LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL 2008
By Sorcha Carey
Manfredi Beninati’s installations transport us to fictitious worlds, redolent of dreams and half forgotten memories. Interiors furnished with all the signs and hints of human occupation lie abandoned and beyond reach, tantalising us with their half-told stories.
In To Think of Something, a new site-specific commission for MADE UP, behind the façade of apparently abandoned building, Beninati reveals to us a secretly inhabited apartment. The boarded up windows of the derelict house play host to a poster site bearing a hackneyed image of an idyllic tropical paradise; but a gap in the hoarding offers a stolen glimpse onto an altogether more domestic scene. Through the blocked up façade we peer into the small living room of a middle class apartment. The room, comfortably furnished, seems to have been recently vacated, the remnants of breakfast left on the table, and a half-read newspaper lying on the floor next to the sofa.
A door at the back of the sitting room stands slightly ajar offering a partial view into a dining room beyond, while through a window we are presented with the rather disconcerting sight of a ‘real’ tropical sunset. Like a stage set that has just been vacated, or a novel denuded of its characters, Beninati’s installation sets the scene for a rich variety of fictional encounters.