Video, color, silent, 30:00; LCD screen; laser disc; laser disc player
3.5 x 4.5 inches / 8.9 x 11.4 cm (screen)

One of the three videos where water floods the body, this one depicts an overflowing mouth. The figure here is not Hamilton, but rather Katherine Gray, a glass artist who at the time was doing an internship at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California. Between 1989 and 1991, Hamilton was working on a commission for the Mess Hall at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

The persistent exploration of thresholds, particularly the ambiguity of what is inside and what is outside, and the slippage of borders are key to these videos—where the water seems to be flowing either in or out of the mouth. This exploration also reoccurs in later Hamilton works as different as Untitled, 2000, where long, dripping hairs seem to be either entering or spilling from a mouth, and Hamilton’s tower · Oliver Ranch, completed in 2006, where entry is gained through a window and not a door, and light enters from an open roof, as well as through window wells.

The monitor used in the installation was a small, round-backed standard television set into the wall so that its screen was flush with the wall’s surface; it was in 1993, when the video was editioned, that a flat-screen monitor, measuring 3 ½ × 4 ½ inches / 8.9 × 11.4 cm, was specified by the artist.


Text excerpted from Ann Hamilton: An Inventory of Objects. New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2006. Joan Simon.