Empty Chair is a work that deals with the subject of absence. Looking at an empty chair makes us wonder who could sit or who might be sitting there. Not knowing or seeing this makes us more curious and a photograph more exciting. Will the empty chair be able to carry the weight and who will be its new companion? Will we ever know?
Hans Lensvelt’s good friend Erik Kessels dropped by at the Lensvelt HQ carrying a mock-up of a new book. Kessels had assembled a selection of photos with a random empty chair from his immense collection of photos, collected at markets around the world. Because all the chairs in the pictures are on the right side of the photo, it gives a kind of comic and reinforcing effect to the visual story. The photos are placed in chronological order so that it also becomes a journey through time where the reader is taken into the ambience and furniture design starting from the early 20th century to the present. This collection of 160 photos presents a unique and rich history of furniture design through the years. Lensvelt was instantly charmed by the original book and decided to publish it. At the same time he thought it would be very fitting to produce a real Empty Chair. He immediately contacted his R&D manager Rick Minkes who was working on location with one of the manufacturers at the time and promptly had a prototype made. The chair is offered as a package with the original book A Pictorial History of the Empty Chair. ‘Buy the book and get the chair’. The book is made by Kessels in collaboration with Karel de Mulder.
“Empty Chair is a work that deals with the subject of absence. Looking at an empty chair makes us wonder who could sit or who might be sitting there. Not knowing or seeing this makes us more curious and makes it more exciting. Will the empty chair be able to carry the weight and who will be its new companion? Will we ever know?”-Erik Kessels.
You can purchase the book and Empty Chair for 120 euro (excl. VAT) by visiting www.lensvelt.nl
Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer, curator and lecturer with great interest in photography. Since1996 he is Creative Partner of KesselsKramer, a communications agency in Amsterdam and works for national and international brands such as Nike, Diesel, J&B Whisky, Oxfam, Vitra and Citizen M. As an artist and curator, Kessels has published over 80 books and made many exhibitions of his re-appropriated images.