Katie Tobin

Eva Fàbregas’s forms of desire

When Forms Come Alive at the Hayward Gallery, 7 February – 6 May 2024.

Your work explores the intersections of desire, consumerism, and the eroticism of objects. I’m curious about how it is that you approach this exploration and what it is that you hope people who see your work will take away from it.

I would say that one of the main things about my work is that although I work with desire, desire is a bit of a broad term. Desire in what Freud would call the ‘polymorphously perverse’ is this idea that when you’re a child and you’re not fully mature, your desire never settles. It goes and flows in a lot of different directions so it’s this kind of desire that I’m interested in, the kind that embraces obscenity and disgustion. So, I always work between desire and something strange or repulsive, something between both of these lines.

Photo: Jo Underhill.

Your use of soft and inflatable materials is a fairly integral part of your artistic language. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that choice and how it relates to the broader themes of your work.

For me, it comes instinctively to work with soft materials. They give me elasticity, they want to be in a state of constant transformation and constant change. They embrace this idea of metamorphosis all of the time. For example, air. Air is my main material, although it’s never fully at rest or stable. You can see in the inflatables here that they’ll change throughout the show – maybe there are some parts where the air will fill more, or where the air might leave. It’s part of the way I also think about my practice and about the objects I produce. They are always adapting – and that’s why I use these materials in my work.

Photo: Jo Underhill.

Alongside the movement element of your work, your work incorporates sound and touch. How do you see the relationship between these sensory elements and the conceptual underpinnings of the art itself?

In this specific case, I use sound not as a material that you can hear but one that you can feel with your body, with your organs and your bones. So, I work with this idea of haptic sound. It’s a mechanical vibration that generates energy that can penetrate the insides; it’s not just about what you hear. 

I don’t usually work with film but I was very interested in the idea of collaborating with Equiknoxx. I asked them to make a track for my sculpture. They were sending some frequencies to the studios – like tones – and different sounds. They produced the song depending on how the sculpture would react to them. So, the song that’s playing in the room with the sculpture for it to sing, dance and vibrate so that it might become an instrument and a resonating membrane.

As one last question, could you talk a little bit about your work’s relationship to architecture/the spaces you exhibit in?

There are specific spaces that are extremely inspiring for me. They help me imagine scenarios I couldn’t think of on a white cube.

I understand the process of working with architecture as a pure collaboration. A collaboration between its features, myself and the objects that I produced, that are also moulded and shaped by the space.

My work often emerges from a direct relationship between my body and the specific scale and architectural features of a given space I’m responding to.


Eva Fàbregas studied Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona and Chelsea College of Arts and Design, London. She currently lives and works in London. With object-based work, large-format installations, video and sound, she explores the mechanisms of desire and the eroticism of the consumer object. Her objects and installations, made of soft or inflatable materials and often pink, reddish or white, evoke soft and organic forms, membranes, bulbs and tubes. She plays with this synesthetic effect by mixing sound and touch, matter and acoustics, space and skin. Through her objects, she investigates how the morphology and tactile condition of some materials affect the design of emotions, effects and desires.

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