Nearly 15 years ago the work of British set designer Es Devlin was spotted by Kanye West, immediately asking the designer to rework the set for his Touch the Sky tour. Since then, Devlin has worked with Kanye again (on his and Jay-Z‘s Watch the Throne tour) as well as collaborating with Beyoncé on her Formation tour and creating the catwalk for a number of Louis Vuitton shows.
Devlin has recently begun exhibiting her own art, and sat down with Canada-based e-tailer SSENSE to discuss “ROOM 2022” — a hotel room-inspired installation she displayed at Art Basel Miami. Check out some of the key excerpts from the interview below.
On her set design work:
“In concerts and theater, the audience is as essential to the ritual as the performers. It’s a matter of calibrating the role of audience as protagonist, and I’ve always approached stage design and art as simply sculpture, environment, and installation.”
On hotel rooms:
“It’s very similar to theater, in that there’s a slight of hand, an illusion. You engage in the illusion that the room is yours. When you leave trash in the room, or don’t make your bed, you almost believe that there’s an invisible magic tidying the room before you return.”