Gigi Barker

I found a very disturbing piece by Gigi Barker- a chair that smells and feels like you’re sitting on human flesh!

Skin-like chair, 2014

Barker spent a lot of time in trying to replicate the exact feel (and smell) of human flesh, creating a distinctive collection chairs and footstools. She studied the “texture of skin, and the shape of the body”, the “intricate subtleties and varieties of the skin surface and the volume of the flesh”. She used “pheromone -impregnated silicone base” as her fabric, which is what feels and smells like a human being.

Her aim was to achieve a bond between the buyer and product, and she wants to question the level of comfort people have in their own skin. But I find this so disturbing, if anything, I would want to stay away from it. Maybe it’s because it really does look like a mound of human flesh, and because it is in a chair form, it is alien and terrifying to me.

I don’t think I want to go as far as exploring disgusting smells for this project, only as far as sounds and aesthetic. But smell would be very powerful indeed, and I find it hard to believe anyone who could bond with Barker’s human flesh resembling products.


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