Johanna-Braun_art_Installation_Performance_MAK-day-2012_Vienna_Wien_MAK-cover

 

GIRL IN A BOX: I Have to Confess, It´s Nothing More and (for a certainty) Nothing Less, 2012

The Hope Chest or Glory Box is, as the name already suggests, a box that contained the dowry of a young woman. From early childhood of a girl the whole family worked on the future marriage portion. Everything that the future owner of the chest – the groom and the household the girl will have to move after the wedding – could need was collected in it. The size and contents of the Crate represented the wealth and prosperity of the family. Often the construction and decoration of the chest made it more precious than the contents themselves. A lot depended on the perceived worth of the Hope Chest. The „value“ of the girl and the chest could not be separated. It was a coveted Chest that created a coveted bride. In my case, the simple appearance of the wooden box falls rather sad. The content may only be myself. I can’t offer more. Thus, the box seems almost like a coffin. A container for a life.

In 2012 the work Girl in A Box was exhibited at the Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna. The Hope Chest was installed in the Schausammlung Barock Rokoko Klassizismus and matched the surrounding exhibits. For the duration of the visiting hours I slept in the box. Visitors were unaware if the box and it‘s content were part of the permanent collection or not.