My thesis is done! All that's left is approval from my adviser and a grade to be given! What is my thesis on you ask? Well, here's my abstract, hopefully this will explain well enough.
Whole design books are dedicated to the art of the chair. Objects that echo the needs and values of the societies that create them, chairs have the power to fade into the background as useful objects for one society but emerge renewed as relics when a new society develops around them; becoming reminders that an era has passed. Inherently anthropomorphic, composed of a seat, legs, sometimes arms, and a back; the object echoes the human form and becomes a reminder of those who have sat or will sit in it. As a relic the vacant chair becomes a symbol of people who have passed through and used it, only to abandon it as life abandons all humanity. Preserved in painting, photography, etching, sculpture, or other media the vacant chair is used in the representative sense; recalling a specific time period and society. Sculptors of Buddhist stupas chose to represent the ascended Buddha as an empty seat cushion with a hovering umbrella and contemporary artists explore similar themes of passage and remembrance through found objects and photography. The symbolism of the empty chair has gone through almost as many revivals and renewals of meaning as the design of the form itself. As the physical object fades into the background of everyday life, the symbol of the empty chair holds power, waiting to emerge as a memento mori under the analysis of both contemporary and past artists.