Beirut-born, New York-based artist Mohamad Kanaan has incorporated mirrors into a new chairs series to create interactive and perfomative objects that are based on distorting form, space and experience.
Handcrafted in New York City, “Nothing,” “Youth” and “House” are the tittles of three chairs in his “Mirror series”.
The architect-turned-artist provides a poem that narrates a personal story which was the inspiration behind each chair. With this setting, the relationship between the chair and user forms intimate and dynamic connections.
Mirrors are incorporated to skew formal expectations, veiling and unveiling elements of space, body and the object itself. In addition to touch and interaction, sight and perception, the backs of the chairs play a role in destabilizing the chair, transforming the act of sitting.
“The chair becomes a three-dimensional object in the temporal sense: the past, present and future come alive from in the interaction, for both the object and the human,“ Kanaan explains. “Mirrors swivel and rotate in different dimensions, vertically and horizontally, just like memory moves and distorts in different dimensions.”
Three elements uniquely intersect and intertwine within each piece: the anatomy of the chair, the human body interacting with the chair’s unique structure, and the memory and experience resulting from that dynamic combination.
Within each piece, physicality and psychology are caught in an intricate negotiation: the body of the chair itself, the human body engaging with it, and the memory and emotion associated with the encounter all morph to create an interactive and performative object. Kanaan explains: “The body activates the chair; the resulting body language and what it stimulates mentally is the result of this interaction.”
This new series aims to challenge established notions of how form, body and memory are structured, portrayed and perceived within one object. In this collection of art-meet-design, a familiar piece of furniture, in this case the chair, with seemingly set parameters, is manipulated to modify the outcomes of expected actions and interactions.