installations, the artist tells in an ironic way the contradictions of our world and addresses issues such as privacy, greed, selfishness, the relationship with technology, environmental destruction.
Last month on his Instagram profile, Octavi Serra began to share with his followers photos of objects that appeared to be common, but instead hid an unusual quality: they were all useless.
Presented as furniture for sale, complete with an explanatory brochure with a design inspired by IKEA instruction booklets, the “Inútil” collection consists of a table leaning against chairs and at which it is impossible to sit, a bed designed for those who dream of a life in a couple or just for egocentric people, a shelf for a single book, a door that leads nowhere, a nightstand that acts as a lamp, an empty painting and a sculpture made from pieces to build other furniture.
Objects with which Octavi Serra fights the common thought that wants something to be done only because it can be done and because it will make more money. The artist wants to give space to the value of uselessness and to the importance of thought and pauses: progress and society need both moments of construction and moments to reflect on where we are heading.