Inroduction / Other Stools Stories:
This and That and That
Sometimes we define an object in relation to its group and through our advanced knowledge about this group and its attributes. The context in which objects are showcased or sold is extremely significant for their understanding. Furniture are such objects, precisely because they are around us all the time. They fall under quite broad definitions, whose boundaries may be stretched to incorporate almost any object serving a function. A "stool" falls under such a category, and this is also the reason Yaakov Kaufman chose to conduct his research through this particular object.
Yaakov Kaufman. Stool made from varnished plywood, steel pipe. Photography: Itai Benit
A stool is the most fundamental, primordial, and ancient sitting apparatus. Its origin spans back to ancient Egypt around 3000 AD. We could barely recognize and define their stool as a "stool". Since then, new and more precise definitions were added, and the stool became the chair: the most popular object for designers in our contemporary culture. Still, almost any "surface we can temporary place our buttocks on", may fall, among others, under the broad definition of a "stool"
Yaakov Kaufman. Stool Inspired by African Masks. Material: OSB, steel profiles, steel rings. photography: Itai Benit
We can find many such illusive stools among Yaakov Kaufman's stools. If these stools would not be standing between their comrades, we would probably not recognize them as stools. If they had been made in different proportions and placed in the city square we would call them "statues", or even attribute figurative qualities to them. Their functional aspects are not salient, and the manner in which one can sit on them is open to the interpretation of each one of its users. Thus, it is difficult to ascribe them into any particular group. They can be "both and both and both". This ability supports both the subversion of conventional norms and the manner in which the limits of the definitions these objects produce stretch.