The idea behind The Chair Project stems from a long tradition of artists trading with artists. Artist Damian Priour has created 100 chairs made from his signature combination of glass and limestone. The stone is 100 million years old, some have fossils embedded in them and others are carved. These chairs will go to about 100 artists who will be asked to, in return, create a chair of their own making. The only limitation is that their chair must fit into the same 8x8x8 inch box that the Priour chair comes in. That does not mean that it must confine itself to that size when the box is opened, however. Artists are encouraged to use the materials for which they are known but the only thing required is creativity.
Artists should feel free to experiment, be creative, paint, build or sculpt. Any media is acceptable, as long as it can be exhibited. They can be either 2d or 3d. Painters uncomfortable with sculpture may paint a found or purchased chair or create a painting of a chair. It’s all about stretching creative muscles, limited only to the format of a chair no matter how one interprets it.
The artists won’t be notified in advance that they are being invited to participate. The impact of opening an unexpected package containing something that is theirs to keep -- no matter what -- is a strong one. Hopefully, the delight at receiving an unexpected gift may convey into a similar delight in participation. There is the possibility of sending them out and nothing comes back, but that is part of the project too, even though that is not expected to happen.
The Austin Museum of Art has enthusiastically endorsed this project, and together we are planning an exhibit that will appeal to a very broad audience during their showcasing in the fall of 2014. The chairs of the participating artists will be on exhibit at the Austin Museum of Art from November 15th, 2014 through February 8th, 2014. There are also unconfirmed plans to have the exhibit travel to more museum venues.
They should make a great exhibit. Chairs are, after all ubiquitous with no lack of symbolism. They can be places of honor or places of punishment. They comfort us and support us. We can cuddle in them or squirm or sleep or fall off of them. Interesting things, chairs. Chairs can garner a sense of community... imagine them in a circle. They can be meditative... imagine one alone in a room.
There are more than a few potential off-shoot projects associated with this. One can imagine artists trading the chairs they get from Priour among themselves. Or, a collector trying to collect all of them from the individual artists.
Phase 1 -- the first 100 chairs -- are going to artists with a Texas connection. Phase 2 and 3 are The National Chair Project and The Global Chair project, in which artists will donate chairs to be auctioned off for the above mentioned "chairity" categories.
Please feel free to communicate in writing. A compilation of the best correspondence with participating artist’s thoughts, ideas and opinions on chairs will be published, with permission.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Damian Priour originated the Texas Chair Project. He lives near Austin, Texas.