Author: Sante Scardillo --- Date: 08/23/96 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Exit Art, 548 Broadway, NY, NY.

This is the second successful show I've seen in this space where a great number of artists have created environments/installations (the first was "Let artists live" in 1994, when artists were invited to build their abode in the gallery and live in it for a month). The "sweat" mood is decidedly oceanside, with a PA system diffusing a sea wave noise for increased reality (the piece is uncredited, though). Many depictions of the seaside, beachware and sidekicks make up a stimulating, entertaining show, with some weak spots, but altogether enjoyable. The piece that most captured my imagination is "our shower" by Tony Stanzione. Described on the checklist as wood, plastic, metal, hardware, cloth, the piece matches the title. It is a functioning shower available to the public in the middle of the gallery. A changing room and towels are also available. The deviant strategy in creating a situation in which others will perform, merged with the preponderant physicality of a Chris Burden piece, make for a live, threedimensional Sophie Calle. The skeletal conceptuality of the hardware clashes with the sensous spectacle of a moving body sprinkled in water visable through an opaque, round curtain, the private/public border of a personal act all but obliterated. The encompassing statement of providing general access to something most everybody enjoys (a shower on a hot summer day) while exploiting it for display, belies the unobtrusively political: some may have nowhere else to shower. When I saw the show, the curtain was still wet.

Sante Scardillo

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