Having Parts Missing

De Apotheek, SC Showroom, TAC, Sign, NMAG, Combo (Venice, IT) and No New Enemies (Brussels, BE), 2018-2019

Having Parts Missing is an installation consisting 14 solid hand-carved Bubinga handles, mounted on different objects, shown at (a.o.) de Apotheek, Sign and No New Enemies (Brussels, BE).

Having Parts Missing shows a series of handles made from CITES-listed (forbidden) hardwood. Because of their forbidden status, the wood is only sold in very small, very highly-priced leftover batches, making the already luxury resource even more exuberant. 

The handles are made of Bubinga, an endangered West-African species. Bubinga was taken up by the Chinese market to substitute other near-extinct wood because of its physical resemblance, for furniture made accordingly to the Ming Dynasty. The rising middle-class of China, wanting a piece of their heritage, made for a growing demand incompatible with natural hardwood forestation. 

The handles are attached to the walls as done with hunting souvenirs, but on hip height, making the visitors stand in line facing the wall. In other iterations, the handles are attached to a horse-jumping obstacle and an anomalous cabinet hardware panel. Their various shapes invite different approaches and attitudes to be held, spiking various associations on the character and malignancy of the missing tool.

The wood is carved into several handle-like shapes; the very practical component for the manipulation of objects, but also the trophy part of a tool – red-handedly implicating the user in a system of transgression. 

Having Parts Missing draws on the manufacture of desire through exclusivity and missing parts.

Made possible with the kind support of De Apotheek. In collaboration with Kitty Maria.

Materials: Bubinga (forbidden wood), aluminium panel, mdf, heavy duty transport cases, plants.