• The Portrait Of a Chair

    The starting point of this work is a black and white photo of a notorious chair, entirely hand-made by the architect Marcel Breuer, in collaboration with the weaver Gunta Stölzl, in Weimar Bauhaus. The chair was made in 1921, then mysteriously disappeared and resurfaced again only in 2004. No one could really tell how it came to be or had any idea of its whereabouts. The only evidence attesting to the existence of the chair was a photo with the title: “Romantische Lehnstuhl-Marcel Breuer”. In 1949, Breuer, who by then was living in the USA, called it the “African Chair” and in 1968, Stölzl, then living in Switzerland, named it the “Negro” chair.
    This chair is far from what we've come to associate with a typical “Bauhaus aesthetic”. It is early Bauhaus, and reflects the interest in primitive practices and traditional artisanal handicraft productions, shortly before the school’s leadership broke with the past and made strategic decisions that defined the Bauhaus aesthetic and political directions.
    The investigation spans the whole era of Weimar Republic, and right through to Nazi Germany, cultural and political imperatives, as manifested in books, exhibition catalogues and magazines. The selection of images relates strongly to the 20th c. socio-political and cultural European history.
    The images have been photographed from printed source materials and then further processed by various techniques.
    A strange photo showing Le Corbusier playing double bass during “The unveiling of the Palace of Soviets”; a series of ephemeral paper structures from the Bauhaus workshop; a view of an exhibition of Russian Constructivists; Hans Surén's notorious Nacktkultur; a mysterious tribe; an African soldier turning into a “king” against the background of a Persian rug; a logarithmic spiral paper-cut. These are some of the elements brought together and pondered upon.

  • e.tsantila-theportraitofachair-001

    African Chair I, FineArt InkJet print, 100 x 100 cm, 2011

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    African Chair II, FineArt InkJet print, 100 x 100 cm, 2011

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    African Chair IV, FineArt InkJet print, 100 x 100 cm, 2011

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    African Chair V, FineArt InkJet print, 100 x 100 cm, 2011

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    African Chair VI, FineArt InkJet print, 50 x 100 cm, 2011

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    African Chair III, logarithmic spiral paper-cut, FineArt InkJet print, 100 x 100 cm, 2011

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    from the series African Chair V, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

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    from the series African Chair V, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

  • e.tsantila-theportraitofachair-009

    from the series African Chair IV, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

  • e.tsantila-theportraitofachair-010

    from the series African Chair IV, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

  • e.tsantila-theportraitofachair-011

    from the series African Chair IV, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

  • e.tsantila-theportraitofachair-012

    from the series African Chair III, FineArt InkJet print, 55 x 55 cm, 2011

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    The Portrait Of a Chair, installation view, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki, 2011

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    The Portrait Of a Chair, installation view, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki, 2011