This work consists of nine unique, porcelain reproductions of different styles of mono-block resin chairs. The chairs were made by crafts people at the Jiao Zhi studio in Xiamen, China, completely by hand, no molds were taken from the originals. Mono-block resin chairs are made using the injection molding process. There is no patent or copyright on the design or manufacturing technique, allowing for limitless production of virtually identical chairs. It is probably the cheapest and most universal piece of furniture, found in nearly every country in the world. Many American and European modernist designers did early research into the production of single material or mono-block furniture. Ironically, the resin chair might be the fulfillment of modernist design’s utopian vision of a modular, single material chair, industrially manufactured, cheap and widely available. It is also indicative of globalization and the spread of western (Euro-American), post-nationalist capitalism. Manufacturing of the resin chairs can be easily accomplished in the country with the cheapest labor and/or most advantageous business climate and then shipped for sale anywhere. This system, geared toward maximum profit, usually through maximum exploitation might also be seen as another type of fulfillment of western modernism.
Sam Durant is a multimedia artist. He teaches art at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.
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