Diaper Chandelier- Outstallation: Mausoleum for the Luxurious think Space

Title

Diaper Chandelier- Outstallation: Mausoleum for the Luxurious think Space

Location

Tel Aviv
Israel

Curatorial Statement

Materials: Newspaper delivery bags of Haaretz (“the land”), color clothespins, wood, wire, Huggie diapers, metal chains and hooks, neon lights Size: 1.5 X 5 meters Annual Art Alert Space/Street Artist Residence Gallery Sept 2007-Jan 2008 Curator : Varda Ginosar Most viewers approach the work with their nose… The Inspiration to create Mausoleum for the luxurious think space came at a time I was mother and parent to baby twins, and had a somewhat optimistic membership to the Haaretz newspaper. For those not familiar with the Israeli newspaper scene, haaretz is considered the most left wing and intellectual of Israel’s main newspapers. The word “Haaretz” means “The country=Israel”. My mind and body were preoccupied 46 hours a day by “something else”, so the piled up newspapers eventually found their way to the recycling bin, without their contents being digested by me. The bags in which the paper was delivered got filled with diapers soaked with the internal content of the little- one’s brand new bodies. Anyone who went through this knows that baby poo - these wee baby creations- are the most important thing in the first half year of their lives (and onward…) “Reading” the color, smell, amount, volume, quantity, and quality informs us about the health of these vulnerable and unique little creatures. Till the end of our lives, pee, excrement and blood are checked in order to “Read” our health situation. The everyday work of taking care of these miniature creatures fills the hours of the day, and the yearning for the big thinking world “out there”, gets stuffed, together with these “earthly” materials- in the trash. Sometimes we manage to recycle these yearnings into art. “High politics” are replaced -or more likely overthrown- by the pressing necessity of “low politics”. The shift in priorities doesn’t happen peacefully- at least in my case. A struggle ensues. The thing I missed most at this phase of my life, more then sleep, more then eating or bathing, was THINKING. Oh the luxury of Thinking - Seeing a thought through its natural stages of development. Mothers joke about this “haziness of mind”, the never ending interruptions. It’s good to joke, but those accustomed to a life of the mind felt this to be extremely painful. Yet one more of those transitions which is taken lightly by bystanders oblivious to the particularities. These bags of Haaretz, which signify the “thinking human”, became a sneering reminder. “You want me but you won’t have me” They said from afar. In this work the diapers, which are considered “lowly” are hung up high, “cathedral like- in the sky. The newspaper bags which represent what is considered “high” or “important” get stuffed with diapers. The high and low, important and unimportant are merged and mixed. The land of children and the land of grownups. The world of body and the world of mind, the world of doing and the world of ideas... Hung with colorful clothespins from a network of wires connected to a wooden frame, the work mimics a fancy ballroom chandelier. But there’s no time for ballroom dancing… From afar the work looks like a huge illuminated lowered ceiling, an image which dialogues with the concept “glass ceiling”. The invisible glass ceiling which we hit our heads on trying to get to jobs at the top of the big world. Work hours that you cannot possibly incorporate in a family life, unequal wages, etc. The work is hung from chains - the same chains that chain us- to our loved ones…the clothespins represent the unending repetitive, soldier like- work of laundry, washing, hanging again and again… Concealed In the midst of the chandelier is an interior lightened (enlightened) think space which one must work very to find in such a reality. In order to reach the enlightened space you have to bend down, prayer- like, and bravely go through the barrier of (smelly?) diapers. The neon lights are homage to the coldly lit infant rooms in hospitals, which I name ‘the chicken coop’. Most viewers approach the work with their nose… In short, one makes an effort to find and reach the inner lightened and enlightened private space. The inner “room of one’s own”. The sacredness is reached through allot of effort. Or, put simply “you gotta go through a lot of shit to reach the light” Once inside the illuminated space (the “room of your own”) the head is engulfed and isolated amidst the swaying hanging diapers, so whoever looks at the work from outside - sees a headless body, and visa versa. Meaning – whoever looks from inside the “think space” to the people outside of the chandelier, sees headless people. Why the headlessness? A job which is considered one in which you don’t need to think- or are not required to think -pays less. The invisible universities in which we learn this skill of bringing up our children- the hours spent talking to sisters mothers and girlfriends, reading books and articles, talking to older women – thinking about our options- doesn’t count. This is why the salaries of those who work with infants and children are so low, - it’s considered “headless” work. The work is hung in the public sphere- because I believe in hanging out our dirty laundry (instead of keeping it inside the house- hidden) and dirty laundry helps air and expose all kinds of hidden secrets. Like the economic reality of bringing up children in a state that doesn’t subsidize the first 5 years of childcare, and then doesn’t subsidize the one- to- five hours of childcare after school needed by working parents. That doesn’t allow flexible work hours for both sexes, that thinks subsidizing childcare is just for the benefit of women, and not both partners, that forces both parents to work because a family today cannot cannot survive on one salary. But never mind all this, it’s fun to punch the bags, to get lost in the think space. If you have time you can think about the bigger questions…

Artists

Shira Richter

Duration

2007

Collection

Citation

artistshira, “Diaper Chandelier- Outstallation: Mausoleum for the Luxurious think Space ,” Artist Parent Index , accessed November 23, 2017, http://artistparentindex.com/items/show/154.

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