Cleansing Emmanuel’s Bathroom

Anne Thulson and Matt Jenkins, 2015


Two art professors routinely clean the bathroom at the Emmanuel Gallery for the duration of the 2015 MSU Denver Faculty Triennial. The bathroom is cleaned to the exact specifications that it always is, thus maintaining the consistency provided by AHEC. The AHEC staff member that typically cleans the Emmanuel Gallery bathroom is rewarded with a small amount of leisure time and does not need to perform the task of cleaning. Two art professors recognize the value of the staff member and the role we all play in the art world. The leisure time of the artist is exchanged with the labor of the worker. The following is a list of operative concepts in this work.

  • The perfection we strive for as professors at MSU in a context of imperfect humans.
  • The work is done over and over, but never is done and never reaches perfection.
  • The denial of the body in day-to-day academia.
  • The embarrassment of the mundane.
  • The hierarchies of a university.
  • The levels of visibility and invisibility of those who work on campus.
  • The purity of the white gallery cube as performance.
  • The artist produces work. 

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