There is something relentlessly generic about the universally-recognized shape of monoblock plastic chairs seen on porches seemingly everywhere.
Taking the molding technique of these conventional objects and tweaking it, Kai Linke makes the ordinary seem strange and unfamiliar.
The effect is reminiscent of mirrored-face photographs and art – used to seeking a certain kind of symmetry, these alternate views are suddenly alien.
The results range from functional stools and chairs, to unusable remnants like industrial mistakes gone far wrong or a mindless machine attempting to figure out from scratch what a seat should be. Who knows, though, maybe enough iterations would generate something new and useful after all.
“‘Mirror Chairs’ is an edition that so far includes 4 different charis. The general idea behind this session was deformation. In detail the strange new froms that occurred by using different camera effects fascinated me. These new objects I rebuilt with monoblock chairs. The new formed charis wet a total different meaning and each one of them has it’s own very special identity which sometimes even appears poetic like the two chairs that seam to embrace themselves. Due to the fact that some of the chairs are hard or nearly impossible to use as normal seating objects it allows many thoughts in between.”
“Men are catoptric animals, that is, animals that have had experience with mirrors“, says Umberto Eco. We are the only animals capable of using the mirror as an instrument, by using its reflective properties to our advantage and for our pleasure. Kai Linke developped a series of chairs that take advantage of the properties of reflection to create a unicum generated by two identical halves. According to a Zen proverb, beauty is the deliberate and partial interruption of symmetry, but not this time.“
About the designer, Kai Linke:
“Being the son of a german father and a dutch mother the examination of different cultures is as important as the discovery of new worlds. The impressions that he gains traveling, on flea markets, in nature or within art & working with materials and colours he collects and diverts this essence into designs that range between seriousness and fun, between symbolism and functionality and between familiarity and conscious irritation. He discovers the odd in the daily grind.”