At first glance, it’s the sort of bedroom that evokes the swank minimalism of design magazine dwellings and trendy hotels. White walls. Black carpet. Austere furnishings made from unvarnished plywood. On the wall, hang two bare neon tubes.
But look again, and the dark humor emerges.
There is no bed. Instead, only a pair of slim boxes, each equipped with mattress and pillow. To one side rest a pair of wood boards that could serve as lids. A small decorative tray holds a hammer and nails.
If Donald Judd had been a funeral director instead of a sculptor, one imagines this is what he would have built.
The installation, by L.A.-based artist Norberto Rodriguez, toys with artistic pieties — especially that of minimalism, with its fetish for visually soothing materials and colors (a tendency that critic Kyle Chayka has described as bearing a streak of “Puritanical asceticism”).
“Art is pious,” says Rodriguez. “That’s a problem.”
Currently on view through Sunday at Bed & Breakfast gallery, an informal art space located inside a private apartment in Arlington Heights, visitors are not only welcome to observe the work, they are invited to step into and lay down in Rodriguez’s “resting places.” The nonclaustrophobic may even opt for a lid.
On Sunday at noon, the show will come to an end with a special closing reception that will include a meditation session led by the artist, along with fresh scones baked by Bed & Breakfast co-founder Jacqueline Falcone. (She refers to these as her “Falscones.”)
It’s all very homey — of the funeral kind.
Where: Bed & Breakfast gallery, Arlington Heights
When: A closing reception with meditation will be held on Sunday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.; at other times, visits can be arranged by appointment
Admission: Email the gallery via their website for location information