A Chair and You - MUDAC, Lausanne - Photo © Lucie Jansch
A Chair and You - MUDAC, Lausanne - Photo © Lucie Jansch

The Thierry Barbier-Mueller collection brings together over 650 chairs produced from the 1960s to the present. Two thirds of the collection are composed of one-offs, prototypes and limited editions. Without attempting to create a scientific and complete overview of the history of the chair, this private collection reflects the interest of an enthusiast who loves atypical objects not associated with the industrial design system, created by internationally renowned personalities as well as young, innovative designers.

After over 20 years of tireless research, Thierry Barbier-Mueller has agreed to show part of his holdings in the spaces of the Cantonal Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC), in a ‘set’ created by Robert Wilson, who has imagined an installation based on theater and set design. The 211 chairs, created by 168 designers, form a variegated and diversified panoply that emphasizes research, innovation, the use and assembly of experimental materials, variations of scale and function.

To bring out the unique value of the chairs on view, Robert Wilson has borrowed the semantic character of the objects to narrate a wordless story. An immersive setup in which the chairs are treated as the protagonists of a spectacle of ‘art vivant’ experienced as a vast opera in four acts (Bright Space, Medium Space, Dark Space and Kaleidoscope Space), where light and sound expand the dramaturgy, putting the audience face to face with iconic objects in a myriad of variations.

Until 26 February 2023.

MUDAC Office: Chantal Prod’hom, Suzanne Hilpert Stuber
Foundation Musée Barbier-Mueller: Thierry Barbier-Mueller, Charlotte Savolainen-Mailler
Associate scenographer: Annick Lavallée-Benny
Coordination: Magali Conus
Photo credit: Lucie Jansch