Here’s the story of ‘Bathtub Suicide’:
I started dating a web designer in 2009. He told me he had majored in Photography and Studio Art, so I asked to see his photos from college. This photo, ‘Bathtub Suicide’, was one of a series of gothic/horror scenes that he designed and photographed, and it won a big award at his final show. He was unsure about showing it to me because of the less-than-seemly content, but I completely fell in love with the photo. He had it framed for me and it hung in my bathroom for a year and a half. It doubled as a great piece of art and a precautionary warning not to get too overwhelmed by working for my Ph.D.
After we broke up, I took the picture down and used the frame for something else, but I couldn’t bear to throw it away: I still think it’s a beautiful photograph. I hope this orphan of a past relationship finds a loving home.
— hand delivered in New York City
When I wandered into this room [the opening of The Object Ethnography Project], I was immediately taken with the bathtub suicide photo, and before I learned the premise o this object-exchange, I already sought to possess it. I lived, in college, with an eccentric, esthete, a collector of rare, morbid things like torture devices, books on the history of flagellation, early gynecological implements, and the like. This photo seems to bridge the gap between this pastime and the dominant effect of my early art-school days; photography characterized by images of the obscene; dead animals on city streets, “Revealed” personalities a la Diane Arbus, and a generally infinitely stylized perspective on life. The owner’s description is, furthermore, so evocative– indeed, my apartment is cluttered with paintings by past lovers, which sting me ever time they cross my eye; I am accustomed to it, engage with these artifacts as a masochistic pastime. This photo; so over-the-top, so insensitive and obscene, will be a refreshing addition to my study-walls.