Barcelona 2015, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen

Barcelona 2015

Excerpt from "Telling spaces" (see texts)

But furnishings can also leave the viewer’s space and become artworks,
particularly when they are placed on pedestals like sculptures used to be
(and thus switch to another space). Penelope Curtis showed this in 2007 by
presenting Henry Moore’s (1898–1986) King and Queen and Ludwig Mies
van der Rohe’s (1886–1969) Barcelona Sessel / Barcelona Chair together on
a black carpet. In this staging she was alluding to the two chairs in Mies van der
Rohe’s German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition, on which nobody
except the King and Queen of Spain were permitted to sit. Although these were
furnishings, they were clearly located in a different space. But the viewer could
ponder from personal experience how it might feel to have permission to sit on
this luxurious furniture. The two armchairs had become sculpture.

Helwing parodies this noble history of furniture as a throne by giving pride of
place under the overall title Barcelona to the Diamant Sessel / Diamond Chairs
from the Museum's inventory. Designed in 1950 by Harry Bertoia (1915–1978),
in art-historical terms these pieces of furniture represent the transition between
sculpture and seating. In Helwing’s exhibition they once again become furniture
for sitting on. Displayed in the same space are porcelain figures made by Marcks
in the last year of his life, when a large number of figurative sculptors were
rediscovering the medium of porcelain.  Arie Hartog

Material:  MDF boards, water bottles, glasses, museums pedestal, Bertoia
Diamond chairs, works by Gerhard Marcks from the series "sculptors of 20th
century work in porcellain": Halgerd (1978), Aliena (1981), Custodian (1981)