Sunday, November 18, 2007

Objet d'Art.

I've been noticing that the more modern art museums I go to, I'm seeing an increasing amount of chairs. Not chairs for weary travelers to rest upon, but chairs as art installations. This thought strikes me as I'm wandering through the Centre Pompidou's Musee National d' Art Moderne. Truth be told, I don't know that a chair belongs in a museum. As if the well of obscure paintings is running dry, they're now turning to the chair as objet d'art.

In fact, they much resemble the ones in my home, but perhaps that's the point. Chair at home is a replica of revolutionary design that has been mass produced and knocked off to no end, so as to seamlessly become something so commonplace that one does not give it another thought.

I suppose I can understand this sudden insurgence of household items from a design standpoint. From a purely design perspective, there was once a problem (fatigue) that needed solving, and this led to the development of the chair. But that is problem singular. Just how many other problems could there be, other than perhaps ones addressing posture?

As I pass a gnome stool designed by Phillippe Starck, I have to wonder, what correlation could a mythical garden dweller have with exhaustion or respite?

The thing is, I've grown rather fond of these chairs. The fanciful designs, the graceful curvatures. Had I the resources, I certainly wouldn't protest a work by Eames. As I migrate from room to room, contemplating the selection of furniture, all I want to do is sit down in one of them. But I suppose that's the problem with the chair as art. You can't use them in the capacity they were intended for.

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