Taking the Empire’s New Clothes to the Laundry”, Drawing Series, 1987-88

“Taking the Empire’s New Clothes to the Laundry” offers strategies for intervention in alienating “public” spaces while imagining ways of remediating those sites. Each drawing suggests ways to talk back, participate, organize and develop more awareness of one’s power in relation to these spaces. When displayed in exhibitions, the drawings had shelves underneath them. Each shelf housed a pad of paper and pencil so that visitors could leave their own comments and suggestions. They were encouraged to read and respond to each other’s comments. The drawings are of the supermarket (Buy One Now), the department store (Marked Down), the public beach (No Swimming, No Wading, No Fishing), the doctor’s office (Prescription Refillable 2X Only), the Museum Store (Pay What You Wish), the Unemployment Office (Stand Behind the White Line), the parking lot (Do Not Back Up), the subway car (Service Is Delayed), the health club (High Impact), the airport gate waiting room, the college lecture room (Use Number Two Pencil Only), and the real estate agency (Real State).