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Drain

Robert Gober (American, b. 1954)

1989

Medium cast pewter Measurements H: 8 1/4 x W: 9 1/4 x D: 3diam: 4 1/4 in. (0 x 0 x 7.62 x 10.8 cm) Credit Robert S. Waters Charitable Trust Fund, Patrons Art Fund, Second Century Acquisition Fund, and Oxford Development Fund Accession Number 93.4 Location Gallery 16, Scaife Galleries

Narrative

Robert Gober’s small, easily overlooked Drain appears to be an object out of place. Nestled into a wall instead of the bottom of a sink, the work demonstrates Gober’s desire to get the viewer to look differently at everyday objects. The placement of the drain in a new context, removed it from its original function, renders it strange and highlights its visual qualities. Yet Gober further complicates this interplay of the artistic and the everyday, because what looks like a found object—a drain purchased from a plumbing store—is actually a handmade object, painstakingly crafted to look like a drain. By remaking a manufactured object by hand, and emphasizing the unique over the mass-produced, Gober transforms the most mundane parts of our environment in order to make us regard the world with a new-found sense of wonder. —From gallery label, by Douglas Fogle and Karin Campbell, 2009