Trust me, I’m good for you
pedestal (size variable), ladder, cushion, filled with different material, head phones covered with fur, sound
The installation “Trust Me, I’m Good for You,” invites the viewer to change their perspective on the established logic of how art is to be received. It opens up the possibility to experience art from the viewpoint of the artwork itself, as the viewer is transformed into the object. Irene Schueller uses the convention of the museum to characterize objects placed there as works of art. By presenting them on this institutional pedestal, even banal items are lifted from their everyday context and elevated to art objects.“Trust Me, I’m Good for You” presents a white square pedestal with a soft pillow and a stepladder. The ladder and the pillow evoke the ideas of ascending and settling in. To accept the implicit invitation to climb and to rest, viewers are forced to confront and overcome long-standing stereotypes of what the museum experience is supposed to entail. Indeed, the title is not only a mischievous, seductive whisper – but also a timeless dare – “Trust me.” Those accepting the challenge to climb encounter fur-coated headphones, which emit calming cat purrings. The installation tacitly suggests two options to encounter the world in an unusual way at this point: from the viewpoint of an anthropomorphized art work, being the perceptive object of the audience’s gaze, or from the animalistic consciousness of a cat-like creature that settles where it likes, indifferent to observation, let alone the seriousness of art. In either case, by winking at the idea that art viewing must be stuffy business, the installation offers relief and at the same time provokes.