Kim Lenschow is a Danish architect. For the exhibition he decided to create a “throne of fragility” built out of biodegradable plastic. This piece has been inspired by masculinity, and how boys are brought up to put on a mask.
A throne is a symbol of authority. It represents a position of unshakable power and control. For many, this conception of authority might seem dated. To some even a caricature, traditionally tied to notions of ideal masculinity embodied by the cold-hearted, patriarchal ruler. The power represented by this masculinity is in truth a corrosive commitment to never appearing fragile; it is conditioned on a repression of real emotions.
This figure might be dead, or at least he is dying, but his spirit lives on whenever we teach that boys don’t cry—and when these boys learn to cope by manning up. This he-man, we are starting to know, is only half a man. And although the notion of masculinity that he represents is increasingly regarded as an outdated fiction, it continues to have very real effects on the inner lives of men in our society.
Throne of Fragility is built in biodegradable plastic and cannot be mounted. Its frail, eroding nature expresses the inner breakdown of any person occupying its symbolic space. At the same time, the disintegration of the throne mirrors the current dismantling of traditional notions of authority and power. It encourages a critical rethinking of masculinity and the position it assigns to men in our society.