Artwork

Monika Sosnowska
The Handrail, 2009

The work called The Handrail formed part of the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Galerie Capitain Petzel in Berlin in 2009. The object is undermining its putative ‘usefulness’ in the sense that its original function had been annulled. In the case of the concealed handrail hanging high on the wall, a bar from a small Polish town had been reinstalled, and the red shelf supports had been offered by the Polish metal black market. The narrow struts of the handrail, reduced entirely to the function of creating a barrier or boundary, suggest the ideal of a functionalistic architectural Modernism, they carry no baggage relating to historically opulent material nor do they have to offer space to any ornament. Rather than this, the point of this architectural element selected as pars pro toto is to structure a ventilated, liberated piece of space that serves the choreography of the built space entirely through the human body and mind. But: this handrail has been ripped out of its context, bent and ‘hung up’ – code and thought figure for a boundary experience, oscillating between loss of meaning and redefinition.

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