The Agency, London
24th May - 21st June 2014
The Agency is pleased to present new sculptures by Simona Brinkmann in Gallery 1
Simona Brinkmann’s sculptures address the fetishisation of objects and the shifting demarcations of public and private. Her choice of materials (leather, metal and glass) deconstructs the architectural interior and emphasises partitions and movement control. Her references are wide-ranging: fences scaled up or down, revolutionary barricades, crowd barriers or flood barriers and cattle guards used for animal control in the food industry. She subtly subverts her original sources by hand-making the objects and displacing them from their familiar use environments to the gallery space.
Brinkmann’s sculptures covet weightlessness. Her objects are suspended or leaning, mobile or modular and can be applied in different locations or situations. Each time they are devised in a manner that creates obstacles, barriers or simply divisions of space. They allude to a game of power and control, yet, they remain unstable propositions which are easily reconfigured to change meaning. Control lite – where the fetishistic aspect is never fully realised, a slippage which results in a political rather than a personal reading of the work. The politics of enclosure as a means of domination in an institutional context are exemplified by the thought-provoking sentence by Gilles Deleuze “The coils of the serpent are even more complex than the burrows of a molehill” (1). He described the onset of what we now live with as our current model of social control. We live in a highly developed society where overt control is snubbed as immoral, yet we have created a complex web of institutionalised processes and codes devised to select and exclude. Simona Brinkmann’s sculptures visualise what our intuition already tells us and which fills us with as much anxiety as attraction.
At the intersection of the political and the personal in her work lies the possibility of a feminist reading. It is not overtly emphasised but also not obfuscated. Compounded by their elegant appearance and strong sensory quality Brinkmann’s sculptures can be read as a feminine take on existing power structures, adding a fresh voice to conceptual works on power structures by women from the mid-Eighties onwards.
(1) Postscript on Societies of Control, 1992, October, Vol 59, pp 3-‐7 (MIT Press)