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HAVING A BALL WITH *CHAINS*
Incorporating the JOYOUS CHAIN into the domestic realm
IN THIS ISSUE:
Challenging the symbolism of “CHAIN”
Chain as a way of experiencing OUTER SPACE right here on Earth, care of some Montana Hutterites
Why exciting chain must be erect
The best chain from BRUISES GALLERY, FORMAS, PUPPY BREATH, SAM STEWART, M. KARDANA, NFS
The ironic death of master architect CARLO SCARPA, thankfully only after he gave us some elegant chain
IF YOU ARE CURIOUS or FIND US CURIOUS, we’d be much obliged if you’d subscribe:
Today we ask you to break free from the understanding of chains as a tool for restraint and reimagine their potential as a playful and joyous (which we believe is very easily done).
The playful interior – may we remind you – relies heavily on UNEXPECTED INTERVENTION.In that context, absurd appropriations are an easy strategy – and, so, why not absorb the Medieval aesthetic for the modern day?
Medieval is HARSH, LIMITED and HIGHLY STRATIFIED. And, honestly, Modern Day is all about pretending that’s changed. “Civilization,” says notorious grump Werner Herzog, “is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.” Let us live this reality metaphorically and in a visually-appealing way, via CHAINS.
SOME HISTORICAL SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES IN CHAIN:
[L] Medieval French culture warrior Joan of Arc, portrayed by Jean Seberg in 1957’s Saint Joan
[R] American ‘culture warrior’ Jordan Firstman on current digital cover of Ladygunn magazine
Both wear chain (in its -mail form) – one as armor, the other as theater, you decide which is which (or both are both?). But, we’d say there’s an obvious transformation of chain into something decidedly more joyous that has happened sometime in the last 500 years.
With that in mind, two other points about CHAINS to make before we present the PHYSICS OF CHAIN (VIA FURNITURE, you’ll be glad to know), and a new theory on the SYMBOLISM OF CHAIN:
1. CHAIN HAS ALWAYS FACILITATED PLAY
Childhood’s quintessential public play-tool, the Swing Set, has historically and presently relied on chain.
Chain here facilitates an exceptional and fairly unique experience by liberating the Swinger from Earthly gravity via a momentary sensation of weightlessness. This is, we’re sure you’d agree, mega fun.
These young Hutterite girls are, in this decisive moment, basically experiencing OUTER SPACE. Thanks to chain.
2. IT ONLY TAKES TWO TO CHAIN
In the Hutterite example, we’re talking longish chains – multi-link. For Joan’s chainmail, it’s almost akin to mesh.
And yet, dear readers, it takes but one link to make a chain. And to prove the sleek possibilities of Teeny Chain, may we present you the work of CARLO SCARPA – Italian architect of dreams (master of concrete, who tragically died falling down some concrete steps in 1978).
A major Scarpa Pilgrimage is Castelvecchio in Verona because it’s f*cking flawless and he worked on it for ages though we shan’t bore you too many images (but there is an ENORMOUS, 384-age book about it)… ANYWAY the chain:
APPEALING CHAINS PART I
CHAINS AND PHYSICS: GRAVITY BE DAMNED
Onto the goods.
The value of chain is kind of that they are like super durable rope, and is similarly pliable (or whatever). AND YET, one thing even the most casual observer of Chains will note is that Furniture And Objects Chains often opt for gravity-defying rigidity.
TYPICAL CHAIN HANGS:
EXCITING CHAIN MUST STAND:
Variations of this both in Candlestick and Lamp form are plentiful, but there are also more sculptural varieties, e.g. in this FRANZ WEST 1988 number:
And, the approach extends to furniture, thankfully:
And, FOR SCALE also loves all the sort of useless things we might collect for our homes (e.g. wall clocks), and here is a chainy example of Exceptional Uselessness from 2022:
APPEALING CHAINS PART II
Like Sam Stewart’s “PRIVACY SCREEN” above, we’re breaking our rule (as so often we do) and presenting something *new, in the form of work by chain-lover PUPPY BREATH of Los Angeles.
This cushy chain (NOT metal! Chain is not a material!) we believe was produced for BILLIE EILISH. (Is she still relevant? Genuine question.)
This is crucial in asserting the fact that chain can really be f*cked with quite extensively, and this can be done in a way that subverts typical chain symbolism quite significantly.
And, on that note:
A THEORY ON THE SYMBOLISM OF CHAIN:
It’s an annoying element of culture that the symbolism of X is usually a very both/and situation, and so is the case with chains. Currently:
WE PROPOSE AN ALTERNATIVE:
We also want to suggest BOUNDARY as the primary domestic symbolism for CHAINS because:
Chain for whatever reason still kind of leans towards the “risqué” in the context of home, for many people, and we believe a lot of joyous chain (as presented in this Newsletter) suggests that risqué shares a border with hilarity with curiosity
This is the “Schrödinger's cat” of symbolism, in that chains are simultaneously both/and risqué and joyous, but also the value of is in seeing them as simultaneously both and just one or the other. Chain doesn’t straddle the border, it is the border between them. (And what is the width of a border? Infinitesimally small.)
Chairs with chairs, once upon a very recent time, were marketed as an accessory du jour. We’re devastated that we missed this PINK ESSAY + LANE WALKUP collab. A formal request to PINK ESSAY to bring it back:
And, as we leave you, another gorgeous chain scene, care of Thomas P, from whom we did not request permission and hence won’t reveal his full identity. And this is from the National Archeological Museum in Athens. Yummy! Thanks, Thomas P.!
Until next week. LOVE AND GOOD LUCK!
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