Beatriz Gerenstein participated in the exhibition ”Personal Structures” during the 58th Venice Biennale 2019. This exhibition was organized by the European Cultural Centre. Gerenstein presented "The Gift" in a dedicated room in the 2nd floor of the Palazzo Mora.
"The Gift" was made with stainless steel and an organic twisted manila rope. It looks like a paper-wrapped box, tied with a string of rope.
When we face "The Gift", something shakes our inner selves. Many questions come to us. What is this box? Is it really a gift? Is it a gift for me or for someone else? What will I find if I open it? Which of my most intimate fears and wishes could I place inside the box?
Yes, each one will have his or her own gift. What is inside of "The Gift" is up to at the viewer. It is a sculpture with which Beatriz Gerenstein provokes us to think, to feel, to understand ourselves better. It makes us think in our desire to receive and our desire to give and share.
Gerenstein intends to offer everyone who approaches her work the opportunity to access to a certain oasis of desire where he or she can meditate and dream, at least for a few seconds. Hopefully, the viewer will receive, will place a balm on the wounds that all we carry inside and conclude with a smile that returns and spreads peace, joy, and love.
The shiny stainless steel keeps the sculpture in continuous change. In addition to absorbing the colors and lights, it projects back to the surroundings twisted images and faux realities. The Gift receives and gives. The very reflective but uneven surface of the sculpture personalizes all the faces that come close to look at themselves. The viewer is forced to recognize that the perceptions of her or his image, as the wishes inside The Gift, are just self-constructed. Like in a quantum paradox, they are subject to other people observation.
The organic and warm rope that ties "The Gift" is an essential element in the composition. The simple nature of organic material as a manila rope equilibrates the hard and cold shine from the stainless steel. The string keeps the box closed and makes it’s interior inaccessible. The psychological tension created can only be resolved if we decide to break with the structure, undo the knot and open the box to find its secrets. Will we have the courage to do it? Sure we will!
The Gift was installed in a dedicated room on the second floor of the Palazzo Mora. The walls, floor, and ceiling of the room were painted in pure white and profusely illuminated. The Gift was placed over a white pedestal. Indeed, a high-key lighting box was created to give relevance to the optimistic, upbeat, and youthful message of the sculpture.