sten are  sandbeck


mOther – what you want, 2015


The project was initiated by invitation to the exhibition Distant Moods in a Blue Evening curated by Inga Šteimane as part of Cesis Art Festival in Latvia, 2015 - and consists of an installation in two parts to be mounted in one large space, approx. 200 m2. The works are large mobiles, each 5-6 meters wide, suspended from the ceiling diagonally across from one another at a certain distance in the space. As onlookers enter and move around the space, the mobiles will gently move and reconfigure themselves. The title of the two works, comprised as “mOther - what you want”, refers to psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan’s theory of desire. In his seminar V, Lacan refers to the graph of desire as “the little mobile” (the Calder mobile, as one of his students describes the graph). We may explain the theory of desire in short as “our desires are not our own, they are the Others”. The mother is the infant’s first meeting with an ‘other’ he or she wants to be desired by - yearning to become the mothers ‘object of desire’. This imagined object is something Lacan dubs the “phallus” or the fundamental fantasy. Of course, the child cannot have the mother, they are forever separated by the so-called ‘castration’ act, as the child is introduced to the symbolic order. The object of desire as subject identity - is hence lost. A search to rediscover the ‘phallus’ that may once again fill the gap and fulfill the subject is initiated.


This is theory. Then we have life. Our own desires, agitated by needs mixed drives - and the longings for something bygone, forever lost or beyond our reach. My mother turns 80 years of age this year. How long will she continue being a present part of me, of my everyday? And what is left of the mother of my childhood – as she is as I am, ever changing, as part of each other’s identity, forever entangled and restlessly on the move, floating away as we speak. For Lacan, the very essence of a subject is a lack, a lack of being that makes being possible. Not being a thing, an object - but doomed to fluctuating interdependence. The mobiles verify to this fact, they are in a sense, what they are not. And in the end, what would it mean to have ones fundamental desire satisfied, to be reunified with ones origin? Death, no doubt.






Sten Are Sandbeck


mOther, 2015

driftwood, rope, plastic, polystyrene

Ř~500 cm












sten are  sandbeck


what you want, 2015

metal pipes, chains, ropes, plastic, shackles, polystyrene

Ř~600 cm