«Art is about the placement of things, the choice of placing one thing next to another. Why, how and where things are, affect how we understand and perceive them.»
Haim Steinbach in Franco Speroni and Luisa Valeriani (ed.),
L’assenza invadente del divino, Rome, Edizioni De Luca, 2000
Each context defines its way of sitting, like each society defines its set of rules within which it operates. Beyond its end purpose, each object raises a number of issues, including production, environment, culture, and socio-political considerations.
Since the appearance of Internet and the continuous democratization of digital technologies, design constantly permeates new territories from the very non-visible to the hyper visible ones. Think how the meaning of the term ‘design’ is getting blurry as to, what it is or isn’t, what is does or doesn’t do, making it more difficult to pinpoint its true essence. Even back in 1976, George Nelson, when writing the introduction to the catalogue of “MAN transFORMS” accepted the difficulty: “asked to do too much with too little and [these words] change, imperceptibly but inexorably, in response to shifts in social vision”.
Since, most of our communication relies on visual culture; the exhibition’s aim is to visually articulate the complexity of today’s emerging themes by grouping them into four categories:
_Digital: as manufacturing becomes increasingly digitized, it allows for more flexibility in the making process – production is moving back to where ‘things’ are conceived. It impacts new models of production, distribution, business and behaviours. From process driven work to digital philanthropy and shared knowledge. How 3d printing is becoming a commercially viable manufacturing method of its own.
_Geography: how, in turn, the digital revolution leads to the renaissance of local production and craftsmanship, leading to both global and local production.
_Manufacturing: current considerations and the shift towards customized industrial processes.
_Typology: what defines a chair and what is taken into account when designing one.
By presenting thirty-two produced objects this exhibition explores the ongoing changes in the Man-made world. Sixteen seats are placed next to sixteen objects. Each pair consists of a “chair” juxtaposed with another object – its “analogy”. The goal is to extract the main characteristic common to both of them: the “idea”. The exhibition is thought out as analogue software: a system of representation operating with tags and associations, where a seat guides a category (the idea), which, in turn, defines the object (the analogy).
The exhibit proposes to be a tool for “seeing”. “Ways of seeing/sitting” seeks to trigger the visitors’ awareness by reversing the setting and establishing a dialogue with the audience. The aim is to provoke their perception on how these objects are conditioned by the realities of contemporary society.
Curator: Maria Jeglińska