The Moisture Eater installation (Tjook 1996) was specially created for the basement of the HCAK – Haags Centrum voor Aktuele Kunst 1978-1996 – in The Haque, the Netherlands.
I first got the idea from a note the people from HCAK had placed at the door of the ‘basement telling the space was actually too moist for artexhibition purposes. I immediately wanted to do something with that fact and it made me drop the initial idea for the interaktive computer ‘installation I had in mind.
The dutch tittel for the intallation was «Vochtvreter», the same name as the moisture eater corn(calciumchloride)one can bye in local drugstores to absorb moisture in damp rooms at home.
Elements of the moisture Eater Installation
Central in the Moisture Eater Installation was a femal mannequin figure:
- through the opened top of the head the manneqúin was filled with with moisture eater corn(calciumchloride).
- her arms were removed
- her legs were duplicates made of fresh an unbaked gray clay.
- the entire assembled figure was placed in a transparent enclosure.
- a base with fluorescent tubes
8 small lamps or magic hope lights, 2 on every wall in the room: these were constructed with business cards offerings of «witch doctors» types or «quacks» as some would say, who promise that the are capable of curing everything. These cards were dropped regularly in the mailboxes in the area where I lived at the time in The Hague .
- post-mortem: an old-fashioned portable jute stands opposite the mannequin as a vertical post in the room. Inside a the jute a hidden fluorescent tube.
- musical accompaniment: a small transistor radio with an unclear world transmitter
Moist Eating Process
The moisture eater corn attracts and absorbs the moist in the basement with becomes water. The water passes through the doll into the cavity of the legs of unbaked clay. This clay is thereby is slowly softened. The figure slowly sinks through the weakened legs. This until the upper edge of the funnel (skull), the top of the perspex cylinder sealing and torso on the remains of the clay legs standing in water. This process should be adjusted so that it takes place during the exhibition.