Magazine article Artforum International

Jorge Pardo

Magazine article Artforum International

Jorge Pardo

Article excerpt

Though the use of everyday objects has become something of a fetish in contemporary art, Jorge Pardo's most recent installation goes beyond mere fashion. As early on as the stairway leading up to the gallery, the visitor was greeted by Pardo's "benches," stools upholstered in orange fabric - works somewhere between Minimalist sculpture and '70s furniture. They draw their intermediary position from the fact that the can be used both as ordinary utilitarian objects - in fact, for the duration of this exhibition, the gallery's regular chairs were replaced by Pardo's stools - and as art objects. Their fine-art-object aura derived not only from the fact that they were placed in a gallery, but also from the asking price that declared each of the stools to be a costly work of art, and which made the use of them as stools seem patently absurd. The gap between furniture as art object and furniture as furniture was given an ironic twist by Pardo who deliberately upholstered the stools with weatherproof material, so that, as he explicitly stated, they could be used as garden furniture, that is, as "outdoor sculpture." Pardo is interested in the history of objects and in their possible future: what today is a work of art tomorrow may be a functional object. Pardo's furniture like objets d'art, or "art furniture," continually wind up in the wrong place. …

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