BENEDICT ROMAIN

SCULPTURE

PROPS

SET

1/4

Manhood

2011

Towel, herculite, bathroom tiles

100 x 30 x 30 cm

In Manhood a secret narrative of male bathroom behaviour is revealed, as a bath towel stands rigid as if draped over an erect penis. Such activities are advertised as a penis work out, fuelled by an internet-age pressure for virility and porn-star endowment. This pressure is augmented through the constant bombardment of junk emails selling Viagra entitled GROW YOUR ERECTION, resulting in male self-consciousness and a feeling of sexual inadequacy. The lack of the phallus in the piece hints at a Freudian castration complex.

Yet this totemic object also references ancient Greek phallic statues in which the representation of the penis is not always erotic, but celebrated as an apotropaic symbol for everyday good luck and protection from harm.

Contrary to its title, the structure is fragile, and the folds of the towel are feminine - almost labial in form. This also reminds us of the intricate drapery presented in classical sculpture.

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