|DOMINIQUE BLAISE (FRANCE)
CHAIRS AND OTHERS / PHOTOGRAPHY
THE CHAIRS OF THE COLLECTION / INSTALLATION
SUPPORTED BY THE FRENCH INSTITUTE OF THESSALONIKI
THESSALONIKI DESIGN MUSEUM
╠ITROPOLEOS 43 / 263-043
MO-TH 9.30 - 14.00, 17.30 - 20.30
TU, WE, FR 9.30 - 14.30
S┴ 9.30 - 14.30
pranks and tricks
Farces - initial period
Dominique Blaise is a manipulator of objects in space, in the same way as a juggler or a tight-rope
walker. Like them, he seeks to outwit gravity, and to defy space, to defy time as well. He works
mainly with furniture, the way others work with unicycles or plates balanced on wands. His initial
favourite - the book - soon gave way to the chair, an article of furniture sober, faithful and without
surprise (with the exception of the odd gag in the silent films). By swapping the manual for the
devoted servant of the fundament, his spectacular manipulations have put on flesh, playing with ours,
our comfortable rectangularity, for a weightlessness worthy of the stars of the ring- for want of true
astrality. A book allows one to hold the world in one's hand. With furniture, it is the world itself that
is set a-rocking. On the open boundary separating equilibrium from disequilibrium, the visitor is
plunged into the jubilation of an enduring moment of paradox. His installations with chairs, like their
variations with tables and table settings, introduce a delirium into the heart of our domestic
landmarks. For the psychologist, the chair symbolises the home: that is, support and repose; for the
anthropologist, it represents "sedentarisation": territory, and its markings. The desperate triviality of
the object slips easily into the sublime by the force of the " things bias ". Just as Frank Gehry
implodes the cube of modern architecture that escapes through the windows of his houses, Dominique
Blaise implodes our kitchens and their urban doubling as living-rooms. Everything is grist to his mill,
even prie-dieus and television sets. But the chair, weighty in its modest reality, is also an aesthetic
object to be followed step by step down the path of the history of art.In the "events" of George Brecht
(to remain in our own era), it has all its dimension of suspended time, of expectation, of theatricality.
Joseph Kosuth turns the chair into a neutral object, a sample for demonstration purposes, doubtlessly
inspired by its use in the work of Wittgenstein. In his work, Dominique Blaise also places his chairs
along these two co-ordinates. Those from the early period find in their installation an accentuation of
their aesthetic nature. The transgression of their stability, depriving them of function, leaves bare their
design. Were armchairs ever more tub-like than those in the club of Sarajevo? Or plastic chairs more
plastic than those in Buenos Ayres?
Claire Peillod / 1995 [excerpt]
The work of Dominique Blaise consists mainly of sculptures, in situ creations, and photographs,
involving the most ordinary of household objects, principally tables and chairs.
All these works are an interrogation of the objects concerned by means of modifications of context,
spatial effects, real equilibria, constructive games and games of representation. The results are
frequently paradoxical and perceptually deceptive.
The sculptures and in situ works have, for the most part, the form of installations. The studio pieces
are made to human scale, while the in situs may be very large indeed.
For his photographs, he conceives installations in association with artifices of point of view or of
printing (inversions, reversals, rectifications...).
He also strives to achieve a relative photographic neutrality, through straightforward lighting and
A native of Pau (1943), now Professor of Art at the Lyons School of Architecture, Dominique Blaise
has been exhibiting his work regularly both in France and abroad for nearly two decades, and is
represented in all major collections in Lyons and the Rhone Region.