The recent events related to COVID-19, including social restrictions, isolation, etc. can ascertain the aforementioned statement. People for a long time had to suppress some of their needs for interaction and communication, and that resulted in many cases to psychological problems such as depression or even violent behaviour.
The Cheair Up project is attempting to restore this broken communication by inviting everyone to sit together and discuss; exchange, compete, cooperate, rejoice (cheer), appreciate what we have, what we could have, what we should have.
The aim of this installation is the guests to attempt to find their way through the maze into sitting next to each other and engage in a conversation or multiple conversations. It is kind of a game and a challenge that underlines the importance of communication, and the absolute necessity we have to come together with other people and share our thoughts, experiences and feelings.
Arrangements (Rectangular, Rounded Rectangular, Cretan, small/ big, etc.) depend on available space and morphology of site.
It is a simple outdoor installation that consists of chairs (maybe side tables and beach umbrellas, depending on the site that is chosen and of course weather conditions) organized in the shape of a labyrinth. There are different types of mazes, for small or larger chair accommodation, that could offer a practical shape for any available space. Special pegs will be used to stabilize the furniture onto the ground, and ropes or other connectors will be used to bind them together. A very important aspect of this installation is the sustainability of the project before and after. The pieces of furniture and connections will be provided by local vendors and sources new or reused, able to withstand any weather condition. After the ending of the exhibition/festival/outdoor activities the furniture can and should be reused.
"The importance of social interaction is evident in our everyday life: we teach, learn, converse, treat, and deceive. We are shaped by other people and crave for social contacts to the extent that isolation is used as punishment and even as torture. According to a recent meta-analysis, social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for increased mortality" (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015).