Beholder About


In Beholder, a shower stall stands in the center of the gallery. Translucent shower curtains shroud three sides of the shower, and viewers are drawn towards the open front by the sound of dripping water. Looking into the shower, you see a bar of soap near the drain. A small screen shines brightly from within the soap, inviting the viewer to bend down and look inside. The screen plays a microscopic skin flick. The image appears to breathe as hair grows from dark follicles on wrinkled skin. In Beholder, the bar of soap is both a stand-in for the bather and, in a sense, the bather’s replacement. The soap becomes a body, as if the residue left from repeated washings has taken on a life of its own. The boundary between public and private is breached as the gallery-goer either experiences the soap as the presence of the absent bather or as the corporeal detritus of those who have washed with the soap. The shower stall is positioned in such a way so that only one person can view the soap at a time. For others in the gallery, the moment they see you viewing the soap, you become the body in the shower. In this way, successive viewers are paralleled to bodies washed by the soap, and the viewer participates in the residue left by seen (and unseen) others.

Who is the beholder and who the beheld?