THE CABINETMAKERS' AUTUMN EXHIBITION 2009
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 13 November 2009 - 31 January 2010
Opening hours Tuesday - Sunday 11-17
Graphic Design: Trefold
Exhibition Design: Jesper Kongshaug
Photographer: Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen
Translation: Dorte Herholdt Silver
We wish to thank the following foundations and sponsors for their support for
The Cabinetmakers´ Autumn Exhibition 2009
Dialogue - a chair that is up for negotiation:
Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968
Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond
Harlang & Toksvig Fondet
JM Rør A/S
Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck´s Fond
The National Workshops for Arts and Crafts
Thomas B. Thriges Fond
Udviklingscenter for Møbler og Træ (UMT)
DIALOGUE - a chair that is up for negotiation
Would Obama, Netanyahu or Hu Jintao all pick the same chair for negotiations during the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, COP15? Might the chair be a sandbox? Two chairs tied together by one length of fabric? Might it resemble a fountain with water jets indicating different points of view? Be a transparent wall? Or a chair with flexible legs? Does it even make sense to think that a chair can make a difference?
The Cabinetmakers´ Autumn Exhibition explore this question with the chair exhibition "DIALOGUE - a chair that is up for negotiation", which takes its point of departure in the 2009 climate change summit, COP15, where the world leaders are tasked with achieving improvements on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. A summit that requires an open mind, determination and collaboration.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek forms the setting for the exhibition with its collection of seating furniture steeped in tradition and history, ranging from thrones, stools and rocks to actual chair types. 35 entirely new chair individuals created specifically for this exhibition address the question whether a piece of furniture might carry the capacity for communication. Whether a chair can condition the negotiation situation. Whether it might act as a mitigating circumstance. By providing comfort? By adding aesthetics? By breaking the ice? The questions are quirky, philosophical and diverse. As are the 35 innovative chair interpretations.
Lighting designer Jesper Kongshaug has set the stage for the experimental prototypes along an axis of intimacy and interaction, creating a total experience with light, shadows, space, graphics and innovative furniture design. The Cabinetmakers´ Autumn Exhibition is breaking new ground with this presentation form. Which chair would you pick if you were a negotiator at the COP15 climate change summit?
GLYPTOTEKET ON DEMOCRACY
Democracy (Greek: demokratia, from démos - people, and kratía - rule, reign). Popular rule, a political system where the power rests with the people.
Democracy was first practised in Athens in ancient Greece in the years 507 to circa 200 B.C., albeit with interruptions. Initially the system applied was direct democracy: one man, one vote. Specifically Athenian males over the age of 20. When a man was over the age of 30, he was eligible as a civil servant or a juror. Women, slaves and foreigners were not allowed to vote. The centre of power rested with the people´s assembly, the people´s court and the newly established Council of Five Hundred.
Today, "democracy" is considered an indisputable good that the Western world consistently seeks to promote around the world. In antiquity, democracy was debated from the outset, and it was viewed with considerable scepticism by leading philosophers. Democratic rule, however, was widespread in the ancient Greek city states for centuries, and then democracy went into hibernation for almost two thousand years. Democracy did not make its reappearance until the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700s, initially as an ideal, which in time became reality.
The original form of democracy was direct democracy, where decisions were made directly by the people. This form of democracy still exists in the form of binding referendums.
Over the centuries, there was growing recognition of the impracticalities of maintaining a large-scale ruling assembly in societies that had grown much larger than the old Greek city states. Representational democracy is the most common form today. Here, the citizens elect a small number of people to represent them, and these representatives then make decisions on behalf of the citizens.
Deputy Director Anne Marie Nielsen, Glyptoteket 2009
Climate change conference. The future of the planet. In December, they will be at the negotiation table, right here in Copenhagen.
What will the negotiation climate be like? That depends partly on the way they are seated.
In Chaplin´s The Great Dictator, the dictators Hynkel and Napolini compete as to who can raise their barber chair the highest. This is the way of negotiations: The way we are seated determines our negotiation situation. And it affects the outcome.
Furniture forms meeting places. Furniture creates possibilities. It can promote dialogue and create an imaginary centre that offers a direction one can relate to and thus feel comfortable.
Being backed up against the wall can cause a freeze. If we are to trust each other, seating matters. Chairs make the man. Cabinet seats can be hot. People on thrones are prone to pose.
John F. Kennedy sat in The Chair. Furniture can embrace, create calm, openness and confidence. It can cover your back and create eye contact, eye level encounters and physical equitability.
The parliament in a contemporary democracy is often the most beautiful, dignified and perhaps the largest building in the country. Its members should feel freedom, privilege and responsibility, and these features should be expressed and reflected in the physical setting. In crucial international negotiations too, the architecture should help provide the proper setting.
But even closer to the body is the furniture. It has the capacity to make key contributions to foster trust, understanding, determination. This is the case in December too. Hopefully it will. For the sake of the negotiation climate, the earth´s climate, our future.
SE 2009. Dialogue - a chair that is up for negotiation...