Installation (variable dimensions), 1997
(Seven talking paper towel dispensers with a lever mechanism, plastic, digital speech module, batteries, loudspeakers: 37 x 30 x 27 cm each)
| Seven standard paper towel dispensers are installed between partition walls, each one bearing a name card. When pressing a lever on the side— which, as the manufacturer’s brochure states, “administers a single paper towel for well-measured usage”—each machine also emits a brief audio snippet: different quotes from American movies, each one from a scene featuring one of the seven bodily fluids. Instances of weeping, peeing, sweating, vomiting, and even bleeding can be heard. |
“I need you two folks to take those cleaning products and clean the inside of the car. And I’m talking fast, fast, fast... You need to go in the back seat and scoop up all those little pieces of brain and skull. Get it out of there. Wipe down the upholstery—now when it comes to the upholstery, it doesn’t have to be spic and span, you don’t need to eat off it. Just give it a good once over. What you have to take care of are the really messy parts, the pools of blood you’ve collected, you gotta soak that shit up.” (Mr. Winston Wolf, Cleaner)
Mr. Santos, Miss Susan, Mr. Wolf and all the other agents of consolation have a solution and some paper towel to offer. They dry tears, wipe sperm and sweat off the skin, or, like the Cleaner in Pulp Fiction, give instructions on how to clean up bloody car seats. A consoling commentary on the hygiene culture of the 1990s.
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