Coat Check

2005, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris

This installation was a re-working of a previous version of Coat Check made specifically for the Suisse Cultural Center in Paris. Coat Check begins when a viewer enters the Arts Center and is asked to check their coat. Upon receiving the coat of the viewer in exchange for a ticket, the coat check attendant immediately hangs it on a rack. The viewer then continues up via stairs to the main exhibition space on the third floor. Meanwhile, when the viewer is out-of-sight, the coat check attendant passes the viewer’s coat off to someone who then shuttles the coat up to the main exhibition space by way of a back stairwell. The viewer, upon reaching the exhibition space, finds their coat being worn by one of several children who stand in the middle of the gallery. The entrance of the viewer activates the child (or children) to perform a series of actions, culminating in a dramatic exit of the gallery by a back door that closes and locks behind them, taking the viewer’s coat with them. Out of the sight of the viewer, their coat is then shuttled back downstairs and hung neatly on the coat check rack to be collected by the viewer when they return downstairs to exit. There is also a video component to the work titled, First Time for Everything, which is continuously projected on a wall of the exhibition space for the duration of the installation.

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