Monáx by Siba Sahabi

Concretization of loneliness

Project Specs

感谢 Siba Sahabi 予gooood分享以下内容。更多关于她:Siba Sahabi on gooood
Appreciations towards Siba Sahabi for providing the following description:

今年,由于新冠疫情的爆发,许多人感受到了难以言喻的孤独。它可以被具象化吗?这一问题促使德国-伊朗艺术家Siba Sahabi创作了意义深远的户外装置,目前在乌特勒支展出。装置名为Monáx,源于古希腊语的“孤独”一词,采取稍大于日常窗口的形式。乌得勒支城市实验室和艺术组织RAUM委托Siba Sahabi为Living Apart Together展览专门设计了这个装置,该展览是荷兰自2020年3月封锁以来的第一个展览。

The loneliness many of us have felt this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak is not easily put into words. Could it be put into form? This question moved German-Iranian artist Siba Sahabi to create a monumental outdoor installation, currently on show in Utrecht. Monáx, after the Ancient Greek term for alone, takes the form of larger-than-life windows. The site-specific work, commissioned by the Utrecht urban laboratory and art collective RAUM, is part of Living Apart Together, an exhibition developed during the first Dutch coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.

▼项目鸟瞰,aerial view © MWA Hart Nibbrig


If the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have provided anything, it is the opportunity to reflect; and to focus on a human state that, while already commonplace, came to the forefront these past months: feeling lonely. In this context, Sahabi began a broad research into the state of loneliness, particularly its depictions in the spheres of art, literature and film. It soon struck her, how rarely loneliness was depicted in comparison to, for instance, love or death – while surely just as acutely familiar in human experience.

▼镜面外观与内部的木材表面形成对比,mirrored exterior contrasting with the interior’s wood finish © MWA Hart Nibbrig


The result of Sahabi’s research – and part of it – is a monumental sculpture, which measures 2,5 meters in height and comprises an audiovisual installation. The physical part consists of three geometric elements that allow viewers to take a seat; their mirrored exterior contrasting with the interior’s wood finish. ‘I chose to finish the sculptures with mirrors to stimulate an interaction between the visitors and the sculpture,’ the artist explains. ‘Furthermore, I wanted to reflect, literally, on a rather invisible issue of our society. Loneliness is a theme we don’t feel comfortable talking about. And indeed, it is a complex theme. Fortunately, one of the positive outcomes of the current pandemic is, that the problem of loneliness in our society has become the focus of more attention.’

▼装置由三个几何体构成 © MWA Hart Nibbrig
the installation consists of three geometries 

▼单体高2.5米,the unit measures 2.5 meters in height © MWA Hart Nibbrig

▼细部,detail © MWA Hart Nibbrig

窗口象征着我们对接触外界的渴望,当我们对室外发生的事情感到好奇时,我们会望向窗外。雕塑还可以作为长椅使用,当参观者坐在这里时,他们会听到讲述有关孤独的故事的声音。Chris Rijksen为此创建了同样命名为Monáx的系列广播故事,其中包含心理学家、修女、探险家和哲学家等的孤独体验。

The windows symbolise our longing for contact: we look out of our windows, when we are curious about what is going on outside our own four walls. The sculptures also function as benches, and when visitors take a seat there, they will hear voices recounting personal stories about loneliness. To this end, an entire podcast series also titled Monáx was created by Chris Rijksen. The podcast includes the experiences of people who have had ‘practice’ with loneliness, such as a psychologist, a nun, an explorer and a philosopher.

▼镜面反射周围景观,mirror reflection © MWA Hart Nibbrig

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