Every object contains within itself its own archetype, a link to the time and the world to which it belonged. An old school desk can carry us back in time, evoking countless personal recollections while bringing to life the emotions associated with that particular period of our lives. In the same way, what is today the latest model of a cell phone will, with the passage of time, come to remind us of these days and of the world that created and used it. Objects serve to tell the story – and the history – of the people and the society in which they existed.
These simple benches also include their own archetypal ideal. While this ideal may be different for each one of us, it is sure to take us back to a time when, far more often than today, we found ourselves sitting side by side, whether on the train, in the school cafeteria or in church. Our social, gregarious side found its expression more readily when we less concerned about guarding our personal space than we are now.
A bench is a collective seat, something one would expect from a society more given to sharing, to being more tolerant and less selective with regard to others. Chairs divide, while benches unite. Chairs enclose and delimit each one’s personal space; benches bring it together.
The setting, environment and precise placement of benches are all quite different from those of chairs and individual seats. In the Benches game, players are going to come up with compositions, juxtapositions and inspirations that are quite different from those that arise in the game of chairs (another Ludus Ludi game). The creations resulting from stacking, balancing and redistributing the space in and among these benches is sure to evoke a strange familiarity with a past age.
Could these trunks have once belonged to a cherry tree, with its shimmering red leaves? Or to an elegant birch tree, nestled close to a mountain stream? In either case, happy little creatures would have been found skittering about under their branches, which would have undoubtedly provided shade for more than one weary, long-forgotten traveler.
What makes the Pentaminos fascinating is its initial simplicity, so different from the ennigmas and problems described below. Unlike a 1000-piece puzzle, which has a single solution, the Pentaminos, while consisting of only 12 pieces, has thousands of possible solutions.
Altogether there are twelve different Pentaminos, each designated by a different letter of the alphabet: (F, I, L, N, P, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z). Pentaminos obtained by joining others at their axis or by rotation are not considered to be ‘different’ Pentaminos.
The tightrope walker balances over the precipice, risking life and limb as he walks over the thinnest of threads. They are not actors; rather, they relive what is essentially their life away from the wire. We are all tightrope walkers, though some more than others. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all balanced on the edge. That is what they are trying to tell us.
Objects that we are drawn to – personal adornments, ornaments in general, a feathered embroidery, a necklace, a capital, an eave… - are more often than not imitations of models found in nature: a flower’s petals, a plant’s leaves, a bird’s plumage…We’re struck not only by the beautiful colors of these objects but also by the arrangement of their different elements. When we take objects that are seemingly identical and try to create something new with them we have no choice but to subject ourselves to the laws of physics, letting them guide us in our effort to create something that will mirror the beauty and harmony that exist in nature.