In an interrogation room, two chairs face each other across a desk. At a birthday party, the guest of honor sits at the head of the table. In a museum, bench seating is placed at regular intervals in the center of a room. At a principal’s office, the student is instructed to “sit down.” On a stage, a comedian stands beside an empty stool. At an auction, everyone sits, save the auctioneer.
A seat is a frame and a proposition. A person sitting either subscribes to or rejects suggestion; their body gives in to the framework, or contradicts it- settles into an armrest or sits forward, lounges on a chaise or perches on edge.
When the functionality of the form is prioritized, a chair is more or less self-evident. A seat with four legs and a back can have an uncomplicated purpose. A folding chair provides the utilitarian uses of being portable stackable, and sit-able. An execution chair is constructed to suit its intention: remain stable, unbreakable, and provide constraints.
However when aesthetics and composition reign, a new function is served. The grandeur and adornment of a throne purposes to reflect the power of the sitter, the elegance and recline of the Eames proposes to embody a comfortable lifestyle. Here, the chair becomes a status symbol, the position of power or the privilege of leisure.
For the exhibition Sit-In, a cacophonous individuality arises. Vastly distinctive seats have been created, deconstructed, reconfigured and repurposed. Positioned in rows and facing a unified direction, a collective stance arises. Draped curtains provide the suggestion of a backdrop- a gesture of substantiation or revelation of artifice. Sit-in is a theatre of subversion and a revision of what we know.
Exhibition: April 7-May 20, 2018
JESSICA JACKSON HUTCHINS
SARA GREENBERGER RAFFERTY