Maria Lynch’s installation does not intend to deny its dubious state. It is concentrated in a zone that straddles erotica and play, pleasure and guilt. What does this place represent? Who is it here for? It is in the bedroom, the place of intimacy and privacy, that children’s games and carnal lust are played out (depending on the age and therefore the interest). Building up a bedroom from body parts, memories that are now reactivated and reappropriated (what was once a place and object for games acquires a different connotation now), and more than this, having this representation turned towards the symbolical appearance of phalluses, gives this work of Lynch’s a perverse overtone. The duality between eroticism and playfulness is well expressed in the relationship between color and form. It is no random choice on the artist’s part to use bright colors and compose a children’s bedroom scene, a “happy” place, which more naive minds might see as perfect for playing games. The fact is that the form of the objects to be manipulated belies the soft, gentle appearance the image of that room might suppose. It is this ambiguity that interests Lynch. A father taking his son/daughter to the installation will activate the second part of this relationship between body, affections and language that the work activates: a sense of guilt upon seeing one’s children playing with phalluses. At this point an important component comes up. The dilaceration the work implies accentuates the vulnerability of the body and its different allegories and potentialities – in everything from the virtual exposure of the body before cameras in social media to torture or mutilation – in a process that could be identified as the modern crisis of the subject.
Previously a place of covert activities, the bedroom now invites us in, it wants to be revealed; in other words, it wants to have its structure/body inhabited and manipulated. But this decision is not so straightforward. The way the artist makes this transition from pleasure to consternation is very insightful. The objects are simultaneously phallic and perverse, sacred and profane. And also, because of the accumulation of these objects in the space and the scenic nature of the work, the exhibition room becomes a kind of cave: small, dark, and with a lugubrious air. Nonetheless, when we go in, we relate this house to a (pore-filled) body. This recognition comes about because of the soft and yielding structures/members that are here configured as the knowledge of a body that remains in the sphere of the tactile. And this is taken further by the stuffed fabric, something that inhabits both the world of childhood and the world of the fetish. Walter Benjamin indicates, via Freud, that toys both tend to express the libido and also absorb adults’ projections. Lynch’s work demands a phenomenology of meanings because it is equally visual and tactile. Triggering these ambiguities, this proliferation of objects stimulates a place somewhere between worship, refuge and guilt. In the midst of this symbolic mass of genitalia, it is odd how anthropomorphic relationships are also envisaged, often completely at random.
The installation turns walls into “skin”, and it is this new “lining” that reformulates what has always been inert by nature. At a time when the discourse about the relationship between art and the organic is getting ever more hackneyed, Lynch forces us to consider our attitude to our body, and especially how great is the “margin of threat” inherent to such forms appearing in the world. This is not just a participative or erotic work, but one about how perversion, eroticism and aspects of play are mutually contaminated, mutually appropriated and intermingle in this work, leaving us feeling both baffled and bewitched. A watery smile, perhaps. But never indifferent. Lynch points to the paradoxes of a (hypocritical) society and its sexual ambiguities; the viewer is now confronted with the daily life that s/he him/herself created; the elements and perversions that s/he reveres and needs.