Tied up chairs, erotic chairs
The rope bondage sculptures of Kennedy James play with our fantasies.
The French artist Kennedy James, based in New York, likes to abuse chairs. Gently but firmly attach and hang them from below, using the ancient technique of Shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage. In 2006 she made its first full size installation in a castle in Normandy filled with Victorian chairs and armchairs. Since then she never stopped.
Now working with miniatures, the artist exhibits her creations at the gallery nine5in New York, they are also for sale on the website Esty.com. "In the Japanese culture, shibari is about making a sculpture from the body, there is also a notionof Zen there. And unlike the American culture of "bondage", there is no sexual aspect in shibari. It is obviously erotic but traditionally it is not a sexual activity ...this is an art."
If the body becomes a sculpture through bondage, why not reverse the thing and make the sculpture a desirable corporal object."I've always enjoyed working on the subtlety and the unspoken, says the artist. After all, it is just a chair surrounded by rope, the viewer is projecting its desire and imagination."
The chair becomes an erotic object, especially when it is bourgeois, Victorian and voluptuous. "The chair is, after all, the most anthropomorphic object that exist and they are also extremely 'submissive', she adds. Their usage is so that we sit on them."