The chair is a case that reveals the development in the world of design in Lebanon since the last century | The backs of the mimosa

The Lebanese gallery “Tanit” opened an exhibition that combines the world of pure art and the art of interior design, in the middle of last April. It is a collective exhibition that brought together the celebration of the innovations of art stylists, most of them Lebanese, all centered around the chair in its many possible and impossible forms.

The exhibition, which is on display at the Lebanese Hall in Beirut, is entitled “Ita de Siag”. The literal translation of this title is “Siege Status”. However, the translation, or direct Arabicization of this title is not accurate in terms of the meaning or what the exhibition includes, but it is a clever title because it plays with the historical background of the word “chair” in the foreign language. ie “tweet” from the word “katirda” which means “siege”. Does not a chair, a bench, a sofa or other things constitute an enclosure and a solid multifaceted fence that surrounds the seated person, regardless of his identity? The governor has a chair, the student has a chair, and the heroes of horror movies have other chairs that do not resemble chairs, the sizes of which are magically changed, reduced or enlarged, in Alice in Wonderland.

Ceramics followed strongly along with wood and cement. Colors ranging from the most explosive to the darkest black were also present

The exhibition held by the Tan Tan Gallery is among her artistic activities that took place on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the hall in Munich, Germany and 15 years since its opening in Beirut.

The Lebanese artist and engineer, Rabih Koussa, created an artistic scenography of the country for the presentation of various designs, which differed greatly in the way they were implemented, but also in the logic that established their origin on paper before referring to the implementation. of them. . According to Joy Mardini, a strong admirer of Lebanese interior design and the godfather of this exhibition, “she came up with a high art that was able to compensate for the lack of industrial and natural materials that are not available in Lebanon and bring it back in a pure .creative force ”.

The viewer’s attention was drawn to the materials used in the designs and how they were formed, especially in what was presented by Carlos Masoud, who showed a sofa made by a group of blind masters from ropes before being poured on a base delicate metal. Ceramics were also very popular, along with wood and cement. Colors ranging from the most explosive to black also took part.

There is no doubt that this exhibition has an additional significance, because it evokes Beirut and its traditional houses and a part of the atmosphere of its furniture that was designed and implemented from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the seventies of the twentieth century, and that was completely. damaged or destroyed as a result of the double explosion of August 4, 2020. It is worth noting that the hall has a design Architect Maurice Bonfils, the father of stylist Jean-Marc Bonfils, who died in the explosion.

Chairs are the titles of the owners

The press release accompanying the exhibition also clarifies that it includes “a large number of chair and seat designs made by 20 Lebanese stylists inspired by the development of the design world that Lebanon witnessed from 1960 to the present”.

Among Lebanese artists and stylists, we mention George Mohaseb, Sami El Khazen, Thomas Trad, Aya Saleh, Joe Noman, Sarah Jarrar, Marilyn Massoud, Carla Paz, Bernard Khoury and Marc Baroud.

It is worth noting that the poster announcing this event is in itself a work of art no less important than what was present in the heart of the hall. At first glance, the viewer will see a group of red “birds” on very light-colored terraces, and they are next to each other without converging in open rooms with each other. After a careful look, the viewer discovers that the “sitting” birds he saw are nothing but chairs and that the cement rooms are nothing but platforms reminiscent of the art of “origami” executed on paper.

This poster not only soothes the viewer’s mind, but also prepares the viewer that some of what he will see inside the hall are not entirely suitable for use, simply because it does not meet the most important need of any chair. is to be comfortable at least.

This brings us to two worlds: the first is the world of fashion design and the second is the world of plastic art. As we know that many of the most famous fashion houses organize seasonal parties in which they display clothes that can not be worn, or rather, “inappropriate to wear” as much as it is an opportunity to display the power of creativity. home art. .

A chair is not just a piece of furniture
A chair is not just a piece of furniture

As for the other world to which the exhibition poster refers, it opens into two worlds, the first being the world of conceptual art, which has historically been treated with a single theme or chair, far from being a piece of furniture to present specifically. idea This work presents 74 chairs that rotate around each other to form a planet, or a single celestial body that gathers around a void that seemed so gravitational that it prevented the chairs from falling and moving away from it.

As for the second sub-world, it is the plastic art world that could cut people short by drawing their chairs in a specific shape because it suits them or “likes” them. Mention here, for example, what artist Vincent van Gogh painted: Paul Gauguin’s chair is relatively luxurious compared to the modest straw chair the artist painted as his chair. In this, no doubt, evidence of the artist’s admiration and interest in Gauguin, who regarded him as a friend and teacher.

It is worth mentioning that the exhibition “State of Siege” will continue in the gallery “Tanit” until June 25.

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