THREE BATHS


Ether, 1990. 
Valley
Bath 3

'I made three bath pieces altogether. The first one was called 'Ether' and it had a plughole in it which I drilled out so that there was a hole going through the work. The second one was called 'Valley'. It had glass on top of it, where I wanted to make a space for a body, so the whole thing was like a sarcophagus. I wanted to tap the space so that it felt claustrophobic. The third one, which also had glass on it, had two holes in the glass the two  holes in the plaster, so there was a sense of breathing. I wanted it to have some kind of relief. I remember seeing a documentary about the crypt at Christ Church Spitalfields. They were clearing out lead coffins that were completely sealed, the bodies inside them had deteriorated so much that there was just this lumpy liquid sloshing about inside. And there was one big scare about unleashing the plague and other dreadful diseases. That was something I was thinking about whilst I was making these pieces. I wanted an open one, a sealed one, and one that could breathe." 

- Rachel Whiteread, interview published in William Furlong's Speaking of Art.


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