Ten Empty Chairs

Created by Leonie Leivenzon

Monday 20 April – Friday 1 May

Whilst many consider the internet a force for connection, artist Leonie Leivenzon feels that we are more isolated than ever before.

Ten Empty Chairs addresses the change in university culture from one in which students attend lecture in person to one in which much of the learning is online with a resultant tendency towards isolation. Altering discarded chairs, Leivenzon uses second-hand and waste materials to transform these chairs, giving them their own unique identity.

These sculptural pieces when combined with audio from online lectures from each of the ten departments of the university represent students sitting in isolation, watching their lectures online. As such, the chairs convey both the presence of the student watching in isolation, and their absence in the physical space of the university.

About the artist

Leonie Leivenzon is a contemporary mixed media artist who lives and works in Melbourne. Concerned primarily with found objects, Leonie’s practice is not tied to a single medium, but rather moves in tandem with each item that finds its way into her studio.

Leonie’s work proposes an alternative to Cartesian Dualism which dictates that objects are lifeless, existing separate to humanity. She advocates that objects have agency, charged with their own energy and histories and, by tapping into this energy, Leonie seeks to unlock the otherwise hidden potential buried within. She applies post-humanist theories that question the duality between human and non-human, animate and inanimate, aiming to encourage greater integration between the diverse forces that make up existence.

By creating new life and meaning for her found objects, Leonie aims to break down the necessity for dual classifications of organic and inorganic, animate and inanimate, and allow an interconnected cycle of existence to continue in a multi-spatial state of being.