Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[098] Eliz (Elizabeth Beckmann) (USA)

[2010.flux4.098] Twenty-Six New York Bathrooms - Eliz (Elizabeth Beckmann) (USA)
small plastic cases containing smaller plastic boxes, photographs.
Donated by the artist, received by mail 2010.

Artist Statement: Inspired by Peter Greenway's documentary Twenty-Six Bathrooms, represents various bathrooms, both public and private from New York City. As part of a photo-sculpture series, they redirect the high aesthetics of photography as an art form into a plaything. By Fixing photographs within handling-objects as opposed to wall bound frames. I create a personal, boundless relationship between viewer and object, not to mention a new format of porta-potties. The photo-objects are great fun for me as well because the structure of the box determines the composition.
The internal grid construction of the small cases defines the size, shape and rythmn of the photo compositions. The trasparent quality of the boxes when viewed from different arrangements of the sculpture, (closed, open, front, back, placement of the smaller boxes without or within the sculpture, etc.), performs like a silent cinematic experience: a sequence of close-ups, long shots and panoramic shots. The viewer may rearrange the piece inside and out, exploring the multi-faceted aspects of a bathroom, art object and plaything. Thus, the conventional notions of one's relationship to the artist, who usually determines the end construction of a non-ephemeral work, dissolve like urine in a toilet bowl.
Therefore, by investigating the snapshot itself and what can be done with it as opposed to manipulating the images in the darkroom or in photoshop or controlling the outcome of the picture by the use of lenses, filters, etc., (I used a small disposable black and white camera), I am confined to the valuable study of the subject and not the mechanism of photographing. My process refuses traditional techniques and compositions of sculpture and photography. Each sculptural composition is a mere collection of rectangular pieces of paper that represent a New York bathroom. They are cut and pasted pictures of mundane subjects: toilets, plumbing, toilet paper, floors, etc., which become abstract or surreal images. The Twenty-Six New York Bathrooms divorce themselves from conventional notions of bathrooms, photography and sculpture.

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