|Five Kodak carousel projectors simultaneously clunk through 255 different images of chairs vertically stacked in precarious positions. The work is called Lucky Chairs, New York artist Stephan Pascher's celebrated slide projector installation which immerses the viewer in the artist's playful experiment in balance, architecture and photography.
Relying on what was just at hand in his assigned living space, Pascher constructed and documented these 255 "temporary towers" during a semester long stint at Columbia College, Chicago in 2002. The project, which has an anyone-can-do-it logic, began as an exercise reflecting the banality of the artist's institutional surroundings.
In an age of digital manipulation, the perilous chair stacks, which at times look like the basis for a Chinese acrobatic trick, raise questions of authenticity, veracity and belief. The serial nature of the project locates Pascher's work in the trajectory of 60s Conceptual Art; and at 255 images their quantity is a testament to the artist's commitment to such practice.
For the installation, Pascher will use objects found in the gallery and its offices to support the projectors, echoing the precarious nature of the chair stacks, and disrupting the normal gallery organization. The Lucky Chairs installation changes with each architectural setting, and animates the exhibition space so that the viewer's presence, their shadow, their very point of view, embed them in the work.
In the project room, Pascher will present a selection of photographs, taken indoors and out, which document his initial play with themes elaborated in Lucky Chairs.
A single projector "catalog" version of Lucky Chairs was purchased for "Beyond Delirious," the inaugural exhibition at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami, curated by Christopher Phillips of the International Photography Center in New York. It had previously been shown in "Mirage," a group exhibition curated by Julie Ault and Martin Beck at the Alexander Bonin Gallery in Chelsea. And it will be shown next month at Extra City Center for Contemporary Art in Antwerp. The full installation was shown last Fall at Orchard, an alternative New York City gallery devoted to conceptual art. Pascher, who teaches at Cooper Union in New York, will also be in a film and video show this summer at the Museum of Modern Art, NY.