Family Romances (1992) plaster, steel, plates, iced cake Family Romances (detail) Family Romances (detail)

Family Romances 1992

Created in 1992 this sculptural installation was given the title Family Romances in recognition of psychoanalytical understanding of familial relationships life and in context of my own autobiographical experiences.

 Family Romances responds to my experience of and recovery from the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The work evokes family belonging as embodied - both as an obstacle to overcome yet protectively nurturing. The horse's triple jump made from plaster casts could be seen as analogous to the fragile bony body of the anorexic and as metaphor for the obligatory familial milk - here solidified and inedible. 

The accompanying cake presented on a stack of plates with its cheery icing labeled in fondant icing with ‘love’ underlines material and emotional tensions relating to eating and eating disorders: between wanting and not having and the amassing of quantities (milk bottles and plates, tempting cake). Also a kind of hollow emptiness is suggested, where food stands in for love and bears witness to the commodification of desires associated with contemporary family life.

A condensed extract from the Inventory by Bronwyn Platten