Cannes 2008

The Best Seat in Cannes: $25K Chair for Winners Only

Brazilian Furniture Piece Made Out of 300 Dolls Signifies Creativity, Hope

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- Win a Lion at Cannes this year, and you'll be asked to sit in a chair made out of 300 dolls.

The chair was created by Brazil's famous furniture-designing brothers, Fernando and Humberto Campana, out of hundreds of tiny, traditional fabric-dolls sewn by women in the little shantytown of Esperanca in Paraiba, an arid and impoverished state in northeastern Brazil. (Esperanca means hope in Portuguese.)
Pedro Cabral
Pedro Cabral Credit: Raphael Vasconcellos

Several of the agencies in Aegis Group's digital network Isobar have clubbed together to buy one of the chairs and bring it to Cannes as the first step in an international tour that will end with auctioning off the chair, which they acquired for $25,000. The chair, called Multidao, which means multitude or crowd, is meant to unify creativity and hope. Part of a limited series, a few chairs are made every year, numbered, and sold through art galleries.

Thinking chair
The idea is to ask creatives who win Lions this week to sit in the chair and have video taken of them talking about creativity, said Pedro Cabral, president of Isobar in Latin America and CEO of Sao Paulo digital agency AgenciaClick, acquired by Isobar last year. Mr. Cabral, who is heading the project, brought the chair to Cannes, initially to the Brazilian lounge hosted by Brazil's leading ad magazine Meio & Mensagem at the Majestic Hotel.

Mr. Cabral said Matias Palm-Jensen, creative president of Isobar-owned Farfar, Stockholm, was taking the chair to a party for digital creatives. Another Isobar shop, Glue, London, is involved in the project, which will also have a website. After Cannes, the chair will go to Paris and London in search of well-known people in creative fields.

Yesterday the chair stood in the Aegis Lounge at Cannes, and 30 Lion winners were filmed sitting in it, Mr. Cabral said. (It's surprisingly comfy.) The whole project will cost about $50,000, including the chair, Mr. Cabral said. The Isobar guys lug the chair around Cannes themselves, so that saves some money.

Close call
The chair had a rather adventurous trip to Cannes, under the anxious eye of Mr. Cabral. A zealous French customs-inspector wanted to slit the dolls open to check for drugs, but Mr. Cabral prevailed after persuading a more senior, English-speaking official that a work of art would be destroyed.

For anyone who would like to collect Campana chairs, which are often concocted out of bits of random wooden or rubber objects, the brothers also make a series called Sushi Chairs (don't ask) as well as seating constructed from teddy bears, and dolphin and shark stuffed animals.
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