Feelings amongst tasks
An exhibition in Bladr, Copenhagen
Curated by Jir Sandel
Pandora was the first woman created by the gods. Hephaestus moulded her from
clay, shaping her perfectly. Aphrodite blessed her with grace and femininity and
Athena taught her crafts. Hermes made her stubborn and deceitful. Zeus gave her a
jar full of mysterious gifts and told her not to open it.
But because she was created mischievous, Pandora opened the vase, and all the terrors, tears, and evils hidden there by the gods rushed out and spread in the world like leaves in the wind. Pandora hurried to close the lid, and only one gift remained trapped in: hope. The curiosity for what-is-hidden-inside is the fuel of capitalistic society. While individuals are held responsible for causing the planet's collapse in pursuing the satisfaction of their egos, the gods' plans are being fulfilled. The gilded, intricately carved box turns rusty and hideous once opened: waste to be discarded as soon as its packaging function is extinguished. It is yet to be understood whether expectation as the sole thing kept locked inside is a benefit for humanity or a further bane.
Originally, bags were for men only, as women were not entitled to bring any personal possession around. Then a purse was given to them and, with it, the price for their own emancipation. As Anne Boyer puts it in Garments Against Women, an object is not only a projection of the human body, its wellness or lack of rest, but also the body's place in a larger market of labour, goods, and cultural production.
The container's role is to carry and protect the content - even to care for it and allow its growth and development in case the content is a living or spiritual form. It's a delicate balance between control and trust that is played on flexibility and exchange.
When the container becomes hard and stiff and heavy as metal, the content will either kill or die.
Text by Paola Paleari
Sculptures made in collaboration with Annie Åkerman