Helena Walsh

A Room with a View


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This performance was part of a group durational exhibition, Living Rooms, which took place in a disused apartment above Flannery's Bar, Limerick City (2001. In the performance the artist  inhabited the bathroom of the apartment. The bathroom door was replaced with a door containing a window allowing a full view into the bathroom. The toilet was purposely clogged with tissue and remained unflushed following the artist’s use of it. The artist spent her time in the bathroom bathing, cleansing and beautifying her body with perfumes and lotions. Each time the artist caught an audience member peering in at her through the window in the bathroom door she quickly put her hands down the toilet bowl and threw its contents at the window. Counteracting the seductive with the repellent and contaminating bodily cleansing with the active handling of bodily excrement, this performance intertwines the everyday abject body with the pursuit of ideal beauty. In subverting the normalized objectification of the female body through shattering the gaze of the viewer with an aggressive action the performance disrupted the passive viewing of the female body.