Public Bath is installation with performance which stresses the relationships and differences between public and private spaces.
Public Bath consists of four groups of elements:
- announcements on flyers, poetically describing the ritual of bathing, almost as an advertisement for some health club, giving the location of the happening, not revealing the fact that it is the matter of an art action
- big, oversized, metal or porcelain freestanding bathtub situated somewhere in NYC (location picked up with help of FF staff) with the performers (author of the project and few assistants – local artists and friends) near/around/in it.
- few bubbles machines – producing huge bubbles, situated near the bathtub, can be operated in situ or/and remotely via website, displayed on computers and on video projection at chosen destinations
- CCT camera records the activities and displays it on screen. The bubble machines are controlled by a custom software, which is triggered via website.
Bathtub is empty. Performer is lying in it, normally dressed, having an earphones, listening to the provided sound tracks. Soundtracks are carefully chosen, from recorded ‘silence’ on island Vis in Dalmatia to the noise from Philippinos maids gathering in Hong Kong. Her eyes are closed, maybe she’s wearing eye band, not seeing and paying attention to surroundings. Or else, maybe she is active in looking back at audience, smiling, reading the magazines, clearly enjoying and having a good time. There is that transparent, yet tangible border around the bathtub made of big sized bubbles which are constantly produced, when not triggered via remote computer. Performer animates viewers from the audience to take a break, to a have a bath. The actions are displayed on screen(s). Public Bath is that way conditioned by the simultaneous emphasis on formal aspects and on representation. Also, this project is a metaphor for the effect of disappearing the boundaries between private and public, more and more in raising and appearing these days with the net, surveillance, etc.
From the time that humans first defined private spaces, public spaces have served as places where people have come together to exchange idea. Because they are defined as areas which are open to everyone, historically, the public spaces of cities have been centres of diversity. Public spaces were where people from all kinds of different backgrounds were exposed to each other. Is it possible in such environment to gain a private momentum for a particular duration of time? That’s what Public Bath tries to answer.