Electric chairs… Need I say more? Apparently, yes, as it’s not what you probably think it is! Here, we’re talking about one good-looking showcase by Kartell – “7 Electric Chairs… As You Like It” at Teatro alla Scala in Milan:
The collection is a collaborative effort between Kartell and Robert Wilson, American director and stage designer, in celebration of Wilson’s 70th birthday. The seven chair-sculptures are made of transparent polycarbonate with white colored neon lights inserted inside.
Why 7 and why it’s the way we like it, you ask? Let’s hear it from the designer, Mr. Wilson himself:
“From the number seven. Seven days of the week. I am 70 years old, seven decades, seven deadly sins and there are many more references in philosophy, mathematics. Shakespeare’s play ‘As you like it’ contains the seven ages of man, there are seven dwarfs in Snow white and there is the soft drink 7UP. Seven has always been a number that interested me.”
The collection was on display at the “Arturo Toscanini” box foyer at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano in Milan, Italy, September 19-30.
Going back again to an exhibition of Janez Suhadolc in 2006. The reason is my recent interest in Pinterest. There two photos of Robert Wilson’s Parzival Chair, Chair with a Shadow came up and I had immediately associations with that exhibition by Suhadolc.
The purpose of the setting is not to simply place Suhadolc’s chairs into a room and leave the Permanent collection authors’ paintings on the walls. The exhibition was set up by Suhadolc himself to reflect a special relationship between his own works and the works of other authors. He uses the so-called quotations by other authors. He places his works and drawings within a certain distance to the works of other authors in such a way that the visitor is forced to look at them differently than he is used to. (Namely, many a time the visitor embraces the whole image only superficially, with almost no interest in the details, the painting becomes more of an “equipment” which truncates whole experience.) This time it is different. The viewer is forced to look for details and structures, both of the paintings as well as Suhadolc’s exhibits. For us at the gallery, this kind of setting is thus even more unusual and very special since we are more or less used to setting up exhibits “as they are”. Namely, we prefer for each author and his work to be on a separate wall, and to have as little dialogue with other works as possible, except when the concept of an exhibition involves a connection of different authors.
So Suhadolc placed his chairs in a certain position vis a vis certain chair paintings. The way he did that according to the two photos here above give similar thoughts as the The Wilson Parzival Chair with a shadow. Wouldn’t you agree?
The Latter photo is from an auction (The Robert Wilson Loft Sale) at Philips de Pury in 2007 where it fetched $26,400
For me the Parzival is a chair installation in itself. But it took a detour to Slovenia to appreciate it.
Tempered clear and frosted glass. 108 cm (42 1/2 in) high Produced for RW Work Ltd by Glass Impressions, USA. Number five from the edition of ten. Originally designed for the theatrical production The Days Before: Death, Destruction and Detroit III, 1999