Art Basel is surprised with the “Chair” by María José Arjona, an installation that steals the eye

Chairthe performance of the Colombian Maria Jose Arjonadominates the entrance to Art Basel Miami Beach. Suspended horizontally two meters from the ground, the artist, inert in her chair, explores “objectuality, experience and the critical role of the body in movement as a political choreographic form”.

The main entrance to Miami Beach Convention Center, where the renowned international art fair takes place, is on the second floor; once you walk through the main door that leads to the huge hall where more than 280 galleries are exhibited, your eyes inevitably remain fixed on “the chair”.

The work that is exhibited at the Miami Beach Convention Center during Art Basel is from 2011. (Ronen Suarc)

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The first image that comes to mind, as you descend the escalator that connects the mezzanine with the exhibition hall, may be that of a mannequin carefully placed on the hanging chair. But suddenly, the mannequin changes position. Will it be an automaton? No. As you get closer, you begin to clearly see Arjona’s human features.

On the ground, a group of mortals look at the artist who, as if she were sitting upright in her living room, seems to ignore the obvious discomforts of her unusual position. Arjona, who comes hand in hand with the Argentine gallery Rolf Artpresented this performance for the first time in 2011 and can lie flat on the chair for up to six hours.

Chair, Art Basel - Miami Art Week
María José Arjona in her “Silla”: part installation, part performance. (Ronen Suarc)

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Arjona was born in Bogota, Colombiain 1973 and currently lives and works between New York and his hometown. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at museums and galleries across the USA, all Europe, South America Y Asia. The artist participated as an interpreter of the iconic pieces of Marina Abramovic in his hindsight THE ARTIST IS PRESENT in MoMA in 2010 and also in the workshop House cleaning given by Abramovic herself.

Magali Arriolaindustry curator Meridians, where the Colombian is shown, described the exhibition as “sculpted bodies, sexualized bodies, bodies that act and sing – mestizo, black and white bodies – and challenge the historical canons of art and its relationship with the representation of power”. no doubt that Chair It gave much to talk about the body, and scandalized more than one purist of traditional art.

A moving work at Art Basel: Chair
“Chair”, in the “Meridians” sector of Art Basel, explores “objecthood, experience and the critical role of the body”. (Ronen Suarc)


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