To Express the Feelings of a Chair When We Sit on it

Cyprus : To Express the Feelings of a Chair When We Sit on it

“To Express the Feelings of a Chair When We Sit on it” borrows its title from a piece of the 2010 Broomberg & Chanarin series “The Prestige of Terror”. The series 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”. It could be any chair. Yet Henein’s proposition that the chair notices being sat upon, makes it into a kind of oblique subject: because of its feelings, it is partially included in this act of sitting. Henein’s phrase is also a command – “to express”, and the 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.


I. On the selection:

As a possible – perhaps – reaction to all those who love the “comfort” and “permanence” of the status of their position, I have gathered a series of unusual chairs / personas that are characterised by a “sensitive nervous system”. I believe their creators “foresaw” for the visitor not to forget and become complacent while seated, as would someone when sitting on any chair and shortly thereafter forgetting the very “action” of sitting. The visitor is called upon to reflect on the condition that the chair’s form presents them with. I would not argue that they are pleasant or comfortable to sit on, seeing as their construction does not allow the sitter to acquaint himself immediately. Note that the chair’s presence is not always obvious but it is implied, as for example in Mario Carbone’s photograph “Donna in Osteria” 1956. Different in style, they all meet in this exhibition to converse.

II. On the location:

The exhibition 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 existed. It is a restless space, not only because of its ambiance but also due to its particular history.

Brief explanation: Due to a death, the space was never utilised, with the exception of an ephemeral tenant that led to the looting of the infrastructure. All these were taken into account, as an exhibition becomes interesting when the space, and the works that it hosts are considered within the wider location. How could I be indifferent to the fact that the space neighbours an archaeological site, brothels, but also the municipal arts centre, where chairs also play their part?

Finally the space itself, in my opinion, functions as a chair, as it is the “seat” of the exhibition.

T. A. Gkekas - the Office

The selection includes works from:

Nazgol Ansarinia

Michelangelo Antonioni

Francis Bacon

Deepti Barth

Christos Th. Bokoros

Mario Carbone

Broomberg & Chanarin

Laurie Franck

Asteris Gkekas

Apollo Glykas

Bernhard Hosa

Glavkos Koumides

Dimitris Merantzas

Carol Christian Poell

Curation: Christos Kyriakides, Antonis Minas

Special lighting: T. A. Gkekas

Special thanks: Marlborough Gallery / Ms. Diana Borroughs, Green Art Gallery / Ms. Yasmin Atassi, Lisson Gallery / Mr. Andreas Leventis, Christos Th. Bokoros, Historical Archive of Photography in Cinema Enrico Appetito

Opening: Sunday, October 02, 2016, 20:00

Duration: October 02 – 22, Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 16:30 and by appointment

T +357 99 84 84 95, [email protected]


On Weekdays
From: Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
Until: Friday, October 21st, 2016
Time: See Description


Manis 3
Within the walls
Nicosia , Nicosia 1016, Cyprus


Anastasios A. Gkekas
Phone: 99848495

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