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 100 x 400 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 3-9804354-6-6 (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 3-89741-042-7 (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 3-503-06125-8 (D)

2002 www.galerie-muensterland.de/programmvorschau/sep02.html

2003 www.culturebase.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 3-89771-425-6 (D)

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