Baden verboten
Andreas Leopold Hofbauer

Camille: I bought such a thing this morning…!
Paul: What such a thing?
(long break)
Paul (emphatic): What thing?

Bare and wet Archimedes jumped out of his bathtub and ran sudden – hollering “Heureka!”- through the streets of Syrakus. It is said that he had found the named principle, which rules and theory he recorded in the work of the floating (things or bodies), what made him to be the Father of the Hydrostatics. A story, which until now schoolmasters of physics use to cheer up the lectures. Not so is each swimming body a bathing one, but it makes clear: You may not only take a bath in a tub but do other things as well.
The latter testifies explicit the gathered bank/tubs from Peter Pilz so called “Bathing forbidden!”
The half side from a tub will be supplied with cuts so these will turn out as hinge. Along these the half side will be folded in a new way into a bank.
In specific, these bank/tubs are so-called “Berlin Models” or at least something, that had fulfilled their former function and is now applied to a new function.
A spate of six pieces followed concrete specifications by Peter Pilz were produced by Erik Tannhäuser in his workshop in Weißensee.
Surfaced with Nassau-Orange, a car varnish of Mitsubishi. This sounds like juicy fruit and exotic luxury.
Totally innocent and perhaps unintentional it alludes to something, that is close to the word “nassauern” ( to sponger).
Pretending to be some, which someone isn’t and still receive benefit.
Back-stabbing is truly not the right word for the bank/tub, they do not benefit from their Now-and -So-being; on the contrary to us – as users (to sit on or owner) or beholder we get a greater benefit.
Moreover and above it is in no way a misappropriation, likewise it is in the use of a tub for cattle watering tank in a minor degree, or the unasked use in a high degree is, like a “Beuys sche tub” a cooler for beer bottles for the “Leverkusener SPD-Kreisverband”.
This is an ironic re dedication. But why ironic?
Our Berlin Models have and had with no doubt specific functions. .
The bank/tubs are no hybrid objects, like an extendable studio couch.
Their charm confirms, that it doesn’t deny the past (for what they were used before), but rather is unashamedly shown in its current presentation.
Such an open handling with the own ambivalence may insecure a little bit. So someone may hesitate to follow the invitation to sit down, immediate and outright.
Thereby the functional changing (a tub is for bathing, a bank for sitting) is secondary and perhaps only in the interests of designers.
What is shown us so quite plain, is the transformation from the setting – their tilting. The bank/tubs from the series “bathing forbidden” are no tilting pictures (they are tubes as banks), but they evoke such thing throughout their and our imagination.
Such tilting pictures got accord not least by Ludwig Wittgenstein and Wilfred R. Bion to the highest philosophical dignity.
On the one hand they stay in epistemic way and in an allegory way cryptic, and on the other hand they are well-known.
The famous examples are the hare/duck-picture from Jastrow, the vase/face-picture from Rubin (so-called Rubin-Cup), the tilting-picture from the old witch and the young beauty and so on.
The bank/tubs of “bathing forbidden” picture in this spirit in a playful way an uncertainty, which shows in itself: Is it about a tub, that we can generate into banks, or is it a bank, which can be anytime turned back into tubs?
On one hand it became manifest in its uncertainty between the title “bathing forbidden” and the bank/tub itself: Who would get the idea, to take a bath in a bank? Since now and everywhere we have lost our Archimedean point, whereof someone could be capable to judge or to gauge, that one may be able to see both single pictures from a tilting-picture at the same time..
Despite the obvious new founded function, the bath/tub is a curious thing. It reminds us to think about. And simply the manufacture of a functional object into a new profane and trivial common thing emphasizes: You have to know how to handle things … to know what a great thing is.
Phrases, which noteworthy a German thinker wrote, who was not really known to have a specific nearness to English.
Once we decided to sit down, we have no doubt on the stability of the bank/tub. They do not collapse.
In two out of several following bath-scenes from Jean-Luc Godard s Movie “Le Mépris”, 1963, we see first Michel Piccoli (as Paul) and then Brigitte Bardot (as Camille) sitting in the same bath tub. Believing Paul, the water wasn’t changed. In the bath tub he smokes cigar, wears a hat and reads the newspaper. According to his own quote, he wanted to be like Dean Martin in “Some came running”. Camille, who wears a black wig over her blonde hair, dislikes this and she compares him with a donkey from a fable. When she later sits in the same tub (however, without wig and blond hair, that specially remains on Brigitte Bardot’s hair), she is reading the just published Monographic from Luc Moulett’s (himself a director) about the director Fritz Lang (who, on the other hand, plays in the movie Le Mépris Godards a not so insignificant part as actor)..
The only thing, that by all references and parallelization, all the countless hyperlinks at the smallest place changeless remains, is the tub.
It’s high time, that someone appears … spilling out the water … grasp a parting cutter … Heureka!

Andreas Leopold Hofbauer
Berlin im Advent 2007

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