TV-Commercial for Art Project Water
Kevin Atherton, 1982, 3'39''

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A housewife is standing at the kitchen sink, complaining about having to wash up all those dirty dishes. But luckily she’ll do them in no time with ‘…’. This is a commercial in the category 'consumer demonstration' and is a typical Dutch advertisement from the 1980s. At the invitation of De Appel Foundation, Atherton studied Dutch advertising for a few weeks, and then made a series of five commercials, each of a certain type. But Atherton omitted the main ingredient of the phenomenon ‘advertising’: the product. Nothing is having its praises sung: where you would normally hear the name of the product, there is a brief silence, and the product is simply not shown. The project description from De Appel includes the following statement: 'What Atherton s interested in, is in how far the viewer will actively fill in the unnamed product. To bring his ideas across, Kevin Atherton makes the most direct use of the medium. Persiflage is not his intention, rather, he stimulates the viewer’s perception. What is important is that, form-wise, the work of art is indistinguishable from the usual TV ad, although content-wise it certainly is.'
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  • Date: 1982
  • Length: 3'39''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: pastiche / fake, satire / parody
  • Keywords: commerce, consumption, deconstruction, mass media