STUDY 3:

THE GIFT

This chair is designed to model the relationship between humanity and the environment. By dramatizing the point of adaptation to environment, a consciousness about human action is established. The action of sitting is not permitted without the addition of comfort pads. It is a reminder that the built environment is artificial and without architecture, the world is a largely inhospitable place. 

 

Formally, the unsettling inspiration for this chair is Man Ray’s Cadeau. The sculpture is a mostly a ready made object, an iron, with one alteration, a single row of 13 nails, points out, down the center of the iron. The aesthetic itself is startling, the iron looks dangerous, however the more startling part is the perversion of the everyday object into something unusable. 

 

The same startling effect is produced, perhaps to a greater degree, with a chair because of its closer relationship to body. The chair, one of the most ordinary household objects, has been altered in the same way Man Ray altered the iron, with a series of spikes. The chair is made of powder coated sheet metal. The only way to access the chair is put on a costume of “comfort pads.” The comfort pads have been constructed of sewn oil cloth around rigid insulation foam and teddy bear stuffing. The penumbral consequence of the comfort pads is an exaggeration of body parts and their interaction with furniture. The contrast between the inhospitable metal frame and the foam filled comfort pads brings attention to the illusion of comfort within the harsh world humanity inhabits.