The Marketability of Desire
Framed by the stately grounds of London’s Hyde Park in a realm of affluence and leisure, Pandemonia’s current exhibition features nine new virtual sculptures that draw attention to the intersection of desire, commodification, and contemporary culture. Brightly colored, with slick and unblemished surfaces, each unique work is a visually tantalizing abstraction. The curvilinear forms, appearing to bulge as if inflated, suggest toy-like, biomorphic creatures. At the same time, however, as they appear to bear zippers, handles, and fasteners, they evoke one of today’s most common and coveted of commodities, the handbag: a symbol of individualism in our capitalist society, a symbol of purchasing power, and a symbol of aspiration and wealth.
Pandemonia’s forms are set out for a visual consumption that, ironically, instantly reveals their utter lack of utility. Not only are they larger than life-sized, but their perfectly inflated shapes suggest emptiness, and their twisted forms and incomplete zippers—even if they were created on a much smaller scale—would render them useless in any practical capacity. They offer hope but contain nothing. The point to otherworldliness and a spirituality that has been hijacked and commodified through the prism of capitol and pop culture. To this end, their grandiosity of scale reflects the cultural status of the commodities to which they refer and makes a compelling spectacle of the marketability of desire and, by extension, the often illogical desirability of the commodity. Shiny and empty.