Double Storey

Double Storey was commissioned by the Toronto Sculpture Garden for exhibition May – September 2003.

Stainless Steel, monofilament
2003 18'x16'x10'

I imagine myself standing while I watch the chair sitting in the Toronto Sculpture Garden. The chair is a small architectural structure that suggests the prospect of leisure among the city’s tall buildings: one can walk through it, or around it, or pause to sit under it. Without its conventional functional role as a seat, the piece lets passersby slow down and contemplate repose. Sections of the chair frame views of the city park: the triangular archways created by the legs are both the support that elevates the lawn chair and a minimalist superstructure through which viewers can project their thoughts into the garden. I think of the sculpture as a still but playful object that has lost its utilitarian function and instead become a gateway in which a state of meditative leisure intersects with the polished steel rising up from the grass to support massive armrests. One cannot sit on the chair and lay claim to the public park, but must stand around or under the chair and imagine the view from the top. A sense of delicacy in the chair’s structure and in people’s movements around it is reflected in the nylon cables that delineate the planes of the seat and back rest. As an architectural structure the piece provides no shelter, no elevated platform, but instead a series of points of view for the imagination to inhabit. These dreams are fleeting; the transience of people moving through the park is echoed by the chair’s own collapsibility. At the end of the exhibition it will be folded up and transported away as so many other lawn chairs across the country are stored with the change in season. The view of the sky framed by the seat is as temporary a window as the pause in urban life that allows rest and contemplation.

Ilan Sandler January 19, 2003