A live video/​performance
150 mins

1999
Hi 8 video edited on computer disc; 120 mins on VHS video (rewind & repeat)

2005
Digital edit of Hi 8 mate­rial

Trailer 3 Minutes

Insur­ance value DVD: 200 Euros

The instal­la­tion Golden Showers comprises of a 2 hour silent video edited from the docu­men­ta­tion of a perfor­mance in which the artist’s naked body was covered with gold leaf, by German art restorer Wolf­gang Sass­man­shausen. The orig­inal action took part in a room sealed off from the public — spec­ta­tors were able to view the under­taking, trans­mitted by cable to a monitor. The completed piece may be seen on either one, or more screens.

7 plastic curtains and 6 colour posters hang around the moni­tors. Each shower’ curtain measures 100400 cm and is made of small plastic sachets sewn together. Each bag contains a date label and a sample of the artist’s hair from natural hair loss, collected daily; one curtain repre­sents a full year. The posters by image and text inform the reader with several possible inter­pre­ta­tions of Golden Showers. The video may be shown without the curtains and posters.

Unwanted hair is usually collected from shower plug­holes and thrown away, but there are exam­ples in history, where hair remains preserved as the only remaining testa­ment to the life of a human being. Under Hitler’s dicta­tor­ship, the Nazis collected shorn hair of women camp inmates to use for mattress stuffing. Gold teeth were extracted from dead mouths, and wedding rings stolen from corpses, to be melted down and re-used. Because the tattoo number 4711 is seen on the artist’s body in the video/​performance Golden Showers, a different type of shower is suggested; one that emits gas not water. At the same time 4711 is in fact well known as the trade­mark for the German product Kölnisch Wasser. The Eau de Cologne perfumery’s house number became renowned following the intro­duc­tion of the consec­u­tive numbering of houses, during the French occu­pa­tion under Napoleon, in 1796.

50 years is a Golden Anniver­sary. In the late 1990’s it emerged that Swiss banks had 50 years previ­ously received the equiv­a­lent of $6 billion of Nazi Gold and secretly hoarded it from that time onwards. This video/​performance Golden Showers honours this Anniver­sary.


Infor­ma­tion

Perfor­mance & concept: Tanya Ury

Art restorer: Wolf­gang Sass­man­shausen

Camera: Katja Butt

Text/​image processing, 

1999 Perfor­mance CD & poster discs: Christoph Lischka

2005 DVD edit Rainer Nelissen


Presen­ta­tion

1997 Live video/​performance, solo exhi­bi­tion: Schau­raum Cologne (D), 1 monitor, no curtains

1997 Instal­la­tion, solo exhi­bi­tion, City Library Münster (D): 1 video monitor & 4 curtains

1999 Instal­la­tion, group exhi­bi­tion, Cologne City Museum (D), Menschen wie Du und Ich 4 video moni­tors & 6 curtains

1999 Instal­la­tion, solo exhi­bi­tion, The Lux Cinema foyer, London (GB) 3 video moni­tors 3 projec­tions & 7 curtains

2005 (7.12) Trailer: Golden Showers, Confer­ence: Jüdische Frauen in Geschichte und Gegen­wart (Jewish Women in the Past and Present), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Wesseling nr. Bonn (D)

2006 (27.2) Peer Critique, trailer, Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum (GB)

2006 (5.4.) Profes­sional Prac­tice Seminar with trailer, Fine Art Depart­ment, Sheffield Hallam Univer­sity (GB)

2006 (6.4) Trailer presented in Seminar within Cathy Gelbin’s PhD. Confer­ence course: Gender and Visual Arts, Holo­caust Studies, Royal Holloway, London (D)

2006 (10.5) Körper­bilder (Body Images), seminar with video trailers, Kunstverein Dort­mund (D)

2006 (26.7. – 9.8.) Solo exhi­bi­tion, screening only, Tüzrakter Inde­pen­dent Cultural Centre, Budapest (HU)

Publi­ca­tions & Press

1999 Menschen wie Du und Ich (People Like You and Me), exhi­bi­tion cata­logue produced by Ury, Cologne City Museum, publ. Korridor Verlag ISBN 3980435466 (D)

1999 Taking on the Mantle article by Ury, images: Moving Message logo, Golden Showers, Trip­tych for a Jewish Princess Second Gener­a­tion, AufBrüche — Kulturelle Produk­tionen von Migran­tinnen, Schwarzen und jüdis­chen Frauen in Deutsch­land (Marginal Cracks — Cultural Produc­tion of Women Migrants, Black and Jewish Women in Germany), publ. Ulrike Helmer Verlag ISBN 3897410427 (D)

2002 Plath, Hitch­cock und die Metaphorik der Shoah: zur Vermit­teltheit von Geschichte und Iden­tität in der Kunst Tanya Urys, Dr Cathy S. Gelbin in Deutsch-jüdische Liter­atur der neun­ziger Jahre: Die Gener­a­tion nach der Shoah (Plath, Hitch­cock and Metaphors of the Shoah: the Medi­a­tion of History and Iden­tity in the Art of Tanya Ury, by Dr Cathy S. Gelbin, German-Jewish Liter­a­ture of the nineties: The Gener­a­tion after the Shoah), publ. Erich Schmidt Verlag ISBN 3503061258 (D)

2002 www​.galerie​-muen​ster​land​.de/​p​r​o​g​r​a​m​m​v​o​r​s​c​h​a​u​/​s​e​p​02​.html

2003 www​.culture​base​.net/ar…

2003 Meta­phern des Genozids Die Repräsen­ta­tion von Geschichte und Iden­tität in der Kunst Tanya Urys von Dr Cathy S. Gelbin in Gesellschaf­s­the­orie und Post­colo­niale Kritik (Metaphors of Geno­cide, The Staging of History and Iden­tity in the Art of Tanya Ury), by Dr Cathy S. Gelbin in Social Theory und Post-Colo­nial Critique, publ. Unrast Verlag ISBN 3897714256 (D)

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