Exhibition “Personal Structures” during the 57th Venice Biennale

European Cultural Centre

The Objects of Desire

Beatriz Gerenstein  participated in Personal Structures, an exhibition organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation and held by European Cultural Centre during the 57th Venice Biennale. Her installation was called “The Objects of Desire”. The exhibition was on view at the Palazzo Mora, from May 13  to November 27, 2017. 

Beatriz Gerenstein works confront the viewer with the concept that since the rise of the consumer culture, handbags became central to define one’s identity. Today a purse reveals the economic position and place in society. Women from different social status, geographic regions or cultures hope to wear the best bag, regardless if it is authentic or fake. It is like an atavistic feeling, a desire to dress well and look one’s best, the quintessence of femininity. The handbags are pushed to women not just as a utility or even an embellishment object, but also a “star” accessory, a complete status symbol, an actual “object of desire.”

The installation comprises seven bronze sculptures. They are like primitive handbags, as they were made for a  made by a cave-girl. The sculptures were made with bronze and cast like tree twigs, tied with plant fiber strings and deconstructed to their simplest and minimalistic expression. Conversely, Gerenstein embellished these rudimentary handbags with a 24K gold plated patina, semi-precious stones and exotic feathers denying their archaic appearance.

This adornment introduces a ludic element that suggests the uniqueness and the luxury possible in a handbag. The handbags-sculptures are presented in a dark room and placed inside an acrylic box as seen in high-end stores selling the most expensive handbags like jewelry.