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UAL Research Online

Chair Archive (collection of seven)

Ball, Ralph and Taylor, Maxine (2008) Chair Archive (collection of seven). [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Ball, Ralph and Taylor, Maxine

The Chair Archive study expands on from 'Sustaining Desire, the Chair as Cultural, Ecological and Visual Narrative an AHRB Innovation Award research project jointly developed by Ralph Ball and Maxine Naylor. It also makes an alternative proposition to our recent deconstructive study Chair Anatomy and extends our investigation into how reflective design articulated directly through artefacts may be used rhetorically to bring sustainable issues and a revaluing what we already have into critical focus.

Where Chair Anatomy dissects, Chair Archive encloses. In Chair Archive a random collection of discarded chairs are partially encased and re-presented to frame questions about our relationship to obsolescence, sustainability and value. 7 well-used, abandoned chairs are each ambiguously ‘contained’ in plywood cases. The encasing follows, with varying degrees of coverage, the rudimentary contours of each selected chair. The ambiguity of the relationship of case to content is exploited to stimulate speculation. Are they archaeological specimens, packing cases, cocoons, embryos or the skins of newer chairs growing over older ones? In consequence each study draws contrasting attention simultaneously to the underlying generic chair form and to the unique patina of each particular chair. The paradoxical uniqueness of the mass produced object is preserved and celebrated.

An experimental method, analogous to the way that nature ‘archives’ the man made by ‘covering over’, was used. Abandoned chairs metaphorically lost from appreciation because of their ‘dead’ condition were, in a kind of structural mummification, blurred and constructed over in order to re-mystify and re-engage interest. Archival encasing presents the chair as both object and museum. A paradoxical 'enclose to expose', 'conceal to reveal' strategy evolved. Chair parts displayed and covered were specifically responsive to the examined object’s formal nature enabling newly visible chair constructs and embodying authentic visual narratives.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 16 October 2008
Related Websites: http://www.englandgallery.com/Exhib_Chair_Poetics_2009.htm, http://www.vincon.com/es/indeterminate-cases.html, http://spring3d.net/spring/site2/pages/show.php?id=27
Related Websites:
Related Exhibitions: Photographic elements of both studies were also exhibited at Lost and Found Spring Gallery New York in parallel with ICFF 2009 (international contemporary furniture fair).
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Indeterminate Cases Ralph Ball and Maxine Naylor, La Sala Vincon, Barcelona, Spain16 October 200815 November 2008
Chair Poetics Envisioning Anonymity Ralph Ball and Maxine Naylor Venue, England & Co, London,UK 19 September 2009 - 30 November 2009September 200930 November 2009
Material/Media: standard, injection moulded, plastic, shell chairs, plywood
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 14:39
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2014 10:00
Item ID: 5901
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5901

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