Andrea Zittel

November 1 – December 7, 1996
Main Gallery
Installation Views
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Press Release

Each A-Z Escape Vehicle is discretely anonymous on the outside, but on the inside every A-Z EV is completely customized to reflect each owner's ideal environment of escape.

Last summer, when we were road-testing the A-Z Travel Trailer Units, we had initially seen the popular appeal of travel trailer units as a means to freedom via their ability to provide unlimited mobility. What we quickly came to realize was that many of the people who purchased trailers would just park them on one spot for years without ever moving them again. When we spoke with these people, we started to realize that they actually found freedom within the small contained structure of the trailer, itself. It's intimate interior presented them with a small, personal, controllable "universe". Instead of seeking individual freedom by means of traveling around the outside world, they have instead acquired freedom by constructing a safe inner world based on each person's own subjective reality.

Recent travels have also been making us think a lot about the idea of "escape". We have begun to notice that even though we are more and more mobile geographically, there are in reality fewer and fewer places left where we can "escape to". On a road trip from California to Rhode Island, we were able to eat exactly the same meal in identically decorated restaurants every day. Each night we slept in a motel where even the bedspreads featured the same decorative pattern from room to room across the continent.

We found ourselves wondering if it is in reaction to these homogenous and impersonal surroundings that we find ourselves focusing more and more on interior and subjective worlds which we invent for ourselves? We were also thinking that during the last century people seem to have become more focused on the idea of subjectivity and individual identity. Think about the current popularity of psychoanalysis; and about the importance of the home and private life as a "haven" from the impersonality of the "outside" world. While all of these things seem like natural priorities to us right now, a few hundred years ago this sort of subjective individual or private focus was unimaginable.

So what does this have to do with our new line of A-Z Escape Vehicles? We here at A-Z have developed the A-Z Escape Vehicle as a contemporary solution for the increasing need to escape. We are not claiming that this is the only way you will ever want to escape (we will soon propose other products and solutions which you may also want to try!), but we believe that it features many advantages which will work well to serve today's needs!

The A-Z Escape Vehicle is about the inner world as opposed to the outer world. The A-Z EV allows you the ultimate freedom. The freedom to create your own parameters or your own universe. A world of your own in a contained capsule so that it won't have to answer to anybody else's laws, rules, standards or expectations.

The A-Z Escape Vehicle can be shared just as easily as it can seclude. It can sit in a corner of your living room, it can grace your back yard, or you can tow it behind your car to perpetually varying locations. You can "Escape" into your A-Z Escape Vehicle any time you want, for as long as you want - all you have to do is climb in and close the hatch!
-Andrea Zittel

The exhibition at the Andrea Rosen Gallery on November 1, 1996 will present five of our Escape Vehicles for public display. Four of the A-Z EVs will be customized, while a fifth will be presented "as is", a prototype ready for future customization. The four individual interiors will consist of the following:

-Robert Schiffler's A-Z Escape Vehicle will consist of a flotation tank which he plans to use someday for relaxing floats in his home. Bob's flotation installation features an underwater sound system, along with a twin-spa light system.
-Andrea Rosen's own personal A-Z Escape Vehicle suggests a cross between a limousine and Cinderella's carriage. The interior is covered with quilted baby blue velvet and features a built-in wet bar along with a CD car stereo system.
-Dean Valentine's A-Z Escape Vehicle is inspired by the boxes of Joseph Cornell. The underlying feeling is of a travel or voyage. The primary feature is a little letter writing desk upon which Mr. Valentine can pen personal letters.
-Andrea Zittel will customize an A-Z Escape Vehicle of her own. She will construct a grotto like interior with a waterfall and colored lights which is in some part inspired by the memory of a childhood visit to the grotto made by Ludwig of Bavaria.

Artists