As an explorer of the world Christopher Columbus discovered not just America. He discovered a new world with “wild humans” and strange creatures: a world full of forms and shapes that has never be seen before by European civilization. For sure frightening and alienating on first sight.
Our world is still strange! Let’s enter a western world toilet with its citrus smell and its glossy shine, porcelain and water-tap. In the cabinet we find lots of mysterious stuff as toothbrushes, razors, ear-tabs, tampons, condoms; we actually use them quite regularly.
But how strange is that? Our hygiene is holy. There´s no joke to make about smelly armpits or unshaven legs and other areas of the body. There won´t be mercy with those who don´t use a toothbrush or deo. They slowly will become aliens, different, they become obtrusive and observed!
The book “We all laughed at Christopher Columbus” is a selection of characters made from hygiene articles. They are arranged in a lost space, in between the cabinet and our culture. Each character is unique even though it has a mass produced shape. We see a loose familiarity, a little secret and a metaphor in each of them.
We can discover our most private surroundings with fresh eyes. Not even knowing on first sight what exactly we are discovering, we enter actively a sphere where shame and fear can´t harm us any more. The hygiene items are defining own characters with own meanings. On the one hand they want to make us laugh with their bright colors and awakening associations. On the other hand, they show us their true character: not suiting us in our everyday phobia!
We carry with us the fear of becoming an outsider, an alien, observed from a distance. We enter a poppy world, as intimate as the everyday advertisements. Leading us into a wild zoo. As wild as it can be, at least in a zoo: Artificial and foreign, lost in it´s uncomplete selection. Not quite fitting into the space.
this post is part of he subjective library project "Unopened Book"
the book can be found at the Rietveld library : catalog no : 707.9-grw-1