13Chairs (13.1.2018 - 13.1.2019)

13Chairs (13.1.2018 – 13.1.2019)

13Chairs is a series of works commissioned by Ben Benaouisse and shown at the new SANTO center (Gentbrugge, Belgium) every thirteenth day of the month starting Saturday 13.1.2018 and ending one year later on Sunday 13.1.2019.

Mortier’s artistic practice departs from the inevitability that art is a relational process in constant need of completion™ which wittingly draws more attention to what is not there than to what is. Nothing is only noticeable in juxtaposition to something.

When Joseph Kosuth described his seminal work “one and three chairs” in 1970 he said “I used common, functional objects – such as a chair – …”. Placing his work well centred in the now. The chair had only started to become common about four centuries earlier. In the time between the Egyptian and Chinese ancestors and the 16th century chair the words common and chair had no place in the same sentence unless it was a clear negation. Very much like the use of photography in art, which has only become common in the 53 years since Kosuth made his “one and three chairs”.

For the first instalment of 13Chairs mortier presents “the missing      ”.

In 1964 Andy Warhol made his first “Electric chair” as part of his “Death an Disaster” series testing his hypothesis that ‘‘when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have an effect’’. Early critics said he undermined the critical ‘integrity’ of art but later criticism contradicted this and suggested the opposite, namely that Warhol brought viewers back into contact with the events themselves despite the repetition of images in the media.

For the second instalment of 13Chairs mortier presents “Occisorem te esse memento”

With Fat Chair – created in 1964 and encased in a glass, temperature-controlled museum display case – Joseph Beuys tried to oppose the “rational” in contemporary society. The work became a composite, open-ended metaphor for the human body, its impermanent condition, and the tendencies for social life to conform to constructed convention. Fat Chair subsequently underwent a slow, natural process of decay until 1985, by which time the fat had almost entirely decomposed and virtually evaporated.

For the third instalment of 13Chairs mortier presents “the misaligned”.

T.V. Chair, 1968 (‘73, ‘74), by Nam June Paik is a playful treatment of the reception of television. The work is a chair where the seat has been replaced by a plexi and a television set placed directly underneath. There’s a clear reference to the pay tv-chairs that populated waiting areas at bus stations and airports in America during the 60’s-80’, except Paik’s chair is not to be sat upon and its television is not to be watched?

For the fourth installment of 13Chairs mortier presents “chained”.

1) Saturday 13.1.2018 “the missing      ”
2) Tuesday 13.2.2018 “Occisorem te esse memento” / Remember you’re a killer
3) Tuesday 13.3.2018 “the misaligned”
4) Friday 13.4.2018 “chained”
5) Sunday 13.5.2018
6) Wednesday 13.6.2018
7) Friday 13.7.2018
8) Monday 13.8.2018
9) Thursday 13.9.2018
10) Saturday 13.10.2018
11) Tuesday 13.11.2018
12) Thursday 13.12.2018
13) Sunday 13.1.2019

13Chairs is a series of series with a number of limited editions – please ask Ben for the details.

The chairs:

“the missing       ”

“Occisorem te esse memento”

“the misaligned”




Postcard booklet (edition of 13) with 13 stamp prints following the series as it develops/

Editions (of 3) per installation/