Lassù

Chair
Date of appearance: 1974
Made in: Milan, Italy
Design: 1974
Production: 1974
Manufacturer: Alessandro Mendini
Designer: Alessandro Mendini
Materials: semi-burned colored wood


Since the seventies, journalist, artist, architect, and designer Alessandro Mendini has been propagating a visual idiom that is a collage of the trivial, the fantastic, the traditional, and the artistic. In 1974 he set two identical chairs on fire in front of the offices of Casabella, the magazine of which he was then editor, for the cover of issue no. 391. Each chair bore the name “Lassù” (up there). One of them was burned almost completely, and today its remains can be found in the archives of the University of Parma. The second is the piece shown here, part of the Vitra Design Museum collection. Typically of his oeuvre as a whole, with “Lassù” Mendini eliminated the boundary between art and design. Burning the chairs was akin to a ritual and served to create an impressive image along the lines of Arte Povera. The visible traces left on the object by the act symbolically place the idealized chair within the context of life and death, and lend it a profound, human dimension. During a second demonstration organized the same year, Mendini set fire to a “Lassù” that had been furnished with steps – for a photographic image of the “Bracciodiferro” (iron arm) product line by Italian furniture producer Cassina, a series of objects intended to underscore the contradiction between designers and industry. Alessandro Mendini’s first designs were included in this product line. In a reduced version, “Lassù” is one of Mendini’s series of “mini-monuments for spiritual use.” MSC

Lassù