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By: Nicole Vasarevic
Do Ho Suh’s art installation, 348 West 22nd St, Apt A, New York, NY 10011 (bathroom) is currently part of the Are You Experienced? exhibit at the Art Gallery Of Hamilton. The first time this piece caught my attention was in my media critique course last week. I am not a contemporary art freak. Going to the AGH to see Do Ho Suh’s installation was the first time I’ve stepped foot in an art exhibit that was not a required class trip.
The piece is a life scale model of the bathroom where Do Ho Suh grew up and is part of a larger installation of the whole apartment 348 West 22nd St, Apt A, New York, NY 10011. I have never stepped foot in this said apartment, however the reasoning behind his installation is all too familiar.
Moving away from home is a shock, whether your home is four hours away or, as in my case, 45 minutes. You leave behind your place of childhood and transition into a new “adult” life. Moving out means leaving behind that security blanket that is being a child. The idea that your actions are thoughts do not have a permanent effect on your future has been left behind.
Do Ho Suh’s installation leaves you feeling empty and unprepared. The blueish transparent walls allow you to look into the most private room of a home. The piece stirs the nostalgic and uncomfortable feelings that come when thinking about childhood. The quiet and stillness of the art exhibit amplifies that uncomfortable feeling that resonates off the piece.
I felt as though I shouldn’t have been looking at this bathroom – I was peering into someone’s private thoughts. A bathroom is so much more that just a small space with a toilet and a bathroom. It is the only place while growing up where you are completely yourself, by yourself. The bathroom is where you can hide and be alone with your thoughts.
Do Ho Suh’s piece turns an everyday space into a case of loneliness, nostalgia and the unsettling truth that you are not a child anymore.