In a traveling performance, Gianni Pettena's chairs crossed the city of Florence starting from the Tobacco Factory, becoming tools - corporeal - of integration

Thursday 10 March the chairs of Gianni Pettena, exponent of Florentine radical design, crossed the city of Florence starting from Piazza dell'Orologio in Manifattura Tabacchi to evoke - and repeat for the tenth time - la performance Vestirsi di sedie (Dressing in chairs), conducted, in single file, in 1971 by ten students of the designer at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

The chairs have crossed the city becoming tools suitable for a possible integration. Disjointed if not worn, they signal the need for a bodily presence to make sense . At the same time as the traveling exhibition, the public was invited to participate in a talk with the artist and designer. 

Public art, sharing, interdisciplinarity and inclusiveness

Public Program 2022 of NAM-Not A Museum, the Manifattura Tabacchi project dedicated to the research, production and sharing of artistic practices in the name of interdisciplinarity, proposes a series of cultural events (meetings, guided tours, workshops, musical and performance events) open to the public and free, which highlight the transversal dimension of contemporary art, contaminated by other languages and disciplines.

A tribute to Gianni Pettena

Part of Public Program 2022, the Giulietta exhibition, curated by Stefano Giuri, proposes happenings, performances, temporary installations that interact with the Manifattura spaces Tobacco. Like the traveling performance Dressing in chairs, a tribute to Gianni Pettena and Florentine radical design.

Dressing in chairs to make sense of them

In the performance, a group of people in single file wear and at the same time create disjointed objects. The chairs, without shape and meaningless if not slipped on, require a bodily presence to take on a intended use, a function and therefore a meaning.

Positions of use and rest

The performance was first conducted in 1971 by ten of Pettena's students at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The chairs were then displayed along with other documentation, as a relic, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in an exhibit in which eight were posted on the wall and two had been 'hibernated' in the resin, trapped in the two typical positions, use and rest.

The in-depth talk

The talk in the Festa di Manifattura Tabacchi space was an opportunity to deepen the artistic path of Pettena and the performance that reaches its fourth edition in Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, after the stops at NABA in Milan in 2011 and at the Center Pompidou in Paris in 2016.