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Andrés Reisinger impels a multisensorial experience with ‘12 Chairs for Meditation’
12 Chairs For Meditation on view in the atrium of Nilufar Depot
Image: Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

Andrés Reisinger impels a multisensorial experience with ‘12 Chairs for Meditation’

Stationed at the Nilufar Gallery in Milan, Italy, the 'meditative' exhibition comprises 12 new chair designs, a mosaic installation and a musical piece. 

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jul 04, 2024

Seated within the pared-down atrium of Nilufar Depot in Viale Lancetti in Milan, Italy, Andrés Reisinger, with his experiential exhibition 12 Chairs for Meditation, ascribes a pertinent narrative to the showcase along with the placement of quintessential elements necessary to evoke desired sentiments. For instance, the industrial interiors, with raw finished floors and columns, and a double-height ceiling accompanied by grey drapes, serve as a serene backdrop for the showcase of the 12 chairs and the vertically stationed mosaic installation. Since the chairs are white, the richly hued and textured mosaic installation manages to serve as the space's visual focus. Further, the placement of the seating objects in this area holds ample amounts of negative space and paves the way for contemplation and introspection, something that Reisinger also postulates with the exhibition's title.

Elaborating on his intent with the showcase, Reisinger shares, “I envisioned this not merely as an exhibition but as an experience to engage multiple senses. More than in other works, I aimed to create something that could forge an instant connection with anyone entering the space, resonating with our shared humanity beyond time and space.” Referring to the symbolism of the apple, the Argentinian digital artist and designer adds, “This is why I employed symbols, the most direct form of communication. Consistent with this approach, I placed meditation at the centre—not only has it been integral to humanity since time immemorial, but it is also a key element of my life, to embrace energies that fuel the creative process.”

Curated by Reisinger and Nina Yashar (founder, Nilufar gallery), 12 Chairs for Meditation opened on April 15, 2024, marking Milan Design Week 2024. It is part of a wide-ranging series of exhibitions under the moniker Time Traveler, curated by Yashar, and aimed at exploring the complex story of design and its evolution over the years. “Hosted in Viale Lancetti and Via Spiga, the Time Traveler exhibit allows visitors to embark on a journey where each exhibited work acts as a portal to transport viewers from past inspirations to the bold visions of today,” reads an excerpt from the press release.

Reisinger’s 12 Chairs for Meditation, on view until October 2024 at Nilufar, is designed to offer a theatrical experience to its visitors with a collection of 12 new chair designs inspired by a different era of design, a site-specific mosaic and an exclusive musical piece composed by the artist. "Even within the physical confines of this exhibition, Reisinger manages to evoke the ethereal essence of his digital creations—elusive, transcendent, existing beyond the constraints of space and time as we know them," Yashar remarks. Reisinger, who splits his time between Madrid and Barcelona, is typically known for designing virtual furniture designs, spaces, expanses and experiences, and occasionally experiments in the physical realm to imbue tangible landscapes with his distinct experiential aesthetic.

With 12 Chairs for Meditation, Reisinger invites visitors to embrace experiences freely and to delve into meditative reflection amid the theatrical tableau configured by him. For the showcase, the artist was inspired by meditation, a pursuit which also subsequently became the subject of the design exhibition. “Embracing and yearning for ethereal energies that stimulate the creative process, meditation is a theme equally revered by Nilufar founder Yashar. The Viale Lancetti location has long been considered a sanctuary of design, hosting objects from across the globe and from different eras. The site-specific 12 Chairs for Meditation invites contemplation of the myriad energies contained within this impressive venue,” the gallery shares.

The positioning of the 12 chairs around the focal installation in the room serves as a reminder of human presence in a space for contemplation. Further, the repeated manifestation of the number 12, both in the number of chairs displayed at the art gallery and the number of apples on the vertical mosaic installation, allude to the theological, mythological and spiritual relevance and reverence of the number. From Greek mythology to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the recurrence of the number manifests in key details of some of the major arcs and themes. This symbolism further manifests within the exhibition, in the measurements of the mosaic installation, which is six metres tall and six metres wide. Another exemplary symbolism is demonstrated via the 12 apples floating in the sky, as imprinted on the standing installation. Evoking the reference to the forbidden fruit, as mentioned within Abrahamic scriptures, these 12 apples represent the timeless symbolism of wisdom and temptation.

While the limited edition chairs were made using a wood frame, upon which fabric was upholstered, the mosaic was made using glass tiles and glazes on wood panels. The richly-hued mosaic was initially conceived as a pixelated digital artwork and later produced by 24 mosaic artists from Mosaicos Venecianos de Mexico. “Some craftsmen worked on the apples, while others focused on the various shades of blues, light pinks, and purples of the clouds. Each piece of glass was cut and shaped by hand,” Reisinger shares.

Together, the chairs and mosaic manage to deliver visual and tactile sensations, while the musical composition by Reisinger treats the aural counterparts, delivering, hence, a multisensorial experience.

‘12 Chairs for Meditation’ will remain on view until October 2024, in the atrium of Nilufar Depot in Viale Lancetti, Milan, Italy.

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