Michel de Broin
Jeux de Tables, 2014
In past works like Shelter (2006), office tables meant to facilitate congregation and assembly are instead transformed into the armored components of a fortress-like structure. The benevolent democracy of coming together across the shared surface of a tabletop, thereby gives way to defensive upturned structures with legs pointed out. Anticipating outright assault, Testudo (2009) references the Roman “tortoise” military formation where soldiers would cluster together, overlaps shields and point their spears outward. The table as an archetype of communion is thusly divided into distinct factions of “inside” and “outside.” Jeux de Tables is the most current iteration of this ongoing series, turning 24 otherwise ordinary desks into a multi-tiered board game without rules or resolution. Hierarchy and central organization are also conspicuously absent, suggesting a shift in tone where the binaries of top/bottom, inside/outside, individual/collective are collapsed in an open field of play.