Pia Ednie-Brown and Bruce Mowson
1400 x 3000 x 1400
latex, cotton, perspex, felt, rubber, timber, fan, amplifier, speakers, halogen lights, steel wire and fixings.
Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 2005.
Job Lot #59, Project Space, RMIT, Victoria, 2004 (Curated by Louiseann Zahra)
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, until July 3
Bruce Mowson and Pia Ednie-Brown from RMIT University have installed another environment that one enters with trepidation. The problem they have identified is more solipsistic, requiring their participants to confront their own existence by stepping inside The Shower, a life-size rubber lung suspended from the roof.
Once inside, the latex skin of the booth envelopes you when the air is sucked out with an eerie mechanical whine. The thin walls press against your body until your breathing and your beating heart become intolerable and the claustrophobia drives you out into the relative comfort of the gallery. For the next few minutes the heightened sense of mortality and the mechanics of respiration deliver the punchline the artists have carefully crafted.
Although very different, these two works deliver a physical and intellectual impact. Whether by using the simplest construction or by engineering a technically sophisticated booth, they have done what we require of art: to make us think, to prick our complacency, to provide a memorable experience and maybe change us forever.