An exhibition of new work made by Patricia L. Boyd in Melbourne, presented across two locations: at Victorian Trades Hall and a coworking creative office space 225 Queensberry St, Carlton.

31 August — 28 September
Public: Fridays & Saturdays 1-5pm
Please note that Meeting Room 2 is an active organising space and in some instances, may not be accessible on Friday afternoons.

Curated by Nicholas Tammens

Opening: Friday 31 August, 5.30-7.30pm
Meeting Room 2
Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon Street entrance

Download Exhibition Pamphlet

  1. Victorian Trades Hall
  2. 225 Queensberry st.
  3. Exhibition Text

(1st floor kitchen)

  • Untitled (Aeron), 2018
  • Used restaurant grease, beeswax, damar resin
  • 13.5 × 30 cm

This ongoing series of casts reproduce in negative the form of an extant, mass-produced part of an armrest of an office chair. The “Aeron” chair (also used in the offices in which this work is shown) was manufactured by Herman Miller, the influential furniture manufacturer also credited with the invention of the office cubicle, and is notably associated with the “dot-com bubble” that occurred in the US from 1995-2000. Marketed for its ergonomic properties, it was fetished by a then growing self-tasked cognitive workforce, anxious of the occupational health risks associated with prolonged time at their machines. Emblematic of the desires of these workers, it attests to a disciplining of the body in a bid to prolong time spent at work with computers in efforts to increase productivity.

Boyd acquired this chair from a liquidation auction of a company undergoing intensive restructuring. These liquidation auctions allow companies to re-monetise their assets (furniture, equipment, intellectual property), usually as a means to pay debts before closure. In this case, the chair was purposefully pulled from its circulation in this particular market to be put to another use.

Similarly, the material of the casts is also pulled from circulation. These casts are composed of grease purchased from a refinery company that source their raw material from the oil vats of restaurants across the greater San Francisco area. This material, at a point of stasis—before it is cleaned, refined, and re-commoditised as fuel for cars—is both the result of waste processes, and source of potential energy. As art it remains locked off from its use-value by the static time of conservation, while entering the symbolic and monetary economies of the art system.