PASSAGE DANGEREUX

Passage Dangereux

In Dangerous Passage (Passage Dangereux, 1997) Bourgeois combined objets trouvés with her own sculptures, and presented a narrative about a young girl going through different rites of passage. Various scenarios, beginning with a plaster breast, are strung together like in a film: children’s chairs, a school desk, and a children’s swing recall childhood; animal bones preserved in plastic spheres refer to the cycle of life and death, Mother Nature, and impermanence; and the electric chair symbolizes guilt and punishment. Along with a steel spider, glass spheres, and mirrors as recurring motifs, this Cell includes a black rubber object that has been pierced by needles. The needles and threads are a reference to the family tapestry workshop and Bourgeois’s mother. The hanging chairs refer to the artist’s father, who had a collection of chairs which he suspended from wooden beams in the attic. The last chamber, with a copulating couple, signifies the fear of sex, which Bourgeois equated with death.

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