The Shower Piece
I consider it as a fantastic gift, worked on
with an enormous resoluteness, pleasure for
details and craftsmanship. Because of the base
(ambivalently both functional and echoing the
idea of a plinth), it is brought into a new
dimension. You look up at it, into the
ornamented ceiling, as in a chapel.

I circled a lot around the shower, thought
about the use of it. And I realised that it
would be a different object after my first
shower in it. Already, now, its status was
ambiguous. But after using it it might be
impossible to perceive it as a work of art. Is
it possible that everything up until the point
at which we put it into use, is a work of art?
Is there an exact traceable moment of change of
status? Or are all meanings, all the time,
continuously present in a work? Is it possible
to consider art as life, landscape as art? Let
me consider this as a work of art while I am
still able to. Or is this already a kind of
colonization. A form of visual colonisation
based on ideological principles?

This work, ‘The Shower Piece’, has been made by
 
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The Shower Piece
three artists, Liesbeth Bik, Jos van der Pol
and Peter Fillingham. It is unique - there is
only one copy - a wonderfull, though not
completely perfect, reconstruction of my shower
at home. Previously, they made The Kitchen
Piece in collaboration, and soon there will be
The Bookshop Piece, all as faithful as possible
to the originals - reproductions of an existing
kitchen, an existing bookshop. Yet the word
‘Piece’ in the title indicates that it is not a
kitchen, a shower, a bookshop which is at
stake, but a sublimation of these things into a
work, a ‘piece’. Because of practical reasons
(the drain), the shower had to be raised,
seventy centimetres above the ground. Hence the
steps and the white base. The steps make the
shower easy to enter. I will be living here in
this space and I have said many times that,
except when I am writing, I can only think well
while taking a shower. And I think this is why
they built the shower for me. Complicated: It
being a shower which I can use or a shower
which makes me think. An article of use (the
steps, the trouble taken to make the whole
thing watertight, the connections to the water
supply and the drain, everything has been made
 
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< Bik Van der Pol

Publications:

> Past Imperfect

> Public Arena

> Catching Some Air