French design student Philippine Hamen presents a new hybrid piece of furniture in Ikon’s Tower Room. It is inspired by David Lodge’s short story, The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up (first published in 1966), about a man who is tired of getting up every morning to live the same joyless life, day after day, until one morning he decides to stay where he is. The hero, or perhaps anti-hero, decides not to get up – ever.
The consequences are unexpected, for himself and others. Hamen has made a ‘lounger desk’ for Lodge’s character and in a sense for the writer whose imagination conceived him. With an appropriate ergonomic structure, including a ‘face hole’ usually found in massage tables, it enables the user to read or work lying face down and thereby questions the long-held association of verticality with the activity of work, whereas horizontality is mostly associated with idleness. Hamen’s lounger desk assuages any guilt we might feel when lying down, reconciling the work space with the domestic sphere.
The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Stories by David Lodge is published by Vintage on 15 September and is available from Ikon Shop or online.
Philippine Hamen’s exhibition is supported by Fluxus Art Projects.