The history of saddles is a bright example of how the construct of the national morphs into international especially when looking far back in the past or imagining the future. While It is known that the rst domestication of a horse took place in Botai culture, now territory of Qazaqstan, somewhat between 3700–3100 BC we also strongly associate horses with Latin America, Great Britain and Central Asia as a whole. The gure of Centaurus in greek mythology resonates with the imagery of a well-trained horse rider most likely rooted in the same Botai culture mythologized by Ancient Greeks. A gure of a woman- warrior riding a horse can be found in the Museum of Georgia dating back to 8th-7th century BC.
One can argue that behind the creation of these mythologies there has always been a saddle connecting the worlds of human and animal, but on a more practical level, inuencing the trading routes, speeding up the exchange of ideas and goods, as well as shaping the political landscape and forming new unions. All good inventions eventually spread across civilization and this is how design unites territories through function and communication since the dawn of time. Cross Cultural Chairs Workshop adopts this principle in an aempt to look at the saddle from various points of view such as product design, mythology, ideology, furniture, market, and cultural dialogue.
CCC invited eleven international and two local participants working in crossdisciplinary elds from architecture to sociology to rethink the saddle together with the local crasmen and scholars. In the duration of just two weeks a group of thirteen made ve saddles in a search of balance between local and universal, functional and beautiful, tangible and metaphysical. Aer an in depth interaction with the context of today's Qazaqstan we are thrilled to present the result of our collective, but also, individual ndings. Unlike many would claim, culture resides in-between identities and geographies, rarely in an isolated form and it is, thus, never national but always international even when belonging to a certain place. Like the saddles identity moves across borders and minds, although, it was a special pleasure to note that the place that once gave birth to horse riding still carries values and spirit of a human in a saddle.
August 21st, 2022
Kasteev Museum of Art
open until October 30th, 2022
2 Boulevard Marguerite de Rochechouart 75018 Paris
Project organized by:
Anna Ziegler Kayla Welsh Nomundari Munkhbaatar
Lucas Vidal Momparler Elena Chantzis Timur Aktayev
Belén Cabello Helena Postigo Ryanne Flock
Daria Kokonja Elena Ianeselli
Kasteev Museum of Art David Leon Fiene Muhamediyar