The Shower Piece
for optimal functioning), a piece of furniture,
an architectonic element. But it also is a
‘piece’ - a sublimation of the everyday object.
The observation of it, the confrontation with
it accomplishes a consciousness that is
different from the awareness of it in daily
functional intercourse. It is one of a series,
of an oeuvre. So I have to call it a work of
art. The base creates a dilemma: is it part of
the image or is it a plinth? The work of art is
sculpture and installation: site specific and
autonomous. The original - the shower at my
place - was built in a former toilet. The size
of the walls was given and the format of the
shower was based on that. An already existing
inside space was covered, arranged and made
functional for its new purpose. This interior,
namely that which makes the concerned space -
the former toilet - a shower, has been
conceived by the artists as an image. For the
Shower Piece, this image has been reconstructed
(with identical materials and means, insofar as
is possible) - just as was the case with the
Kitchen Piece. The original inside space is
taken as the defining factor for the total form
of the object; also and especially for the
 
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The Shower Piece
construction of the outside. A reversal of
constructive and ornamental elements also came
about (This morning, the first of September,
when I took a shower, I discovered that the
fake supporting beam on the ceiling, was even
hollow). Making the reconstruction of the
original functional was a condition for the
ultimate form of the Shower Piece.
Functionality defines the height and the
placing in the space.

This morning (Friday 1st September - brilliant
blue sky with white clouds coming from the
west) I did use it, after a lot of hesitating.
I really wanted to keep the image intact. Using
it felt like taking its virginity (Could art be
defined as the pure undamaged appearance of
reality? And how is this virginity being
mutilated?). I felt uncomfortable - and hardly
dared to mount the stairs vertically and
perpendicular in my nudity, as one should do,
certainly the first time - to take a shower.
Maybe I think while taking a shower because
vision is blocked and the body does not know
other needs. Once inside the shower,I felt safe
because of the familiar shape, recognisable
 
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< Bik Van der Pol

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