chess set, 2013
back-printed digital images on plexiglass
various sizes, all 1" thick

set made for Pae White's Orllegro exhibition at MAK Vienna from images provided by White

During one of these visits through the MAK storage White encountered a trove of long forgotten toys produced in Vienna in the 1920’s. She documented these thoroughly, studied them carefully, and arranged them into a multitude of configurations. After a series of edits, a chess set was born, but one that disrupts the traditional hierarchy of the game by equalizing the pieces. Images of this set were then launched into the world, specifically to a group of fabricators that she knew and worked with regularly in Mexico, Lithuania, and China and a few new ones in Germany and Ethiopia; a small group of Los Angeles based artists also stepped in for the exercise as well as an artist in the UK. The objective was to resuscitate these nameless, neglected objects by inviting fresh and detailed scrutiny of them, eliciting an array of interpretations from around the world as well as creating a cultural cross-pollination of form and color.

Curator Bärbel Vischer, Curator MAK Contemporary Art Collection, writing about Orllegro