A lot can happen in 24 hours. Ernesto Bones was once thought to be a "super sensitive, dapperly dressed, dandy—a poet, a creative optimist, a lover of life and of all things bright and beautiful." A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones tells a different story—one filled with drugs, alcohol (and a lot of it), stalkers and an inevitable murder.
5-6AM: A deconstructed mirrored silhouette of Ernesto—his own stalker after all—lies upon the floor with large parts missing. Nearby a restart button, photographed by John Short in the picture above, is close at hand to begin the story all over again.
Organized by London-based designer Ab Rogers with the support of the Stanley Picker Gallery, A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones is a multi-media, non-linear narrative told through the surrealist game of exquisite corpse—24 collaborators were each asked to write an hour of the fictional character Ernesto Bones' short life based on a photograph of an everyday object from the Stanley Picker House. Ab Rogers Design, in turn, took those stories and translated them into design objects that were installed in an unassuming hutong in the Dashilar Design Hop district. A truly collaborative project bringing together an international group of creatives, the estate and gallery of an art collector, photography and design objects, the project seems even more surreal set in the context of the backalleys of Beijing. All photos included in the exhibition are by John Short.
A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones
Ab Rogers Design
Dashilar Design Hop District
No 7, Zhujia Hutong
11-12AM: A responsive floor of undulating tiles that rise and sink as you walk across them creates instability to simulate the emotion of drunken walking. Inspired by Ben Kelly, interior designer, writing about Stanley Picker's cocktail strainer.
2-3PM: A collection of floating organic vessels connected by vivid yellow cables, containing and reflecting surreal light. Inspired by David Tanguay, graphic designer, writing about Stanley Picker's collection of swizzle sticks.
3-4PM: Lured to the keyhole the viewer is turned stalker by their own curiosity as they look in and see their back view on a CCTV monitor peering into the box. Inspired by Adrian Searle, art critic, writing about Stanley Picker's collection of envelope openers.
4-5PM: An unfurled cocoon of cow-hide offers respite for the soul. 6-7PM: A schizophrenic cabinet conceals a collection of storage voids for secrets to be hidden and lost in. Inspired by Charlotte Cullinan, artist, writing about Stanley Picker's vinyl record of the soundtrack for the film, The Graduate.
1-2AM: A ceramic vessel on a pedestal contains continuous stream of strange, amorphous jungle sounds puncturated by the ceaseless tick of the metronome. Inspired by Daniel Hunt, musician, writing about Stanley Picker's piano.
2-3AM: A naive flocked card table on super spindly legs with relief cutouts showing the game at play. Inspired by Susan Cohn, jeweller, writing about Stanley Picker's poker chips.
4-5AM: A scale diorama shows Ernesto Bones in contemplation of a pool of blood as he discovers his stalker floating dead in the pool. Inspired by Michael Connor, graphic designer, writing about Stanley Picker's panel of light switches.
A wall decoration and playing card found in the hutong.