In the Office exhibition “To Express the Feelings of a Chair When We Sit on it” borrows its title from a work of the 2010 Broomberg & Chanarin series, “The Prestige of Terror”, in which the work was based on a pamphlet written by the Egyptian surrealist George Henein in response to the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
“A chair”, in Henein’s own phrase, is the direct object of the verb “to sit”. Yet Henein’s proposition that the chair notices that it is being sat upon makes it into a kind of oblique and surreal subject. Henein’s phrase is also a command –“to express”, and as a result, its response to that command is exhibited in this selection of art works of Middle East and European artists that might anticipate the chair as a protagonist.
The exhibition, curated by Antonis Minas and Christos Kyriakides, is located on one of Nicosia’s streets that are interrupted by the dead end of the buffer zone, in a building with ancient walls and an eight century old facade. It consists of two conjoined private spaces, one belonging to a Greek-Cypriot, the other to a Turkish-Cypriot. The Turkish-Cypriot property was left abandoned after 1974 and was later reused as a natural access to the space existing. Due to a death, the space was never utilized, with the exception of an ephemeral tenant that led to the looting of the infrastructure. All these factors were taken into account when creating the exhibition, as the the works that it hosts are considered within the wider location. Finally the space itself functions as a chair, as if it is the “seat” of the exhibition.
Here, we share a selection of works from the collection, as well as a number of works that are on loan for the purpose of the exhibition, “To Express the Feelings of a Chair When We Sit on it”.