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Boym Partners’ History Chess 17.03.09

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Words Anna Bates

"The history of the last century has often been compared to a chess game, with political systems, ideologies, brands, and artistic movements jousting for world dominance," explain the New York-based Boym Partners. So, the designers have quite aptly designed a chessboard, allowing people to play out the USA's turbulent century "from the sinking Titanic to the scarred towers of the World Trade Center".

Among the pieces are a space shuttle, urinal, Unabomber cabin, Panton chair, sinking Titanic and a 1980s Apple Macintosh computer. To remind players what's at stake, History Chess is played out on a 4x4 foot chessboard, intimidating its players by dwarfing them - the World Trade Center pieces are the height of the upper body.

There are 32 "sculptures" in total, all hand-carved by Indonesian craftsmen. Once history has been re-calculated, the chessboard can be folded into a box, with the chess pieces packed safely inside until the next game.


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