Chair Persona: review on The Chair Project-Aura Club

A chair is a seat for one person or more, with a support for the back. It affects the posture and comfort of a human being, therefore it forms an elevated and adjusted layer from the ground to the person's back side. This is precisely what a chair means in its pure sense, however, the act of sitting can take different definitions. An exhibition took place at the Historic Al-Americani Hospital Building to view the work of female students organized by Aura Club; an art group from Kuwait University's College for Women Department of Art and Design. The exhibition is an out result of a workshop to experiment with self representation through a chair.

Self portrait naturally requires delicate understanding to one's self as well as what it will represent. For instant, in acting the role of a real person on stage or in a movie, it is usually a realistic imitation to the person's look, character and movement because it is a [person : person] transformation, while we find another perception to self portraying in [person : sculpture] transformation; Here said Michelangelo:

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. "

So he takes the process from a person to a mind -not hand- exercise on the rock which brings out the sculpture he wants to carve. The technical form of a figural sculpture is a frozen posture and an expression of a person, which expands motion and character perspectives in the mind; projected on the mind screen rather than the eye screen. That's why even realistic or literal imitation of a person's look into a sculpture can be considered mid-way between realism and abstraction.

Reaching the [person : chair] experiment with such process analysis we understand that it requires mutual exchange of values from both elements: the person and the chair. what I have seen there in the exhibition, was a self expression rather than self exploration.

When I first saw [11] I thought it is very elaborate to what a person would look like as a chair, when I asked the designer of this piece she said that she was inspired by a certain artist and she expressed, through the chair element, all the thoughts and causes she believes in. What she said is respected, but I thought that this is how the chair could have represented her if it have talked, but as a silent element she wouldn't express all these topics by just standing there silent in some public space.

Thoughts are not physical, they are rational in their nature, and a chair is a spacial element, so if we would find a connection between thoughts and causes as she wanted and the chair; it is probably through translating thoughts into spacial values. I can see that she was trying to symbolize the chair instead, but the chair stood very neutral to what her thoughts may express. [8] Is another chair which I found considering a sort of spacial value, and I thought in the way the designer was dressed that she was a sheltered person which probably explains the box she surrounds her chair with, but when got closer to read the description this what it said:

-It's a small world-
Every time we meet different people
We deal with different situations
We face different experiences

We express different feelings

Life is too short to live it in sadness

And too easy to find your happiness path

Everyone chooses their path, following their philosophy in life

I felt their is something invalid in the over all experiment of hers, I told her that her title says that it is a small world, yet she talks about differences, differences expands the world into an additive mode! and then she said: " I represented differences with the splashes of colors on the interior of the box and on the chair, and the colors, in the different times we pass by can always reflect on us". "but this box can be fully closed as you are putting a curtain on the exposed side, and when it is draped down you cannot see any color" I exclaimed. "yeah that's why I used colors that gleam in the night", out of great amazement from her answer I said unconsciously: "but this is against nature!".

I personally think that the world isn't small, and if she wants to show such concept it is better to represent it on how events return to each other in a way that evokes the illusion of a small world, but again this was a shift from the simple idea of representing herself, she wasn't talking about herself she wasn't precise to tackle herself in person, but general in talking about a whole life. I also noticed that she wrote her sentences with a "we", it is very intriguing that she put her chair under this isolated condition and speaks about it as a we.

all the rest showed their ideas about themselves by creating a chair persona; a mask on the chair. symbolizes general meanings of life and takes their actions away from experience to literal exposition. The chair No [1] However was well acted upon and I can find some sort of discovery, yet the way it was installed was not as thoughtful, the description had said that back to any concept in life there lies a structure.

Installation is as important as the whole project and the irrelevant technique on how the chair pieces were hanged had made some confusion and distracted the essence of the action made on the chair. How can we explore the structure that lies beneath plans? how can it allow for evolution? how does it relate to you as a person?, are questions should be taken into consideration.

After viewing this exhibition, I realized how hard it is to personalize an object, because it is hard not to elaborate. I was sure that I would be glad that a chair with cut legs alone with no pink drape and candles or a chair with only an arm added to it can explain to me in a more direct and delicate sense the personality portrayed. We can always elaborate, but only if this would reflect a very precise relevance to us.

Eventually I would like to thank their effort on displaying their work and for their friendly spirits on discussing their chairs.

-Another review on the subject:
The Chair Project Exhibition reflects artist's Aura, by Sarah Al-Zouman