We love seeing two of our favorite materials — chairs and concrete — married into the stunning amphitheater designed by artist Armand Pierre Fernandez for Milan’s Parco Sempione, Milan in 1973.
Embedded into the concrete steps are the personalities that chairs inevitably evoke, each seat curiously special and intentional. The tracery of their lines seem like hieroglyphs, messages from an ancient time. It is way more inviting than a plain concrete amphitheater or stepped rows of chairs; it’s a hybrid that incorporates the sitter into its art, rooted in its time and place.
Even though the chairs are entombed in concrete, they retain the curiously animate/anthropomorphic quality that we’ve always seen chairs as having. They made us think of “Chairs”, an experimental film artist Maria Lassnig made in the 1970s. Her work explored the physical sensations of the body, what she called “body awareness” (we recommend the sound off):
She was heard to have said,
Chairs move like human beings.