People and things write mutual biographies. A folding chair from the studio of artist Ignasi Aballí
, and a wooden chair from the kitchen of PAAC
President Montserrat Moliner sit around a table designed by teacher Lluís Vallvé Cordomí. How are things with you?
An elegant green 1950s chair belonging to architect Francesc Bacardit
, a cast iron Schinkel chair
purchased by Joan Subirats
in 1981, and an upholstered armchair lent by Àngels Ponsa
, Minister of Culture of the Government of Catalonia, join gallerist Àlex Nogueras’ glass coffee table, which once graced an apartment
in Gaudí’s La Pedrera. What’s the gossip?
These and other borrowed tables and chairs that form Haegue Yang
’s VIP’s Union
(2001–20) create a kind of subverted hospitality area in the exhibition Things Things Say
(at Fabra i Coats: Contemporary Art Centre
of Barcelona until 17 January 2021). This temporary gathering of furniture of distinct styles, origins, functions, and personal significance, summons a new community through the generosity and goodwill of the lenders, each of whom are in one way or another “very important people” to the art centre.
Each item is not simply a surrogate or a straightforward narrator for its owner. Whether a humble place to perch or a seat of power, these supposedly inanimate things appear as themselves, yet they also produce, maintain, and perform social rituals and form repositories of memories.