The exhibition, curated by Germano Celant, surveyed the career of American artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS, and his interest in the interaction between art and consumerism. Donnelly started out as a street artist, altering advertising images in bus stops and phone booths, and later began creating limited-edition toys, clothing and other objects, as well as paintings and sculptures that aspire to be universally understood, overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers. This exhibition featured more than forty pieces of sculpture and painting, in addition to a representative sampling of KAWS’s commercial collaborations with different brands.
Empty handled the technical development of the proposal, preparing shop drawings, monitoring local production of display elements—metalwork, carpentry and graphic elements—and subsequently installing them.
The KAWS works occupied two rooms in the fire station, the Garage and the Archive. The display furniture in the Garage consisted of large blocks made of plywood and plasterboard with an internal reinforcement structure—based on a preliminary study of the pieces—that delimited the space and played with the gravity of the pieces. For the Archive, we created large “beam-showcases” made of Corian and acrylic glass for displaying smaller merchandising pieces.
The most complicated graphic task was applying vinyl panels to the building facades, which were scanned to study all potential interferences between the architecture and the design and adapt the final arts to the real geometry of the space. The exterior graphics on the old fire station garage doors were the main advertisement for the exhibition. In the installation process, finding a vinyl material that could withstand the high temperatures in Doha was also a challenge.