Sunday, November 24, 2013

T h e C h a i r _

Constructing the vision of the essence of occupancy of human life in their locality whether city or private space, is initially illustrated through Candida Hofer's photography. Hofer's reflections on photography of dance rehearsal halls, librarys, exhibition spaces with the absence of humans, but still reflecting body culture and the crowd within these public realms, had taken my initial conversations.
The voided ornament would be a topic to which Hofer's work can be discussed, she choices a space, of generally Public and city importance, and voids the image of any physical human illusion to the eye initially, but broadcasts their existence through the abstract patterns created by rows upon rows of lamps and desks preforming mathematically precise choreographed movements of human influence and construction, and often also emphasized by the 'left behind' or remaining rows and stacks of books, art exhibits and boxes all illustrating the past performances/ knowledge that is viewed as a cultural manifestation of life of the individual. The idea of the voided ornament is echoed throughout Hofer's work, where rhythmic repetitive gesture, anonymity and abstraction are recurring strategies, in particular empty chairs.
The constant repetitive gestures and the endless rows of empty seats or even the individual empty seat reinforces the mechanization, standardization and strict uniformity of the space, as well as the function to evoke the absent human . There is always a conversation between the architecture and the individual, a continuous interchange between the performer and the surrounding architecture. 

The empty chair questions the inscription of the human/ body in architectural environments, the one chair within the theatrical and preforming spaces, but as well as the chair creating boundaries for the viewers interpretation of the real and the virtual/ imagined space, and also a boundary between the physical and the fantastic. The chair, whether single or grouped, activates a found architecture, a human influenced space. a chair can investigate the typology of real space, evoking their social, historical or cultural functions. it is perhaps useful to isolate the role of a single chair as a means of animating space. The chair acts as a focal point, the figure of the chair preforming for the camera and is then projected , as an symbol into the envisioned reality of its space.
  Micheal Wolf 'Bastard Chairs' was an influencing piece of research in my conversations so far. it is a study that initially looks simple and thrown together, but it represents an intentional meaning. the Bastard Chairs project started when he moved to China, and represents life of an urban city through topics such as hardships, purpose and work. he is showing the beauty in these used objects and they subsequently represent social significance. 
The figure of the chair acting as a focal point. The conflation between not only the lense of the camera and the eye of the viewer, but also the intense detail of construction in the chair, representing life, results in the skillful implication of the viewer in the position of, close proximity, that which activates the piece. Wolf involves the spectator as an active participant. It is also the key that indicates a blending of the two distinct moments in the creation of life. The spectator visualizes the broadcasting qualities and meaning from these chairs. We are focused to recognize the work as an illusion, as a montage of the real and vitual. 
What is emphasized by the 'Bastard Chairs' images, is the central role played by the figure, an animator of the space. the tight fixed camera shot, the detail construction, the blending of materials and human/life experiences and influences are the spinal exciting background to these chairs and this is what helps to reinforce the figure (chair) as our focus.     

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