Isolated Bathroom


Iron bathtub with wooden tap, water pump, thin plastic sheeting, painted aluminum, and ceramic, wigs / 74 x 450 x 300 cm
Sammlung Goetz, Munich

MM: In this imaginary workroom there is a simplified, angular, archetypal bath full of lumps of clay that look wet and unbaked. In reality, they have been baked and painted exactly the same color as unbaked wet clay, then moistened and covered with a thin layer of plastic to protect them against imaginary dehydration. A small hole has been made in one part of the clay so that the entire mass looks hollow. Combined with the thin plastic and the condensation, the overall image is that of a hollowed-out, wet mass of clay. Above the hole there is a wooden tap from which a ballpoint pen hangs on a thin cord. Water trickles continuously via the pen into the hole in the clay. The trickling water causes the pen to make constant small, nervous movements. Next to the bath there are three nearly identical figures made out of wet-looking clay but differing in size and expression. Two of them are ten percent smaller than the third. The differences appear to have come about inadvertently while trying to make an identical copy of one figure. This cloning is an attempt to show the figure at three adjacent moments in time. The figures seem to have just been left behind, unfinished and without arms.
I like the idea of having the figures look as if they feel comfortable without arms. If you think you do not have arms you feel very vulnerable, but these figures seem to enjoy being vulnerable. They look very fragile and changeable, but they seem to feel secure in their surroundings. Another reason they have no arms is that I wanted them to look unfinished, and I realized they would then look more alive. The figures have been sprayed to appear wet and covered with thin plastic. In a strange way, the plastic also makes them more alive, but at the same time it conveys the uncanny feeling of not being able to breathe, of murder.