Volume Black Gallery will also be hosting our next event on Saturday, October 2nd. Details soon to come.
art that pops the brain
Joseph Wolf Grazi is not the first person to create furniture as art, but he does succeed in combining a new sophistication and confidence mixed with psychological influences. When first acquainted with the chair it becomes a matter of questioning yourself. The self is subject to either alienation of the chair (refusal to sit) or one can make the decision to be part and parcel of the art; almost as if you and the artist are forming a trusting relationship. You need to inherently trust the craftsmanship of the artist when sitting because if not the fear that you may collapse upon the needles within the plexiglass takes over your thoughts.
It is the second chair built by Joseph Grazi and serves to the viewer as a functional piece of furniture, but also a sculpture in the round. Evocative in nature, it encompasses the idea of emplacement–it affects the viewer through a total context: mind, body, and place. What the piece is able to do is evoke different reactions, which mostly depends on the personality type. If we are predisposed to fears than fearing comes organically. However, if one considers themselves more adventurous then the task of sitting becomes exhilarating. Art holds a power over our own psychological vicissitudes of self definition: we are all performing in front of an audience and apparatus.
As you walk up to the chair you first examine the 76 syringes that fill the plexiglass. You ask yourself several questions: Am I supposed to sit on this? Wait–how does an artist get a hold of 76 syringes? And as you walk around the chair and the angles and perspectives change you realize that no view is exactly the same. Gothic in stature, as you sit in the chair you feel as if you were sitting at a royal family’s dinner table, but atop syringes and plexiglass rather than rich-carved mahogany. It all comes down to being glamorous. Brigitte Weingart puts it eloquently: “Glamour is aura.” Glamour is beauty, fascination, strategies used to create an optical deception and, in terms of etymology, it can serve as an unexpected source of encouragement.
Given the transparency of the material and where the chair is placed, the aesthetic is manipulated based on its surrounding environment. The dynamism of the chair provides many distractions that lead the viewer away from the element that is trying to pull you in: “Would you like to have a seat?;” this is the psychologically-driven moment that I’ve observed first hand. Those being asked the question are left in limbo; either they take a seat (and find it pleasurable and comfortable) or they refuse. If one chooses the latter it is mostly out of fear and, thus, the chair has affected this individual.
What exactly is “art that pops the brain”? It makes one think about the conversation that exists in art. The chair is perfect example because not only is it provocative it may very well scare the shit out of you. It’s not a matter of knowing a time period, it is more about the internal conversation between the chair and you. It’s only a chair; we sit in them everyday. So, have a seat or not.