It is difficult to imagine that a chair poetically evokes death. The image of the electric chair shudders because of its strict functionality and it is not by chance that Andy Warhol dedicated a series of serigraphs treating it as a macabre icon of North American culture.
The electric chair is a product of the most ruthless technical engineering while the Golgotha chair, designed by Gaetano Pesce in 1972, is an object halfway between sculpture and design that does not especially stand out for its functional and productive qualities but for its problematic materiality and its ability to encourage reflection.
It was what the architect, editor and design critic Alessandro Mendini called in the early nineteen-seventies “objects of spiritual use”. Furniture understood as a critical instrument that proposes a scenic interpretation of the interior design located at the limit of practical use.
Golgotha chairs are part of a collection of objects inspired by the Bible and, more specifically, the passion of Christ explicitly referring to the subject of sacrifice. They are built one by one using a fiberglass fabric that contains Dacron and then dipped in a bath of polyester resin. Finally, they are hung by means of hooks that give shape to the draping. In this way, each chair is unique and unrepeatable.
Upon seeing them we do not know if we are facing a new or old object, an industrial product or an archaeological finding, because they are totally imperfect and evoke wear and tear, as well as the passage of time. In postmodern terms, they could be described as "ruins of the future". Halfway between the shroud and the furniture, these petrified white shrouds remind us that life is something temporary and that ineluctably someday our mortal body will be wrapped in one of them on the way to eternity.