Chairs resemble to our bodies; sometimes they even take the shape of human bodies. It is not because they have just legs. They have feet, claws, arms, like us. Indeed, a chair can help to relax, but also express personal relationships. It can be a memorial, a gravestone image and, even more interestingly, it can be considered as an object that reconciles many conflicting values. It is because of this, that the writer Leora Auslander defines a chair as a "double agent" in her book Taste and Power.
Having a considerable number of artworks inspired by the conflicting values of chairs, armchairs, or thrones, in our collection, GALERIAKALO is organizing this 20th exhibition hoping to contribute to the awareness that the way we approach and sit on armchairs, and especially on thrones, sometimes may have an impact on our lives.
It is quite interesting that many internationally recognized artists, including Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Tony Oursler, Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, etc. have paid special attention to chairs / armchairs in their creative activity. Chairs or armchairs in their artworks are presented, in most of the cases, as objects of comfort. They painted seated people or animals, in comfort, or seats or chars that are empty but ready to give comfort if you seated. Some other artists have expressed discomfort, fear or other feelings in their artworks. In contract with Van Gogh who painted an empty chair in his room, one of the masterpieces that many of us have seen in galleries, books, or media, as an object of comfort, part of interior of his room, Andy Warhol finds a completely different corner when he painted the electric chair. It is perhaps a call for protesting against death chair, and even wider, death penalty? Other artists have painted thrones as objects that people look at with great ambition. They are made for kings or other powerful people. But people look at empty thrones as vacant places where they can be seated, or at least they dream so. Temptation to becoming mighty. A throne, that simple piece of wood in appearance, may give you immense power to rule, power to control, power to possess everything on earth.
Albanian artists that GALERIAKALO selected for this special exhibition have approached comfort and power in an original manner.
Gazmend Leka in his artwork Armor describes through a symbol the situation of defense and might. The artist puts the armor as an object on a pedestal, as usually they do in museums. The metaphor Leka is using in this painting shows how we can be influenced by the shadow of the mighty, the omnipotent. Although he is not on the pedestal himself, his “robe” left there, carelessly, suffices to scare people anyway, as it happens with the birds in the fields that are scared by the scare-craws.
Genti Korini creates a metaphor in his painting Three chairs. It can be interpreted as a situation of competition between four or more people who run around the chairs to sit on the empty ones. So, it is likely he has got inspiration from the game "Sit on the empty chair" played in the social events, parties. Another point of view when looking at that painting could be the confusion that often is created when people do not know which chair is the leading one. Perhaps the artist wants to express his concern on the political uncertainty where often three poles, representing three parties or leaders, look through three different directions, thus leading you to nowhere. A kind of puzzle.
The painting by Idlir Koka titled A dialogue prepared in advance is a kind of observation of the artist on false talks, where no emotions are conveyed, but rather, hypocrisy or superficial or deceptive way of presenting issues or views - a kind of approach that propaganda that used to exist mainly during communist regimes adopted. The talks in such arrangements is conducted by the two persons seated and the show has just two people, no audience. Only those who talk to each other. Other people are not needed. The setting, the show room is all needed. Above all, this whole concept is set by the organizers well in advance.