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Artist Agathe Snow teams up with Mykita on a pair of "monumental" sunglasses for her Guggenheim Berlin show

by Karen Day in Style on 31 January 2011

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Aliens might've constructed Egyptian pyramids, but the bigger question according to artist Agathe Snow is our relationship to such towering structures. She takes up the question in her current show, an homage to monuments at the Guggenheim Berlin dubbed "All Access World." The Corsica-born, NYC-based Snow has already made a name for herself with artfully messy sculptural works and a penchant for interactive art, with this show exploring "a more democratic approach to monument ownership and distribution." Filled with an array of mobile sculptures, large-scale wall collages, video works and more, the exhibit examines the identifying the factors that bind people to places.

Accompanying the monumental mixed-media works, a pair of sunglasses designed by Snow and Berlin-based framemaker Mykita plays off the theme with subtle references to iconic landmarks. The neon pink- and black-hued shades feature a handpainted silhouette of either Manhattan's skyline or the Pyramids of Giza, applied so finely to the inner side of the lenses in gold that the wearer barely notices.

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The sunglasses, limited to an edition of 200, play off Snow's idea that visually omnipresent monuments should be "available as products" sold through her fictional company All Access World. Snow explains in an interview with Deutsche Guggenheim magazine, "Monuments are a contradiction. Things that depend on the act of remembering cannot be static. How can you be of a moment in history yet speak of timelessness?" Nailing the point home, the Mykita model that Snow chose for the project (called Cyrus) riffs off the classic Clubmaster style that everyone from JFK to surfers has sported.

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Assembled entirely by hand at the Mykita workshop, each pair is individually numbered on the temple and comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Snow. They sell from Museum Shop of the Deutsche Guggenheim (and within the next few weeks at Mykita stores and other dealers) for €370 each.

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