Dirty Shower Dress Tent
The Dress Tent project consists of wearable architecture and large-scale color photographs that merge the dress tent sculpture with its companion landscape constructing a fashion of place. The structures are designed to be shown in a gallery or museum as interactive installations, but are imbued with a nomadic legacy of being worn and installed in the landscape. Photographs document this legacy. Each piece of wearable architecture references specific body and land politics pertaining to the place and culture in which they are installed. Modes of female representation are addressed through the garment/structure. In the gallery, the tent brings the experience of the referenced landscape back to the audience. For instance, the Illegal Entry Dress Tent, originally installed by the U.S./Mexico border, contains military blankets embroidered with the names of those who have lost their lives crossing the border. Those who seek refuge beneath the skirt are implicated with their own relationship to border issues. In this way, the dress tents address body and land politics as they interface with the nomadic nature of contemporary life. Each dress tent, which literally morphs from a dress into a tent, poses the question of what lies under a woman’s skirt in the 21st century?
The “Dirty Shower Dress Tent” proposal deals with water and its’ relationship to our bodies and the land. (Home and Garden) We propose to create a dress tent installation that is a worn, performed portable shower. Our creation is a play on the popular culture version of portable camping showers. The installation works with this aspect of “camping” and contemporary political/social water use issues.
The fabric utilized for this dress tent will consist of custom designed shower curtains. The "shower head" will be situated underneath a nine-foot high interior "stool." The fabricated metal stool becomes the seat for the performer, and provides the interior structure that supports this piece of wearable architecture. The fabricated metal stool will have a base that is 8 feet in diameter. Thus the piece from head to toe is about 12 feet high with a circular 8 foot base.
The shower water spills and cascades under her "skirt" and is continually recycled. A greywater pond, catches the water at the base of her skirt and may contain green ultra violet light that “ purifies” the water, as it is recycled, thus transforming the “dirty” water to potable water. We plan to “power” the pump with solar cells and battery system. The recycled waterfall can be viewed from the exterior of the dress tent, as well as "experienced" inside, up under her skirt.
We propose to have a sound track playing from the interior of the dress tent. The sound tack will consist of a collection of individuals “singing in the shower”. We will create 1-3 minute "song loops" that allude to our relationship to water, contemporary water use issues, dirty verses purified water, the body (home) and the land (garden). We are thinking of "dirty water" as body fluids, as well as the cycle of water as it travels through our water systems.