10 Chairs by STIR invoked an age-old debate

STIR moderated a conversation with the participants of a unique collaborative fundraiser for the cause of abandoned animals.

by Rahul Kumar Published on : Dec 10, 2019

In a recently concluded exhibition, titled 10-Chairs X STIR, artists were paired with designers to react to the idea of a seemingly mundane everyday object, a chair. The result was exemplary, unique works of art. The two works that stood out for me, personally, were the works of Martand Khosla/Gunjan Gupta and Karl Antao/Gurjit Matharoo.

‘Martand Khosla X Gunjan Gupta's ‘Chairity starts at home’; paper, brick dust, and varied metals  | 10 Chairs X STIR | Martand Khosla and Gunjan Gupta | STIRworld
Martand Khosla X Gunjan Gupta's ‘Chairity starts at home’; paper, brick dust, and varied metals Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

Martand-Gunjan installation, titled Chairity starts at home, comprised 24 wall mounted-playful chair-objects. With the idea of reimagining seats, the duo explored places and planes of rest. They used brick-dust, core to Khosla’s practice, and brass-sheet that is often used by Gupta in her works. The simplicity and humour of this collection is invigorating, though the architectural nature of the objects had overpowering reference of Khosla's influence.

Karl Antao x Gurjit Matharoo’s ‘Me-Raaj’; fibre optics, glass beads | 10 Chairs X STIR | Karl Antao and Gurjit Matharoo | STIRworld
Karl Antao x Gurjit Matharoo’s ‘Me-Raaj’; fibre optics, glass beads Image Credit: Courtesy of Gallery Espace

‘Me-Raaj’ by Karl Antao and Gurjit Matharoo commented on chair as an indication of worldly possession. Using fibre optics, hundreds of light-bulbs hung in the form of a conventional chair. These lights were programmed to switch on and off in a rhythmic flow, making the chair disappear with every breath. It forced the viewers to wonder on the notion of what is real and what may be a mirage.

The event, hosted by Gallery Espace and presented by STIR, was in support of The Good Karma Shelter at Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh, India) for abandoned animals. On the preview night, STIR was in conversation with participating artists and designers. The group deliberated on the need of distinction between creative disciplines of design and art. The fact that there were varied views is not a surprise at all! There was also dialogue on the idea of collaboration to produce co-authored single works of art. And finally, art for a cause as a format to acquire works of art was a topic of deliberation. While some may believe that art should be acquired only when one falls in love with it, an underlying idea of charity helps raise funds to support a cause. The sales at this event are in the form of a silent auction.

And where did the group sit for this illustrious conversation? …no, not on any of the chairs they produced. They sat on a humble staircase!

A glimpse of the remaining chairs exhibited at Gallery Espace:-

  • Martand Khosla x Gunjan Gupta’s ‘Chairity starts at home’; paper, brick dust, and varied metals | 10 Chairs X STIR | Martand Khosla and Gunjan Gupta | STIRworld
    Anita Dube X Madhav Raman’s ‘O Phantom of Liberty!’; wood, sunmica, ceramic, plastic, velvet, mirror, acoustics, diptych Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • ‘Chairity starts at home’ explored places and planes of rest | 10 Chairs X STIR | Martand Khosla and Gunjan Gupta | STIRworld
    Bose Krishnamachari X Alex Davis’s “… and the 4th chair”; gesso and mixed media on canvas Image Credit: Courtesy of Gallery Espace
  • GR Iranna X Klove’s ‘The umbilical chair’; light installation, metal, wood, blown glass | 10 Chairs X STIR | GR Iranna and Klove | STIRworld
    GR Iranna X Klove’s ‘The umbilical chair’; light installation, metal, wood, blown glass Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Marcantanio X Scarlet Splendour’s ‘Forest Chair’; fibre glass and brass | 10 Chairs X STIR | Marcantanio and Scarlet Splendour | STIRworld
    Marcantanio X Scarlet Splendour’s ‘Forest Chair’; fibre glass and brass Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Puneet Kaushik X Ayush Kasliwal’s ‘Takeme’; embroider beads on canvas, wood, cast metal, synthetic fur and a natural wood | 10 Chairs X STIR | Puneet Kaushik X Ayush Kasliwal | STIRworld
    Puneet Kaushik X Ayush Kasliwal’s ‘Takeme’; embroider beads on canvas, wood, cast metal, synthetic fur and a natural wood Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Shakuntala Kulkarni X Sanjay Puri’s ‘La Liberta’; certified green polymer board, acid free paper | 10 Chairs X STIR | Shakuntala Kulkarni and Sanjay Puri | STIRworld
    Shakuntala Kulkarni X Sanjay Puri’s ‘La Liberta’; certified green polymer board, acid free paper Image Credit: Courtesy of Gallery Espace
  • Valay Gada X Mandeep Nagy’s ‘The Anchorite’s Armchair: A Seat for the Soul’; brass, mild steel, cotton, fabric, gold foil, beads | 10 Chairs X STIR | Valay Gada and Mandeep Nagy | STIRworld
    Valay Gada X Mandeep Nagy’s ‘The Anchorite’s Armchair: A Seat for the Soul’; brass, mild steel, cotton, fabric, gold foil, beads Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

The participating artists-designers at 10 Chairs X STIR

1. Anita Dube X Madhav Raman
2. Bose Krishnamachari X Alex Davis
3. GR Iranna X Klove
4. Karl Antao X Gurjit Matharoo
5. Marcantanio X Scarlet Splendour
6. Martand Khosla X Gunjan Gupta
7. Puneet Kaushik X Ayush Kaslival
8. Shakuntala Kulkarni X Sanjay Puri
9. Valay Gada X Mandeep Nagy

The event was co-curated by Pramiti Madhavji and Sonali Purewal, and hosted by Renu Modi at Gallery Espace.

(For enquiries please contact www.sonalipurewal.com)

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About Author

Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Having switched from corporate consulting after almost twenty years, Rahul now practices as a ceramic artist. Besides exhibiting in shows, he also teaches and curates programmes. His passion for arts has led him to write regularly for various leading journals, and with STIR, his roles extends to that of putting together the arts section.

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