The Shower Piece
The Shower Piece - Bik Fillingham Van der
Pol - 1995

Arno van Roosmalen (curator City Collection
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)
Observations in REST ‘ - August/September 1995
- Rotterdam

The Shower Piece- is that what it is called?
Did you ever shower in a work of art? I have
been walking around the object many times.
Photographed it - from far away, from close by
- but now I have dragged the chair covered with
Scottish plaid near to it. I am sitting three
metres away from it . Occasionally the sun
comes out and filters through the sunblinds on
to my neck. From this position the shower is a
lovely object and I would like to photograph it
as such. I am sitting in front of a monument -
a memorial. The steps are part of it, and one
imagines inside the memorial a movement upward
(like the steps in Lenin’s tomb). I am sitting
in front of an element out of a showroom for
bathroom fittings. I am sitting in front of a
telephone booth, a bath cabin, an elevator on a
base... the steps are fixed on the base so I
The Shower Piece
can enter conveniently - an indicator of
utility and access. I am sitting in front of a
piece of furniture - one of the three main
elements (table, bed, shower) of my temporary
dwelling. Am I sitting in front of an art work?
Yes. When you start to perceive this as an
artwork, the thing has an enormous, complicated
quality. I do not want to think about it -
where does it lead to? - aimlessly, an exercise
of thought. Follows: The choice. The
description of the image. This morning I
stepped into this space. Was surprised by the
size, the light and the emptiness. Loved the
deep blue blanket next to the blue red plaid on
the chair. At the left, on a white base - a
wooden box - was the copy of my shower,
standing on its own in the space; connection
pipes for water and gas striped through the
space between the cabin, geyser, gas bottle and
wall. I was surprised because of the precision
and detailed accuracy with which my shower was
reconstructed. The ceiling rafter, useless
here; the plastic ivy. The shower curtain was
painted by hand with white polka dots. The
original was not available anymore. I could not
express my admiration as fully as I wanted to.
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