Anyone entering the public toilet on the first floor of Glasmuseet Ebeltoft is also entering a work of art. Behind the toilet door Rejsen til M31 (The Journey to M31) begins, completely transforming the toilet into a so-called ‘cabinet of curiosity’, created by the glass artist Steffen Dam.
Wunderkammer at toilet height
What is the ideal way to experience a work of art? The answer, according to Steffen Dam, is to be alone, only in the company of your own thoughts and curiosity. Thus, a toilet would seem to offer the ideal setting. The visitor’s curiosity is certainly activated when he or she enters Rejsen til M31, as Dam’s new toilet transformation is titled. The total installation appears as an imaginative wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, that, viewed from toilet-seat height, offers an amazing journey back in time as well as into the universe.
A view ranging from nearby Mols to distant galaxies
On the one side one sees the land of childhood and the artist’s memories, illustrated by a map of Mols, a nearby gathering of hilly peninsulas. On the other side is a map of the universe and the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31, which at some point in the future is going to swallow up the Milky Way and form a new galaxy. The installation also features a tool board with high-sensitivity instruments and peculiar measuring devices from the future as well as a big medicine cabinet with rows of samples and preparations that seem oddly familiar. A big airship floats underneath the ceiling, while a tiny star in the mirror vanishes into infinity. Rejsen til M31 surrounds the viewer, gently imposing a beautiful, poetic and very concrete jumble of fantasies, memories and investigations.
About Steffen Dam
Steffen Dam (b. 1961) is a trained toolmaker but left the profession in favour of glass art in the early 1980s. His artistic practice is characterized by a sublime command of the craft. Resembling manifestations of a unique variant of natural science, his pieces take the form of ingenious and imaginative studies of the world and what it means to be human. Throughout his career, Steffen Dam has received several awards, and his works are represented in collections all over the world, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan.