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Juguete de las Hadas (Fairies’ Toy)


Alicia Barney, Bogotá, 1997

Various themes come up in the conception of this work that have interested me throughout my career. My constant interest, and therefore my compulsion to study brought me to an understanding, already well-known among specialists in ecology, that the principle cause of the deterioration of the balance between the distinct interconnected systems in the planet there is an EXCESS OF HUMAN POPULATION.


Naturally, this brought me to study sociological themes, and one of its most interesting roots: anthropology, as well as feminist bibles such as “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir. That is how I formulated my idea of marriage as a focal point to bring together these diverse preoccupations.


In the marriage as ritual, throughout its different historical phases and diverse cultural manifestation, I find the most emblematic aspects of the principal cause of the current ecological imbalance. From there arise my readings of sexuality in general.


When in the “KAMA SUTRA” (an ancient catalogue that is at once lucid, practical, and concise), I found the following description:


“Concerning the distinct kinds of sexual union following these dimensions; the intensity of desire or passion, and the time, of the different kinds of love.


Man is divided into three classes: the hare man, the bull man, and the horse man, following the dimensions of his lingam.


Woman, according to the depth of her yoni, is a doe, a mare, or an elephant. From this it follows that there are three equal unions possible among those whose dimensions are equal, and six unequal unions, among those whose dimensions are not equal.”


As I was reading, I suddenly conceived as an image later to concrete this work that took more than eight months of the labor of four human embroiderers





This aspect of the biological order described here so carefully is fundamental for the normal development of sex as a couple. However, it is maybe the only one that has never taken into account the diverse rituals of marriage, through which reproduction is made official in the social environment.


Human reproduction is at its core managed ritually by the diverse societies of the world, due to hidden factors such as economics, thus obviating sexual biology. We convert reproduction for consumption into a chimera, into a FAIRIES’ TOY. 

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