c (pronounced /k/) Boutique
c Boutique at MCASD, views from environment as installed at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2010
1998 Brian Goeltzenleuchter founded Contraposto Home Decor, an artwork that takes the form of a legitimate business selling home accents and other domestic services. A conceptual artist, Goeltzenleuchter appropriates the structure and forms of business, advertising and commercial design to comment of capitalism, consumer culture, and the institutionalization of art.
c (pronounced /k/): A Home Decorations Boutique is an interdisciplinary artwork and interior decoration boutique temporarily set within the Meyer Gallery at MCASD. The store offers Contraposto Home Decor items and is open periodically during Museum hours. It is staffed by store clerk-performers who will help clients select from a line of standard home accents, and a seasonal line of limited edition products.
c (pronounced /k/) is overlaid with a narrative of disaster and loss articulated by the store's interior furnishings, and by a running textual story overheard throughout the store.
For further questions, or to purchase items, please ask the salesperson in this store for assistance.
-Lucia Sanroman, Associate Curator
Employee Handbook, self published artists’ book (Edition of 5) with one audio CD (Edition of 5), 2013.
Sample text from Employee Handbook:
The c (pronounced /k/) Boutique Narrative
The Boutique is overlaid with a narrative of disaster and loss articulated by interior furnishings and the following text, which actors are to recount with sincerity:
There was this old woman who, as far as we know, had no family or friends; from the looks of her home, she experienced psychosis of tragic proportions. Her grotesque behavior manifested itself in what can only be described as a perverse affection for her birds. These birds—no one knows exactly how many—appeared to be the only source of joy in this woman’s life. They lived in a steel cage in the bedroom of the woman’s house. The woman, incidentally, slept on the floor in front of the cage because there wasn’t enough room for the cage and a bed.
Any attention the woman might have given to housekeeping was instead invested in the birds. She would stand in front of the cage for hours, talking to the birds, all the while oblivious to the decrepit state of her home. The floorboards were in particular disrepair. After years of absorbing bird waste, these neglected wood slats could scarcely withstand their own weight.
It happened that one day, as the woman stood at the foot of the cage, singing to her birds, the floorboards gave way, causing the woman and the cage to fall through the floor to the crawlspace below. It was here, pinned to the crawlspace by the heavy cage, that the old woman awaited death. We would like to think the birds sang her, once more, to sleep.
Within a month, creditors found the deceased and proceeded to liquidate her estate in an effort to reconcile her outstanding magazine subscription debt. It was at such an estate sale that Contraposto Home Décor identified the singular opportunity to purchase the old woman’s home, which we did for pennies on the dollar. With a little work, we retrofitted the old place into our new boutique, c (pronounced /k/). In addition to our staple line of home accents, we will offer custom consulting services and limited edition accoutrements. In honor of this old woman, c (pronounced /k/) proudly sold a signature edition of parakeets—twenty-five in all—each signed and numbered with a decorative leg band.