Chloe Munkenbeck
Interior Motives
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
September 11, 2022 - October 9, 2022

******* Boudoir noun /büːd.wa/  

“The boudoir first appeared in the early 1700’s as a term that referred to a distinctly female space. It had no specific program, but accommodated a variety of activities – reading, resting, bathing, dressing, intimate conversation, and, later during the libertine era, a place for clandestine meeting and sexual seduction.”

    – Anne Troutman, “The Modernist boudoir and the erotics of space,” in Negotiating Domesticity

While the excess of a space exclusively dedicated to reflection, intellectual advancement, bathing and sexual fantasy is uncommon in modern architecture – I would certainly welcome its revival – the locked bathroom space supplants itself as today’s boudoir. The most private of private space, its secluded spatial condition invites curious exploration, a close self examination of flattering/unflattering angles, and a space of solitary relief.

Interior Motives uses the hidden plumbing and objects of the domestic bathroom to reveal the unfulfilled, restrained, and hidden desires examined within. The pipe infrastructure is ever present yet largely invisible but for its orifices: the drain of a sink, the slow drip of a faucet, the spray of a shower head. The cold, tiled surroundings of the bathroom acts as a most trusted witness, containing these intimate acts in its walls and flushing them away, never to be seen again.

In a single architectural structure, all plumbing culminates to a single point of exit. Our most intimate, solitary acts, both the sensual and grotesque, mix and combine together with those of our neighbors before being released into the expansive public infrastructure. As the lowermost unit, Roman Susan is the first and last node for 1224 W Loyola Ave’s intimate secretions, the neighbours’ remnants running through the gallery space. Interior Motives intercepts this flow,  exposing the surrounding innermost thoughts before they are ejected into the public realm.

   – Chloe Munkenbeck

Chloe Munkenbeck is an artist and architect from London, UK. She graduated with an MFA from SAIC and lives and works in Chicago. She uses architectural structures as both metaphor and medium to unpack the idiosyncratic codes of conduct they arouse. For more information, please visit

Photography by Useful Art Services

Chicago Must See | ARTFORUM - September 14, 2022

Interior Motives Exhibition Guide (PDF)

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