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The Objects 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.

Beatriz Gerenstein presented one installation composed of seven pieces of unique sculptures – handbags, 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 Karate gold and used different semi-precious stones,unique bronze designs, 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 installation was designed by Beatriz Gerenstein to suggest a high-end bag exhibition store. Gerenstein placed her exhibition “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 over each sculpture.

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