This catalogue was designed for the A book between two stools exhibition.

As a supreme cultural object, the book introduces into our thinking and our behaviour a special relation to time, the body, truth and the world which it contains and reveals. It thus contrasts with the computer which, without beginning or end, broadcasts truths which are many and varied, temporary, and constantly unfulfilled. Its organic body, made of hide and paper, glue, ink and thread, introduces a physical, intimate relation which no electronic object will ever be able to offer. It is not surprising, nowadays, that a great many artists have developed a deep interest in the book and its material form, transforming it, manipulating it, and appropriating it with their various forms of inspiration.
Opposite the book, and with it : the chair.
As for the book, there is no dearth of words underscoring the intimate relation between the chair and the human body and the cultural context which it is part of. The chair has referred to symbolic practices ever since humanity became sedentarized. Historically associated with power, it has acted as a throne since Antiquity, though this has not barred it from other uses. Its material and symbolic hierarchies can be found in every period in civil and domestic life, where armchairs, chairs, benches and stools earmark the rank of their users and their specific functions. Like the book, the chair has been a source of inspiration and creation for many artists, while craftsmen and designers have produced it in a thousand and one ways.

discover the exhibition

With contributions from Jean Boghossian, François de Coninck and Sephora Thomas.