HEAVY METAL CHAIRS
BY JEAN-PASCAL FLAVIEN
29 NOVEMBER 2019 – 25 JANUARY 2020
Etage Projects is proud to present the solo exhibition ‘Heavy Metal Chairs’ by Jean-Pascal Flavien. The title refers to the physical weight, the music genre, and its emotional state as parts that play a role in the making of the project. The word heavy is in contradiction to the lightness of the carbon material while representing the music genre of the two songs that accompany the show and the burdensome mood that characterises Heavy Metal music in opposition to a more comforting mindset of object design.
Conversely to what the name suggests, the structure of the Heavy Metal chairs is made of carbon fibre, giving them mechanical strength yet allowing lightness and extreme thinness. The parts covered with paper and finished with coloured resin reminiscent of corrugated cardboard makes the chairs appear illusory; thus, the encounter with the object is loaded with disbelief. The fragile broken lines imbedded in the drawing induce the impression of collapsing. The chairs give the impression of drawings by hand, rather than seating objects.
For this project, the poet Coco Fitterman was invited to write the lyrics of two songs: ‘A design object nestled somewhere in time’ and ‘You make my life easier, I make your death Swift’, in which she addresses the chairs with hostile energy, an adverse mood against design and the realm of objects. (Your furniture disgusts me / Fuck your chair / Mortal fools / To live is to suffer). The lyrics were put into music by the Berlin Metal band 100.000 Tonnen Kruppstahl (100.000 Tons of Krupp Steel). Both songs set a context for the chair to exist: Something synchronically for and against themselves, in which they stand while collapsing.
Heavy Metal Chairs intersects the design object and the downcast mood of heavy metal music. The disposition of heavy metal, pain, nightmare, guilt and suffering, meets the optimistic spirit of design, projection, problem solving, pride, status; a mindset that makes the object enviable and its place in life possible. As the emotional state of the heavy metal goes, the object and often the self seems loaded with detestation. It cannot be wished for, thus giving room to a world of abjection. One offers a position in the world as the other withdraws from it. Jean-Pascal Flavien uses this counter energy in the making of the idea and object.