VESTIRSI DI SIEDE (WEARABLE CHAIRS)
1st Edition performance, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1971
2nd Edition Performance, NABA, Milan, 2011
3rd Edition, full installation, exhibition Un art pauvre, Centre Pompidou, 2016
This performance was carried out by ten of Pettena’s students at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Wearing chairs on their backs, like their shadows, the young people moved around the city on foot and by bus, stopping and returning. The chairs were then put on show, accompanied by documents, like so many exhibits at a trial, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: eight chairs were hung on the wall and two more coated in resin, in the two standard positions, open and closed.
For a day, a group of people, in Indian file, had made themselves self-sufficient: they created disjointed objects without form or meaning, giving up something to them. The whole thing was then recounted, so as to preserve its memory, to those who had not been present that day and who had therefore to trust in the good faith of those who told the story. The chairs were just the means suited to a possible integration, disjointed if not worn, and signals of the need for the presence of a body in order for them to have meaning. So from the behavior also came the instrumentalization of the journey to unknown regions, which became in their turn practicable.