| || ||
Iron, aluminium, papier mâché, parachute silk,
wooden pedestal with fitted electrical and electronic parts,
238 x 69 x 69 cm (deflated), 366 x 69 x 69 cm (inflated).
Engineering: Gordon Meldrum
The sculpture «Queen» is transformed when a motion detector is set off. «At rest», it resembles a classical sculpture: a life-size Gothic-style female figure, a mediaeval queen, tightly draped from crown to feet in silken cloth, still, rapt, enigmatic. At the approach of a viewer, a fan in the pedestal roars into action, inflating the silk into a phallic pillar almost twice as high. The female figure is suddenly replaced by a huge, shining, sandcoloured condom.When the viewer stands back, the fan switches to «suction», and noisily reduces the phallus once more to the smaller queen.
The work was originally created for an exhibition entitled «Margareta x 4», at the Kalmar Konstmuseum (Sweden), to mark the 600th anniversary of Queen Margareta’s treaty for the unification of Scandinavia. Nakhova parodies the gender clichés: on the one hand the blown-up symbol of male power under publicobservation, on the other the private sphere of delicate womanhood.
Barbara Wally, 2003