57th Venice Biennale
Exhibition Personal Structures
European Cultural Centre

The exhibition was held at the Palazzo Mora

3659 Strada Nuova, Venice, Italy

May 28 – November 27, 2016

Beatriz Gerenstein’s  “The Objects of Desire” was shown on the 1st floor of the 400 years old Palazzo Mora

The Object of Desire

Beatriz Gerenstein participated in the exhibition“Personal Structures” during the 57th Venice Biennale 2017. This exhibition was organized by the European Cultural Centre. Gerenstein presented one installation composed of seven pieces of unique sculptures – handbags. It was titled The Objects of Desire.

The concept:

With the rise of the consumer culture, handbags have become central to define one’s identity. A handbag reveals social status and place in society. They are not just an embellishment object, but also a “star” accessory, a complete status symbol, an actual “object of desire.”  Women from any social status, geographic region or culture hope to wear the best bag, regardless if authentic or fake.  It is like an atavistic feeling, a desire to dress well and look one’s best, the quintessence of our femininity.

The sculptures:

Beatriz Gerenstein sculpture- handbags look primitive, as made by a  cave-girl. First, Gerenstein deconstructed the idea of a handbag to its simplest and minimalistic expression. The sculptures seem made with tree twigs tied with plant fiber strings. Then, Gerenstein coated the bronze twigs with 24 Karates gold and used different semi-precious stones and exotic feathers to “accessorize” the handbags.

The warm reflections of the gold patina or the colorful handles with sparkling semi-precious stones deny their archaic appearance, introducing a ludic element and suggesting the uniqueness and luxury possible in a handbag.

The installation:

The concept of the installation was to emulate a high-end bag exhibition store. Gerenstein installed “The objects of desire” in one of the rooms of the 400-year-old Palazzo Mora.

The walls of the room were obscured and only a few spots were placed focusing on each sculpture. Each bag was placed on a dark gray pedestal and a box made of transparent plexiglass was placed on each sculpture.