Part of Modern Love

Framing Presence

Hannah Toticki


2020 – Wood, steel, paint

One of the big challenges technology presents to intimacy and love is the question of paying attention. With the endless flow of information, constant communication and updates, we often fail to be present in the here and now. A short attention span and attention deficit are both afflictions of the digital age. But being present is a precondition for love. Accepting limitations is another. Both are under pressure from modern technology. Hannah Toticki Anbert’s work focuses on the relationship between social relations, political economy and technological developments. The works presented in the exhibition, some newly commissioned, are shaped as garments, accessories and furniture which all point to the relationship between technology and body. Their use is ambiguous – designed to help us focus but at the same time being restraining, maybe even slightly claustrophobic. This ambiguity is a metaphor for the double nature of the endless possibilities of modern digital technology: on the one hand being useful and facilitating communication, while on the other binding and alienating. It is a technology that sets us free but at the same time challenges genuine and intimate human contact. 


Framing Presence is a sculptural piece of furniture designed for two bodies sitting facing each other. The work is a response to a time where “things” do not necessarily happen in front of us, but elsewhere in time and space. In Framing Presence the sitting bodies are divided by the furniture, but a square frame is left open. The personal and bodily meeting becomes limited by the furniture, but at the same time the framing – by mimicking the framing of head and shoulders we are so used to from online meetings – helps our focus and guides our attention, underlining the here and now of the meeting.

Work on display at the Centraal Museum.


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