Friday, January 15, 2010

Bruce Nauman's Hand Sanitizing Station (2009-2010)

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In the "Hand Sanitizing Station," I am dispensing hand sanitizer out of my mouth. Using my body to replace a simple hand sanitizing dispenser, I am looking at our fear of contracting an infectious disease while passing through crowded areas.  
The fear of transmittable diseases is real, and it is very hard to navigate the complex landscape between fear and reality. Besides the wide range of antibiotics that are sometimes making the viruses stronger, we are trying to protect ourselves by keeping isolated and compulsively clean by overusing various hygiene and antibacterial products.

From an entirely different angle, I am interested in resampling Bruce Nauman's famous and exclusive, piece of art closer to the public in a  DIY fashion, stripping it of its artistic function and placing it into an everyday situation. Metaphorically speaking, I am trying to put the Duchamp's Pissoir back to his original environment. 
In surprising similarity to Duchamp's Pissoir, Bruce Nauman, in his famous photograph “The Fountain,” is also dealing with the role of Artwork and Artist. Jasmine Moorhead in 1995 wrote about his work in the Yale Herald:
“Nauman, though, seems to have worked through Duchamp quite successfully. At the time, he had never actually seen Duchamp's work, although he admitted: "the information was just sort of in the air." The lineage is complex, but Nauman's approach is so fresh that he can hardly be called derivative. One of Nauman's "Eleven Color Photographs" (1966-1967/70) is "Self-Portrait as a Fountain," showing Nauman spewing water out of his mouth. This piece, consciously or not, relates to Duchamp's "Fountain" of 1917, a urinal signed and turned upside down. In Nauman's piece, the artist becomes not only the author but the object, the art. Nauman had taken the loaded image of Duchamp, who, close to 50 years before, had chosen and subverted such a loaded image as a man's urinal, and subverted him. Nauman becomes the active object, one that still spews water.” 

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