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July 22 2014

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An “Object Lesson” With Some Particularly Covetable Objects

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Louis Vuitton unveiled Sudarshan Shetty’s piece House of Shades, the house’s latest art commission, in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II yesterday. To the untrained eye, it looked something like the shell of a Sunglass Hut—700 pairs of Vuitton sunglasses silently gyrated underneath the famous glass-topped arcade. We were sure that there was a more profound message at hand. “The House of Shades is an object lesson; the sunglasses reflect the viewer and so the viewer transforms into the object and not the glasses,” the artist explained. But to be fair, he did admit that an airport kiosk was his point of departure.

Critics and the public alike were quick to try to uncover any “fringe benefits” this collaboration might lead to. A new line of Shetty-styled LVs in the pipeline, perhaps? “No,” said a spokesman; this type of artist/corporate collaboration is independent of retail and intended to show the public the philanthropic side of the maison. From where we stood, it was clear that those who circled around the installation were continuing to hope for an added extra, wondering how well those glasses where welded to the structure. But armed guards were stationed in place, as they will be for the whole week the installation remains up, to make sure that no one walks away with a pair.

Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

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Dept. of Culture