In Confessional, Cathy de Monchaux wishes to make a place which was openly sculptural but which was complete only when people entered and conversed within its walls. De Monchaux’s reflective method of working has resulted in a construction that is simple, assured and which looks from the outside to be a place without pretension, but with strength of line and solidity of form. On the inside, the décor is true De Monchaux, with intricate wrought ironwork and lush, tufted cushions, the contrast between outside and inside continues De Monchaux’s preoccupation with playing with extremes, particularly those of opulence and austerity.
Like most of De Monchaux’s work, Confessional is secretive: it hints at comfort—here is a place to rest, to recline and to converse. Upon closer inspection, this initial sense of relaxation becomes tinged with unease—the work has a dark underbelly. The metal fretwork screen divides the space, creating a physical barrier between the occupants. Composed of sharp spikes, the screen juxtaposes soft, voluptuous upholstery, creating a tension of opposites, which could translate into sexual tension, or fetishism, De Monchaux herself stating she allows her practice to create a relationship with the viewer of “flirtation and desire”.