I received an invitation to do a show from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Bordeaux and I went to have a look. I loved the museum of seventeenth and eighteenth century items but not so much the contemporary exhibition space. On the way back I looked through the book they had given me and began imagining the same room sets with one or two modern pieces in them.
I wrote to the director, Bernadette de Boysson, suggesting this idea, not very hopeful it would be accepted, and happily she agreed. I started selecting pieces with a plan to hide them among the various room sets in the most discreet way possible. It was a game which culminated in two days of infiltrating and blending the old with the new, adjusting the atmosphere of each room in as light a way as possible.
It was an extremely pleasurable experience, recognising as I worked on it that I was alongside my professional ancestors and how little the basic goal of making good atmosphere has changed. To my senses the new helped the old and vice versa.
The Friends of the Museum were not so happy with the idea but following their tour of the exhibition some of them had not noticed the aliens in their midst! Later on it became popular with school groups to find the ‘fakes.’
Extracted from A Book of Things by Jasper Morrison (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015)