walsall-uk

Joana Vasconcelos

The New Art Gallery

The young Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos gained broader recognition when one of her major works, A noiva (The Bride), 2001, was included in the 2005 Venice Biennale: At the entrance to the Arsenale hung an outsize chandelier, an elegant structure, nearly twenty feet high, in which the artist had replaced the traditional crystal pendants with cotton tampons—around twenty-five thousand in all. By associating an object characteristic of sumptuous palatial salons with the traditional bridal gown on one hand and taboos of feminine sexuality on the other, Vasconcelos created a powerful metaphor for contemporary womanhood, still captive to the dictates of a phallocentric civilization.

This work, installed in the large foyer of the New Art Gallery Walsall, where Vasconcelos brought together a broad selection of her output for the first time, encapsulates the artist’s technique and subject

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2008 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.