TEETH & TEACUPS
As Unique as You Are, Pearly Whites, Lost My Thirst for Living & Tea for Two
As Unique As You Are includes 86 toothbrushes which are appear identical except for the brushing patters which are as distinctive as the women who used them. While the American Dental Association recommends toothbrush replacement after three months, these patients were lucky to have them replaced after three years.
Pearly Whites is a grouping of jumbo porcelain teeth - roots still intact. Marble smooth they are gingerly wrapped in porcelain-dipped gauze alluding to the hurt caused by extraction. They herald back to the madman doctor Henry Cotton who had a penchant for pulling his patients teeth in hopes of curing their madness. They are stand-ins for the more than 10,000 teeth he accessed from unwilling patients.
Lost My Thirst for Living cups bare faded cameo profiles of the asylum’s male owner and serve as a metaphor for the fragile patient. Each razor-thin porcelain piece varies in degrees of disrepair. Hand-pressed from a two-part mold the excess clay makes an impression of the mold’s button-like registration keys - the first thing a ceramists customarily discards after pulling the object from a mold. The discarded women who used these tea cups broke society's mold - it was their unconventional behavior that landed them in the asylum in the first place.
Like Meret Oppenheim's iconic surrealist object, Breakfast in Fur, Tea for Two combines the domesticity of a tea set with a woman's long, black hair. As with most surrealist art, a visual pun is implied regarding the impracticability of the combined elements. These asylum teacups have grown hair transposing an object of relaxation into something unpleasant.